Monday, July 07, 2008

Some speculation on the VP

The lone commentator on my last post asked for my thoughts on who the top contenders are for the vice presidential nods. We'll start with the Donkeys tonight.

Without further ado, here they are:


1. Dick Gephardt, Retired House Speaker of Missouri. Odds: 5-2.

Pro: A conservative Democrat from the heartland. He could probably deliver swing-state Missouri, as well as bring a ton of leadership to the ticket.

Con: He brings so much experience, his selection would run contrary to Obama's image as a Washington outsider who brings fresh ideas to the Capitol.

2. Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas Governor. Odds: 8-1.

Pro: Another conservative Dem from the heartland. As a two-term Dem governor in a state that has gone blue twice since 1904, she'd personifies the ideal of the post-partisan government Obama has envisioned. She probably couldn't deliver Kansas, but she has influence in the Missouri sphere.

Con: Choosing her could be viewed as grabbing a second-tier female just to appease the Hillary faction of the party, and one that ranks as someone few people outside political junkies really know.

3. Joe Biden, longtime Delaware senator. Odds: 15-1.

Pro: He's a foreign policy mastermind who would bring a ton of clout and experience into the role. Serious chops. His strengths nicely complement Obama's weaknesses.

Con: His straight talk can be refreshing and enjoyable, but the arrogance also rubs some people the wrong way. I enjoy it. Hopefully the voters do too.

4. Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor. Odds: 22-1.

Pro: A perfect candidate in many ways. A Hispanic leader with vast foreign-policy experience from the New West.

Con: He bungled his own presidential campaign so badly that it's fair to wonder if he's not quite ready for prime time.

5. Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator of Nebraska. Odds: 200-1.

Pro: He's been one of the most vocal critics of the Iraq War and President Bush in the senate. He's got the same military cred as McCain and would be an asset in cleaning up the messes Bush made around the globe.

Con: Hagel's views line up with the Repubs on pretty much every other issue, and Obama would incur the wrath of his own party if he selected a Repub. Still, it would show he's got some serious balls, and serious about post-partisan government.

Others mentioned:

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, an excellent reformer who's outright support for Hillary probably costs him a shot, even though he'd wrap up a Rust Belt state. ... Indiana's Evan Bayh would have a better shot, and was my early favorite for the VP spot.

Jim Webb is the party's rising giant, but is better off waiting for his own shot at the Oval Office in 2012 or 2016. Plus, the Dems don't want to risk his senate seat in tightly contested Virginia. Ditto goes for Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is an intriguing possibility. A Dem Governor of a Repub state which seems poised to be a swing state who is well-versed in energy issues. Arizona governor Janet Napolitano probably gets a look, but if Bam is going to go with a female, he probably picks Sebelius.

John Edwards? I thought he was the best Dem candidate early in the primaries. If Obama picked him, he'd be complementing his strength with another young, we-can-change-the-world senator, much like how Bill Clinton picked Al Gore in '92.

But Edwards lost with Kerry the last time. I don't know if Bam can risk picking a one-term senator, one-time loser.

Squawking VFR will be back with a look at the Repub side of things later this week.



At 6:04 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm kind of feeling Jo Biden on your list.

Edwards is a ball and chain waiting to happen. I would have voted for him for Prez but he did nothing for Kerry and I really think it would be a foolish move. And,I'm doubtful one the dems would play.

As for Bill Richardson, I liked him until he wanted out water. HAHA. Kidding, I know that you have snopes me on that one.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I meant to say, "Until he wanted our water." I went to the school for kids who don't read so good.


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