Veep: Patty Murray? John Kitzhaber?

Over at the Ridenbaugh Press, Randy Stapilus is thinking about whether someone from the Pacific Northwest could be a plausible running mate for Barack Obama.

First, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA):

Murray isn’t a lot better known [than Sen. Maria Cantwell], though she’s been in the Senate 16 years now and internally has risen to leadership. The TalkLeft [Open Left] argument for her is that she would be “both a balancing and reinforcing selection, she consistently ranks in the top third of the Democratic caucus in terms of progressive voting record. Further, the possibility of two anti-war, community organizers at the top of the Democratic ticket is very appealing.” Or too similar, with little background on the executive side or real immersion into major issues. There’s this too: She would be instantly compared, all over the place, to passed-over Hillary Clinton, and Murray’s more diffident style might not be up to it.

Seecond, Governor John Kitzhaber (D-OR):

The single most logical Northwest vice presidential pick, in either party, in our opinion? The third Oregon name on Chisholm’s list: Former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. He is one of the most instantly charismatic politicians the region has seen in the last generation. His electoral record is rock-solid. He has build a national network and ties, through serious policy work on health care. By way of background, he is a physician - not a bad matchup to Obama. He’d be catnip to the national media (his story as a small-town doctor would be irresistible, as would his preference to work his issue rather than scramble to Congress, as he could have). Especially if he campaigned nationally they way he did in Oregon, in jeans and boots and approach to match (a neat counterpart to Obama’s urbanity). He’d be both a credible and smooth national politician and down-to-earth guy.

Of course, our guess is that if he were asked, he’d turn it down . . .

Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    No Patty Murray, please. Year after year, she gets ranked as one of the "dimmest bulbs" in the U.S. Senate in the Washingtonian magazine's survey of Capitol Hill staffers (note: the survey requires a staffer, whether they be Democratic or Republican, to vote for both Democrats and Republicans in order for their votes to be counted).

    [Editor's note: People, please don't impersonate other real people. You wouldn't like it if someone did that to you.]

  • (Show?)

    Kitz would freakin' RULE as VP. But the only way I could see it happening is if Obama gave health care over to him, something he's already pretty much promised to Hillary.

    Not gonna happen, unfortunately.

    On the veep topic though--hey Darrel, I saw someone today put Jack Reed into the mix as someone with good military credentials. I know you were essentially trying to give me the business over my Chaffee admiration by suggesting Reed, but maybe you were onto something...

  • (Show?)

    The VP choice is not coming out of RI. Although, I think Reed would be a wonderful choice. It does not make sense to pick a NE senator. I saw a list that had John Kerry on it, that would be a horrible choice too. I have a strong belief the VP choice is coming out of the south. MacCaskill or Sibelius would be fine choices. Both strong women that can pull back the bitter Clinton supporters and help Obama carry the south.

  • (Show?)

    sebelius and mccaskill are both midwesterners, not southerners. ??

  • (Show?)

    Kitz would freakin' RULE as VP.

    I agree totally. He has a huge amount of upside: rural cred, wicked smart and good in debates, a proven record on health care policy reform. Downside is that no one outside of Oregon has heard of him and he doesn't have any foreign policy experience. No chance, but we can dream.

  • (Show?)

    Kitz would freakin' RULE as VP.

    I think his arrogance and dismissiveness of anyone who disagrees with him make him the antithesis of Obama.

    What a nightmare!

    Fortunately, I agree with those who say that he's not being seriously considered..........

  • (Show?)

    TJ- Missouri is tricky. McCaskill probably can't lay a blanket claim to being either a Southerner or a Midwesterner. I grew up in the Ozarks, in SW Missouri, and there is no way that isn't the South (geographically, demographically and politically).

    There are few Catholics in southern Missouri, but tons of evangelicals. There has never been an industrial economy. It couldn't be any more different than St Louis or KC. Reactionary, regressive politics is the norm. Furthermore, southern Missouri (which at the time was very agrarian and did not have German immigrants in number like StL did) was solid Confederate territory. And people eat grits.

    The distinction between "Missouri" and "Missourah" is a pretty real one.

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    Gov. Brian Sweitzer and Gov. Bill Richardson are the only westerners being considered from my read. Kitzhaber doesn't want to leave Oregon. And who can blame him! Patty Murray..? I think the margin in the senate is too important. And she hasn't been a shining light.

  • (Show?)

    That Mark Twain could write as he did reflects his growing up in Missouri. The state was one of four slavery-permitting states (if that distinction remained after Dred Scott) that stayed in the Union during the Civil War, but was home to post-Appomatox bitter-ender Confederate guerrillas, some of whom eventually became bandits.

  • (Show?)

    Patton, as far as the government's demographers are concerned, Missouri is the Midwest. Being a demographer myself, that was the definition I was thinking of.

    I can't disagree with cultural affiliation of parts of the state (like the Ozarks, as you say). But I think most general classifications put Missouri in with Kansas as Midwest. It's Arkansas that generally gets credit as the northernmost Southern state.

  • (Show?)

    I think Schweitzer is probably the best potential candidate for VP that is from anywhere close to Oregon. Kitz isn't a realistic possibility, and I don't think he would be that good of a choice anyways. My top picks at the moment would probably be, in no particular order:

    -Brian Schweitzer -Jack Reed -Kathleen Sebelius -Bill Richardson -John Edwards -Sherrod Brown

  • (Show?)

    uh, northermost west of the Mississippi, anyway. I'd offer a similar argument to yours that VA is "Mid Atlantic" rather than South, but again, I think the most common placement for the Old Dominion is in the South (and of course as the cradle of the Confederacy, there's significant historical cause).

  • Tony (unverified)
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    I want him to get Napolitano. She's from AZ, and could put it into play (she's more popular than McCain). She's got "border cred". She's a...well, a "she". And she is rated as one of the best governors in the country time and time again!!! I SAY OBAMA/NAPOLITANO '08!!!

  • (Show?)

    In 1999, at a public forum, I asked John Kitzhaber if he'd consider being Al Gore's running mate. His reply: "I didn't know Al wanted to be vice president again!"

    In 2006, I repeatedly tried to convince John to run for president - to shine a light on health care. He declined.

    Over that entire period, he said again and again: He doesn't want to live in Washington DC. He wants to be in Oregon.

    Personally, I think he'd make a FANTASTIC vice president. But it's just not going to happen.

    But we can dream, right?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Promoting Kitzhaber sounds like promoting Al Gore to run for president 1-2 years ago (he said over and over that he would not, but people kept badgering him, even claiming it was his duty). Why is there such a tendency not only to either idolize or demonize politicians, but also to treat them as some sort of tools for our manipulation, as somehow devoid of human feelings themselves?

    BTW what exactly did Kitahber accomplish as governor that would look good on his VP resume? Yes, I know he served while the GOP controlled the Legislature, so no need to remind me of that.

  • trishka (unverified)
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    i have a friend who lives in the research triangle area of NC and works in healthcare research who dreams of kitzhaber being named veep.

    so jeff, at least one person outside of oregon has heard of him. though i think just healthcare wonks need apply.

    i told her to not waste her imagination, that he doesn't want to live in washington DC for anything.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    Seems to me, Obama has OR and WA sewn up in the general election. The VP ought to be someone who can help Obama win states where he might otherwise lose. Sherrod Brown from Ohio would be a good choice, or Sam Nunn, or Kathleen Sebelius.

  • nochickenhawk (unverified)
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    Neither the "Grandma in Tennis Shoes" nor "Ewell Gibbons, Jr" brings anything to Obama's ticket. Obama has Oregon and Washington sewed up and needs to have someone on his ticket that either has military stature of delivers a so called red state. Back to the drawing board please!!

  • (Show?)

    TJ,

    Once again you ruin a thread with your inane irrelevancies. How about you talk about who I was commenting about instead of what the "south" may or not be. You constantly do this to people. Get off your high horse and actually add to the conversation instead of boosting your own ego by always being right about the wrong stuff.

    I guess the point I am trying to make, is don't look to a state that is considered "liberal." Is that better for you?

  • (Show?)

    Leinad, if you had simply tossed out the names, it may not have needed correcting. But the central point of your comment was to discuss the geo aspects of VP selection. How could those choices help in the South if they're not IN the South? It'd be like commenting on great American TV anchors, and them citing Peter Reynolds the Canadian.

    I've already commented on point elsewhere--I like both women, Sebelius better and more likely. But from what I hear, those choices would anger many women, not mollify them. It would appear too naked a pander, apparently. as for adding, did you know beforehand that MO was considered Midwest by government counters?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    John Kitzhaber would be an OK VP - if he would actually want to be in that office. He knows his focus of his energies to health care 24/7 would be much better for the issue that if his time was spread out while being a VP.

    How about Kitzhaber for Surgeon General?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Further, the possibility of two anti-war, community organizers at the top of the Democratic ticket is very appealing.

    How do we get TWO anti-war candidates on the top of the Democratic party ticket with Obama having switched to a pro-war stance at the American-Likud-Kadima Political Action Committee convention? So much for change, or as the French might say, "Plus ça change et plus la même chose."

    Reference: Uri Avnery and former Senator Abourezk.

  • (Show?)

    I realize this is an exercise in regional chest pounding, but get real. Neither of them add critical ingredients to a national ticket and even though I like both individuals I can not see either of them as President, which is supposed to be the first test in picking a VP. I also doubt that either would stand up to the national media harassment. At least in Kitzhaber's case I believe he is well aware of that and doesn't want anything to do with it.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    The canniest choice of VP in recent years: Dick Cheney. This definitely swung Wyoming for the GOP.

  • Larry McD (unverified)
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    Back to the original post.

    Great for stirring the already bubbling pot... not so great in terms debating issues with impact.

    I think that if Obama were interested in investing his political capital in a small town doctor with gubernatorial experience he might consider one who also has presidential campaign experience...

    Ooops. That's right. Doctor/Governor/Chairman Dean already has a job.

  • Larry McD (unverified)
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    Back to the original post.

    Great for stirring the already bubbling pot... not so great in terms debating issues with impact.

    I think that if Obama were interested in investing his political capital in a small town doctor with gubernatorial experience he might consider one who also has presidential campaign experience...

    Ooops. That's right. Doctor/Governor/Chairman Dean already has a job.

  • Bob Abercrombie (unverified)
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    I'm with Bill on this:

    How do we get TWO anti-war candidates on the top of the Democratic party ticket with Obama having switched to a pro-war stance at the American-Likud-Kadima Political Action Committee convention? So much for change, or as the French might say, "Plus ça change et plus la même chose."

    It's not that I'm surprised that the Democratic nominee would so thoroughly kiss the rings at AIPAC. I just hoped against hope that Obama's incessant rejection of "the old politics" in the primaries would include an actual rejection of the old politics. It hurts more when they hold themselves out to be something they aren't.

  • (Show?)

    It'd be like commenting on great American TV anchors, and them citing Peter Reynolds the Canadian.

    Who the hell is Peter Reynolds?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Who the hell is Peter Reynolds?

    Peter Jennings?

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    How about Joe Lieberman for Obama's Veep? That would be twofer. AIPAC would approve and donate loads of money to their campaign. At the same time it would pull the rug out from under McCain.

  • edison (unverified)
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    I dunno. It seems to me selecting anyone from the senate is not all that brilliant an idea unless that senate seat can remain democratic. That (usually) means someone from a state with a democratic gov who can appoint someone to fill the remainder of the selectee's term. Not sure exactly how many states have it that way. Some require a special election. My point is, why dilute the already thin numbers in the senate unless you have to.

  • David M. (unverified)
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    Read the veep piece at electoral-vote.com - it has a great review and makes a case for Missouri senator Claire Mc....

  • ORDemocrat (unverified)
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    If the VP is not Hillary Clinton, I'm done with the Democratic Party. First, the Dem delegates select a far-left, unqualified candidate as the nominee and then they may not put up the most qualified person (Hillary) as the VP. Just how many centrist Dems does the party intend to alienate?

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Sorry to see that your uptight and childish nature, ORDemocrat, is clouding your common sense and judgement. I wouldn't be alientated at all. In fact, even though I would like to see Richardson as the VP, I wouldn't care who is VP as long as Obama is in the White House as President.

  • (Show?)

    ORDemocrat, you are suffering from campaign dementia. It can happen to the best of us but it's important that you get your perspective back.

    You might want to take a vacation. Or maybe do a little homework exercise: list Hillary's qualifications for the job against someone like, oh say, Bill Richardson. I'll get you started.

    Hillary: Governor's wife, First Lady, corporate lawyer/board member, Senator, Presidential candidate.

    Bill R.: Congressman, Ambassador to the UN, Secretary of Energy, staff for Senate Foreign Relations Committee, staff for State Department, corporate board member, Governor of New Mexico, Presidential candidate

    I like Hillary and would have voted for her had she won the nomination but to say that she is the "most qualified" person available to be VP is ludicrous.

    You might also want to compare the Clinton and Obama policy positions a little more closely. They are both firmly moderate Democrats.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "Bill R.: Congressman, Ambassador to the UN, Secretary of Energy, staff for Senate Foreign Relations Committee, staff for State Department, corporate board member, Governor of New Mexico, Presidential candidate"

    Not to mention the only person the North Koreans will let into their country to have a nice 'chat' with them without them throwing an all-out childish fit over the visit.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    With Obama agreeing to let the Likudniks and the Kadima-ites continue to maintain the world's largest concentration camp in Gaza and to kick the Palestinians out of East Jerusalem and away from the Temple Mount I have a hunch real progressives might not care who Obama picks for VP because they just might be having second thoughts about voting for Obama for president.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Doretta:

    ORDemocrat, you are suffering from campaign dementia. It can happen to the best of us but it's important that you get your perspective back.

    You might want to take a vacation. Or maybe do a little homework exercise: list Hillary's qualifications for the job against someone like, oh say, Bill Richardson.

    Bob T:

    ORDemocrat is wrong about Hillary, but he's right about Obama. Just a few years ago he was a state legislator, and his only real talent is reading a telepromptor without appearing so. But at least he punctured the view that Hillary's election in 2008 was inevitable, that she just had to go through a routine primary season etc.

    Bob Tiernan

  • ORDemocrat (unverified)
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    doretta:

    I have plenty of perspective. Maybe you should open your eyes for change and not be so blinded by your Obamamania. The election of a Democrat to POTUS is a slam-dunk if Hillary is VP otherwise it is a close race and one that Obama may well lose. Wake up and open your eyes. You might actually see something. There's no comparison between Hillary's experience and Obama's. Hillary is much more experienced than him so if Hillary doesn't have the experience for VP, Obama is far from qualified to be POTUS.

  • (Show?)

    "It'd be like commenting on great American TV anchors, and them citing Peter Reynolds the Canadian.

    Who the hell is Peter Reynolds?"

    Ah, crap. Bodden got it, Jennings. Sorry.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Gee whiz, ORDemocrat...lay off the Clinton Kool-aid will ya? The primaries are over - so just live with it - OK? Just because she came in 2nd to Obama does not automatically 'entitle' her to be a VP. She can be considered for the position, but not entiltled to it.

  • bird (unverified)
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    We don't really want a senator that can help defeat the gop slime machine going to the VP job. Make it someone that isn't currently "employed" in congress. We need people that have the job to hold it, if they are not dogs.

  • Eugenian (unverified)
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    And people eat grits.

    Well, then: Case closed!

  • (Show?)

    ORDemocrat, you make my point for me. You, like John McCain, can't even keep track of your own positions. That makes it exceedingly difficult for you to comment coherently on anyone else's.

    I didn't say Hillary wasn't sufficiently experienced to be VP. Indeed, I said I would be willing to vote for her for President. You claimed she was the "most qualified" VP candidate. I offered a counterexample. Your only response was more unsupported claims, this time about electability.

    One of the things I like about Obama is that he's working hard to drag us away from "sound-bite world" where we have been mired politically at least since television became a major factor in electoral campaigns. Try going for a little more substance, you might find you like it too. HIllary herself reinforced that point in her speech on Saturday.

    Another thing I like about Obama is that I see the lessons he learned from being a community organizer shaping his approach to politics. We could do with more of that kind of experience in our politicians, IMO. It provides balance to the focus on politics as horse race that sometimes leads people to lose sight of the larger issues in the heat of the competition.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Bob T., remind me what Abraham Lincoln was doing a few years before becoming president. I think it had something to do with Springfield, Illinois.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Mr. Bodden, lots of folks are pretty disappointed in seeing candidates appearing before AIPAC, and the "twofer" crack about Lieberman is sort of amusing, but per Obama's fund-raising: it seems to be going just swimmingly without AIPAC.

  • (Show?)

    We can always count on Bob T. to repeat the most inane Republican talking points.

    Thanks to the happy marriage of commuting and MP3 players, I just finished listening to Barack Obama reading "Dreams From My Father" . He's clearly literate, insightful and a good enough reader to produce a decent commercial product. What talents do George Bush and John McCain have again?

    I need to go weed and water my tomatoes so I'll leave you with this quote on the subject of experience, John McCain, and the Bush cabal:

    It's the kind of experience that says patriotism is wearing an American flag pin on your lapel so you'll have both hands free to tear up the Constitution. --Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    ... but per Obama's fund-raising: it seems to be going just swimmingly without AIPAC.

    If Obama wasn't in it for the money and support was his speech at the AIPAC convention to demonstrate an ideological compatibility and an acknowledgment of the alleged power of the Israeli lobby?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    joel dan walls:

    Bob T., remind me what Abraham Lincoln was doing a few years before becoming president. I think it had something to do with Springfield, Illinois.

    Bob T:

    You mean being a corporate lawyer for railroads?

    Oh, I know what you mean. Lincoln was great, even though he did a lot of things that Bush can't do if he wanted to (shut down newspapers, etc). But that was a different time in that the national government (even the state governments) did a tiny fraction of what they do now. More experience is needed today. The same general intelligence has always been needed anyway.

    By the way, someone mentioned Patty Murray's voting record. Sorry, there's more to being president (and VP can be one rather suddenly) than having a voting record pleasing to one's political views. After all, many Repubs who more or less liked Dan Quayle's voting record knew that he was the lightest of lightweights. A zero. The worst choice for a major party running mate in my lifetime. Murray is also a lightweight.

    Obama is not ready for Prime Time (as George Will said).

    Man, I wish Gary Hart had decided to run.

    Bob Tiernan

  • (Show?)

    Obama is the farthest thing from a lightweight that we have seen for a long time in presidential politics in this country. That's another reason I like him.

    Inane talking points (not ready for Prime Time) only serve to underscore the difference.

  • Meryl (unverified)
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    John Kitzhaber? Oh barf. Can't we come up with anything better?

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