Another VP speculation thread

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet says Delaware Senator Joe Biden is moving up on Barack Obama’s short list:

While Obama’s heart may go towards Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine–his head takes him to a more experienced pick, a Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) or Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Although Biden voted for the bankruptcy bill and was a vocal supporter of Bush’s Iraq War for a long time, his lifetime Senate voting record is much more progressive than Bayh’s. It’s not even close.

Also, Biden is a better speaker and campaigner than Bayh and would be a great attack dog.

Also, we wouldn’t lose a Senate seat if Biden became vice president.

Wesley Clark would be my first choice for VP, but if Obama wants to go with a DC establishment figure, Biden would be an excellent choice. He would do no harm to the ticket and would help Obama with over-60 voters, in my opinion.

Steve Clemons says sources indicate Bayh has a better than 50/50 chance of being chosen by Obama.

Paul Rosenberg reports that a new “100,000 Strong Against Evan Bayh for VP” group on Facebook got more than 1,300 people to sign up on the first day. Early Thursday morning, they were almost at 2,000 members.

Choosing Kaine would be a big mistake, in my opinion. The Virginia community blog for Democrats, Raising Kaine, did a ton to help Kaine get elected, but the writers there are appalled by the way he has governed. Also, it would be too easy for the Republicans to peg an Obama/Kaine ticket as inexperienced.

Then again, Philip Martin of the Texas blog Burnt Orange Report watched a video of Kaine speaking in Texas and had this to say:

I started watching this video not liking Kaine. I already didn’t like him because he (and his staff) were surprisingly and unnecessarily pushy backstage at the TDP convention (where I was volunteering). After reading about his policies, I liked him even less. Suffice to say, I’m really, really unexcited about any prospects of him as Vice President.

But if the only measuring stick is, “how good of a stump candidate for Vice President” would Kaine be, I’d have to say excellent. He can speak in Spanish, delivers red-meat to the base without becoming too partisan or overshadowing Obama, and can honestly tell a real-life story of flipping conservative states red-to-blue.

He’s one of the worst choices for anyone who cares about policy, but is a damn good choice for anyone who only cares about politics.

Over at Raising Kaine, TheGreenMiles quotes Karl Rove to preview “the lines of attack the GOP would use if Kaine were the choice.” Hint: they’d say he was chosen for purely political reasons and lacks sufficient experience.

The New Republic’s Eve Fairbanks thinks Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is “much more impressive” than Kaine.

Use this thread to discuss whom Obama should pick as a running mate and why.

  • On Biden's behalf

    This former Biden delegate would like to say something about that damn bankruptcy bill.  

    First, It was going to pass anyway, whether Biden supported it or not.  GOP congress.  Done deal.

    Second, Biden got something for his vote to support it.  In keeping with his career-long dedication to support women,(see, Violence Against Women Act), he got the preference status of child support claims changed to be better than general creditors.  There were also some provisions for small businesses, although I do not recall now exactly what they were.

    This is the problem with being a veteran legislator.  People pick out votes they don’t like without understanding the context.  In the liberal blogosphere it is de riguere to call him the Senator from MNBA and make fun of his hair, his smile, and his habit of giving long answers.

    The Biden that I saw on the stump was an amazing speaker, brilliant, humble and really nice.  He showed in the debates what he is capable of.  

    Wes Clark would be a good choice too.  So would a lot of people.  Just not Evan Bayh, the human buzzkill.

    • I like Biden a lot

      Every time I saw him in person, I was very impressed. I was outraged by the media narrative about Biden. He performed better than Obama in every debate last year, except possibly the last one when Biden was sick. Yet Obama is supposed to be the great communicator, and Biden is supposed to be a guy who always puts his foot in his mouth.

      If Biden had the media hype Obama got throughout 2007, I think he would have been in contention to win the Iowa caucuses. As things turned out, the ridiculous turnout kept him below the threshold almost everywhere, but in a normal turnout year, he would have been viable in many precincts, including mine.

    • also, he was great in the debates

      despite consistently getting 30 to 50 percent less time to speak than Obama and Clinton.

  • Warner

    Now that Mark Warner has been announced as the keynote in Denver, I’m really disappointed he decided to go for the Senate seat in VA.  I think he would have made an excellent running mate for Obama.  Personally, it would have been great to see both candidates I supported to end up on our ticket.  And yes, I know it’s great that Warner has a good chance of winning the VA senate seat.  But still….  

    • I'd rather pick up the VA Senate seat

      Warner is pretty young. He can run for president or VP some other year. I want to get as close to 60 seats in the Senate as we can.

      I was seriously considering Warner before he decided not to run. He’s more conservative than I am, but I thought he would have been a very strong general election candidate.

  • Sebelius

    I wonder if Sebelius could turn Kansas blue this year. I’m guessing not, but it would be interesting to see anyway.  

  • Whatever happened to Bill Richardson?

    I’ve always liked Bayh, but then again, I’ve always been more of a centrist and a bit of a buzzkill myself. 🙂

    Biden would be OK, but I’m not sold yet. While he would kill on the campaign trail, and mop up the debates (I still get a kick out of “a noun, a verb, and 9/11”), I have some concerns. The lack of executive experience is a concern, as is the idea of a Senator/Senator ticket. (But if the shortlist is made up of mostly senators, then I guess the campaign must not be worried.)

    I also think Dodd would have made a decent veep pick, until he got nailed for having a sweetheart mortgage. I’ve seen him drop some fire and brimstone on the stump, for sure.

    But my big question is: Whatever happened to Bill Richardson?!  He’s got executive experience, diplomatic/foreign policy experience, and energy policy experience. (“Remember how cheap gas was when I was in charge of energy policy?” would be a killer line, if a little disingenuous.) Plus he’d help with the Latino vote, and the Sunbelt vote (he’d deliver New Mexico, for sure)–and bring geographical balance. I would have called him perfect for the job, but he just dropped off the map.

    • vetting, probably

      There have been persistent rumors that Richardson is a serial skirtchaser, and those rumors far preceded the campaign.  It was one reason I crossed him off.  I had a snootful of that with Bill Clinton.  We don’t need the distraction.  There is no such thing as a personal life when you run for President.  

      Bill would make a pretty good diplomat.  And the Senate is not going to inquire about those issues in confirming him for some important post.  The skeletons would be dancing in the senatorial closets.

  • When will we know?

    At this point of time, my big question is when will the Obama campaign announce the VP pick?  The last day of the Olympics is Aug. 24, the day before the convention begins.  Are they going to wait till the convention?

    • This week.

      My guess is Obama will drop his VP pick this week. He needs a big “win” this week in order to get ahead of his less than stellar performance at Saddleback.

      My further guess is that it’s Biden. The more I think about it, I think the whole “it’s Bayh” thing a few weeks ago was probably the Obama camp’s way of testing the waters with Bayh, and they didn’t like what they saw. (Although I still like Bayh!)

      Who will replace Biden in the Senate? None other than his son Beau. A little bit of nepotism, sure, but I think he could hold his own in an election.

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