Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Top VP Picks

I posted a list of possible Democratic VP choices a few months ago. I didn't make a list of my top choices at the time because I wanted to see if Obama could actually win the nomination. Now that Obama has actually won the Democratic Party's nomination, I have come up with my top 5.

1. John Edwards
2. Bill Richardson
3. Tim Kaine
4. Ted Strickland
5. Jim Marshall

Wesley Clark could fit in there as well, although I am no particular fan of his. But I only allowed myself 5 choices.

The full list is below.

*Evan Bayh
*Tom Vilsack
*John Edwards
*Jim Webb
*Richard Durbin
*Gen. John Batiste
*Mark Warner
*Bill Richardson
*Rep. Mike Thompson
*John Kerry
*Joe Biden
*Russell "Russ" Feingold
*Gen. Anthony Zinni
*Rep. Jim Marshall
*William Fallon
*Wesley Clark
*Christopher Dodd
*Tim Kaine
*Tom Daschle

Added to list since my initial VP post.

Ted Strickland
Janet Napolitano
Claire McCaskill
Kathleen Sebelius


Why this top 5?

1. John Edwards - Charismatic and young. He basically ran on a similar (although not the same) Populist platform, and he is the only other viable Democratic candidate who could ligitimately share the "Change" platform. Edwards was the closest to Obama in terms of ideology and political platforms. All of the other candidates either rejected the "Change" position....the real hard break from Washington style politics, or they attempted to co-opt Obama's "Change" platform after they figured out that this is what the people really wanted. (the way that Clinton did, and like what John McCain is attempting to do now in the General Election). Obama and Edwards would be the most natural fit.

Edwards also shares Obama's aggressive position on energy independence. Edwards actually had a better platform for dealing with poverty, but they both recognize the importance of grassroots politics.

Edwards would make an awesome VP. He could be an asset because he can fire up voters. Some say that he would not add to the ticket because he couldn't deliver his own State of North Carolina in 2004. But the political dynamics were much different in 2003 & 2004 than they are today. The political map is changing, at least somewhat, from the map of 4 years ago.

Edwards would also represent the future for the Party. Only in his early 50's, he would be able to run for President in 2016 from a good position (assuming a good Obama Presidency).

Edwards could also help Obama reach out to white working class voters, and white males in particular (Edward's base of support). And it helps that he's a Southerner.

2. Bill Richardson (Governor of New Mexico)- This is a more strategic pick. Richardson brings a wealth of Foreign policy credentials, and he is an experienced, seasoned politician who is familiar with balancing budgets, running a government, etc. He also has experience as a diplomat- important for a Country that will have to mend fences once a new President takes office. If he's not the VP choice, don't be surprised if you hear his name pop up again for Secretary of State.

And probably most important from a strategic standpoint....he could help deliver New Mexico for Obama. In addition, Richardson could help Obama reach out to Hispanics, a diverse group that Obama has had trouble gaining support from in the recent past.

3. Tim Kaine (Governor of Virginia)- Young Governor of a possible swing State. Sharp, intelligent, and he could put Virginia in play. Seems to be well liked. He could also help Obama reach out to those white working class voters that he will need in a General Election...not just in Virginia, but across the Country.

Also, Kaine is not seen as a Washington insider. Obama could add him to the ticket and still remain true to his platform of "Change".

4. Ted Strickland (Governor of Ohio)- A Seasoned politician, spending 6 terms in the House of Representatives (12 years). He has a religious background which could help Obama reach that demographic - white evangelicals from the Midwest and the South.
Strickland could also help Obama win Ohio, something that will be much harder for Obama, Post-Wright.

As a more Conservative Democrat, he would help balance the ticket.

Strickland seems to be well respected by his constituency, despite being a Democratic Governor in a largely Republican State.

Unfortunately Strickland has stated that he is not really interested in the VP spot.

5. Jim Marshall (Congressman - Georgia's 8th District) - Another Conservative Democrat. He has not been in Washington long, and could therefore claim the change position.

He is a White Southerner and could help Obama make inroads with the White working class vote across the Country. He is also a decorated war veteran, from a family with a strong military tradition. He is a nice dark horse possibility who could effectively cancel out McCain's "I'm the only one you can trust because of my military credentials" argument.

Marshall has already proven that he can beat Republicans in their own backyard - he now represents a largely Republican area in Georgia.

**Wildcard - General Wesley Clark... Because of his military credentials, grasp of international affairs, and leadership qualities that come from being a top Army General. Although I am not a particular fan of Clark. This would be more of a strategic choice to blunt McCain.

Clark would be a more moderate Democrat. He was also a supporter of Clinton and has a history as being part of the Clinton inner circle. I don't know how well he would fit as Obama's VP. The fact that he has never been a politician could allow him to make the argument that he is not a part of traditional Washington politics. But this would be only particially true, depending on which lens you are looking through.

I'm not sure I trust Clark to support the kind of Foreign Policy that we need.
And some of his decisions regarding Yugoslavia were disturbing. Needless to say, Clark would represent a double edged sword. Like the Clinton's, he would bring baggage to the position. But he could also cancel out McCain pretty effectively.... and remove the only viable argument that McCain is planning to run on... his military/National Security credentials.


Anonymous said...

I like Richardson, Napolitano, and Webb, not necessarily in that order. Kaine looks interesting, but has only ben governor for 2 yrs, which would not help Obama with the "experience" question.
anyone who can reach out to the blue collar worker, the union man/woman, and the hispanic community would be a plus.

Anonymous said...

Are you going for the three strikes and you are out rule - Edwards is a failed VP candidate, and twice failed presidnet candidate. He is not that charming to most of us. If I have to hear this millionarie declare he has dedicated his life to fighting poverty one more time....

Andre said...

Holy moly, AI! We must have some sort of strange telepathy going on. Some of my picks were also on your list; using the same the logic; particular the Wesley Clark bit. Perhaps I'm being biased by saying so, but job well done sir!

Brian said...


That is definitely pretty close to what I have been thinking for months. I don't think we are related....but DNA testing might be in order. lol

I probably should have included Bill Bradley as well. He could be a dark horse candidate. Although, I doubt that he would be interested in the job. He just doesn't seem like the Washington type... and I think he enjoys his private life.

I also think he had health issues.

I think people have been ignoring the dark horse possibilities. Just today, Obama (or his people) mentioned that they were seriously considering Ex-military leaders/Generals for the VP spot. This tells me that I have been on the right track with my overall list...and my rationale.

Actually, the Obama people supposedly leaked their list today...and it looks strikingly similar to what I have.

rikyrah said...

The moment Obama announced, I wanted Richardson. Have had all sorts of electoral college fantasies about what an Obama/Richardson ticket COULD be if folks (White folks) wouldn't freak out about a Black and Brown ticket.

As far as a possible White Female - my choice is McCaskill - she's been a very good surrogate for Obama.

Webb has jumped to the top of the list. No, you'd never be able to control him, but would you want to? He would just be so hilarious to watch, as he ran circles around the GOP...that alone is a tempting reason to have him.

Truthiz said...

Jim Webb...Jim Webb..Jim Webb!

Anonymous said...


Contact: Jeff Kenkel co-chairman --417-693-0513 cell 417 336 9496 home Honjeffkenkel@yahoo.com

Steven Reed stevenlloydreed@hotmail.com


Paperwork, including EIN Missouri Fictitious Name and a checking account have been set up. A Statement of Organization Form 1 (Statement of Organization [PDF]) used to register parties and PACs will be sent express mail on Saturday morning June 26, 2008. The group wants to make sure everything stays legal.

“Claire McCaskill has life experiences that have uniquely placed her in a position to understand issues that face people of all walks of life. She can quickly recognize issues and make suggestions for solutions. Clearly, she inspires people, just as Barack Obama does,” says Reed.

“Our goal is to spread the word and start such a large wave that McCaskill is selected the Vice President candidate. She sure will not be ‘a sit around and watch’ Vice President,” says Jeff Kenkel Kenkel is co-chair of the National Go Claire VP Movement.

The organizers ask people to do anything they want to and can to spread the work. Some suggestions are at http://www.goclairevp.4t.com/

Reed, who lives in Springfield, and Kenkel, who lives in Branson, were happy to see a news bit at: http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/dc-download/dc-download/2008/07/a-claire-for-vp-movement-in-springfield/



Today at 11:32 am the Statement of Organization “DRAFT MCCASKILL VP USA” was express mailed and will arrive at the Federal Election Commission Monday July 28 by 3:00 pm.

Time is critical! Please do what you can today!

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