Potential Democratic Veep Picks - A Primer

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All indications are that Barack Obama will be announcing his Vice President pick in the next day or so. As a public service, below is my rundown of the candidates thought to be under consideration:

Hilary Rodham Clinton. Senator from New York, former First Lady, presumptive Democratic nominee until they started having contests. Pros – A close second in the Democratic contest, has a lot of supporters, could bring more women/working class voters to the ticket, is considered to have more government experience than Obama. Cons -- Very divisive, the one candidate to rally lackadaisical right wingers to vote against the ticket, ran an awful campaign, Bill Clinton brings a lot of baggage to the campaign and potentially to the White House. Odds of being picked: 20-1.

Evan Bayh. Senator from Indiana. Pros – Young, handsome, “up and coming? Democrat, could bring red state Indiana to the Obama fold, moderate who appeals to working class voters. Cons – unexciting and dull, little known outside of Senate or Indiana, voted for Iraq War, doesn’t bring enough “experience to the ticket. Odds: 7-1.

Tim Kaine. Governor from Virginia. Pros – Young, handsome, “up and coming? Democrat, could bring red state Virginia to the Obama fold, moderate who appeals to working class voters, proven vote getter who re-built Democratic Party in Virginia. Cons – little known outside of Senate or Virginia, doesn’t bring enough “experience to the ticket, too moderate for red meat liberals? Odds: 5-1.

Joe Biden. Long-time Senator from Delaware, former presidential candidate. Pros – Articulate, feisty, with lots of foreign policy experience. Appeals to working class voters, could easily fill attack-dog veep role, most easily counters Obama’s weaknesses. Cons – gaffe prone, doesn’t easily fit Obama’s change message, voted for Iraq war (reluctantly), Delaware not really a battleground or big state. Odds: 3-1

Kathleen Sebelieus. Former Republican now Democrat Governor of Kansas. Pros – Could bring more women supporter to Obama, fits with Obama’s change message, could appeal to independents and moderate republican. Cons – Probably doesn’t deliver Kansas and wouldn’t matter if she did, does her selection piss off Clinton supporters? Too moderate for liberals and lefties. Odds: 10-1

Bill Richardson. Governor of New Mexico, former presidential candidate. Pros – Could bring Hispanics to the ticket, puts SW states (NM, Nevada, Colorado) into Obama reach, fits with Obama’s change message, lots of government experience. Cons – Not the greatest campaigner, Too much change will America vote for two brown faces? Whispers of about adultery in the pass. Odds: 15-1.

Al Gore. Former Vice President, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Oscar Winner. Pros – Rock star qualities, appeals to many voters, including those guilty about their 2000 vote, brings lots of experience to the ticket. Cons – Second only to Hilary Clinton as the candidate to rally conservatives against Obama, does he overshadow Obama. Former considered “stiff? has he shaken that image. Odds: 50-1.

If Obama wants to pick between Bayh and Kaine, he should go with Kaine as there is more electoral upside with Kaine. My money is on Joe Biden. I thought he was a week presidential candidate but he makes for an intriguing vice presidential candidate. Biden would be generally well received (not so much on far left), and would be pretty good on the campaign trail, but not without a crazy day here or there. Don’t count out a “surprise? candidate not on the list. What’s your thought, who do you think Obama should/will pick?

4 Comments

Biden isn't from Delaware, he's from MBNA.

Biden is such a bulldog. I would miss watching him on C span. There seems to be 2 schools of thought on VP picks 1)Do no Harm or 2)Attack Dog. Pretty obvious what Biden would be. Hillary, Gore and now unfortunately Edwards are all poison. I think he should pick Biden or Richardson

Personally, I'd rather vote Gore for President, but it doesn't look like I'll get that opportunity, so I'll go with NOTA.

Let's hope Obama can come up with a more interesting choice than what the pundits have offered.

I'm hearing a lot about Tom Daschle as a veep candidate too. There's one of your dark horses.

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