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.