Monthly Archives: June 2008

Obama’s VEEP?

Let’s be honest, this election is the Democratic party’s to lose, specifically Barack Obama. The amazing thing is, it is actually a distinct possibility. The Democrats aren’t very good at choosing “winnable” candidates, but that is a discussion for another day. The topic at hand is who are the Vice Presidential choices for Obama.

Before we get to names, let’s discuss what attribute Obama needs in a running mate. First, Obama needs someone with ridiculous experience. Lack of experience is Obama’s biggest weakness. Also, he needs a person who can keep Clinton’s voters in his camp, who is fairly moderate, and has military or defense credentials.

The other question we need to ask is who is the best veep to help Obama win vs. who is the best veep for the Obama presidency. This is extremely important, as we get into the top choices, here is why:

1. Hillary Clinton. If Obama chooses Hillary as his veep, he is a shoe in for victory in November. He keeps Clinton’s voters in his camp, thus eliminating a huge potential voting block for McCain.

However, in the same way that Hillary would be great for getting him elected, she would be the absolute worst for him personally while he is President. The last thing Obama wants is a Clinton (Hillary or Bill) breathing down his neck saying “well, this is how we did it in the ’90’s”. Obama needs to and must make a complete break from the Clinton’s and begin his own era in the Democratic party. If I am Obama, I take the risk of a loss; there is no way I choose Hillary.

2. Jim Webb, Virginia Senator. He is an extremely popular Senator from a swing state. A state the Dems have an excellent shot of winning and taking from the GOP. He also is a military man and worked in the Reagan administration. He is a moderate Democrat as well.

However, he, like Obama, has very little experience. This could be his death knell. Obama must have an experienced VEEP.

3. Joe Biden, Delaware Senator. He has a ridiculous amount of experience and would actually be a solid President. He also is among the most experience in terms of international affairs. Also, he is a white male (like Webb) and a typical US politician. Usually that is a bad thing, but considering Obama, it might help even out the ticket.

His big weakness however is that he is divisive (the GOP HATES him) and really excites no one.

4. Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania. He has enough experience and is a governor, thus he has executive experience. Additionally, Pennsylvania is a state that is being targeted by John McCain in November, choosing Rendell would likely keep PA in Dem hands. (Note, there is a rumor that Tom Ridge, the former PA Governor is at the top of the list for McCain’s veep; I think it would be a terrible choice).

5. Gen Wesley Clark. He is a solid Democrat and a former Military general. He could potentially bring in a significant chunk of GOP voters whom don’t like McCain, but are wary of Obama’s defense credentials.

Other possibilities:
– Evan Bayh
– Michael Bloomberg
– Chris Dodd
– Bill Richardson
– Kathleen Sebelius
– John Edwards

One of the positives for Obama as he searches for a Vice President is that his veep choice is less crucial than McCain’s. People are excited about Barack and don’t need as much of a reason to vote for him. On the other hand, I don’t know anyone who is excited about a McCain Presidency. McCain needs to make waves with his veep pick, or at least choose a person that will help voters to logically vote for him.

The stars seem aligned for Obama as of right now. But the GOP was smart and chose the only candidate that could win for their party (which is a sad reality for me to come to, as I have a man-crush on Romney). John McCain has a very real chance to beat Obama, so Obama should not be too comfortable about his chances.

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Filed under Election 2008, Politics

Top 5 McCain VEEP Options

The VEEP choice for John McCain will mean more for him than will Obama’s. John McCain needs to choose someone who can rally the base of the GOP, attract (or at least not scare off) Hillary voters who have been turned off by Obama, is strong where he is weak, can be President in the event McCain dies (his age is an issue), and can potentially help deliver “battle-ground” states.

His five best options are:

1. Mitt Romney. While Mitt does not accomplish all the criteria above, he covers more than any other. First, he has become popular with the GOP base, and while evangelicals don’t like him, it is unlikely, his presence results in a McCain loss in the South.

Mitt also is an economic genius, whereas McCain has readily admitted he is weak on economics. McCain could basically just make Mitt the economic Czar. Mitt also can deliver Michigan and New Hampshire (two states Bush lost in ‘04), as well as help the GOP hold onto Nevada and Colorado (due to the significant LDS population). Finally, he is the most qualified Republican for President not named John McCain (though I would personally argue that Mitt would be the best President from either party period, but I digress).

2. Sarah Palin. Who? You ask. Sarah Palin is the 44 year old knock-out, yet ridiculously competent, Governor of Alaska. Sure, Alaska is not a political powerhouse state and she has no more experience than Barack Obama, but her positives are off the chart.

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First, she is a solid conservative and extremely anti-corruption. She took on the extremely corrupt and entrenched GOP leadership in Alaska and won. She is an excellent communicator and does not hurt McCain at all.

The best reason for her though is that she would capture the attention of the American, if not the World’s, media and people. She will undoubtedly attract significant swath’s of the female voters that were backing Hillary, despite her conservatism. She can help off-set Obama’s image and help McCain be “younger”.

Her down side is her lack of experience, would she be able to step in as President should McCain not serve all the way through. Also, she is among the leaders of the GOP’s future, why potentially stall her in a failed Veep run?

3. Mike Huckabee. Ugh, I personally despise Huckabee and if he is the Veep choice there is no way I am voting for McCain. nevertheless, Huckabee would not be a bad choice for McCain. He would solidify the evangelical vote in the South which may be needed if Obama chooses a moderate Southern Democrat (like Jim Webb). The South is wary of McCain and Romney wouldn’t help there either. Additionally, he is polling the best of all potential Veep options and could help deliver Iowa to McCain.

He has strong negatives though as well. He is divisive in the GOP. His economic populism is despised by fiscal and economic conservatives and he would not help in the least in delivering moderates to McCain; much of the American public views him as almost a Christian radical.

4. Bobby Jindal. Bobby is the current Governor of Louisiana and, much like Palin, is very anti-corruption and has cleaned up notoriously corrupt Louisiana. He gets a lot press right now and is very popular in the GOP. He IS the future of the GOP and a bright future that is. His only negative is his lack of experience.

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He would excite the base as well and could bring in a good number of moderates and democrats. He is young and competent and would be a fine choice. Additionally, he is a minority (Indian descent) and could possibly offset that advantage for Obama (though minimally at best.

However McCain MUST NOT choose Jindal. Louisiana needs him now and for the next 4-8 years. The GOP needs him in the future. In 2012, look for a Jindal v. Palin race for the GOP nominee for the Presidency.

5. Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota. He is a great and popular governor and could deliver Minnesota for the GOP, a huge deal that would be. He also has been a staunch supporter of McCain’s, even through McCain’s collapse last year and McCain loves loyalty.

However, he does little to exite anybody and, while he has no real downside, he won’t help either. He would be a ho-hum pick. However, like Jindal and Palin, he has a potentially bright future in the GOP.

Others under consideration:

Mark Sanford, Georgia.
Meg Whitman, former CEO of Google
Charlie Crist, Florida
Fred Thompson
Condoleeza Rice
General Petraeus
Kay Baily Hutchison
Rudy Giuliani

All in all there are some great options for McCain. Palin may be the best overall choice, due to her lack of major negatives. But Mitt Romney is what McCain and the country needs. What are your thoughts?

Originally posted at swint.instablogs.com.

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The Dream is Over: Clinton Withdraws

Well, Hillary Clinton is reportedly withdrawing from the Democratic race for President, thus ending the most historic nominating season in at least the last 50 years, if not the nation’s history.  The saddest thing of all is that the Dem race will not continue on through the convention in August, and as a result, we will not be able to witness a truly meaningful convention.  Gone are the days when the convention meant something; when delegates would show up and have to be convinced of who to vote for and the nominee was chosen there.  While, I prefer the current process of allowing party voters to choose the nominee, it would be fantastic to see the race head all the way to convention and see real drama there.

So our dream is over.  We now have Barack Obama vs. John McCain.  I may just stay home on election day.  With Barack, I see socialist Europe becoming the norm in America.  A stagnant economy, massive taxes, and more government controls over our lives.  Barack is the most left wing of all the candidates and that will really hinder him in the general.

All that being said, there is still a strange draw about Obama.  Certainly, America needs a fresh, new face in the International Community.  John McCain is anything but new and fresh.  Also, it is healthy for the nation to switch between right and left leadership.  Nevertheless, the likelyhood I will be voting for Barack come November is slim to nil.  I am not a fan of Marxism.

However, things aren’t so kosher McCain either.  With McCain I see the same old.  More war and a worse economy.  For McCain, his choice of veep will mean far more than Barack’s.  McCain needs someone who can draw in a few moderates, help in swing states, and rally the base.  Sarah Palin is the best choice there and would provide McCain the best shot for victory.

A McCain/Palin or McCain/Romney ticket would secure my vote for McCain.  Other than that there are no guarantee’s. (Although I really like Jindal, but he needs to stay in Louisiana and rescue that state.)  McCain/Huckabee is the only ticket that guarantees that I will not vote for McCain and could push me over to Obama.

But what it really comes down to with McCain is that I just have this gut feeling that he would be a bad president and would not help the GOP at all.  I would almost rather suffer through 4 years of a Democrat, even as liberal Obama, than have the GOP further dragged down by McCain and digging the party’s burial site further.  If Obama wins in November in 2012, we Republicans will have a lot of great choices for President, namely: Romney (please oh please), Huckabee (ugh), Pawlenty, Sanford, Crist, and maybe even Petraeus (the only guy who could maybe pull me away from Romney, Jindal, and Palin.   The party would be smart to recognize what would be the long-term benefit for the party is, and I can’t say that is having McCain as President.  But I probably feel this way because I simply don’t like the guy.

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Filed under Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, John McCain, Liberal, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans