If you haven’t heard this by now, you need to come out from that cave up in the mountains. The current news cycle is so slow, that everyone is talking about this every 15 minutes on TV and Radio. Then there are all the articles in print and on the web, and all the blather on talk radio. When the biggest aspect is not who he’ll chose (that only gets mentioned twoce an hour), but that he’ll be making the first announcement via text message, it shows exactly how slow the news cycle is, and how desperate some outlets are to pump out any “positive” Obama story.
But enough of that. Here are my top suspects for the #2 slot:
1. Joe Biden (D-DEL). A veteran Senator, well rounded in the foreign policy arena. He’ll bring much needed foreign policy experience to the ticket, and give voters a bit of reassurance about Obama’s general lack of experience. He’s a good debator, and always comes prepared. Downside is he’s from Delaware, and is not a dynamic campaigner.
2. Evan Bayh (D-IND). Bayh could help deliver an usually “safe” Republican state. He’s also young and energetic, which would emphasize the “change” meme. Main problem here is the lack of a consistent policy between Obama and Bayh. Bayh supports restrictions on abortion, and supported the War in Iraq.
3. Wesley Clark (former General). Wes would bring a wealth of foreign policy experience, and an undeniably olid background in military affairs. He has the name recognition, and “face time” from his stint as an analysist on CNN. Darwbacks are that Clark has been terribly inconsistent in his views, doesn’t campaign all that well, and doesn’t draw much from centrist Democrats or Indpendents.
4. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Kaine is similar to Bayh in that he’s “young,” is a Democrat in a typically Republican State, and has executive experience as governor. problem here is he has no foreign policy experience, and has only been governor for 3 years.
5. Bill Richardson (D-NM). Bill has a lot going for him. A former governor, and cabinet secretary, plus has the military background. Richardson would appeal to centrist Democrats, Independents, and even some Republicans. Problem here is two fold. First, he was running against Obama for the Presidential bid, and was a close Clintonista at one time. Second is policy differences, notably on gun control (Richardson has supported 2nd amendment rights). The “issue” of having a Black-Latino ticket is not the issue it’s being made out to be.
5A. Sam Nunn (D-GA). Somehow I forgot that Sam Nunn was in consideration. Correcting that error now. Sam is a intersting choice. He has the chops on foreign policy and defense, and has been out of Washington for a while now. He’s also a Southerner, which will help Obama in Dixieland. drawback is that he’s a boring speaker, and doesn’t translate well into the energetic cmpaigner and debator the VP usually needs.
6. Bill Nelson (D-FLA). Another Bayh type, a Democrat in a Republican state. But his low key style may not translate onto the national stage. Though he has experience on various Senate committees, it probably won’t be the reassurance about experience voters are looking for.
7. Kathleen Sebilius (D-KA). an interesting option. She has good executive eperience, and she’s popular in Kansas. She’s crossed party lines before, so could help the “not politics as usual” refrain. Biggets problme would be it would be a direct slap at Hillary Clinton and her supporters.
8. Chet Edwards (D-TX). Nancy Pelosi’s “dark horse.” A 20 year House veteran is not going to help push the “change” meme. Conflicting policy differences, such as drilling in the ANWAR, and on foreign policy and defense matters don’t help. He’d be a symbolic choice only, as his district includes Crawford, Texas, where the Bush ranch is.
9. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). She still has a shot, but it’s a long one. Hillary is a good/bad choice. She’s good in that it brings her, her organization, and supporters over en mass, with very few defections. The bad is that she’s such a divisive figure on the national stage, and would energize the opposition beyond what anyone else could.
10. Jack Reed (D-RI). Has the policy balancing aspects Obama needs in foreign policy and defense. But he’s from Rhode Island, is little known outside of New England, and doesn’t gnerally campaign well.
It’s not worth mentioning Chuck Hagel (R-OK). While the possibility makes the talkingheads wag and weave and bob nonstop, it’s just such an extreme long shot as to be all but impossible. It’s like when McCain’s name was floated as John Kerry’s VP candidate in 2004. Hagel will not jump ship from the GOP to run with Obama.