21 August 2008

Your guess is as good as mine.

Seems that the pundits have narrowed Obama's VP shortlist down to Rep. Evan Bayh (IN), Sen. Joe Biden (DE), and Gov. Tim Kaine (VA). They've been breathlessly following every move: Evan Bayh's wife got her nails done! Joe Biden, a sitting U.S. Senator, was seen ... wearing a SUIT! Tim Kaine and Obama actually SPOKE to each other prior to a previously scheduled joint appearance!!!

There are a couple other names still being floated, like Hillary Clinton, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island. (I don't know who that is, but someone saw the Secret Service in Providence. Gasp!)

Seems like there are a few key criteria to consider:
  1. Demographic appeal. Use the VP to diversify your ticket. Usually this means geographic diversity, although that conversation is a lot more wide open this cycle. If Obama needs a Southerner, I don't think Tim Kaine is the answer. Give this category to Sebelius.
  2. Complementary Experience. Choose a VP whose strengths offset your weaknesses. For Obama, this probably means choosing a person with better foreign policy credentials. In other words, Joe Biden.
  3. Fitness for the presidency. Remember why Jed Bartlett said he needed a good man as his VP? "Because I could die." Nobody's talking about this reason very much, because it doesn't really impact the election as much. But who on this list would be ready to serve as president? Clinton, yes. I don't know how you gauge any of the rest of them, but I'd lean towards Biden.
The announcement is due Saturday. No leaks yet, amazingly, but I expect that we'll know before the person walks out on stage in Springfield. Looking at my three criteria, I think the choice is clear: he should pick Brett Favre. Seriously, I still think it should've been Bill Richardson all along. But some people have asked for it, so here's my gut prediction: Obama will choose Joe Biden.

Other predictions?


John Potter said...

Potential problems...

-Kaine: light on foreign policy
-Biden: the kind of "Washington insider" Obama says he's not
-Bayh: could alienate base; lacks charisma
-Sebelius: a woman who's not Clinton could further alienate the latter's supports
-Clinton: the kind of "Washington insider" Obama says he's not; could alienate segments of base & independents; Bill Clinton

So, we need a charismatic governor from a southern swing state with extensive foreign policy experience? Whoever might that be? If Richardson were 100% white instead of 50% white, I'm 90% sure he'd be VP. Tagline: "Obama/Richardson - together, we make 1 whole white guy."

liz said...

Richardson doesn't have enough gravitas. he's too jolly.

John Potter said...

Your gut is smart.