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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Take a Flying VP

Matthews tonight had a long and bad discussion on Hardball about who Obama should pick for VP. Although some of the analysis of specific pols was good--Hillary's pluses and minuses, etc.--Tweety royally screwed the pooch on this one. Rather than focusing on the most logical picks, he focused almost exclusively on the most visible Dems (HRC, Edwards) plus a few Beltway boners (Evan Bayh, Ed Rendell, Joe Biden), and, once again, the non-entity that is Sam Nunn (?!). Somebody check to see if he's still even living. The only marginally plausible name mentioned was Kathleen Sebelius, governor of Kansas--but she strikes me as a long-shot given both the irrelevance and the unlikelihood of actually taking Kansas.

As I see it, there are five lead choices for Obama: Senator Jim Webb (VA), Gov. Tim Kaine (VA), Gov. Bill Richardson (NM), Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT), and Gen. Wesley Clark (AR). They all boost Obama with the crucial demo of white men, either southern or western, and they all bring either executive or military cred he'll need, first against McCain and then after November when managing a withdrawal from Iraq. Personally, I'd lean toward Webb, who speaks with enormous gravitas and reinforces Obama's themes of change and opposition to the war. But there's a serious argument for each of the five. How many did Matthews and crew even mention? Zero.

(Update: How did I forget Gov. Ted Strickland (OH)? He is pretty forgettable. Still, plausible. Did Tweety mention? No.)


At 4:44 AM, Blogger Frances said...

I agree that Webb is attractive. But it would be a crying shame to take him out of the Senate. He's turning out to be an excellent senator, and I'd want his voice there for years to come. If Obama wants to sew up Virginia, he can just as well choose Tim Kaine, who is more popular in the state even then Webb.

Strickland would be a good choice. He shores up Obama on the small town religious issue, given his enormous appeal to that demo in Ohio, as well as his background as preacher. Plus, he reaches out to HRC supporters without actually going so far as to make the mistake of putting her on the ticket.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

The reasons I think Webb is preferable to Kaine or Strickland are that (1) he's got better military/foreign policy cred than either of them, and Iraq will be a major issue this fall, especially against McCain, and (2)Webb is a more national figure. Kaine lacks a little in the gravitas dept. and Strickland and is pretty bland. Still, good picks, I think


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