U.S. Presidential Campaign — the Vice President?

Written by  //  August 23, 2008  //  Environment & Energy, Foreign Policy  //  1 Comment

David Brooks gets his wish.
We had hopes for Bill Richardson, whose practical international negotiating experience would have served Obama well, however Senator Biden should make a good presiding officer of the Senate and the country needs thoughtful leadership in the legislative body that should guide an support foreign affairs policy (after government by Executive Orders, this will be a nice change).
Now let’s see what John McCain pulls out of the hat.

Mr. Obama announced his choice in text and e-mail messages that began streaming out of his Chicago headquarters at 3 a.m., hours after news of his decision began leaking out.
Joe Biden Is Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential Running Mate

(Huffington Post) WASHINGTON — Democrats coalesced around Barack Obama’s selection of Joe Biden as his running mate on Saturday while Republicans quickly seized on the Delaware senator’s past criticism of the presidential candidate’s inexperience.
(IHT) Obama’s selection ended a two-month search that was conducted almost entirely in secret. It reflected a critical strategic choice by Obama: To go with a running-mate who could reassure voters about gaps in his resume, rather than to pick someone who could deliver a state or reinforce Obama’s message of change.
(NYT) Mr. Biden seems likely to fill in other gaps in Mr. Obama’s political appeal that became increasingly clear during the primary season and going into the fall. He is a Roman Catholic, a group with which Mr. Obama had trouble during the Democratic primaries; he has a blue-collar background, potentially giving him appeal among working-class voters, another bloc in which Mr. Obama ran poorly in the primaries; and he was born in Pennsylvania, a battleground state that could be vital to both parties.
(Reuters) Barack Obama chose Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice presidential running mate, adding foreign policy expertise and working class roots to the Democratic presidential ticket.
(BBC) As observers we can be sure that his sharp tongue and eventful past will make a race which is already fascinating seem more interesting still.

VPs now worth more than ‘a bucket of warm spit’

(National Post) For decades, the role of U.S. vice-presidents was largely symbolic — all they did was vote if the Senate reached a tie, stay out of the president’s way and take over on the off-chance the boss died.
Walter Mondale, model of success. Also, lunch
Historians cite Mr. Mondale, a senator from Minnesota, as one vice-president who helped transform the role. Elected with Jimmy Carter in 1976, he was the first to have an office in the White House’s West Wing and became one of the president’s top advisors, meeting world leaders and representing the administration’s foreign policy overseas.
Mr. Mondale also helped Mr. Carter, a relative outsider from the South when he arrived in Washington, connect with traditional Democratic constituencies like organized labour.
“Walter Mondale takes the biggest role that we had seen for a vice-president and really starts to play a big role in policy, in part because Carter was unknown in Congress and not liked, and Mondale was liked,” Prof. Zelizer said. “He was popular not just with legislators, but powerful interest groups and the Democratic party.”
Another of his achievements: lunch. Mr. Mondale joined Mr. Carter for lunch once a week, a tradition that has survived to this day.
“Our relationship depended on trust, mutual respect and an acknowledgement that there was only one agenda to be served – the president’s,” he wrote in The Washington Post last year. “By the end of four years we had completed the ‘executivization’ of the vice-presidency, ending two centuries of confusion, derision and irrelevance surrounding the office.”

August 22
Hoping It’s Biden
Barack Obama has decided upon a vice-presidential running mate. And while I don’t know who it is as I write, for the good of the country, I hope he picked Joe Biden.
The Obama/Edwards Ticket…
Is Edwards still in the running to be Obama’s VP?

(411mania) For those of you out there who had originally hoped for an Edwards/Obama ticket—or, after John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race—started to make peace, and eventually to like the sound of an Obama/Edwards ticket, there is still hope that it could happen…
…only thing is, the “Edwards” in the ticket won’t be John. It’ll be Chet, as in Chester.
House Representative Chet Edwards emerged yesterday as the dark horse favorite (not the public favorite, which remains Joe Biden) for the number two spot on Obama’s ticket. Edwards has a lot of support. His chief supporter is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who happens to be the person who introduced Edwards’ name to the Obama camp. “I just wanted people to be aware of the extraordinary credentials of Chet Edwards. And I hope he will be the nominee,” Pelosi said.
August 20
Running-mates: Obama’s vice-presidential shortlist (FT version)

Evan Bayh, 52, Indiana senator
Has executive experience and mainstream credentials that could help blunt voters’ doubts about Obama’s relatively thin CV. Bayh was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton but did not overstep the mark in attacks on Obama. Re-elected to a second term in 2004, Bayh could help Obama win in a state that has only supported a Democrat for president four times since 1900.

Joseph Biden, 65, Delaware senator
In the Senate since 1972 and chairman of the foreign relations committee, his expertise would counter Republican claims of a lack of foreign policy experience in the Obama camp. A former presidential candidate, he visited Georgia last weekend as a guest of Mikheil Saakashvili, its president. Early in the campaign, however, he was forced to apologise after praising Obama as the first “clean” and “articulate, mainstream African-American” to run for office.

Tim Kaine, 50, governor of Virginia
The first governor outside Obama’s home state of Illinois to endorse him. That, and the fact that Virginia has gone from being a Republican stronghold to a potential swing state, gives him a strong claim. However, like Obama, Kaine has no national security credentials and is relatively unknown nationally.

Sam Nunn, 69, former Georgia senator
Served in the Senate from 1972 to 1997 and was chairman of the armed services committee and the permanent subcommittee on investigations. Seen as a conservative, he ran unsuccessfully for president in 1992. Chairman and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation trying to reduce the threat of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

Kathleen Sebelius, 60, governor of Kansas
Would bring midwestern credentials and executive experience to the ticket. Two-term governor of a traditionally Republican, midwestern state, she would appeal to centrist Democrats and swing voters. She is also daughter of a former Ohio governor, a key swing state that gave George W. Bush a narrow victory in 2004. But she is a relative unknown on the national stage and would not help Obama answer charges of inexperience on foreign policy.

Hillary Clinton, 60, NY senator
Obama said shortly after winning the Democratic nomination that Clinton would be “on anyone’s short list”. A joint ticket could help attract some of Clinton’s supporters, including women and white working-class Democrats. Nevertheless, the choice of the former first lady would seem to undercut Obama’s pledge to change the face of Washington.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
August 19
Obama Ready to Announce Running Mate
(NYT) WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama has all but settled on his choice for a running mate and set an elaborate rollout plan for his decision, beginning with an early morning alert to supporters, perhaps as soon as Wednesday morning, aides said.
August 17
Guessing grows over US running mates
(FT) Barack Obama and John McCain enter their final week before the start of the US presidential nominating conventions amid intense speculation about who they plan to choose as their respective running mates – with Mr Obama almost certain to make his choice in the next few days.
Mr Obama, whose four-day Democratic convention starts next Monday in Denver, will this week attend election rallies and “town hall” meetings in the swing states of New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia – any of which could provide a potential venue to announce his pick.
Early Word: Veep Anxiety
By Kate Phillips
With the possibility that Senator Barack Obama may name his running mate this week, several of the possible choices for both candidates are prominent guests on the TV news shows this morning and have been out on the trail.
For starters, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Republican of Minnesota, and Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, appear on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Govs. Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, and Bobby Jindal, Republican of Louisiana, will show up on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Gov. Bill Richardson, Democrat of New Mexico, and Representative Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, land on CNN. And former Gov. Tom Ridge, Republican of Pennsylvania, talks on “Fox News Sunday.”
Now several of those candidates have been discounted or dropped down from top-tier speculation in recent weeks and days. Did anyone notice that at last night’s faith forum in California, Mr. Obama name-dropped former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia or that Senator John McCain named Meg Whitman of eBay, one of his economic advisers, as a smart woman in tough times?
August 15
Will Obama Wave Bayh-Bye to the White House?
By David Sirota
(Truthdig) If you believe the chatter, Barack Obama is desperately seeking a white guy—any white guy—to be his running mate. Democratic sources have floated vice-presidential trial balloons for every pale-faced stiff in the D.C. region—from Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. But with Obama needing his “change” brand to overshadow his recent flip-flops, no pick would be more self-defeating than Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh—the career politician who best personifies “more of the same.”
July 29
Chance of an Obama-Clinton Ticket Is Seen as Increasingly Unlikely
July 28
Running mate is Obama’s ‘last wild card’
(The Independent) The next major milestone in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, following his Berlin moment in front of 200,000 ecstatic Germans during his global tour, will be his selection of a running mate.
The selection of a vice-presidential candidate is “the one last remaining wild card in any campaign for the presidency,” Senator Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said outside Downing Street as the candidate wrapped up his 16,000-mile tour in London. “It will cause a pretty big ripple,” Mr Gibbs predicted.
June 5
Clinton Says V.P. Is Obama’s Choice
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today disavowed a campaign by some of her supporters to pressure Senator Barack Obama into choosing her as a running-mate, saying they were acting on their own and the decision on who to pick was “Senator Obama’s and his alone.”
Mr. Obama’s campaign responded in a polite if opaque manner.
“We appreciate Senator Clinton’s statement, she has a unique recognition that a nominee must go about this important process in an orderly and rigorous way,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager. “And as for that process, we will not be speaking about it until Senator Obama has made his selection.”
Webb’s Audition: Blasts McCain, Assesses Obama’s Appalachia Problem
Webb is seen as a natural complement to an Obama presidency. Beyond reaching a set of voters with whom the presumptive Democratic nominee has had difficulties (working class whites), the Virginia Democrat brings with him military and foreign policy experience, and the ability to say he was against the Iraq war (as well as the first Persian Gulf War) before it was launched.
June 4
Caroline Kennedy on Obama VP search team
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Caroline Kennedy, daughter of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, is part of a three-strong team searching for Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama’s vice presidential pick.
The decision, the latest sign of the close ties between Obama and the storied Kennedy dynasty, was announced by the Illinois senator’s campaign Wednesday, the day after he captured the Democratic White House nomination.
The team also includes former deputy attorney general Eric Holder and Jim Johnson, who performed the same function for former Democratic nominees Walter Mondale and John Kerry.
April 10
Vice President Biden
… The Biden suggestion is being met with mixed reactions from liberal bloggers. Washington Monthly’s Kevin Drum offers a well-thought rationale for why the Biden choice would work.
April 7
Obama: No Need For Foreign Policy Help From V.P.
(Huffington Post) Last night at a fundraiser in San Francisco, Barack Obama took a question on what he’s looking for in a running mate. “I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I’m not as expert on,” he said, and then he was off and running. “I think a lot of people assume that might be some sort of military thing to make me look more Commander-in-Chief-like. Ironically, this is an area–foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain.”
February 26
(RealClearPolitics)– “If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach — and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy — I’ll join others in helping that candidate win the White House,” writes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, offering a New York Times op-ed finally slamming the door on a potential White House bid. One thing that might challenge both parties’ orthodoxy: Selecting the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent businessman as their vice presidential nominee. Speculation runs rampant.
February 16
(National Post) Clinton, Obama a Democrat dream ticket? Maybe, maybe not
Sheldon Alberts, Canwest News Washington Correspondent
The idea that Clinton and Obama might team up to form a ‘dream ticket’ in the 2008 election has captivated pundits and party activists in recent weeks, with the din of speculation about a political partnership growing louder the longer the two candidates battle each other to a draw in presidential primaries.
[But] There are compelling reasons to believe neither Ms. Clinton nor Mr. Obama would want to give up their current independence and visibility in the U.S. Senate to play second fiddle in the White House.
If Ms. Clinton loses to Mr. Obama, the New York senator would face the prospect of being vice-president to a much younger commander-in-chief who was determined to implement his own agenda. Ms. Clinton couldn’t tolerate being overshadowed, say her critics.The more attractive option for Ms. Clinton if she loses to Mr. Obama, then, might be to return to Congress and position herself to become the party’s leader in the Senate.
The idea of becoming vice-president could be even more unpalatable to Mr. Obama, who is only 46 and may be eyeing another presidential campaign in the future.
Under that scenario, “he might want the freedom to express his own views, rather than be forced to travel the chicken-and-peas circuit touting the views of the [Clinton] administration,” says Mr. Walch.
The added concern for Mr. Obama is whether he would have any real influence in a White House where he’d be competing with former president Bill Clinton for attention and responsibility. “For Obama, it means coming into the White House as the Number 3 person,” says Mr. Goldstein. “He’d be wondering whether he was going to be doing nothing except attending funerals and inaugurations.”
The more plausible scenario, he believes, is that Ms. Clinton would seek to balance her ticket by selecting a Democratic governor from a highly competitive ‘swing’ state, or picking someone with military credentials to offset the Republican candidacy of John McCain.
If Mr. Obama wins the nomination, he might try to counter Mr. McCain’s experience by choosing a seasoned Democratic veteran as his running mate.
Proponents [of a Clinton-Obama/Obama-Clinton ticket] argue Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama complement each other in ways that go beyond the compelling aspects of race and gender. Democrats see in Mr. Obama a powerful orator who can inspire a divided nation. In Ms. Clinton, they see an extremely smart candidate with experience and policy depth.
The possibility of an Obama-Clinton alliance increases the longer the race continues, especially if there is no clear winner before the party’s August convention in Denver.
In a side bar to these stories, Canwest offers the following alternatives. It’s interesting that John Edwards [what did they know then that we now know?] doesn’t appear on either Hillary’s or Obama’s list. Should be entertaining to revisit these lists over the next few months
In The Running? Possible vice-presidential choices
– General Wesley Clark Former NATO supreme commander, presidential candidate and long-time Clinton ally.Would provide added credibility on national security issues.
– Ted Strickland Ohio Governor could help win swing state that decided 2004 election.
– Mark Warner Former Virginia governor and popular moderate from Southern state Democrats believe is tilting their way.
– James Webb Virginia Senator and popular moderate.
– Evan Bayh Indiana Senator and another moderate from Republican red state.
– Bill Richardson New Mexico Governor, politically moderate Hispanic. Could help motivate Latino voters.
– Kathleen Sebelius Kansas Governor and rising Democratic star would give ticket gender balance and clout in a state that voted Republican in 2004, and reinforce “change” message.
– Janet Napolitano Arizona Governor: Same as Sebelius.
Joseph Biden Delaware Senator and foreign-policy expert who could balance Obama’s lack of inexperience in that area.
– Christopher Dodd Connecticut Senator; same strengths as Biden, but less of a microphone hog.

One Comment on "U.S. Presidential Campaign — the Vice President?"

  1. MAC July 28, 2008 at 5:59 pm ·

    None of those mentioned would send a ripple up my spine. Very predicable (sic) and very boring. This all sounds more like media wishful thinking.

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