Obama's VP Pick: My top 50 list

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

So, here's a little weekend discussion for BlueOregon, inspired by an extraordinary conversation happening at TPM Cafe.

Who should Obama pick as his vice-president? And what should be the criteria?

Traditionally, VPs are picked for balance - regional ideological, generational. Think Kennedy/Johnson, Carter/Mondale, Dukakis/Bentsen. The idea is to shore up a weakness.

But in 1992, Bill Clinton broke with tradition and decided to double-down on the campaign's brand. He was a young moderate Southerner - and he picked another young moderate Southerner in Al Gore. It emphasized the brand. Rather than shoring up a weakness, the Gore pick emphasized his strengths.

So, what should Barack Obama do? Should he balance the ticket by picking a foreign policy or defense guru? Or by picking an experienced Washington insider? Should he pick a Southerner or a Westerner? Or perhaps someone from a swing state like Michigan, Ohio, or Florida? Or (gasp!) maybe a Republican?

Or should he double-down on his brand by picking someone from outside Washington, someone young and dynamic, maybe a woman or a person of color?

Is it possible to both balance the ticket and emphasize strengths at the same time?

Or should he scrap all the strategery and just pick Hillary Clinton?

The only constitutional rule: Whoever he picks has to be eligible for the presidency (age 35, natural-born citizen) - and can't be from Illinois.

Of course, all the theory is interesting - but it'll come down to a single pick. Based on the TPM Cafe chatter and my own ruminations, I've assembled a Top 50 list.

Ponder the names. Let's talk about 'em.

Senators
Sen. Evan Bayh (IN)
Sen. Joe Biden (DE)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH)
Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY)
Former Sen. Tom Daschle (SD)
Sen. Chris Dodd (CT)
Former Sen. John Edwards (NC)
Sen. Russ Feingold (WI)
Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE)
Former Sen. Gary Hart (CO)
Sen. John Kerry (MA)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO)
Former Sen. George Mitchell (ME)
Sen. Patty Murray (WA)
Former Sen. Sam Nunn (GA)
Sen. Mark Pryor (AR)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Sen. Ken Salazar (CO)
Sen. Jon Tester (MT)
Sen. Jim Webb (VA)
Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)

Governors & Others
Gov. Mike Beebe (AR)
Gov. Phil Bredesen (TN)
Gov. Chet Culver (IA)
Former Gov. Howard Dean (VT)
Gov. Mike Easley (NC)
Gov. Brad Henry (OK)
Gov. Tim Kaine (VA)
Former Gov. John Kitzhaber (OR)
Gov. Ted Kulongoski (OR)
Gov. Joe Manchin (WV)
Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ)
Gov. Martin O'Malley (MD)
Gov. Ed Rendell (PA)
Gov. Bill Richardson (NM)
Gov. Bill Ritter (CO)
Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT)
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (KS)
Gov. Ted Strickland (OH)
Former Gov. Mark Warner (VA)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NY, NY)
Tom Brokaw
General Wes Clark (AR)
Vice President Al Gore
Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA)
Former Mayor Federico Pena (Denver, CO)

Comments

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    If he can double down on his "brand" and do it successfully, of course I am all for it. Not sure how you can forecast or predict the success though.

    So my gut tells me that he should instead take "balance the ticket" approach and pick someone with military background like Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.

  • 2008 (unverified)
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    Obama/Webb 2008 wins the White House.

  • Murphy (unverified)
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    Sam Nunn -- a southern, conservative democrat with a military background, it also forces McCain to spend resources to defend what ought to be a safe portion of the country. Plus think of the wonderful symbolism of a white southerner running with Obama less than fifty years after the end of Jim Crow.

    This is all about winning.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Richardson from New Mexico. He is the only US political person the North Koreans would actually talk to in person without the North Koreans throwing a fit over the US even suggesting to have anyone talk to them.

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    I like a number of possibilities, and I'll say a brief bit about each. In no particular order:

    John Edwards: Duh. Yes, a lot of that is due to name recognition, but building name costs money and time and here it wouldn't be necessary. Plus I think Edwards actually compliments Obama and they seem to get along well.

    Jim Webb: Webb isn't just a ticket-balancer on issues of the military and foreign policy (though there is that). He's also a fellow "outsider" who, like Obama, hasn't spent enough time in Washington to be poisoned by too much inside-the-beltway attitude or conventional wisdom.

    Bill Richardson: Governor, Ambassador, Latino. A little corporate for my tastes (and possibly Obama's) but a solid politician and foreign policy whiz. Unfortunately does sometimes open mouth before engaging brain which worries me more than anything else.

    Claire McGaskill: Was one of Obama's earliest supporters. I've heard they're great together onstage and compliment each other well. Obviously could be helpful in regaining the support of Democratic women. Jay Nixon (D) looks likely to win the MO gov race so he would be able to appoint a Democratic replacement.

  • (Show?)

    I like Jim Webb a lot, too... but there appears to be a growing backlash against the idea of picking him as VP, referenced by quite a few folks at TPM Cafe.

    Most of the backlash is coming from this post at The Atlantic.

    I wonder what the Webb fans think about all that.

  • TomK (unverified)
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    Brian Schweitzer. He's a good-old-boy westerner. The complete opposite of Obama.

    Webb would be good for the ticket, but terrible at the job. See James Fallows' column on the subject: http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/belated_comment_on_jim_webb_as.php

  • Dan (unverified)
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    I think if he goes the "outsider" route it will be either Brian Schweitzer or Kathleen Sebelius (who may be the favorite).

    I have a feeling it won't be Richardson either, though he seems destined for a top level cabinet post.

    Ultimately though, I can't shake the feeling it will be Jim Webb.

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    I agree with Chris Bowers' (of Open Left) idea and the concept of reinforcement.

    Although I keep coming back to Bill Richardson or Kathleen Sebelius. She's a distant relative of mine, you know...

  • (Show?)

    I think it's absolutely critical that Obama select a VP that is appealing to the Clinton supporters who believe the Party has turned its back on women and I also think it's critical not to choose another senator. Sebelius seems like a great choice for a number of reasons.

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    I can't believe you left out Maria Shiver!

    She's a uniter!

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    OK Kari,

    I'll take a stab at it.

    Re: Affirmative Action, you couldn't slide a thin playing card between Webb and Obama's position. This viewpoint, (that affirmative action is properly directed at any group victimized by gummint policy) leads to a re-shuffling of victimology away from racial grouping and toward economic groupings.

    George Bush's cynical interperetation of this concept was the first public airing by a major politician, and he promptly subverted it to mean help no one. Bush's interperetation doesn't mean that both Obama and Webb are wrong on this.

    Re: Past myopic sexism (especially with regard to women in the military), particularly demonstrated by his early defense of the male midshipmen enmasse' re the Tailhook scandal, and the culturally spawned chivalry argument against service in Vietnam. Inexcusable positions for the new millenium, but again, if Webb has grown out of the stance that he took in '79 when he wrote the now infamous Washingtonian article "Women Can't Fight", we should acknowledge the growth and it does appear that such growth has occurred. One compelling piece of evidence of Webb's evolution is that by the end of his tenure as SecNavy, women were serving in all areas except Navy Special forces (SEALS).

    Back to the bottom line. Obama's specific approach in trying to move past the welter of affinity groups using the argument that they are artifical, and ultimately exclusive, is precisely the point that Webb and his Appalachian culture have held instinctively if not intellectually since the rifts of the late 60s.

    Finally, Webb, in Born Fighting addresses these issues by proposing that there is a hell of a lot more commonality between various groups at the bottom (including marginalized white cultures), than there are differences. In short, we've lost sight of the central fact that the war has always been a Class War and that efforts by both Do-Gooders and cynical Wealthy Elites to frame it as a race or ethnic problem have distracted us from focus on the actual enemy.

    We Webb supporters feel that his insider status with the military/Appalachian white culture and his ability to express Obama's message in terms that they can uderstand make him ideal for the slot.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    I know a lot of people keep touting Sebelius, but I have to say I was totally unimpressed with her SOTU rebuttal. I haven't paid much attention to Kansas politics of course, so maybe that wasn't her best moment.

    I do think he has to pick a woman and it should be someone he wants to be his successor. As the VP, that person will be the automatic front-runner in 2016. He shouldn't choose a VP based only on winning this one election, but of course he does need to make sure he wins it. Not alienating the millions of women who are gung-ho for Hillary is very important.

    My vote would be for Napolitano.

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    Obama needs to focus on the election by taking someone who gets those cohorts of votes he's had problems with -- poor, older White working class. Edwards is the clear first choice to me. Gov. Strickland of Ohio the second. Regardless, the person should reassure people by having the skills to back up a relatively inexperienced nominee yet not overshadow him (Al Gore would get an exemption from me here, but I know that's a fantasy). I don't think names like Sebelius or Schweitzer do anything. You're not carrying Kansas (and she's dull on TV) and Montana's 3 electoral votes (I don't think you need him in the Pacific West and he's not going to get you Wyoming or any other state). Webb's novels would be fodder all the way to November. Richardson should be slotted for Staet, not VP. He failed to excite on the stump. Nunn's everybody's trot out the Southerner, but he's 68 and makes a better match at Defense. I haven't heard McCaskill, but she is an intriguing choice. But, ultimately, twist John Edward's arm for one more run...

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    Tom Daschle would be the best because he was an early friend, ally and endorser of Obama's, so they would have a great working relationship. Daschle can help him a lot of Capitol Hill, and he won repeately in a red state, despite a norrow loss in '04

    Gephardt would have similar strengths even though he endorsed Clinton.

    Claire McC would be good to reach out to women, and she is from a swing state.

    Clark, Webb and Edwards would be good politically, but clearly have their own ambitious agendas and wouldn't be trusted or full partners.

    He shouldn't pick Hillary, they would never work well together.

    He shouldn't pick Richardson, who proved that he isn't ready for prime time, and who has more baggage than the underbelly of a 747.

  • ellie (unverified)
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    Tom Brokaw???

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Hillary Clinton, and hold the stupid jokes about food tasters.

    I have been critical of the campaign that Senator Clinton has run up to this point, even though I favored her at one point before switching to Obama. But she will work her heart out on the general-election campaign, she has a deep well of supporters across the US, and she definitely meets the requirement of being able to step into the president's shoes should the need arise.

    I think the fear and loathing of some Obama supporters for Clinton is not matched by either Barack Obama himself or his top advisers. They may resent some things she has done in the primary campaign, but they recognize her talents.

    Sam Nunn? Good gawd, get me a Valium.

    Webb? Smart guy who switched from the GOP about 2 years ago, I think, and who has a very unfortunate record on issues relating to gender equality.

    I hate to say it, but whenever I read an argument about how Nunn or Webb would draw in "military types", I cringe: it feels exactly like the GOP-Lite thinking of recent years.

  • roxanne bruns (unverified)
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    Two words: Al Gore.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    italics off, I hope:-)

    I'm absolutely serious about Clinton, BTW.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    OFF!

  • Coho (unverified)
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    Being an activist Democrat, I have to say seeing activist D's get together and discuss their favorite pol's is always a little depressing. Most of the folks mentioned have the charisma of wet toast (which has been the norm for Dem's in the last decade, especially so here in Oregon). Obama's meteoric rise is due in large part to him breaking that mold (and I wish the Clinton die-hards could wrap their heads around that).

    Gephardt? Sebelius? Richardson? Yikes! Why not just select a sack of potatoes? Edwards? Anyone recall his rather underwhelming campaign performance in 2004? If McCain is going to go after Obama on lack of experience, an even less experienced VP pick doesn't help the ticket very much.

    Webb has lots of baggage, but the long knives people have out for Webb seem to me to be more motivated by his conservative/Republican history than anything else. Yah, he said some stupid things in the 70's and 80's. So did a lot of other politicians.

    Obama needs a charismatic, non-traditional VP pick who balances the ticket with foreign policy experience, and preferably some military experience, and a conservative streak on at least some social issues to balance Obama's liberalism. Given the slim pickings in the Dem field, he could do a lot worse than someone like Webb or even Wesley Clark. Hell, if I were him I'd be buddying up to Colin Powell.

  • backbeat, woman (unverified)
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    Gephardt and Daschle went along with the illegal "war". No!!!

    Obama needs to focus on the election by taking someone who gets those cohorts of votes he's had problems with -- poor, older White working class.

    lol Can't believe you are buying the corporate media/HRC camp spin. No, Obama has a problem with Appalacia.

    Webb might have been a good choice if the Clinton supporters wouldn't have gotten all worked up about sexism. His past just rubs salt into the wound.

  • backbeat, woman (unverified)
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    Hell, if I were him I'd be buddying up to Colin Powell.

    The guy that should be in prison for pushing an illegal, immoral invasion of an innocent country? And you are an activist Democrat? Man, we are still in deep, deep shit as a country if we are willing to let people like this have any positive status at all.

    No justice, no peace. Where is the justice? Why isn't Powell in prison?

  • (Show?)

    Sebelius. It helps heal the wounds of Hillary supporters and brings in a Westerner who has succeeded in a Red state without a lot of polarization. So she didn't give a great speech at the State of the Union. Don't people remember that Bill Clinton gave the most boring speech possible at the Democratic Convention in '88. He became one of the most charismatic speakers in the country in the 90's.

    We need a VP that will work well with Obama, not someone who just fits a profile.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    Don't people remember that Bill Clinton gave the most boring speech possible at the Democratic Convention in '88.

    No, but I guess that proves your point... :)

  • Douglas K. (unverified)
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    The only constitutional rule: Whoever he picks has to be eligible for the presidency (age 35, natural-born citizen) - and can't be from Illinois.

    Of course the running mate can be from Illinois. He/she just needs to camp out in some other state (such as Wyoming) long enough to establish residency before the electoral college meets. Or, stay in Illinois and hope there are enough electoral votes that he/she won't need Illinois. If he/she comes up short of a majority, Illinois electors can write in some other name, and then let the (Democratically controlled) Senate pick the veep. (12th Amendment).

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
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    Where's Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan? Is she political toast?

    I'm betting that Obama will feel the need to pick another woman for the job other than HRC. And he can't pick a loony left or intellectually challenged (or both) woman, so that excludes Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Murray (D-WA). I don't know much about the other female Senators on the list above. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) would be excellent, but she is 75. That leaves a female Governor.

    My "Dark Horse?" Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    Where's Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan? Is she political toast?

    She's actually from Canada, so not eligible to be President.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    Seems to me Nunn, Schweitzer, Sebelius, John Edwards or Sherrod Brown would be good choices, depending on what regions or states Obama wants to shore up support in.

    Seems to me, we need Webb to stay in the Senate, holding onto a swing Senate seat and shoring up Democratic street cred on military issues. Webb doesn't seem like an enthusiastic and effective campaigner outside his home state.

    Richardson would be better served in a cabinet post. He's gaffe-prone, and an all-minority ticket might not be the wisest choice. Also, richardson's biggest strengths are in regions where Obama already leads comfortably (CA, NM, CO), or where Obama probably won't win anyhow (TX, AZ). Could be he puts Nevada over the edge, but are those five EVs enough to really influence the choice of running mate?

  • mkd (unverified)
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    I basically penciled in Richardson for the VP slot back in January and still think he's the most logical choice. He fits perfect with Obama's focus on the Rocky Mountain West, speaks Spanish (thus addressing a touchy- but very real vulnerability), and is qualified to be president. Those factors have hogged up all my attention, but as the time comes to pick I am starting to have some pre-buyer's remorse. I worry about skeletons in Richardson’s closet, particularly unsavory corporate ties and whatever harassment issues are out there.

    So if not Richardson, then who?

    Cross off anyone who was in Congress during the run up to war- they would immediately negate Obama's whole change/judgment thing.

    Cross off anyone who has their own cult of personality. The VP must be subordinate to Obama and some people out there might have a hard time marching under the yolk. I'm looking at you Edwards, Clarke, Gore, Dean.

    Cross off the Senators. We need our new-Blue Senate intact. I love McCaskill, am ambivalent toward Webb and really really love Tester- but they all won narrow victories in red/purple states. We scraped those seats by the skin of our teeth; let's keep ‘em for awhile. Incumbency rules!

    Cross off the women- harsh I know, but I really think Hillary has made it impossible for Obama to pick a woman without everyone reading way too much into it.

    Cross off Hillary Clinton.

    Which brings me back to the swing state governors- Strickland, Rendell, Richardson, Kaine. If you think Obama’s got a Farrakhan problem now wait’ll you see what Rendell brings to the table and Tim Kaine is a totally lightweight.

    This leaves Strickland and Richardson- and Strickland doesn’t want the job.

    Dear Bill,

    Please don’t f this up.

    Sincerely, mkd

    ps. I’d love to double down on the brand- but where the hell are we gonna find another Barack Obama? Young, dynamic, post-racial master orators don’t exactly grow on trees.

  • backbeat, woman (unverified)
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    mkd, like your analysis but sadly, we aren't going to have two brown guys on the ticket.

  • JG (unverified)
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    I say it will be Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas' Govenor). She has experience and she's a rising star. And she'd help with the idea that the Democratic party is moving westward. In addition, it wouldn't dilute Obama's Washington outsider change message.

    She's also a Democratic governor in a Republican state, so her image reinforces the image of Obama as someone that can put red states (ie: Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina) in play. Plus, she's not controversial among the DNC leadership. In fact, they picked her to deliver the Party's televised rebuttal to Bush's last state of the union address.

    In addition, I think it will help him somewhat with women. Young women Obama already does pretty well with, but older (lets so over 35 or 40) women have tended to back Clinton. And the older the voter (in general) the worse Obama does with them. Putting a woman on the ticket might make older women less likely to break for McCain in the fall, and might be an easy way for Obama to avoid picking Clinton if he does not want to.

  • (Show?)

    Where's Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan? Is she political toast?

    She's originally Canadian so she doesn't qualify.

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    Ok, I'll play. Webb, Warner, Wyden, or Wes Clark.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "I really think Hillary has made it impossible for Obama to pick a woman without everyone reading way too much into it."

    Argeed. Plus, her makeup in attitude may cause her to decline any offer for VP simply because it could be thought of as a "consolation prize" for running 2nd and Hillary has shown she would be too proud to accept a prize for being a "runner up".

    Also, this quote from mkd shows just a part of how an uptight person acts (everyone reading way too much into it). I belive on another thread, some asked me about being uptight.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    SOME Senators don't need to be crossed off--the ones in states where another Democrat would be appointed or win easily. Of course, in most cases, it's hard to see why someone from a State that's sure to go to Obama anyway would be a good VP choice. But Sherrod Brown, who might make a difference in Ohio, would work. So would Rockefeller or Blanche Lincoln.

    We should cross off Governors who will be needed in office to stave off Republican gerrymanders during post-2010 redistricting. Ted Strickland must remain in Ohio, for example. So should the Governors of Tennessee, Arizona and Oklahoma. Kaine is limited to one term in Virginia, and Easley is leaving office after this year, so they should at least stay in contention. In fact, now that I think of it, Easley really should be near the top of the short list. Put North Carolina in play, and McAncient has no chance at all.

    If Hillary Clinton is Obama's VP, then Obama will not complete his term of office. Something will happen that mysteriously forces him to step down.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    If I were a gambling/gaming person I would give odds of 20 to 1 it has to be a woman. There appears to be a large number of women, probably enough to swing the vote, who could only see Hillary's gender and were blind to her massive warts. Obama most likely needs a woman to get that group.

    I can't believe anyone claiming to be a progressive commenting on Blue Oregon would propose some of the names in the opening list. George Mitchell? Now selling out for Big Tobacco. Patty Murray? Same for Boeing. Jay Rockefeller? He was given intelligence that was evidence Bush and Co. were lying about Iraq, but the pathetic wretch still voted for the war. Joe Biden? Windbag extraordinaire. Ted Kulongoski? Can anyone imagine this person stepping into the presidency after his wimpy start in Oregon? Tom Brokaw? What a joke especially with the recent publicity about how the media sold out in the run up to the Iraq war and being mouthpieces for the Bush Administration ever since.

    I don't know that much about them, but from what little I know I would consider looking at governors Kathleen Sibelius and Janet Napolitano.

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    Well, there's who I want -- Sebelius -- and who I think he'll pick in order to ensure victory --Rendell or Strickland. And then there's Edwards, who fits into both categories. I see Richardson in a Cabinet job of some sort, perhaps Sec. of State.

    Sebelius, in some ways, is a way to double down on a brand in the sense that she is a nontraditional candidate and she has worked very, very well with Republicans, highlighting Obama's bipartisan stance. She was so good at it that she convinced a Republican businessman John E. Moore to switch parties and run with her as lieutenant governor in 2002. Four years later, she did it again, convincing the then-chair of the Kansas Republican Party, Mark Parkinson, to become a Democrat and run for the seat Moore was vacating.

    Sebelius also recently vetoed legislation that would have allowed for a coal-fired power plant in the state -- she's got serious enviro cred.

    Edwards is also great -- great according to current polls, amazing on policy issues, young, dynamic, with perhaps the most awesome political wife in the universe. Talk about a two for one special. And, I'm sorry, but the idea of a plethora of young kids running around the White House gets me giddy.

    Rendell and Strickland would be a choice for those who think it's important to include Clinton supporters on the ticket and to ensure that the Dems win Pennsylvania or Ohio. Boring, but strategic.

  • Robert G. Gourley (unverified)
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    Okay, I'll say it - Steve Novick - A little feller with a hard left hook. He'd add a lot of sense to an Obama campaign.

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    Can we please take Rendell out of this mix? He is the personification of the corrupt ward heel politician, and represents the very core contituency that Obama is fighting against. The guy even looks and sounds the part. He might as well have Tammany tattooed across his forehead.

    Obam's got long enough odds on accompishing the change he wants without having this hack on the inside.

  • selenesmom (unverified)
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    I am dismayed that anyone would seriously put forward arguments to the effect that "Obama will feel pressure to choose a woman"/"Clinton supporters will want a woman." For me -- and it could just be a generational thing, I'm mid-forties -- one of the greatest things about HRC's campaign was that no one seriously floated arguments about how being a woman would affect her performance (whether claiming that she was intellectually/emotionally incapable, or claiming that women are naturally nurturing and nicer people). That was really refreshing, and I hoped it had laid some of this kind of stuff to rest. But now we get silly stuff about how this or that Senator or Governor ought to get the nod because "we need a woman." Didn't that already not work once with Ferraro? Why would anyone assume that all or most female Clinton supporters (of whom I'm not one) want a woman, any woman, even if it's Condoleeza Rice? (OK I exaggerate, but I hope that made my point.)

    That said, I do also think Webb's bazillion public pronouncements on women in the military and on Tailhook are a deal-breaker. No need to go out of your way to find the one candidate for whom women's fitness to perform is a documented blind spot.

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    Can someone explain the Rendell Farrakhan reference?

  • Barry (unverified)
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    Bloomberg - balances the ticket with a moderate/centrist/former-republican. As a proven executive of a large city, blunts the argument that the ticket has no experience running a government. And, it help fixes the "Isreal problem" Obama has in some quarters.

    Saw Webb on Letterman - nervous, tentative, no spark, no charisma. Not impressed.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Barack Obama & John Hagee

    vs.

    John McCain and Jeremy Wright

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    I'm of the same mind as Kos--like big state endorsers, VP choice effects on geography are minimal. Note the KS polling yesterday; Sebelius barely helps. That said, a woman from the Midwest or west would be a solid choice. Sebelius, Napolitano or McCaskill.

    What about Cantwell or even Mikulski?

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    Joel,

    Now that I get your sense of humor, I'm totally loving it.

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    Joel, I think you mean Jeremiah Wright, not Jeremy Wright, campaign manager for the Vote-by-Mail campaign and long-time Timbers fanatic.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "John McCain and Jeremy Wright"

    Nice try...It will more than likely be Mitt Romney. But that's for them to decide.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I have not written much positive about Hillary Clinton here in the past few years, but she seems the best choice for VP. She has received almost as much support as Obama, and many of her supporters are quite passionate in their support. It would make the ticket doubly historic. The VP has little power that the president does not confer - unless the Senate is evenly split.

    And just think of the great opportunity for a contemporary-set production of Macbeth with the officers of NOW as the Weird Sisters.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    John McCain should try the double-down strategy and pick Jeb Bush.... That would work, wouldn't it? McCain-Bush in 2008?

      Okay, maybe not.
    
      Sebelius works for me although I agree - that was one dull speech she gave.
    
  • Michael Van Closel (unverified)
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    I would add Ward Churchill to that list. As a Native American and Professor he would be perfect.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Hey gang....how about Ralph Nader?

    He he he...

    Just kidding...Carry on, everyone :)

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    And then there's this brilliant analysis from the Huffington Post:

    "Obama just needs a running mate who's old, Hispanic, southern, female and enjoys state-sponsored violence, especially war."

  • DE (unverified)
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    Kennedy didn't really pick Johnson for balance, he picked him for the same reason Obama will pick Hillary: out of "respect" for a mighty adversary and their supporters, and to prevent a massive split in the party. Moreover, Kennedy was sure that Johnson would decline, and Johnson called his bluff.

  • Eric Berg (unverified)
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    Obama-Webb makes sense for all the obvious reasons: Military service. Critic of war. Might help carry Virginia/parts of Appalachia/parts of the South. Not in Senate too long. Former Republican. Former Reagan official. Alternative to McCain (Annapolis grads, scarred by war, divorced, enlisted sons in Marines/Iraq).

    However, how about Obama-Bayh? Like Clinton-Gore: Roughly same generation. Neighboring states. Good-looking. Like Dukakis-Bentsen: More moderate/liberal-more moderate/conservative. Insider, but less than 10 years in Washington. Bentsen couldn't carry Texas, but Bayh very well could win Indiana. Bayh's eight years as governor and membership on the armed services and intelligence comittees don't hurt. Strong HRC supporter.

    I like the idea of Obama-Hagel, but I just don't think it would work.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    Let's leave the Senate alone, similarly the Governors. Sure they have experience, they also have political advantages that got them elected that may not transfer. Richardson is going into an Obama Admin, so that's one Gov down. Assuming an Obama Pres you're one (D) Sen down. Giving J Lieberman swat doesn't appeal to me.

    Webb's problems with women is not where Obama can go. You cannot fix him with Clintonites. Clark is well spoken and has military cred. Kitz oddly might actually bring something to the table. If you start searching for women you run into the "really valuable where they are" problem. The balancing act is promoting a woman into some kind of line toward POTUS.

    While I don't think gender is some kind of qualfier for POTUS there also are a lot of women perfectly capable and 200 years is a long time.

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    A few thoughts -

    Al Gore is too good for the job, and wouldn't take it if offered. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    Senator Edwards has also pre-declined, for some strange reason.

    I'm flummoxed why Kari left off what seems like an obvious choice - the Speaker Nanci Pelosi. I don't know if she'd take it, after all, she's got a pretty good gig going right now. But she's far more famous than a lot of these people, if a bit too much of a milquetoast for my personal preferences.

    Any woman candidate other than Clinton or Pelosi would immediately be tarred as someone picked by Obama because she's a woman.

    Marcos Molistias says VP picks rarely help in the general. I tend to agree. So I think Obama should pick the person he thinks is the best for the spot.

  • backbeat, woman (unverified)
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    Bayh? Please don't make me throw up.

    Please no DLCers Please nobody who voted to hand bush the loaded gun on Iraq and now Iran.

    No Bayh. No

  • joeldanwalls (unverified)
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    Obama-Hagel nix, but since we're into the opposites-attracting concept, I propose Obama and HEGEL.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    If Obama were going to "double down", the pick would be Gov. Duvall Patrick of Mass. He is a friend of Sen. Obama's and they have a "mind meld" going, as evidenced in the shared speech materials. I don't see this happening though.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    Besides Webb's problems (thanks for the article link), how does adding someone with a strong military background help Obama? Seems to me that it will just highlight Obama's inexperience on military issues.

    I've been saying Sebelius for some time, so I guess I'll say it again here. SEBELIUS!

  • Marshall Collins (unverified)
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    I remember reading an article recently where Pelosi "pre-declined" as well, saying that she already has the best gig she could ask for and doesn't want to give it up. Understandable considering the year she has had in the house. I am guessing she is holding out for a D to win the White House so she can try to "redeem" herself by getting an agenda actually passed in 2009. Hillary is my pick for VP. She is not my favorite but I think she would be the best pick in terms of really getting her supporters to come out early and come out hard for Obama. The party is going to have to come together FAST after this thing is over next week and a quick-pick of Hillary as a running-mate can do that.

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    For all of those out there who have been floating Claire McCaskill's name, I would encourage you to look into Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Nothing against McCaskill, and granted I worked on Klobuchar's campaign in '06, but I really think Amy is a better alternative. There's a reason that she won a blowout victory on the same day that Minnesota re-elected a Republican governor who may just be McCain's veep; she's very charismatic, smart, funny, and a tough campaigner. She has huge job approval ratings and is very well liked by constituents. I also don't know how Senate vacancies are filled in Missouri, but it would be a special election in Minnesota, and my feeling is that it would be a pretty easy hold for the Dems who have a better and deeper bench. Of course, Minnesota isn't nearly as much of a swing state as Missouri, and Klobuchar wasn't an early endorser like McCaskill, and she's only been in the Senate for 2 years. But I do think she's worth looking into, definitely for down the road if not this cycle.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    Bottom line is, politically it doesn't matter much, otherwise Dukakis Bentsen would have won big over Bush-Quayle. Edwards seemed good, but NC was always lost, while Ed Muskie might have seemed a weak choice, but he was popular and he pulled in maine for the Ds for the first time in 100 years.

    Obama needs to go with who he likes and who would be a good running mate for him. I think Daschle and McCaskill are at the top of that list.

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    I don't know if any senators in "red" states would be in President Obama's best interest. He needs a majority - a strong one - to get the tough s#$% passed. Picking off good dems seems suicidal. I'd love Richardson myself, but I think he's made for Secretary of State. Webb is revealed to have problems with women's equality in the military (bad for Clinton supporters and other women in general) and he runs at the mouth. I like Mark Warner.

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    Joel:

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen?

    Anyway, I'm going with Governor Kitzhaber. VP with a mullet and an MD.

    Game over, McSame. You'll be lucky to win Alabama.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    One more thought. Barack is big on picking the most qualified person, irrespective of political party. Recently, he reiterated this in discussing his future cabinet, mentioning he would even for example appoint John McCain to head up Homeland Security if he was the most qualified.

    I am not suggesting that he will pick a Repub. VP, like Chuck Hagel.

    What I am suggesting is that he may pick the person who is most qualified to be VP. That means someone who can step in and be President of the U.S. if necessary. It also means it must be someone who will carry out his major policy positions, changing politics as we know it, ending the War in Iraq, combating climate change, and extending health care to all.

    So who does that sound like?

  • mkd (unverified)
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    Chris,

    Rendell and Farrakhan

    Let's just please not go there.

    Karol, we need Mark Warner to sow up the VA Sen seat (which is another plus for Richardson- we won't be pulling him away from some other key beachhead to make the run).

    I've got Gore at State and Edwards at Justice. MFing dream team, baby. Believe it!

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    What about putting some California pizzazz back in Number One Observatory Circle? Mayor Gavin Newsome! Mayor Tony Villaraigosa! Arnie! (Sure, he supports McCain but he's married to an Obama supporter! That's bipartisanship Gordon Smith could approve of!)

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Mr. Dunagan--that Huffington Post article suggested Eva Peron, although an enabler of the exile Cuban Mafia would also seem to fit the bill.

  • (Show?)
    Barack is big on picking the most qualified person, irrespective of political party. Recently, he reiterated this in discussing his future cabinet, mentioning he would even for example appoint John McCain to head up Homeland Security if he was the most qualified.

    Of course, that would be a big if. On the other hand:

    McCain says Obama, Clinton likely won’t serve in his cabinet April 14th, 2008 by Staff · No Comments When asked if presidential nominee hopefuls Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) could potentially serve in Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) cabinet if he is elected president at the annual Associated Press luncheon, he says he doesn’t think so because of their different philosophies. He also says he would travel America to find the best qualified candidates for his presidential cabinet.
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    Maybe not Brokaw, eh?

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Qq6aiuO-aq0&amp;hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Qq6aiuO-aq0&amp;hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq6aiuO-aq0&eurl=http://www.crooksandliars.com/

  • Lou (unverified)
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    I vote for Arlen Spector. Imagine a cross party ticket. Arlen could even challenge McCain to a shuffleboard match/debate. They could take their teeth out and chat about which was more corrupt-- the Savings and Loans Scandal or the Warren Commission.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    For sheer compatibility of vision, purpose, and accomplishment, we will never be able to top Bush/Satan '04.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    I agree that the VP pick is not a great asset. That said I think he should not pick a senator that is not from a safe seat. Most important, that he pick a VP who he likes, who will be loyal and support the administration, and who will make a good president if needed.

    Top five: 1. Bill Richardson- for likability and international exp. 2. John Edwards- for reinforcing the brand and demographics 3. Kathleen Sebellius- for demographic balance 4. Sam Nunn- for nat. security gravitas 5. Michael Bloomberg- for business exp. and demographics

    ( one alternate- Tim Kaine-regional balance, and personal compatibility)

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    For Arlen Specter fans- He's had a new occurrence of his lymphoma cancer.

  • wikiwiki (unverified)
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    Sherrod Brown would be my first choice, I like his emphasis on economic populist issues, and he comes from a key swing state, unfortunately, he doesn't seem all that interested in ever leaving the Senate.

    Tom Daschle is an intriguing pick, and for getting the elbow grease to pass legislation through the Senate, I like the idea of a former Senate Majority Leader doing the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, I believe that some of the work he and, I believe, his former wife are doing for corporate interests may not play too well.

    John Edwards and/or Jim Webb would be excellent choices, but I'm afraid Edwards may want or need to concentrate on his wife's health condition, and that may compromise his campaign work, and I don't think Webb is temperamentally inclined to be a number two.

    For the women, Sibelius or Napolitano would be fine. One (or the other) that might not be instantly considered is either of the Sanchez ladies in Orange County, California. I believe that one of them also serves on the Armed Services Committee, so there would be your link to military expertise. Also, this would visually be "Ken and Barbie" versus "Grampa Walton" for those who like that angle.

    Somewhat surprised that Feingold hasn't been given a nod in the comments yet. Would anyone have objections to him?

    I really hope this doesn't come to pass, but there are too many institutional realities that could all but guarantee that Clinton will be offered first refusal. As has been discussed in other quarters, I'm not really sure why she'd want the job. But I get this sinking feeling that this may be what plays out.

  • JGreen (unverified)
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    I have to admit that I have not ready the proceeding 74 post on this topic but at the risk of being repetitive I wanted to throw out what I think is an interesting VP prospect.

    Former Rhode Island Republican U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee. Sen. Chafee as most of you know was often described as a "liberal Republican" and is currently an Independent actively supporting Obama's campaign.

    Chafee has a great new book out titled "Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President".

    It is a fascinating memoir from someone who shares progressive values but was on the inside of the Republican caucus. The story he tells about the first meeting with Cheney the day after the Supreme Court decided the 2000 election is... well, "telling".

    Anyways, as the only Republican who voted against the Iraq War, Chafee would create a clear anti-war bipartisan ticket and still be pro-choice, pro-basic rights, pro-balanced budgets. Obviously the downside is that Rhode Island is not a big swing state.

    One other interesting thing that I did not know was that Sen. Chafee cast the deciding vote in the Senate against passing a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. The guy just seems to possess the certain political and moral courage that has me so excited about Obama.

    I would love to here others take on Chafee as VP candidate.

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    Lincoln Chafee -- very interesting idea. It would send a great message about bipartisanship and at the same time it would appeal to centrist, moderate Republicans who have felt pushed aside by Karl Rove and the Far Right of the Republican Party -- might send a quite provocative message....

  • Faolan (unverified)
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    The people who argue for Webb drive me insane. Not only did we fight tooth and nail to just barely win that seat (and yes I know that there is a Democratic Governor to appoint a replacement) but Webb is not a great Democrat.

    Look at his voting record since he got in the Senate. He voted FOR the bankruptcy bill. There are others that I can't think of at the moment but please just go look at his voting record. He has dropped the ball on a number of very important votes.

    When you pick a VP you have to consider whether you would want them as your President. Do you really want Jim Webb as President NO NO NO!

    As for who I would actually support, I never thought I would say this but I don't think that Hillary would be an awful choice. If you had asked me in February I would have said thatg it would be a terrible mistake for Obama to offer her the job. Now I'm not so sure. I don't like the way she has campaigned and I like her less now than I even did back in February but she has fought tooth and nail for this and a LOT of people really respect that, me one of them.

    Bill Richardson I think would be a great choice. He has some issues but overall I think he's very charismatic and smart and would sew up the latino vote in a heartbeat.

    Kathllen Sebilius could be good. I really don;t know much about her other than she used to be a Republican but went Democratic when the Rethugs drove her party of the cliff and then she pulled a bunch of other Republicans with her into the Democratic party. There's a lot to be said for someone who can do that, and win re-election, in Kansas of all places, as a Democrat.

    John Edwards is the man who I supported for President from day one. I would be very happy to see him offered the job but he has already been unequivical in his outright rejection of the job. So no luck there I'm afraid.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Nader or Feingold? Never happen. They are real progressives and not as corruptible as the others on the list. Mikulski or Salazar? Judging by some of the votes they made I thought they were conservative Republicans.

    Just in case you "progressives" forgot, here is the senate vote for going to war. Biden, Cantwell, Clinton, Daschle, Dodd, Dorgan, Edwards, Feinstein, Hagel, Kerry, Landrieu, both Nelsons, Reid, Rockefeller and Schumer.

  • Nick from Eugene (unverified)
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    I like Patrick Murphy and all...and even though he turns 35 before the election, making him eligible, I don't think he is in the running.

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    Faolan -- Do you have a source on that claim that Sebelius used to be a Republican?

    There's nothing about that at Wikipedia, and in fact the article says:

    In 1994 she left the House to run for state insurance commissioner and stunned political forecasters by winning — the first time a Democrat had won in more than 100 years.

    Yeah... in 1994... in Kansas... she was elected to statewide office as a Democrat.

    Her father-in-law was a Republican congressman, but that hardly seems dispositive.

  • Munir (unverified)
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    Sibellius or Hagel.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I suppose Obama could ask Dick Cheney to stay on, but I sort of doubt that will happen.

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    You know, that Lincoln Chaffee pick is a fascinating idea.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Two words: Al Sharpton. Two other words: assassination insurance.

    On a more serious note: Obama is the biggest assassination-risked president since...well... the last one.

    The two most likely assassinators in general: (1) racist whities and (2) black helicopter blackwater types. Pres. Obama would make both groups...well, nervous.

    Webb makes me nervous. He'd be the favorite replacement of both groups: Southern, White, Conservative military guy.

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    You know, that Lincoln Chaffee pick is a fascinating idea.

    Why the hell are people fascinated with the idea of putting Republicans (Chaffee, Hagel) or former Republicans (Webb) on a Democratic ticket? Do you really think the Democratic brand is so bankrupt that they can't persuade people to vote for a ticket made up of two actual Democrats? Why not just nominate Joe Lieberman again? He worked out well.

    Or maybe that nice bipartisan Gordon Smith.

    There are reasons people self-identify as Republicans. It's not because they believe in whatever amalgam of ideas the Democratic party has accreted to itself. People like Chaffee or Hagel could have switched to the Democratic party any time in their careers if they felt that their party wasn't the ideal place for them to be, just like Ben NIghthorse-Campbell, Jim Jeffords, or Wayne Morse. But they didn't. Instead -- unlike Scott McClellan who would have lost his job if he'd spoken up -- they continued to play along with the system. Sure, some of them have tried to gather a patina of independence to themselves, but one of those GOP "mavericks" is running against Barack Obama right now.

    If Obama is serious about effecting "change," he's going to require some severe modifications to the current way of doing business, and that's going to take help from someone who isn't just going along to get along. He needs to wrench the wheel back from the hard right turn this administration (and the Bush 41 administration, and the Reagan administration) locked it into, and that's not going to happen with a VP who was happy with the previous system or is considerably more conservative than he is.

  • Tomas (unverified)
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    For experience, strategy, national security credibility, and balance, Sen. Gary Hart.

  • KTDM (unverified)
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    Hillary Clinton. With her we win the Latino vote w/out the new potentially highly-damaging controversies that will emerge w/Richardson, grabbing media attention during a very short election cycle. Also, she balances the ticket. We win a number of swing states and have a shot at Florida. Obama-Edwards turns into Kerry-Edwards all over again and entrenches "elitist" claims. Chaffee is from New England. Second choices would be Mark Warner or Sebelius. Obama and Clinton are both smart enough and hardworking enough to forge a unified ticket that will tromp the Republicans.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Hillary Clinton. With her...

    If Obama is elected president he needs to spend all his time looking forward ... anything but a lot of time checking his back or his feet looking for rugs to be pulled out from under them.

  • tb (unverified)
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    Why not throw in Former Sen. Mike Gravel while you're at it. Kulongoski? Wyden?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I don't want to see Obama giving the State of the Union speech with Hillary sitting behind him, smirking. I think it's time for the Clintons and the Bushes to take a long walk off into history.
    Webb is wound too tight for me. He's got too much intensity. The more I think about it, Kathleen Sebelius seems perfect. It would be groundbreaking and based on merit more than marriage.

  • J-luthergoober (unverified)
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    Bill Moyers, nobody in America understands the American people better.

  • T. W. (unverified)
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    With Hillary Clinton, we get all the baggage we had hoped to leave behind by not nominating her for President. With Hillary, Obama has to have a food taster if he is President and someone who will hope for some act of God or "difference in conscience" to enable her to run for the nomination ANYWAY in four years. With Hillary, we have unified the party with the old politics and the new politics that has attracted those turned off by the old politics. Hmmmmm

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    Thankfully I think the RFK remarks screwed Hillary's VP pooch pretty good.

    I think the Chafee idea is fascinating. Darrel, if I recall correctly Lincoln's reason for staying a Republican was trying to hold onto some kind of moderate bloc in the GOP to balance out the crazies as best they could. You might disagree with strategy, but that's a rational reason for staying in the party. There's also the POV that Jeffords was able to ignore, that if you're elected as a Republican it's not fair to switch.

    And let's remember, a Rhode Island Republican is about as virulent a strain as an Oklahoma Democrat. In most states he'd have been a Democrat anyway. I'm not 100% up on every vote he's cast, but I see none of the avarice or bigotry or classism that so many current Republicans give off.

    I like it.

  • T. W. (unverified)
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    With Hillary Clinton, we get all the baggage we had hoped to leave behind by not nominating her for President. With Hillary, Obama has to have a food taster if he is President and someone who will hope for some act of God or "difference in conscience" to enable her to run for the nomination ANYWAY in four years. With Hillary, we have unified the party with the old politics and the new politics that has attracted those turned off by the old politics. Hmmmmm

  • T. W. (unverified)
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    With Hillary Clinton, we get all the baggage we had hoped to leave behind by not nominating her for President. With Hillary, Obama has to have a food taster if he is President and someone who will hope for some act of God or "difference in conscience" to enable her to run for the nomination ANYWAY in four years. With Hillary, we have unified the party with the old politics and the new politics that has attracted those turned off by the old politics. Hmmmmm

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    As if on cue, some Chaffee fodder from Rolling Stone:

    Even some Republicans are bewildered by the failure of Senate Democrats to stand up to the White House. "When you see a headline like 'In The Senate, A White House Victory On Eavesdropping,' something is wrong," says Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican from Rhode Island who was ousted from the Senate in 2006 by voters who believed a Democratic majority would take on the Bush administration. "We threw out all these incumbents for a reason. But there's been no discernible change in direction." Instead, Chafee says, Senate Democrats caved to Bush on wiretapping because they're still "skittish" about being tagged as soft on terror. Reid and the Democrats, he says, need to "draw a line on what's more sacred: short-term thinking about a possible terrorist attack, or the long-term ramifications of undoing our Constitution."

    Wow. Chafee for VP!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Thankfully I think the RFK remarks screwed Hillary's VP pooch pretty good.

    Common Dreams has an article by John Pilger on RFK and Obama that is worth considering.

    and

    Even some Republicans are bewildered by the failure of Senate Democrats to stand up to the White House.

    Why the bewilderment? They are doing the bidding of the corporations that own them. Same with the media.

    Obama's VP will be just another part of the picture for public consumption. The real deals take place behind the curtain.

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    Darrel, if I recall correctly Lincoln's reason for staying a Republican was trying to hold onto some kind of moderate bloc in the GOP to balance out the crazies as best they could. You might disagree with strategy, but that's a rational reason for staying in the party.

    That might have been a reasonable strategy, oh, back in the 1980s when the crazies took over, but it hasn't been valid for two decades.

    Even in Oregon the crazies took over the Republican party long, long ago. The "moderates" in the state party here lost control more than 15 years ago when groups like the OCA started throwing their weight around, which is one fo the reasons I do a spit take whenever I hear about how someone like Ben Westlund only realized they were a little off just a couple of years back. Where the hell were they before?

    You look at the last seven years and tell me what the "moderate bloc" of the Republican party has managed to accomplish. I don't see much of anything. I know that the VP's job is traditionally known as weak, but Obama needs someone who's not ineffectual.

  • pdx97217 (unverified)
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    The next administration's most difficult task will be to repair the damage done to our international reputation - including bringing a conclusion to our occupations of several nations. The person who can steer this portion of the admin is Bill Richardson.

  • Faolan (unverified)
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    Kari, I have no site for my info, just reading blogs like Dailykos and so forth. It was my understanding that she was a republican at some point in the past but switched parties and ran for Governor and ended up bringing other republicans to the democratic party with her.

    My main point for her was that she convinced a number of Republicans to switch too and that that was a strong selling point in her favor.

    I could be wrong about some of this but if I am it's because others, who I was under the impression were well informed, misinformed me.

  • Notralph (unverified)
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    Hey gang....how about Ralph Nader?

    He he he...

    Just kidding...Carry on, everyone :)

    I cannot believe that someone actually brought up this Nader caracter in the company of all these illustrious people we have available for our VP. I mean, seriously, what has this guy ever done for the America? Nothing but ranting and raving about stupid things such as Single payer health Care for all. Give me a break! As someone who was born in Europe, has dual citizenship ( thank God!) I have known first hand the disaster of having health care be completely free. No one goes bankrupt, how incredibly Middle Ages is that? I shudder when I think I might actually move back there. If that nightmare happens I will vow to: always pay for my own health insurance, no matter what. No health care for me unless someone makes a lot of money from refusing me services! Get that, Mr. Nader? I learned from having lived in this wonderful country that you have to stick to some principles such as: welfare for the rich ( YES!), worshipping ourselves into mass hysteria frenzy over corrupt, corporatist politicians while knowing they will not look out for the working/middle class every way they can think of ( Yes!)

    My first choices for VP: Hillary Clinton. It will ty the corporate noose around our collective necks even further, oohh, I can feel the rush already.

    <h1>2- Mr. Al Gore. he won the 2000 election and gave up. how beyond cool is that!We deserve someone with that kind of fighting spirit.</h1>

    Thank you, Mr. Chisholm, and the American people in general, for showing me that it's possible to screw yourselves and each other by making forward-thinking decions such as choosing the barely lesser of 2 evils in a consistent, and intelligent manner.And by not supporting someone like Nader, with all this crazy talk of total US military and Corporate withdrawal from Iraq, living wages for all, cracking down on corporate rip-offs, and other such backward nonsense!

  • Ben Totushek (unverified)
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    Right now I'm actually in Rhode Island. I'm surprised Chaffee has this much name recognition. I'm not too sure on the bump he'd bring, but he was a great Senator who only lost because of his status as a Repug in '06. Since then he's written a book called "against the tide" and left his party. Looks like it might be time for some of us to read that book. I think it depends alot on whether it's an "audacity" or a "worth the fighting for". At least it has a shot at being a great idea. My favorite thing about Chaffee: always responds to his Constituents. My least favorite thing: you have to call him like hell if you want to be safe, a little bit like pulling teeth. But that could be why he has so much middle of the aisle cred.

  • selenesmom (unverified)
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    From wikiwiki:

    "For the women, Sibelius or Napolitano would be fine."

    I hope I am just misreading, or obtusely missing a joke. As I meant to say in my earlier post, this kind of knee-jerk identity politics isn't winning us anything and has little appeal to those born after (around) 1962, both men and women.

  • wikiwiki (unverified)
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    Sorry, I was trying to make the post you referenced as succinct as possible, and I'm afraid some meaning got lost as a result.

    I meant to write, "of (not for) the women whose names have been mentioned for VP, Sebelius or Napolitano would be very worthy candidates (not just fine)." I certainly had no intent of making fun of either of these ladies. Sebelius, in particular, has done great work in a very difficult place. I think she'd be a great campaigner with Obama.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    knee-jerk identity politics isn't winning us anything

    THANK YOU!

  • Old Lady (unverified)
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    Pelosi would be fantastic. She's smart, articulate, tough & a lady!!! but I like Sibelious too. How could Pelosi turn it down? Edwards for Justice, richardson for Homeland Security, Hagel for Defence.

  • nadja (unverified)
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    A female vice president would be excellent (but not Mrs. Clinton) - - Sibelius or Napolitano. Boxer is too crazed, I think and just blathers at times. Biden is a poor idea - - shoots off his mouth too much. Richardson seems solid. Webb is too alpha male, as is Hagel. Mark Warner also a good choice. I want fresh ideas and somewhat newer faces in the executive branch. Wyden would also be terrific.

  • (Show?)

    Chaffee Voting Record:

    • 3/10/05 Approved Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005
    • 9/29/05 Confirmed John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
    • 3/10/04 Voted against Nelson Amdt. No. 2745 to create a $1.8 billion veterans medical care fund and Murray Amdt. No. 2719 to fully fund No Child Left Behind, both by closing tax loopholes. Also voted against Daschle Amdt. No. 2710 which would have created a $2.7 billion fund for veterans health care by reducing tax breaks on incomes over $1 million per year.
    • 10/30/03 Voted against the Bingaman Amdt. No. 2048 making $200 million available for the Global AIDS Initiative by taking it from the Millennium Challenge Account championed by the Heritage Foundation, among others. Also voted to table the Murray Amdt. No. 2030, to ensure protection of old-growth stands. Voted for cloture on discussion of the nomination of US Circuit Judge Charles Pickering.
    • 10/17/03 Voted to table Byrd Amdt. No. 1888, eliminating the president's flexibility to reallocate $20 billion of Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Funds without congressional approval. Voted to table Durbin Amdt. No. 1879 to provide funds for HIV/AIDS prevention, control, and research.
    • 7/17/03 Voted to table Durbin Amdt. No. 1277, limiting the funding of the Intelligence Community Management Account until after the issuance of a report on the development and use of intelligence relating to the beginning of the Iraq war.

    And that's just a few sample dates from a quick look through a couple of years of votes. Sure, there are also plenty of times when he voted with Democrats, but there are a number of Democrats who voted with the Republicans, too. I just don't see the attraction.

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    darrel, I know a number of Dems like Biden voted for the bankruptcy bill, I think both Obama and Wyden approved Roberts--it's not the votes, it's the attitude and priorities. On FISA he sounds like Feingold or Dodd.

    You know I'm as interested in hewing to progressive policies as much as anyone--but if we're serious about governing in a productive manner, I think there's merit in having a principled independent who is clearly qualified.

    I still like the idea. I don't like Snowe or Collins, but I think Chafer is different.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Please, please, please, no Republicans! Let THEM have their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

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    People seem to be looking for the "wow" factor in a veep pick, when that is almost never what you want. You want someone who shores up the ticket's weak points, not someone who outshines the head of the ticket. And given Senator Obama's lumens, I fail to see why someone who brings strong military and foreign policy credentials would not be an excellent choice.

    The worry about Webb is this--running two first term Senators? I lean toward Nunn, or else Clinton to firm up the party.

    Richardson is not a possibility, not from what I hear.

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    Every time I hear Nunn, I just want to cringe.

    Make Daschle the VP pick - like it's gonna matter anyway when Obama wins 40+ states.

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    Kaine is a good dark-house. he was an early Obama backer, he's got southern creds, he speaks fluent Spanish, he's white (let's face it, in terms of "balance," white is factor #1; sucks but it's true).

    my concern with a veep is that you have to ask yourself if that's person you want to be first in line to succeed your candidate. that's why i like the idea of Sibelius, to have a woman of quality following Obama would be excellent. however, we have to win 2008 (and then 2012) before worrying about 2016. nonetheless.

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    darrel, I know a number of Dems like Biden voted for the bankruptcy bill,

    Sure. But then Biden's an idiot. I wouldn't want him as VP, either. His foreign policy stance is largely based on bluster and an illusion of squinty-eyed determination. He might be even a worse choice than Chaffee.

    I think both Obama and Wyden approved Roberts--it's not the votes, it's the attitude and priorities. On FISA he sounds like Feingold or Dodd. You know I'm as interested in hewing to progressive policies as much as anyone

    I think the votes show "attitude and priorities." Chaffee did what he had to do to keep his seat and help maintain a Republican majority in the Senate in a state and era that was tending Democratic -- sort of like Gordon Smith. Chaffee's not as conservative as Smith, but he did his part to help the Republicans maintain control throughout the first six years of the Bush administration. He's a kinder, gentler version of the 2000 McCain. Or maybe Scott McClellan with a vote in the Senate.

    I don't believe that we're going to get actual progressive policies out of an Obama administration. There's no way he'd get anything through Congress, considering that most of even the Democrats don't support progressive legislation.

    But there's a lot of rollback that needs to be done just to get the country back to where it was before the Bush administration began. And the last thing Obama needs is someone "helping" his agenda who provided cover for the conservatives when it counted.

    You're only half right about the Roberts vote. Wyden voted for him. Obama voted against confirmation. I love the Washington Post's vote tallys; you can even sort the vote by astrological sign.

  • DanK (unverified)
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    Here are the requirements as I see them:

    female

    no major personal baggage

    the shorter the voting record the better

    be truly helpful in a swing state or two

    be a national figure the media won't be able to create a
    from-scratch negative image for (e.g. Dan Quayle)

    be able to raise money

    have incredible stamina

    be someone who can help unite/heal the party

    be someone who can run strong 8 yrs from now

    Nobody on your list fills these bills better than Hillary. She does have personal baggage, but it has been out there a long, long time, and the media are thankfully tired of rehashing it.

    I really hope Obama will see the manifold wisdom of Hillary on the ticket.

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    "And the last thing Obama needs is someone "helping" his agenda who provided cover for the conservatives when it counted."

    Why should that be, if he would legitimately help Obama's agenda now? I don't care about then so much, if he's legitimately interested in seeing a more aggressive Congressional pushback from Dems. Most Dems aren't even that vocal about it. And I think the comparison between Chafee and McCain is absurd. He was hands down the most liberal Republican in the Senate in the 108th and 109th sessions.

  • Matthew Sutton (unverified)
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    Well, after Saturday, I guess we can scratch Harold Ickes off the short list. LOL!

  • Elaine A (unverified)
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    Charles Grassley

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    Why should that be, if he would legitimately help Obama's agenda now?

    How, exactly would he do that? He's not respected by the Republicans in Congress because of the positions he did take that aligned him with the Democrats. He hasn't exactly been a big name. He's from Rhode Island, which has a total population less than that of the Portland metro area. He lost his last election. I don't have anything against him personally, but I just cannot see what leverage he would give Obama, unless you're talking about using him as a figurehead for "bipartisanship."

    He was hands down the most liberal Republican in the Senate in the 108th and 109th sessions.

    C'mon, you're a stats guy. Those ratings systems are crap; you have to look at individual votes and weight them accordingly. Look at where Joe Lieberman places on those things.

    And I think the comparison between Chafee and McCain is absurd.

    I don't. The veneer of bipartisanship was why Kerry was said to be considering McCain as a running mate in 2004.

    Not only could McCain help Kerry pick up crucial Electoral College votes in a pivotal Southwestern battleground state, but the former Vietnam prisoner of war would also be a staunch ally for what is expected to be a fierce battle with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. In addition, his selection would provide powerful thematic lines both for the fall campaign and the potential Kerry presidency. The union of a Democrat and a Republican "would make good on the president's promise to be a uniter, not a divider," said one Kerry aide, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity. Such a ticket could offer Americans the prospect of a reduction in the partisanship that has increasingly gripped Capitol Hill during the past decade, as well as a return to the national unity experienced in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
  • JGreen (unverified)
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    Hey Kari,

    Has the debate on Sen. Chafee earned him a spot on your Top 50 list?

    I think this is an interesting conversation however, one of my central arguments for Chafee is not being debated.

    I lock down bi-partisan position on the Iraq War. The war was a mistake and those that voted for it and to a lesser extent continue to promote it, DO NOT DESERVE TO GET PROMOTED TO THE TOP TWO JOBS.

    The question to McCain this election year is: "If a officer in the military, in the course of doing his job makes a bad decision and American lives are lost and the country is made less safe because of that decision, would or should that officer be considered for a promotion? As a U.S. Senator that voted for a war that has cost thousands of American lives and made our country less secure, should you be considered for a promotion to U.S. President?"

    Sen. Chafee would be a walking talking example of a Republican that got it right on the most important vote cast in the U.S. Senate in our time.

    I always mess it up when I do a link. Maybe someone could put up the clip of Chafee talking on Hardball about supporting Obama because of the Iraq War or him discussing his book and the Bush administration on NPR.

  • dg (unverified)
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    History lesson: with the exception of Walter Mondale in 1984, who picked Geraldine Ferraro (a member of Congress), it has been a long, long time since any Democratic presidential nominee has picked anyone other than a sitting US Senator as his vice-presidential running mate.

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    That's because Democrats haven't nominated a sitting US Senate for president in a long, long time.

    In facts, the only two sitting Senators to have ever been elected president are John Kennedy and Warren Harding.

  • reed (unverified)
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    1. Joe Manchin
    2. Mark Warner

    3. Brian Schweitzer

    4. Bill Richardson 1 and 2 first tier 3 and 4 2nd tier
  • reed (unverified)
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    i would love feedback on my picks. i agree with someones earlier comments about lincoln chafee in top 50 i think he will be considered on the short list along

  • reed (unverified)
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    also i dont think richardson is in the clss with 1. Joe Manchin 2. Mark Warner 3. Brian Schweitzer

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    Why work so hard to get a Democratic majority in the Senate only to put him in the VP slot:

    Chafee gladly accepted the fund-raising help of Laura Bush and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which helped him survive a tough challenge from a more conservative primary opponent last month. Still, Chafee is running a campaign that, like Whitehouse's, emphasizes his independence from Bush. Earlier this month, he campaigned in Rhode Island alongside the Republican Party's most famous maverick: Senator John McCain of Arizona, a frequent critic of the Bush administration.
  • PoliticalCritic (unverified)
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    General Anthony Zinni as Obama's VP.

    He opposed the Iraq war from the start, is considered an outsider to Washington, and has an enormous amount of military experience to trump anything McCain brings to the table.

  • jason whitworth (unverified)
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    How about any person randomly drawn from the phone book of Idaho? In other words, what difference does it make now that the Democrats have villified each other out of the race. Save the money you would send to Obama and send it to your favorite public interest group. We'll need them all to fight the McCain Administration.

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    How, exactly would he do that? He's not respected by the Republicans in Congress because of the positions he did take that aligned him with the Democrats. He hasn't exactly been a big name. He's from Rhode Island, which has a total population less than that of the Portland metro area. He lost his last election. I don't have anything against him personally, but I just cannot see what leverage he would give Obama, unless you're talking about using him as a figurehead for "bipartisanship." He was hands down the most liberal Republican in the Senate in the 108th and 109th sessions. C'mon, you're a stats guy. Those ratings systems are crap; you have to look at individual votes and weight them accordingly. Look at where Joe Lieberman places on those things. And I think the comparison between Chafee and McCain is absurd. I don't. The veneer of bipartisanship was why Kerry was said to be considering McCain as a running mate in 2004.

    On the first part--yes, of course, bipartisanship, with someone there actually might BE bipartisanship with.

    On the second part--yes I AM a stats guy, which is why I prize the Poole rankings. They are most definitely NOT crap; unlike the rest they use pretty much every roll call vote. Have you read the methodologies? That's the gold standard of rankings systems.

    On the third part--sure, the veneer was the same but the candidates are completely different. McCain wasn't ever a maverick, even before 2004. Having an anti-war, pro-Constitution former Republican on the ticket would be a smashing statement, and you'd have a darned competent VP to boot.

  • treegate (unverified)
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    A note to Oregon Democrats

    This is to urge you to acknowledge and act on what we must accomplish in November: an effective national government which can both inspire and produce quantifiable results.

    As a lifelong Demo, I believe we can achieve that with a combined ticket of Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama.

    Their skills and styles are complimentary: inspiration + knowhow. They each have enormous constituencies which can be rallied to a joint ticket.

    I don't care whether or not the candidates (or their managers) like each other. They are grown ups. They can handle it.

    Tell them, and I do mean tell them, to get their act together and have productive diplomatic talks pronto.

    Tell them to unify for all of us and get on with winning in November.

    Thank you.

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    looks like they've changed the answering machine message at HillarySpambot.com!

  • Kent (unverified)
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    PREDICTION FOR VP : Biden, Richardson or Daschle in that order. If Barack had his own way and choice, he'd pick Biden. They are alter-egos in everyway and real soul-mates at heart. Totally out of the question are: Hillary, Hagel, Brown and Sebellius. Fundamentally, Hillary and Barack just don't see eye to eye with each other personally and intellectually in my opinion despite the appearances of civility toward each other. Outside chance would be Wesley Clark but he makes enemies too quickly. As for Webb, he might be too much of a liability as a former Republican for those Democrats who are liberal purists at heart. Obama would want someone he feels at comfortable with and that's Biden; believe me!

  • Nathan Church (unverified)
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    Obama/Edwards

    John Edwards would be an excellent V.P. pick for Obama. Picking Edwards could give Obama some votes in the South. Bill Richardson would also be a solid pick. I’m not sure where the Tom Brokaw listing is coming from.

  • Benny (unverified)
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    Ist pick: JOHN EDWARDS for the conservative working people and South East US votes 2nd pick: BILL RICHARDSON for the Hispanic, diplomacy experience and Western US 3rd pick: CLAIRE MCCASKILL for the women's vote and MID US states 4th pick: MICHEAL BLOOMSBERG for business, urban Jewish vote

  • Ken (unverified)
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    OBAMA / HART wins the white house. Youth and older wisdom wins out. Plus it will help the democrats in western states......

  • oldlefty (unverified)
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    Russ Feingold should be on any list:

    Security foreign policy experience deficit hawk popular midwest senator brings south florida back into play embarrasses McCain with his base (McCain Feingold) is a double down candidate -progressive and bright can run in 4 years if Obama doesn't squeaky clean financially middle class roots

  • Vance (unverified)
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    Obama Biden 08 Biden removes the advantage McCain thinks he has at foriegn policy. Even the Bush team brought in Biden to discuss Iraq.

  • Nathaniel (unverified)
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    McCaskell-very pleasant and intelligent,Mom of 7, more moderate then Obamma without interfering with brand, great relationship with him already, appeal to older and women voters, swing state MO power, not a washington insider yet not afraid to speak her mind and has been braver then most in congress in speaking truth to power and asking the right questions. She has experience as both a two-time governor and as a senator. She seems to radiate goodness. She is very likeable.

    Feingold only senator not to surrender congressional war powers

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Vance,

    How does including a VP who was wrong on Iraq icrease the foreign policy IQ of the Obama ticket?

  • terry (unverified)
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    McCain must GAMBLE. So I look for "surprise" VP like Voinavich, Specter, or Rudy G. ...What stops this? (1)Hillary stops McSame/Rudy & makes Florida BLUE unless McSame makes Florida gov Crist VP. If McSame/Crist, OH & PA go BLUE: checkmate. If McSame/Voinvich, PA & FL go BLUE: checkmate. If McSame/Specter, OH & FL go BLUE: checkmate. (2)Sen Brown-OH. PA, OH, Mich, Missoury, Wis go BLUE no matter what. This FORCES McSame/Rudy and I can't see them carrying VERY BLUE NY: checkmate.

  • Vance (unverified)
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    Tom Biden received the same information as everyone else did, and had no reason to suspect that it had been completely falsified.

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