Saturday, May 10, 2008

Who Should Be Barack Obama's Vice-President?

This is really the next question.

We all need to get up to speed on this. I am really curious as to how readers see the final Democratic ticket shaping up. Which one of tomorrow's leaders best complements Barack Obama's ticket as he takes on John (Bush III) McCain?

I have prepared an Instant Recount Vote (IRV) by which readers can register their choices. Under IRV balloting, you can vote for as many or as few candidates as you choose. Your preferences are indicated by the order of your selections.


Below, I have clipped some brief bios from Huffington Post or candidate web sites. At the end of this post you will find the link to the ballot.

Candidate List
Evan Bayh: Senator Bayh continues to break through the partisan gridlock of Washington to help more Hoosiers make a better life for themselves and their children. His commitment to making real progress instead of participating in political showdowns has set Bayh apart as a leader on a wide range of important issues facing the nation.

Joe Biden:
He is Mr. Foreign Policy. He also claims the best line of the primary season thus far. Too bad no one told Iowans he was running for President. He trumps any foreign policy claims that McCain brings to the table. He can hit McCain hard.

Mike Bloomberg: The current mayor of New York has been a darling of the media, as they spent months seeing if he would get into the Presidential race. Coupled with some private conversations with Obama that caused a tizzy in the fall, a Bloomberg candidacy could cause some media attention that would rival that of even John McCain. Excellent economic record. Interested in policy minutiae. Post-partisan (former Republican switched to Independent). Media darling.

Sherrod Brown: Brown is a favorite among progressives for his economic populism and outspoken criticism of the war. Could help deliver an important swing state.

Wesley Clark: Rhodes Scholar turned four-star general and once-presidential candidate. A star resource for Democrats on military affairs. John McCain would have to salute him. And he has Southern appeal.

Hillary Clinton: This ticket is either a dream or a nightmare. Some see it as the only way to reunite the Democrats in time for November. Other see it as the fastest way to destroy the Obama brand. Strong appeal with working class voters and women.

Tom Daschle: The former South Dakota senator, Daschle has been a strong supporter of Obama's campaign; he's a national co-chair and is rumored to play a big part in the campaign strategy. Can bring in votes from his home state.

Chris Dodd: Chris Dodd is a senior Democratic leader in the United States Senate. A respected legislator who works in a bipartisan fashion to better peoples’ lives, Chris Dodd is best known for his work to make America safer, stronger, and more prosperous.

John Edwards: John Edwards' bold ideas have shaped the debate in this election. Whether it’s creating universal health care or halting global warming, ending poverty or ending the war in Iraq and restoring America’s moral leadership around the world, John has led with the boldest and most comprehensive plans for overcoming the challenges we face today.

Chuck Hagel: A Republican senator who has fought with Bush tooth and nail over the Iraq war, Hagel is one of three Republicans who voted with the Democrats over a withdrawal plan. He also has served on the Banking, Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees. Hagel has also said he's considering endorsing Sen. Obama. Broad Senate experience. A living embodiment of Obama's commitment to work with like-minded Republicans. Also is a veteran with experience in Reagan's administration

Dennis Kucinich: Congressman Kucinich is Mr. Impeachment, who introduced H Res 333: Impeachment of Dick Cheney. Congressman Kucinich has been at the forefront of the anti-war movement in Congress. In the 108th Congress, he voted against both Supplemental Appropriations Bills that would continue to fund a failed policy in Iraq. The Congressman believes that supporting additional funds for the war in Iraq will only serve to keep our troops inside Iraq indefinitely.

Janet Napolitano: Another popular Western governor, Napolitano has settled into a second term in McCain's very red home state. She also backed Obama early in the race. She has proven her executive capacity in Republican territory, as well as the Southwest, which will help sway Obamicans. A female candidate could also help reunite the Democrats.

Bill Richardson: You know him, you love him; he's the New Mexico governor with a heart of gold, a kickin' mustache, and -- thanks to James Carville -- a new nickname. A foreign policy resume a mile long, executive experience, and a lock with Hispanic voters. And he picked Obama, despite his Clinton ties.

Brian Schwietzer: Schweitzer has been Montana's governor since 2005, and is currently one of the most popular governors in the country. In addition to his executive experience, Schweitzer has spent a good amount of time around the world (including the Middle East) in his former life as an irrigation developer. His popularity and his pro-gun stance could help Obama in the Mountain West area. He also refused PAC and special interest money during his 2004 campaign. He's also criticized the economic consequences of the Iraq War, an approach that Obama has recently adopted.

Kathleen Sebelius: This Kansas governor convinced a Republican to leave his party, become a Democrat, and run as her lieutenant governor. Kansas is rife with stories of Republicans undergoing conversions, and Sebelius gets a good amount of credit for this. Another Red-state governor with an excellent post-partisan record. Having a female VP could be a strong ticket.

Jim Webb: A former Republican, he served as Secretary of the Navy for Ronald Reagan. Webb defeated George "Macaca" Allen to become a junior senator in Virginia. Webb is a good foil for Obama's post-partisan message, and he's got the military credentials to match up with John McCain. He's good at playing the attack dog, which will let Obama take the high road. And he's from trending-blue Virginia, which would be a great pickup in November for Democrats. He's also pro-guns.

There you have it!

Shame on me if the eventual Vice Presidential candidate is not on this list. If readers have a write-in candidate, they should mention him in comment sections below and restrain from voting until I have a chance to consider adding your suggestions! Also, politicking is permitted in the comments. I certainly intend to do so!

Here is the link to the IRV ballot.

41 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Vigilante said...

I voted!

5/10/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

I voted. Thanks for the invite. Can't wait to see the final results when our lazy or hard working blogger friends get off their asses and vote, too.

Keep me posted.

BTW, I really hate it that you get all the little smart assed goodies and I get squat. Just because you unnerstans the intertubes bettern me.

5/10/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

I voted (I think!)

5/10/2008 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger an average patriot said...

Hi Utah!
Vigil I voted. I would love Edwards but don't see that happening. Short of that I must say I hate Hillary but I think giving her Veep would guarantee the Presidency for us. Otherwise I only see division and president McCain!

5/10/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger LittleBilly said...

Great idea! I voted.

5/10/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Sailor said...

I voted, thanks for the invite.

p.s. Evan Bayh is a duplicitous schemer who would do or say anything to be elected.

5/10/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Thanks, Dawg, for your assistance on this poll!

5/10/2008 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/10/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

I voted, my top pick was Jim Webb then Wesley Clark under him. Obama does, at least in my opinion needs someone with a national security background. I agree with the Sailor on Evan Bayh, the man is far too white bread with no national security background and correct me if I'm wrong reminds me far too much of Dan Quayle for some reason.

5/10/2008 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

great post...and great blog ( I would love to add you to my blogroll at Watergate Summer)...

Hmmmm, there are so many good people on here, WEbb, Edwards...and Sherrod Brown....
I am tornnnnnnn.....

Wonderful......to be able to think ahead....and get ready to face McSame...

5/10/2008 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Young Sentinel said...

Richardson all the way.

www.youngsentinel.com

5/10/2008 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger G Man said...

Great idea. Clinton will never be the V.P. nor would it be a good idea.

5/10/2008 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger G Man said...

Great idea. Clinton will never be the V.P. nor would she be a good choice.

5/10/2008 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger the WIZARD, fkap said...

That was fun..............

Good choices. It wil be interesting to see just how Barack Obama arrives at his decision.

Likewise, it will be interesting to see who John McCain choses.

BTW, calling McCain Bush III misses entirely what is happening within the Republican Party or with the American electorate.

We will have a Democrat LANDSLIDE this fall with Dems holding a bulletproof 60 member plurality in the Senate, yet McCain may well win.

We are about to witness one of the most interesting elections in history.....

5/10/2008 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Petrosexual said...

Hope you counted my votes for clinton, Hagel and Bloomberg!

5/11/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

So when are you going to unveil the results?

5/11/2008 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Coleen Rowley said...

It was so hard to choose between the great line-up of potential VP's! That's why ranking them (IRV) made the most sense. I favor the ones whose foreign policy and military background would complement Barack's (lack thereof). That’s only due to the pressing issue of ending the military conflicts that Bush has gotten us mired in.

5/11/2008 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Everybody, to find the evolving results, you go to Round 1 and use your slider down the right hand side of your screen and you can see how the votes are recounted until the 11th round (currently) when a single candidate is declared the winner (56.4% - 43.6%)! I think IRV is slick!

5/11/2008 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

Richardson, followed by Jim Webb, Kucinich, Wesley Clark, and Joe Biden. However, they're all #1's for me. Looks like Richardson's got the winning spot.

I've had a soft spot for Biden ever since I saw him graciously tear Clarence Thomas a new one at the Hill-Thomas hearings.

Looks like I selected a winning candidate for a change =)

5/12/2008 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Stella, I suspect this poll has been 'freeped' by a gang of Richardsonians. It is not unexpected.

Before the onslaught, Sebelius was favored. She is an attractive possibility because of gender.

However, I'm having second thoughts about New Mexico's governor. I have always thought of him as one of the world's worst, least charismatic campaigners and speakers. But he does (sort of) bring some foriegn policy experience to the table. He definitely co-ops the Clintonian pretense of 'owning' the Hispanic vote. And he is definitely long on loyality and can say, 'yes sir' to the head of the ticket until the cows come home. There are more negatives, but I won't take more time here to list them. There's more talent to be found in the Senate, but I don't want to deplete Progressive strength there! I guess that's the best argument.

5/12/2008 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

What do people think of IRV ballots?

5/12/2008 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Big Yellow Forehead said...

Thanks, Vig. I voted. Maybe Biden can bounce back from the statement he made about Obama being clean. If Kucinich becomes VPOTUS, he can sit on Obama's shoulder, and Obama can dress like a pirate.

5/13/2008 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Good imagery, BYF. Except Kucinich is no parrot.

5/13/2008 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

As you can see, my friend, I'd support several candidates. Although I had to rank them, all are pretty much equal. The IRV ballot was a great opportunity for me to think about who I would want for VP. (Please, not Lieberman.)

I voted for Clark in '04. He has so many qualifications in so many different areas, I think the Dems need him to win the Gray House. He's tough enough to help clean up the mess bush made in the last eight years.


Project Vote Smart does a great job of detailing the candidates' positions. Check out Clinton, Obama, and McCain. Project Vote Smart shows a decent record for Richardson, too.

I like browsing voting records so I can figure out the my candidates and, in this case, the type of VP one of the candidates might choose.

5/13/2008 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Coleen Rowley said...

It's too bad we can't have some type of IRV system used to select Supreme Court Justices instead of the current (circus) system.

5/13/2008 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Coleen, I don't think the SCOTUS should be popularly elected. I think that would produce a court that could be even more unqualified than some GWB nominees. Yes, even less qualified than Harriet Miers!

5/14/2008 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

Clinton People are proffering Obama a 2nd place on the ticket. Senator Obama responded yesterday in Mississippi:

"With all due respect: I have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton; I have won more of the popular vote than Senator Clinton; I have more delegates than Senator Clinton. So I don't know how someone in 2nd place is offering the vice presidency to the person in first place. And I don't understand. If I'm not ready how come you think I'd be such a great VP?"

Fact is, Obama is ready on day one.

5/14/2008 06:19:00 AM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

Y-Dog, on Instant Recount Voting ballots: It's too bad that electronic voting machines have been corrupted so much. I'm a great fan of IRV. But I'm a great fan of the use of paper in elections. If electronic IRV balloting machines could be designed with reliable paper trails, I think it would be worth a significant added expense to use them in all elections.

Look how much it would contribute to shortening and resolving our presidential primaries! A national primary could be held in June. Everyone could take a break and go on vacation during the summer and come back at politics after labor day.

5/14/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/14/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

I have to agree with the average patriot here. Hillary, despite her issues, strengthens the ticket. The fact remains she is one hell of a campaigner with a strong core constituency that Obama needs if he wants to be triumphant in November.

I like Richardson, but a worse campaigner I have rarely seen. Biden is a smart guy who has been around a long time. That is the problem. Kucinich has some great ideas but he also has some serious quirks.

I disagree that Obama "needs" someone with a strong military background. He will be appointing advisers to help him with national and international security issues. He needs someone who can help him win the election. The expertise in areas of weakness comes later. He needs to win first.

5/14/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

honestly, nw I can't remember who I voted for. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, and Jim Webb was my first choice. When do we get to see the results of this ballot taking.

And please, please don't let it be Hillary, who does not strengthen the ticket. She would knife him in the back first chance she got.

5/15/2008 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

Hillary doesn't have to be on the ticket to be a great campaigner for Obama. She has pledged to campaign for his if he wins the nomination. She has said it repeatedly. But I think she'd hurt him on the ticket and in the office and then what the hell d you do with Bill? Bill's Hill's albatross.

5/15/2008 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Utah & Mike: I'm coming around to this way of thinking (every other day) about the Clintons: you can't live with them and you can't live without them! And, I agree with Utah: The Big Dog is the deal-breaker. With Hillary on the ticket, Obama could never turn his back on Bill.

5/15/2008 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

I agree that Obama would have to keep his eye on the "Big Dog." but then again, he needs to keep his eye on all of the players in Washington. They are all pretty much "Big Dogs", and will cut a throat without hesitation. I suspect Obama, although relatively new to the Washington scene, has his own blade sharpened should the need arise.

As to the VP they have absolutely no power except that delegated by the president. Once again, and I hate to say it, but Hillary would help him get elected, which is the crucial issue. Everything else gets set aside.

5/15/2008 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

No, No, No! John Edwards is the one. He and Obama have the chemistry. They have each other's back. They can both speak. They are beautiful together!

BHO + JRE !!!

5/15/2008 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Urban Pink said...

Yee gawds. I'm so over so many of the candidates, and I voted cluelessly for Bayh, then the pro-gun Western guy, then Clark. So my first "real time" impression of IRV is that my last candidate comes in first, which doesn't thrill me but strikes me as a possibly mediocre election mechanism (I had previously favored it without any question)! I like the idea of Obama steering clear of the Democratic field we have come to know, and finding a Vet or Foreign Policy guy that is the real deal. Jim Webb has made some very disappointing votes.

5/15/2008 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger MadMike said...

Edwards would be a wonderful choice Emily but I hear he is not in the least bit interested. Too bad.

5/16/2008 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After much deep thought this is what seems to be best, in no paricular order - 1)Obama/Dodd (say it fast and it sounds like amadim...whatever his name is!) 2)Obama/Biden (Think of the jokes that could come with those two names) 3) Obama/Richardson or, pull a rabbit out of your hat 4)Obama/Gore! Dodd seems like the most solid choice, in terms of well roundness, I think we should ponder on Dodd more and see if he his the kinda hidden best choice! 2)Can't figure out anything wrong with Biden either 3)Richardson, the most instant new voters, but would he alienate? 4)Gore-You may be like wth, but isn't Gore considered a GIANT in comparasion to everyone else, just picute it, would it work, what would happen, is he compatable? These are the 4 choices that make most sense to me over Edwards, Webb, etc. What do you think when comparing/considering these four?

5/16/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger ArtfulDodger said...

I haven't voted yet because I wanted to mention Thom Harkins. Wouldn't he be a decent VP?

My own favorite would be Russ Feingold, but I don't think he would help bring it votes because of his liberalism since the Republicans are going to make Obama's supposed liberalism (liberal for 2007, I guess) as the main argument to oppose him.

6/07/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Interesting idea, Art! Harkin would be a Harry Truman type, maybe. But how old will Thom be in eight years?

6/08/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Comments on this thread are redirected to a more recent thread pertaining to Barack Obama's wide range of choices of running mates.

6/08/2008 05:07:00 PM  

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