Thursday, February 07, 2008

VP Choice's

The Republican side is easier. McCain is going to be the nominee so what impression does he want to give and what gives him any advantage?

Huckabee is being speculated about as McCain and Huckabee made deals on some caucuses, West Virginia in particular stands out, to deny Romney delegates. This would also shore him up among disaffected Southern conservative voters. I don't see it happening because it harms him among the pro-business conservatives and talk radio/media righties who supported Romney.

Romney would be a plus to the ticket for righty media, online and offline, but would be tossing the Evangelicals under the bus. This is entirely reasonable as the GOP always tosses the church crowd under the bus. What prevents this scenario is that all of the GOP candidates and staff ended up actively hating Romney. Romney also doesn't seem to bring anything to the ticket except the righty media and some businesses and did not perform that well in the primaries.

Lieberman would wow the So-Called-Liberal-Media and actually makes sense in terms of moving to the middle and running what some would describe as a bipartisan ticket. The trouble with this ticket is that the righty media would go ballistic and might urge "true conservatives" to stay home or pull the Democratic lever. The Democratic base hates Lieberman but has no say in this matter. Some conservative Democrats actually still like him. I would go with this scenario but with McCain representatives wooing conservatives desperately to hold their fire as this is the most winnable ticket and electing McCain is their only hope of moving the courts even further right. What this ticket does is give the Democratic netroots even more ammunition to go after Reid, Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Jay Rockefeller and the Democratic elders in Washington that allowed Lieberman to represent himself as an almost Democrat. I'm afraid I think this ticket has the highest chance of occurring and would give the Democrats the most trouble.

Wild card - Condi Rice. Conservatives like her, might pick off a bit from the women or black vote depending on what the Democratic choices are. Her problem is that it seems to be seeping into the So-Called-Liberal-Media what an incompetent she has been.

On the Democratic Side

If Hillary gets the nomination her choices are Obama, Richardson, or a moderate that might help in a state or region. Until this past week I would have her picking Richardson as a very accomplished Latino politician that would give her New Mexico, a toss-up state and help in the Southwest as well as having credible foreign policy and cabinet experience. (He now sports a beard and might have to shave it to be electable.) Now she may be forced to give the VP spot to Obama to keep his enthusiastic supporters working for her election.

Failing an agreement with Obama, her best choice is a moderate, experienced Democrat popular in his toss-up state who also helps a little beyond that. Besides Bill Richardson; Ted Strickland, Jim Webb, Mark Warner, Tom Vilsack, Evan Bayh, and Joe Biden are the most prominent choices. Richardson and Biden add some foreign policy depth. Webb and Warner help in border states. A cynical wild card play would be Harold Ford, Jr. but he lost his race in Tennessee. None of these picks except for Obama help with her problems with the Democratic activists in the party. She should pick Obama, who can help with volunteers and even funding, and party unity. Would she offer and would he accept?

Barack Obama has the obvious choice - Hillary Clinton. This mollifies her supporters and gets the centrist "experienced" candidate as back-up. Hillary Clinton can also be an attack dog against the other party, a traditional role for the VP candidate, while Obama plays the centrist unifier, although both are really centrists. An advantage to this is that their voting records and most positions they hold on important issues are nearly identical. The disadvantage, and advantage, is that with Hillary you get Bill Clinton and the two might still rally the Clinton haters to come out and vote. It is also hard to reach out to Republicans with their conspiracy figure of hate at your side. Still this is the ticket that would make most Democrats happy and may be the most electable.

If an agreement cannot be reached with the Clintons, the same list of VP candidates is available plus some prominent females like Janet Napolitano or the trio of California girls, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, if he wanted to make a gender statement and ignore the chance to possibly add another state in play.

The most probable VP pick for Obama is either Hillary Clinton or Janet Napolitano, who recently endorsed Obama, but with Obama mentioning several prominent Democrats or even Republicans for cabinet posts to shore up foreign policy and military experience before November. I don't think it is as necessary for Obama to pick Hillary as she to pick Obama but the reactions of some women hint otherwise.

John Edwards, much as I support him, did not do anything for Gore's electability last time. His level of support in the race this time I don't think would translate into many additional votes if he is added to the ticket. Only a Clinton/DLC Democrat ticket would cause liberals to stay home or vote Green.

Al Gore has better things to do being a media mogul and environmental hero.

There are no Republicans who might be added to the Democratic side to create a unity ticket. John McCain would have been the Republican and he was even reportedly considered by Kerry. Michael Bloomberg, media mogul and Independent mayor of New York, would probably chip in some $100 million if the Democrats add him to the ticket and might be considered a very wild card.

I think I covered all the possibilities. I think the most electable are McCain/Lieberman and Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton. I even think a slight edge as to the eventual winner might go to McCain/Lieberman. I previously wrote earlier that Democrats were shooting themselves in the foot making Clinton and Obama the final choices. I think Obama/Clinton is the better Democratic choice because of the enthusiasm and new voices being brought in but it still probably keeps the electoral map close to the same as the last two presidential elections despite all the advantages Democrats should have. Too bad, another close election in November and my saying that doesn't mean I don't like both Obama and Hillary. I just calls'em like I sees'em.

* Somehow forget Ohio governor Strickland.


Gary said...

Conservatives add Rep. Rob Portman (Ohio), who's "young and dynamic" and has held two Cabinet jobs and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to McCain's choices. Either could help win a large swing state. On the other hand, does McCain and the GOP want a closet gay on the ticket? Even RNC chair Mehlman eventually got outed and had to resign. I think that possibility rules out Crist but Portman has been generating buzz. His only disqualification is that, like McCain, he has a very short fuse.

Gary said...

OK, I had thought of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius for Obama but see I forget to mention her. Perhaps because of, in my opinion, her lackluster response to Bush's State of the Union speech.

She has the Strickland problem, a VP candidate that seems perfect but may not be charismatic enought to attract attention on the national stage.