This piece, admittedly by a right-winger, claims Barack Obama is toying with the media and clearly intends to choose Hillary Rodham Clinton as his VP.
I don’t think so. She’s obviously his best choice from one standpoint — her electoral prowess — and the worst from many others. After all, she declared John McCain was a more plausible president than Obama. That and many other quotes denigrating Obama’s experience will already be used against him, but coming from the mouth of his VP candidate? Deadly. What many of us suspect about Obama, that he’s not quite ready for the job of president, she has said explicitly. So has her husband.
But I cite the post mainly because it illustrates how much of a pickle Obama is in with respect to choosing his VP nominee. Nobody helps him. Everybody hurts him. He’d be better off running alone. To quote from the blogger, Patrick Ruffini:
Just look at the other names on the short list:
- Joe Biden‘s mouth is a constant source of embarassment. And how would the PUMAs take to a failed second-tier candidate leapfrogging someone with 18 million votes?
- Evan Bayh has been vetoed by the netroots
- Kathleen Sebelius would be a clear and direct affront to the PUMAs, much more so even than Biden. The first woman VP/President — and one you’ve never heard of — would increase the sense of Clintonian alienation.
- Tim Kaine. Hahahahahahahahahaha
- Wesley Clark would provide the military experience Obama needs, but his comments about McCain’s service are a problem.
- Chris Dodd is a crook.
What if he didn’t pick anyone? If he’s elected and then dies in office, the Speaker of the House, presumably Nancy Pelosi, would be perfectly acceptable to Democrats. Even the PUMAs (which used to mean Party Unity My Ass, and now means People United Means Action) would probably grant Pelosi is acceptable.
Is there a constitutional problem with leaving the VP slot vacant? Undoubtedly. So what if Obama picked a literal nonentity. Say, the winner of a lottery, or perhaps a special political edition of Jeopardy! The winner would have to swear that in the event of Obama’s demise, he or she would immediately resign, stepping aside for the Speaker.
Of course, Obama could short-circuit all this and just nominate Pelosi for the vice-presidency. Her political style is more suited to a VP campaign. She’s a shin-kicking ear-biter, and she’s obviously totally unimpressed by the McCain mystique.
But since what I’m proposing is probably too absurd, my guess is Obama will pick Joe Biden. He’s much more than a “failed second-tier candidate.” He’s a sherpa for an inexperienced president. He’s instantly credible in all the ways Obama is not yet. Evan Bayh has the next-best chance, but Obama would have to stand up to a lot of criticism from the left netroots, where he’s described with language such as “fucking worthless to the progressive cause.” Not a lot of wiggle room there. After watching Gov. Kaine on Charlie Rose a few weeks ago, I was nonplussed as to how he ever got on the short list. If he’s a rising star, it’s going to be a slow rise. It would almost be unfair to subject him to national attention at this point in his career.
The blood is thinning in the political ranks of both parties. The VP sweepstakes illustrate that perfectly.