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Ear to the Ground

Obama Shopping for His VP?

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Posted on May 22, 2008
Obama buttons
AP photo

Button bonanza: Rows of Obama campaign pins are lined up for sale outside the B’nai Torah Congregation temple in Boca Raton, Fla., before Sen. Barack Obama’s appearance there Thursday.

Although this report characterizes Sen. Barack Obama’s search for a vice presidential running mate as “top-secret,” it can’t be all that hush-hush if it’s out on the news wires. That said, who might he be eyeing?

AP via

Obama has asked former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to begin vetting potential vice presidential picks, Democratic officials said Thursday. Johnson did the same job for Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984.

Obama refused to acknowledge Johnson’s role when The Associated Press asked the Illinois senator about it in the Captiol Thursday.

“I haven’t hired him. He’s not on retainer. I’m not paying him any money. He is a friend of mine. I know him,” Obama said. “I am not commenting on vice presidential matters because I have not won this nomination.”

The Democratic officials spoke on a condition of anonymity about a process that the campaign wants to keep quiet.

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psmealey's avatar

By psmealey, May 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

It had come up a few times during his primary campaign in 2000 that he had little combat experience (though his Wikipedia entry clearly states otherwise, that he was shot four times in Vietnam), and was largely seen by his subordinate general officers that he was a bureaucrat, a Pentagon politician.  I think that one could make similar claims Powell, but those never surfaced, presumable because he never ran for President.

I’m not really too knowledgeable about such that level of Army culture (Pentagon officers vs. officers in the field), but I’m sure we’ll hear a bunch more about that if he is offered the VP slot or a cabinet level position.

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By ShotoJamf, May 23, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What about Wesley Clark?  Let the right-wingers try to attack the military street cred of the ticket with him in the #2 slot.  If we’re smart, we must assume that “no military experience” is going to be one of the primary attacks.  Any takers on that idea?  If so, why?  If not, why?

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By Aegrus, May 23, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Bill has 0 Charisma, and is seen as a traitor to the Clinton people. I can’t see him being on the short list.

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By Ryan F, May 23, 2008 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tom Daschle for VP
Joe Biden for Sec of State.

Boom. Do it.

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By Aegrus, May 23, 2008 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Hell, ps, her die-hard constituents are so unhappy about the gender bias in the race, they would probably see it as an insult if she was given the VP slot.

It’s annoying, but it’s a fleeting emotional outrage which will be replaced by a stronger Democratic Party in the Fall. I believe it whole-heartedly.

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By KYJurisDoctor, May 23, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Listen Obama: NO BILLARY Clinton for VP.

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By psmealey, May 23, 2008 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

I think it’s worth consideration, but not before the hard core Hillary-or-Die base is properly assessed in terms of size sized.  At this point, none of us know if it’s just a very vocal minority (as we’ve seen), or a cohesive and growing movement.

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By Aegrus, May 23, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

You think he should consider Hillary Clinton? Given the fanaticism surrounding her campaign, I’m sure she could convince a huge amount of people that she is all those things in one package.

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By babsinbham, May 23, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why no Bill Richardson?  He’s got the foreign policy experience, executive experience and he’ll be of help to the Latino population.

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By Aegrus, May 23, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

My only thought is Webb, and I get annoyed when anyone suggests Chuck Hagel or Mike Bloomberg would be good on a ticket. Hagel has voted with George Bush 90% of the time while expressing only moderate discontent. Bloomberg is just too powerful of a figure.

Webb is a hardass, who wins in conservatives areas, is anti-war and pro-veteran. This GI Bill has also added to his publicity, which will familiarize him a lot with the electorate so that we don’t have a, albeit good, VP like Claire McCaskill or Kathy Sibelius who are virtually unknown.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, May 23, 2008 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

I think Obama has to consider a made-in-America Prius driving, centrist female Jew from either OH or PA with strong economic and foreign policy background and owning a winter home in FLA, and he’ll be a shoe-in.

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By psmealey, May 23, 2008 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY)
Gov. Janet Napolitano (AZ)
Gov. Kathleen Sibelius (MO)
Gov. Tim Kaine (VA)
Ex-Sen. Sam Nunn (GA)
Sen. Chris Dodd (CT)
Sen. Joe Biden (DE)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO)
Sen. Jim Webb (VA)

Dark horses:
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Mayor. Mike Bloomberg (R-NYC)
Ex-Sen. Tom Daschle (SD)
Ex-Sen. John Edwards (NC)
Rep. Evan Bayh (IN)

I’d be happy with almost any of them, though I think Nunn might be a bit too old.  He’s been out of politics for decades.  My personal favorites are Sibelius and Webb, for entirely different reasons.

Other thoughts?

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