Points By Drew Pritt


Top Veep Picks for Obama (Analyzed)
June 16, 2008, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 

HILLARY CLINTON (N.Y.)

(Strengths) The fact that she is a former First Lady, a current U.S. Senator from a state with 32 Electoral Votes, wife of a popular former President, and the fact she was the runner-up to Barack Obama, garnered 18 million votes, and is imminently as popular as Obama not to mention she has experience and the poise and ability to communicate makes her top of the list.

(Weaknesses)  There is considerable animosity regardless of what Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) wants the press and public to think. The staff and supporters still have frustrating gulfs between themselves. Also, there is the matter of the debt that Clinton’s campaign incurred. Not to mention, if Obama is in danger of losing New York, he has bigger problems that Clinton cannot solve.

SAM NUNN (GA.)

(Strengths) Nunn served from 1972-1996 in the United States Senate from Georgia. During that time he was Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Also Nunn is imminently respected and does come from a possibly winnable Deep South State.

(Weaknesses) Nunn is currently 69 yrs. and it has been 18 yrs. since Nunn successfully won an election. Also, Nunn flirted more than once with an Independent Presidential bid, as late as last year. Not to mention while Nunn is respected in political circles, outside of Georgia he is not as well known anymore.

CLAIRE McCASKILL (MO.)

(Strengths) McCaskill is a strong and dilligent campaigner. In the primaries, McCaskill was an effective surrogate who helped to carry Missouri at a crucial moment for Obama. McCaskill is also independently wealthy and would look good standing astride Obama. She also is a quick study and learned to focus on rural issues and rural votes.

(Weaknesses) McCaskill ran a winning primary campaign for Governor but lost the General. Though McCaskill rebounded with a successful Senate bid two years later, she incurred the wrath of the progressive community by voting FOR continued authorization of the Iraq War after saying she would not.

WESLEY CLARK (AR.)

(Strengths)  Clark brings to the ticket immense experience, a military career that makes McCain’s pale in comparison, strength in the Jewish & GLBT Communities, experience as a Presidential candidate, and is an excellent communicator. Also, Clark brings into electoral play the state of Arkansas and other potential deep South states where there are large military populations. Like Obama, Clark has a strong grassroots following.

(Weaknesses) Clark’s worst weakness is he is not viewed as strongly by some of the insiders and the media. They see his campaign as having been weak neglecting to notice he began much later than the others. Still a loss is a loss. Also, Clark might actually be to the left of Obama on some issues.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (KS.)

(Strengths) Sebelius is a popular two term Governor who has succeeded in a state that is the homestate to many Republican luminaries….most of all Bob Dole. Sebelius is a strong consensus builder not to mention her father is a former Governor of Ohio, another battleground state.

(Weaknesses) Sebelius is not the strongest speaker, as shown by her State of the Union address, so there is question to could she hold her own in a high-profile debate. Also, her father was defeated after only one term and this was the 1970’s. Also, how realistic is it that Kansas would go Democrat? After all, Sam Brownback is one of the U.S. Senators from this state.

TIM KAINE (VA.)

(Strengths) This match is seeming more and more like the perfect fit for Obama. He has had a relatively positive career as Governor and prior to that as Lt. Governor and Mayor. He is in a Deep South state, is a former Missionary, and is married to the daughter of a popular former Republican Governor of Virginia. He is liberal and was early on a supporter for Obama.

(Weaknesses) Kaine is more liberal than Obama and will be suceptible to the tax & spend liberal tag. Also, Kaine is not the strongest public speaker and some of his moves to the center like on issues of choice and gun rights might appear disingenuous to supporters on both sides of those issues.

TOM DASCHLE (S.D.)

(Strengths) Daschle is a former Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate. Unlike his then-House counterpart, Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), Daschle was Majority Leader for a brief period. He is a strong advocate of alternative fuels and has helped steer super delegates to Obama. Daschle is experienced as well.

(Weaknesses) Daschle is loathed by both Republicans and Democrats. He was targetted successfully in 2004 when he was defeated. Also, he is not the strongest communicator.

BRAD HENRY (OK.)

(Strengths) Henry is the male version of Sebelius. Henry has won twice in a more of a swing state. Henry is a tax-cutting Governor, who signed into law parental notification laws limiting abortion. The offers for him appeal to Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike. Henry made national headlines by giving sanctuary from the redistricting warrant to Texas Democrats in that state’s legislature by allowing them to travel across state lines into Oklahoma en masse to deny a quorum for voting on a redistricting plan.

(Weaknesses) Henry claims he will not run for U.S. Senate in 2010, and passed up an excellent chance to run for the U.S. Senate in 2008, so he may not want to go to Washington, D.C. Also, his unfamiliarity with voters and lack of support for a woman’s right to choose could hurt him.

BILL RICHARDSON (N.M.)

(Strengths)  Richardson is the first Hispanic candidate for President to run a credible bid for a major party nomination. He is currently a Governor and a former U.S. Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, and Secretary of the Energy under President Bill Clinton. He has a great sense of humor. His endorsement of Obama, over Clinton, came at a critical point to keep the momentum in Obama’s favor.

(Weaknesses) Richardson, like his former mentor Clinton, has a reported zipper problem. He has incurred the public angst of many prominent female politicos including his own Lt. Governor. Also, during his Presidential race, it came out very publicly that he lied on his resume’. Also, Richardson for all his experience ended up being a less than stellar candidate.

JIM WEBB (VA.)

(Strengths) Webb is a current U.S. Senator from Virginia but is a former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. He is a prolific author and a decorated war veteran who opposes the current Iraq War. He is also a great debater and speaker.

(Weaknesses) Webb is a former Republican who has less time in the U.S. Senate under his belt than Obama. He also has a terrible and fiery temper that could make him appear bombastic.

JAMES JONES, JR. (MO.)

(Strengths) Jones is a retired 4-Star General and another former N.A.T.O. Commander, though he is a Marine, not Army like Clark. He is a decorated Vietnam Veteran. Since he is now retired, Jones has been critical of the number of troops currently in Afghanistan. He’s been appointed to independent posts by both the Democrats in Congress and the Republican-appointed State Department.

(Weaknesses) Generals as a rule do NOT like to be handled as candidates for office must. In addition, Jones, unlike Clark is largely unknown. Not to mention sometimes with a General you get a wonderful candidate like Clark or Eisenhower. However more often you end up with a General Curtis LeMay (OH) who make major gaffes on the stump.

AL GORE, Jr. (TN.)

(Strengths) Gore is a prolific writer, a noted enviromentalist, a Nobel Prize recipient, a former U.S. Congressman and a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, Presidential candidate in 1988 and Presidential nominee in 2000. Oh did we forget to mention he was Vice President of the United States from 1993-2001. Gore’s focus on enviromental issues makes him the author of the issue du jour of the moment. Also he is well liked in the labor, GLBT, Jewish, African-American, and the Hispanic communities. Many in the Democratic base feel like Gore was cheated out of the disputed 2000 Presidential election by the Supreme Court. He is also vastly experienced.

(Weaknesses) Gore has been there, done that, and is much better as a President than a Vice President. Also, after his son’s recent public arrest, I am sure that Gore cares deeply for his family and would not want to subject them once more to the taunts and attacks. Semi-retirement offers a reprieve the family needs. Not to mention the loss of Tennessee in 2000 stung. Still….especially if McCain taps Joe Lieberman as a running mate, it would be a tantalizing General Election to see Gore debate his former running mate!

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