Latest on the Dem VP Race: Not Going to be Bayh, Daschle or Clark

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biden twn.jpg
I won’t post sources on this, so any folks are welcome to consider this my fanciful speculation.
But sources close to Obama report to me that after the “surge of concern” on the net about Evan Bayh, he has not been selected as Obama’s VP running mate.
I have been informed that the decision has been made, and I don’t know who that person is.
I also have been told that Tom Daschle is not the running mate. I also happen to know that it is not Wesley Clark.
I just received word that it is not Senator Jack Reed either, though Obama thought very highly of him.
In my estimation, that leaves Joseph Biden, Chuck Hagel, and Sibelius. I don’t think that Tim Kaine would be the nominee given the elevation of Mark Warner as the keynote speaker at the Dem convention.
As much as I would love Hagel to be the nominee, I don’t think that will happen. . .and while I could be wrong here, I have heard next to nothing about Sibelius.
That leaves Joe Biden. Could Warner be a head fake — and it’s Tim Kaine after all? Not sure. . .circumstantial evidence points to Biden.
Of all places where Biden is now, he’s in Georgia — the one in the tangle with Russia.
One well placed political expert just told me on the phone that we may all be wrong and that Obama could come out with something completely unexpected — a Hillary Clinton or even (and this shocked me) Al Gore or John Kerry. I don’t have any info on such surprising possibilities as these.
We may know Monday or Tuesday.
I won’t defend or go into my sources. Discount this as you like.
– Steve Clemons

Comments

93 comments on “Latest on the Dem VP Race: Not Going to be Bayh, Daschle or Clark

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  4. pauline says:

    Barry O will need HRC to unite the dem party and dem/independent voters — period. Not my personal favorite, but HRC is probably the only one who can deliver the victory, and Bubba will probably be subdued to a few calculated campaign appearances to guarantee a dem WH takeover.
    I think we all know what will happen to the investigation of fbi fumbling of the anthrax case if McCrankster steals the election.
    But. . .if so, what will Barry O and the first woman to wear a vice-presidential pants suit do with such investigation? Hmm?
    For those interested, here’s Glenn Greenwald interviewing Sen. Grassley about his demanding letter and his anthrax case thoughts.
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
    Interesting that Mr. Clemons has totally ignored commenting on this compelling story — and I mean totally ignored it!

    Reply

  5. Kathleen says:

    Speaking of trends, this from one trendsetter on the left…
    Loserville: Obama Is Channeling Kerry and Gore
    By Dave Lindorff
    Well, it’s happened, and it’s no surprise.
    Barack Obama, the prospective Democratic presidential candidate, has managed to turn a 5-8 point lead over prospective Republican opponent John McCain into a 7-point deficit—a double-digit slide—in just two and a half months following a campaign that had voters really excited over his candidacy.
    How did he manage this feat (which is documented in the latest latest Reuters/Zogby poll)? Simple: he followed the tried-and-true strategy of Democratic centrist advisers who have increasingly dominated his campaign since the end of the primaries, and who have a proven track record of producing Democratic electoral disasters now for several decades.
    Like John Kerry and Al Gore before him, Obama, who ran his primary campaign as a liberal, staking out an anti-war position, has morphed over recent weeks into a Republican-lite candidate, calling for a hard line against Palestinian rights, threatening to attack Iran, calling for an expansion of the disastrous war in Afghanistan, and backing away from genuine health care reform and other important progressive goals here at home.
    One might think that after watching Democratic candidates lose the last two presidential elections by following exactly this kind of “strategy,” if it can be called that, Obama and his campaign managers would have decided to try something different, but it appears that the Democratic Party at the top is hopelessly in the grip of corporate interests that favor war, free-market nostrums and corporate welfare. (Okay, I know Gore really won the 2000 election, but he should have won it so convincingly—for example taking New Hampshire and his home state of Tennessee—that the election couldn’t have been stolen. And Kerry, similarly, should not have had his race determined by a close vote in economically distressed Ohio, which should have been his by a blowout.)
    Obama got where he is—the first African-American major party nominee and the first black candidate with a real shot at winning the White House—by appealing to the Democratic Party’s liberal base. Now Zogby reports that Obama’s support among liberals has plunged 12 percent. That’s liberals folks!
    I count myself among those on the left who have turned away from this fast-talking eel of a candidate.
    It’s not a matter of turning to McCain, who is if anything more dangerous than President Bush because of his fondness for war and his evident lack of any kind of principles, not to mention his personal greed.
    But how can I or any progressive vote for a presidential candidate who goes from opposing a war to saying he not only supports the idea of keeping troops in Iraq for another five years—the length of the entire WWII!—but who further says he won’t rule out attacking Iran, even if that country poses no imminent threat to the US, simply because it develops nuclear weapons—the same weapons that our putative friends, Pakistan and India, have? How can I vote for a candidate who wants to expand the military (by 65,000 troops) instead of shrinking this huge, bloodsucking parasite of an organization which is costing as much as the rest of the world spends on its armies?
    How can I or any progressive vote for a presidential candidate who cannot state categorically that he will defend the Constitution by reversing all of President Bush’s abuses of power and who will not promise to prosecute the president and members of his administration for any crimes committed while in office?
    If you look at Obama’s vaunted website, and check out his positions on the big issues of healthcare, education, the economy, labor, social security, etc., you can see he’s pretty good on most things (okay, his health care “reform” is a loser and will never fly. He should be calling for a nationally-run insurance system modeled on Medicare and paid for by the government). The problem is that there has been a deliberate effort to soft-pedal all of it, while backpedaling on his position on the Iraq War. It’s almost as if he and his campaign think the “smart” progressives will go to his website and be satisfied with his online positions, while the “dumb” unaffiliated voters will not go there and will just base their votes on his gauzy image TV ads. (More importantly, if he can go from anti-war to pro-war, what’s to say he won’t backpedal in office on the rest of his positions, especially if he won’t highlight and defend them vigorously on the campaign trail?)
    There has clearly been a decision made in the Obama campaign to soft-pedal liberal positions and to make Obama appear “safe” and uncontroversial.
    The result has been his precipitous slide in the polls.
    That’s not the worst of it, either. Obama is not just losing liberals in droves. Many liberals, after all, will in the end return and vote for grudgingly for Obama, though they probably won’t volunteer to do any of the critical campaign work registering voters, promoting his candidacy or getting people to the polls. The worst part is that by becoming just another middle-of-the-road, namby-pamby, Republican-lite clone of Kerry circa 2004 and Gore circa 2000, Obama is losing the young and also the disaffected, unaffiliated voters who were flocking to his campaign during the primaries. This group of erstwhile enthusiasts is down 12 percent, too. And it’s those people—particularly the unaffiliated voters–who are raising McCain’s numbers. The Zogby poll reports that McCain’s support among younger voters has reached 40 percent—not that much below Obama’s 52 percent.
    There is probably still time to turn this electoral debacle in the making around. Obama needs to come out unambiguously for a quick end to the war in Iraq. He needs to do an about face on his call for an expansion of the war in Afghanistan. He needs to flatly rule out preemptive war as a policy for the United States of America, unless the country is in danger of imminent attack. He needs to scotch plans for expanding the military, and instead to start talking about how to reduce military spending, so that those funds can be shifted to domestic priorities like improving education and dramatically increasing research into carbon-free energy production. He needs to call for a national healthcare system that will provide quality, affordable medical care for all, and he needs to call for an aggressive campaign to combat joblessness and to reduce income disparity within the US.
    Do that, and we will see an Obama presidency and a Democratic sweep of both houses of Congress.
    Continue with the present losing strategy, and we will see John McCain as president, and the continuation of a weak, compromised, sell-out Democratic Congress for at least the next four years.
    Now as sympathetic as I am to the politics espoused by Ralph Nader and by the Green Party, I’m well aware of the futility of Third Party campaigns. Even so, count me as one progressive who at this point has stopped supporting Obama.
    _________________
    DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

    Reply

  6. Kathleen says:

    Josh, i thought your point on iciness was the need for the two cnadidates to be “buddies”.
    I meant make a chart of his polling numbers from the day he announced to today and see what happens after July 9th…CNN is reproting that an average of all major polls shows Obama with a 1% lead over McPain today
    Also, I disagree with your premise about the press and distractions…you’re all caught up in the spin and the pundariat hairsplitting and misssing the fundamental motivations… when you have Ralph Nader AND Pat Buchcanan saying Hillary would be Obama’s best choice, I think you can see the breadth of her support…and her value to the ticket. I sure can.

    Reply

  7. Josh R. says:

    “Josh…I don’t see iciness when I see them together… for a while they were sniping at each other, but that stopped…and it’s been nothing but mutual praise…while he was on vacation, she was stumping for him, not the others supposedly on the short list…and since when does the nominee help one of the losers pay off their campaign debt?”
    But again, that’s not the argument. The argument is that it will be “imagined” or analyzed into existence; that the press will spend countless hours talking about it until becomes an endless distraction.
    “if you track Obama’s poll numbers from the day he announced to today and mark that date he voted on FISA, you will readilly see the turning point in his numbers and the real reason he is slipping in the polls….Hillary voted the right way for the Left. That’s my take on it.”
    Okay, I’ll do that. His vote was on July 9th.
    To make this credible, I’ll compare a set of polling operations for July 9th, July 24th (or so) and today. I’ll use the closest available ones and only look at the dual-candidate polls (no third parties).
    Gallup:
    7/7-9/08 McCain – 43; Obama – 46; Other – 1; Undecided – 10;
    7/22-24/08 McCain – 41; Obama – 47; Other – 1; Undecided- 11
    8/9-11/08 McCacin – 42; Obama – 47; Other- 1 Undecided – 10
    8/15-17/08 McCain-43; Obama – 46; Other-1; Undecided – 10
    So, Gallup has Obama and McCain basically unchanged after a month. One point changed, but that could just be static.
    Let’s try – Rasmussen
    7/2-7/08 McCain- 43; Obama- 49
    7/20-22/08 McCain- 45; Obama- 47
    8/16-18/08 McCain- 45; Obama- 47
    Rasmussen has a two point shift, but that has been steady for a month. This matches the overall picture that the graph I posted from pollster shows; that the race has tightened just a bit (not surprisingly considering how much work and money McCain has put into trying to tear down Obama) but he still leads. And, of course, there is the addd analytical challenge of trying any shift in the polls to his FISA vote itself. Has he lost ground due to that…or the celebrity adds…or to being on the TV too much…or because the polls are more/less meaningless and random? Looking at the polls is a good first step, should there be an actual trend to observe, but it requires the second step of tying it to the working observations of th actual citizens polled.
    As the next commentator points out, though, the real work is done by the electoral college – as Al Gore found out. As I said, Pollster shows about a twenty vote switch, give or take, with Obama still enjoying a healthy lead. Five-Thirty Eight still has Obama winning, but as mentioned not as soundly as last month.
    I don’t deny the general trend. But, I do argue that the negativism I see on the part of the left (something one can sadly look forward to every four years as teeth are gnashed and garments rended) is a bit overblown. For one thing, there is still two months and change to go; the current trend [that of McCain cutting into Obma's advantage but likely still not winning] can just as likely reverse or plateau. Considering that we haven’t yet even heard either candidates acceptance speech or vice-presidential candidate I think it’s a bit premature to start the tear works up. As I said above, you can expect a bump (albeit likely a modest one this year) after each convention. After that, you’ll very likely, once more, to see Obama in the lead – as he is now. Will it be greater than today? Will it be the same? Any answer [ANY] is a guess, more or less educated. I happen to think it’ll be slightly larger than today’s, but not as large as one would hope for in an ideal world. Another factor: a lot of people aren’t paying that much attention as of yet. Another: McCain’s bump could be a result of his solidifying his base through rampant negativism; if so, he may have poisoned the waters for moderate Republicans and Independents, thereby winning a battle but losing the war (just what you’d expect from a poor strategician.) Those factos of course could turn out just the opposite, but surely caution in prediction is required at so early a stage, no?
    But of course, such calls for caution in analysis probably won’t go far; there are some on the left who tremble at every sign of trouble; there are others who out of spite who wish for his defeat (true progressives these!). Both candidates have their advantages and their disadvantages; calling the game now is silly.

    Reply

  8. chisholm says:

    Josh–
    I only follow electoral vote tallies, not national polls.
    All the EV sites that I go to — mydd.com, pollster.com, electoral-
    vote.com, fivethirtyeight.com — show enormous drops in BO’s EV
    tally from a month ago. It’s as clear an example of “free-fall” as one
    could imagine.
    You’re clearly defensive as well as in denial.

    Reply

  9. Kathleen says:

    Josh…I don’t see iciness when I see them together… for a while they were sniping at each other, but that stopped…and it’s been nothing but mutual praise…while he was on vacation, she was stumping for him, not the others supposedly on the short list…and since when does the nominee help one of the losers pay off their campaign debt? If Hillary had withdrawn from the race, half the party would have thought she was forced out and that Obama was picked by the superdelegates. He actually needed her to stay in the race, to validate his own nomination, so they made a deal…that’ my bet. I think they look great together and seem to energize each other…Hubby Billl is another story, but he’s no dummy either and will be sufficiently concerned about his legacy to not want to screw that up…besides he’ll probably be named to some position like Ambassador to the UN.
    On name recognition, Bush 1 could pick a nonentity like Quayle because he had name recognition himself, having been Veep for 8 years…same with Junior, Bush 2. He was a President;s son so he had name recognition tooo. O’Bambino is an unknown, so he does need a Veep with more name recognition….and Hillary is the one with that.
    if you track Obama’s poll numbers from the day he announced to today and mark that date he voted on FISA, you will readilly see the turning point in his numbers and the real reason he is slipping in the polls….Hillary voted the right way for the Left. That’s my take on it.

    Reply

  10. WigWag says:

    Sorry, Josh. Chisholm is right. If you want evidence, head on over to Real Clear Politics.
    What you will find is this:
    1)Reuters/Zogby shows McCain +5
    2)LA Times/Bloomberg shows Obama up 2 (a ten point decline since mid July)
    3)Battleground Poll shows McCain +1
    4)Electoral Vote with Toss-Ups included shows Obama +50
    5)Electoral Vote with Toss-Ups excluded shows McCain +10
    6)Critical States: Ohio McCain +5 according to Rasmussen; Florida shows McCain +2 according to Rasmussen; Pennsylvania shows Obama +5 according to Susquehana. Whomever wins 2 of these 3 states almost certainly gets elected.
    Obama should be doing much better than this and his polling has declined precipitously since July. He is literally limping towards what promises to be a divided convention. If he picks Clinton he has a shot to unite the party; if he doesn’t, Democrats will come out of their convention as divided as they went it.
    Feel free to try to spin this into good news. But if I really wanted Obama to win, I would be getting an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. It looks more and more likely that he just might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
    By the way, the Republican attack ads will be starting in earnest after Labor Day. The NY Times reports this morning that Obama is starting attack ads in battle ground states immediately.
    Ask yourself this, who has attack ads down to a fine art? Would that be the Democrats or would that be the Republicans?

    Reply

  11. Josh R. says:

    “My facts are straight. Obama’s numbers are in free-fall. Take a
    gander at his electoral college numbers as compared to a month
    ago. Get your facts straight before you post anything. Anywhere.
    Ever.”
    I suppose you’ll have to define free fall, right?
    Bracketing that definitional problem, here is the front page for Pollster.com, which shows a nice map of each candidates electoral picture right now:
    http://www.pollster.com/
    Fact: Obama still enjoys a comfortable lead. If I remember correctly, about twenty electoral votes now appear in the toss-up category that were in the Obama category – but that is hardly a free fall, considering that polls shift to a small degree day to day. By the end of the convention they’ll probably be back to where they were; then go down by ten or so after the GOP convention, and then move their way back up as the post-convention campaign progresses. That’s how these things work.
    Okay, let’s suppose you don’t like that piece of evidence; How about this link showing the scattershot of their polls:
    http://www.pollster.com/08USPresGEMvO600.png
    Why, it STILL shows Obama in the lead and with a steady one to boot.
    So, I’ve shown two sources for my evidence. Where are yours? Unless of course you’re just pulling it out of the air, reading doom into every tea leave so that you can get on your high horse and trumpet your savior, Senator Clinton. [I remember when they used to call some Obama supporters members of a cult of personality; jokes on them!]

    Reply

  12. Chisholm says:

    Josh –
    My facts are straight. Obama’s numbers are in free-fall. Take a
    gander at his electoral college numbers as compared to a month
    ago. Get your facts straight before you post anything. Anywhere.
    Ever.

    Reply

  13. Good Guy says:

    Lori
    I agree with most of your comments regarding Wesley Clark and suggest you carefully read what you wrote.
    Josh’s and other bloggers in favor of Hillary make sense. The only person in the way of Hillary would be Mrs Obama.
    As far as Retired General Clark goes I feel he’d be an outstanding Secretary of Defense.
    I feel that Joe Biden would be an excellent Secretary of State.
    And Even Bayh would be the perfect choice for Veep. He’s the only one I feel could help win over the Hillary vote.

    Reply

  14. Josh R. says:

    “Posted by Kathleen Aug 19, 12:20PM – Link
    Josh…I agree that Hillary for Veep would bring back the excitement…she certainly has greater name recognition than Sebelius…she says she wants to be the Veep because first, she would be the first woman Veep and second, the Veep is usually the next nominee…if she ran as an incumbent, the odds are that she wouldn’t be challenged for the nomination… besides, she’s a Junior Senator, with no seniority, not a powerful Senator and not in line for any significant chairmanships for quite a while.”
    I think you missed my point: the excitement that a Hillary nomination will bring is not the type we should want for the Democratic nominee. While it may have some positive impact along the margins, it would also bring a press horde that will be in constant analysis mode (god save us from that!) trying to find any sign whatsoever concerning iciness between the two or rivalry or them not working together, on and on and on. The quores about Sen. McCain being ready but not Senator Obama that Senator Clinton made will be brought up from minute one of their announcement. [Another, partially related issue, is whether Senator Clinton’s presence would hurt in the Mountain state, a proposition that is potentially true but tangential to my argument here.) This is, of course, not fair to the Senator, but it is the case nonetheless.
    You are right that she is a junior senator. But she is a unique type of junior senator — one that has a very successful, if not most successful, Presidential campaign, which in turn amplifies her celebrity to the point that she is likely the face of the Democratic Senate at this point (or if not THE face, then one of the faces with Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and pehraps one or two others). This symbolic power should not be discounted. Moreover, if I remember correct, Senator Clinton pegged her campaign upon a claim that she was very experienced, a fighter, and able to get things donw in Washington — if that claim is correct, I think that is a powerful counter to the junior senator argument.
    I do think she would do more good in the Senate, at least on the issue of health care, than in the position of Vice President.

    Reply

  15. Kathleen says:

    I like Joe Biden… I really do, but how old will he be in 8 years? The Veep has to be someone who can run as an incumbent in 8 years.

    Reply

  16. Kathleen says:

    Josh…I agree that Hillary for Veep would bring back the excitement…she certainly has greater name recognition than Sebelius…she says she wants to be the Veep because first, she would be the first woman Veep and second, the Veep is usually the next nominee…if she ran as an incumbent, the odds are that she wouldn’t be challenged for the nomination… besides, she’s a Junior Senator, with no seniority, not a powerful Senator and not in line for any significant chairmanships for quite a while.

    Reply

  17. Lori Mueller says:

    Nobody, and I mean nobody, has the qualifications that Wesley
    Clark does. Here are a few:
    Attack dog
    Can pull in Clinton supporters (like me for example)
    Southern appeal
    Southwestern appeal (Won OK in 2004 campaign)
    bipartisan appeal
    diplomatic experience (Dayton Peace Accords)
    Military experience
    executive leadership experience (NATO Supreme Allied
    Commander)
    Won a war where not 1 soldier died in combat
    Rhodes Scholar
    Educational experience (taught economics at the college level)
    Economic/financial expertise (In OMB, and taught econ. in
    college)
    Happily married over 40 years to the same woman
    Humble background
    Anti-war 4-star general
    His heroism
    His political experience (Yeah, that’s right)
    His work supporting Dems in the 2006 election
    His pro-choice stance
    etc.
    Possible negative: WAY TOO HANDSOME!

    Reply

  18. Josh R. says:

    “Josh
    Regardless of what you state, Obama is NOT and has NOT won the nomination. That is a fact. If Hillary did bow out, she or someone else could be drafted or nominated. The delegates have a proven track record of changing their minds and NOT following the will of the voters in their respective states. There will not be any caucuses left for Obama and such formats are weak in structure. If you followed them you must have watched voters changing their minds over and over and many did NOT freely vote for their chosen candidate. They were prodded by pushy door to door salesmanship tactics which quickly dissolved their will to freely cast a vote. You may be too young to remember the photograph of President Truman holding up a newspaper with the headline stating “DEWEY WINS”.
    Question: Are you the final word on the nomination of the entire Democratic Party? Or are you another wizard of oz? With no disrespect intended to you, I think your comments are highly subjective.”
    Face it: he’s the nominee. Even the Clinton’s support him. What happens next (what is it, Friday?) when it becomes official? are you going to take your ball and go home?

    Reply

  19. Dulcy Simmons says:

    I would think Obama would move more quickly to announce his
    nominee for VP. By waiting this long, he leaves himself open to
    continuing criticism re how poorly he did against McCain last
    weekend, and, more to the point, is beginning to look indecisive.
    Off subject: will someone please begin a critique of the obscene
    amounts of money poured into these campaigns? This is money
    that will not go into feeding the poor – or middle class – housing
    anyone, helping with health care.

    Reply

  20. Alex says:

    Reply to dsk – actually Lloyd Benson did it in 1988, because of Texas law (established during LBJ’s 1960 run for VP). It isn’t a precedent thing, it is a state law thing. CT has the same law, but I don’t think it is universal in all 50 states. Just curious about whether it is in Delaware and thought Steve might have already asked the question himself.

    Reply

  21. Good Guy says:

    Josh
    Regardless of what you state, Obama is NOT and has NOT won the nomination. That is a fact. If Hillary did bow out, she or someone else could be drafted or nominated. The delegates have a proven track record of changing their minds and NOT following the will of the voters in their respective states. There will not be any caucuses left for Obama and such formats are weak in structure. If you followed them you must have watched voters changing their minds over and over and many did NOT freely vote for their chosen candidate. They were prodded by pushy door to door salesmanship tactics which quickly dissolved their will to freely cast a vote. You may be too young to remember the photograph of President Truman holding up a newspaper with the headline stating “DEWEY WINS”.
    Question: Are you the final word on the nomination of the entire Democratic Party? Or are you another wizard of oz? With no disrespect intended to you, I think your comments are highly subjective.

    Reply

  22. Josh R. says:

    “With Clinton out of the mix, Obama now stands alone — and he
    is in total free-fall against one of the most comprised
    presidential nominees in a very, very long time. ”
    Um–no he’s not. He’s continually led McCain. Please get your facts correct or show your sources.
    “Since name recognition is 3/4 of the game, why pick an obscure Governor just to win one state???? As for Jack Reed… wow a whole two electoral votes from R.I. Get real…”
    Is this even true though? What type of name recognition did Dick Cheney have in 2000? Or Joe Lieberman for that matter? Or Jack Kemp in 1996? Or Dan Quayle in 1988? It goes on of course. Most politicians, sadly, don’t hvae very good name reconignition, period. Hillary Clinton, if chosen, would probably have the best name recognition of any VP candidate in recent history.
    “Wake up! Hillary won the race and that’s a fact. So, who cares who Obama picks. The actual nominee, whomever he or she may be will make the choice. ”
    And yet Obama is going to be the formally elected the nominees next week and Hillary has conceded. I mean: if she won, why did she bow out? Some super of super secret double reverse to trick us?
    “I think Sen. Clinton would make a fine VP candidate for all the reasons that chisholm mentioned earlier. The excitement that the Democratic primary generated, and all the media attention it attracted, would basically suck all of the air out of Sen. McCain’s campaign and essentially suffocate it. ”
    You’re kinda right. The primary generated so much heat because it was a competitive race and because the press was able to play up the competition of it. If Obama picks Clinton the excitement will be back…because the press will start talking about the competition between Obama and Clinton…not Obama and McCain. Choosing her for VP would be like choosing to run with a two-month swift-boat media campaign. And not even necessarily because Clinton or her people would cause trouble; it’s just what the press would drum up. Every single comment, ever single comma and pause, would be continously mined for conflict – it would turn into a diversion of momentous size.
    Not to mention, it seems odd that Clinton supporters would rather her become a powerless figurehead for four to eight years rather than one of the most powerful Senators in the Senate. but, of course, when you’re dealing with a cult of personality, that’s the stuff you get.

    Reply

  23. Dems to Win says:

    Obama / Gore ’08
    Obama needs Gore. Gore has the gravitas plus the future-focus that fits in with Obama’s message.
    Al Gore is a patriot. It’s a chance for Gore to put the world on the right energy path — it’s an opportunity/challenge he will accept.

    Reply

  24. Hollywood Seer says:

    You’re all missing the OBVIOUS. This VP, like Cheney, is going to
    have a much expanded role. Cheney moved the bar.
    These guys have to be a true TEAM, operating like a well-oiled
    machine. Buddies. Partners.
    So, who’s the obvious pick?
    Robert Culp (I Spy)? Nope, Culp’s like 78 and the white guy was
    the lead on that one.
    Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon)? Nope again. Chicks would dig him
    (he knows what women want), but the drunken anti-Semitic
    episode is waaaaaay too much baggage. He’s out. Plus, again
    the white guy was the lead in those flicks. Doesn’t work here.
    Tony Curtis (The Defiant Ones)? Some good heroic stuff. Military
    service during WWII. But he’s 83! Plus, a pot bust back in 1970.
    5 marriages. I don’t see it.
    Gene Wilder (Blazing Saddles)? The black guy’s the lead,
    together they beat up the bad guys and save the town. How can
    you beat that? But, he’s 75, and he’s mostly been in flops since
    the 1970′s. Not happening.
    So, I say the smart money is on . . . (drum roll) . . .
    Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black). Yeah, baby! He was Al Gore’s
    ROOMMATE at Harvard, for heavens sake, and presented the
    nominating speech for Al at the 2000 nominating convention. All
    kinds of great tough-guy chops. Ahmadinejad? Bin Laden?
    Everybody knows Tommy Lee would kick those guys’ butts!
    Some people say he can be two-faced, but I’m not worrying.
    Gotta be Tommy Lee! Yeah!

    Reply

  25. Good Guy says:

    The race was a photo finish. Obama has NOT been nominated as the Democratic candidate. So, if you’re all so smart and intuitive, why not become fortune tellers. You all sound like a bunch of wizards from Oz. None of you could pick a winner in a one horse race.
    Wake up! Hillary won the race and that’s a fact. So, who cares who Obama picks. The actual nominee, whomever he or she may be will make the choice.
    Also, I think ALL delegates should be eliminated entirely from the process, only the popular vote should count and only paper ballots should be used and a copy should be given to each verified voter.

    Reply

  26. PacificGatePost says:

    THE HILLARY POWERHOUSE
    There is an undeniable force that shouldn’t be discounted and
    should be appreciated.
    Hillary Clinton knows her game, and her experience is paying off.
    http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/08/obamas-
    negotiating-weak-or-inept.html

    Reply

  27. Caroline says:

    Hi All,
    I am writing to ask if any of you would be willing to participate in a study that I am conducting as part of my PhD research. I am interested in examining the ways in which blog users participate in political discourse.
    You can contribute to this study by participating in an email interview. The interview questions will ask you about how you argue with, persuade, challenge, or support each other politically; the ways in which you analyze, critique, or support candidates and their campaigns; the features/options you desire from political blogs; and the role that technologies such as blogs and websites play in civic processes, specifically a presidential election.
    If you are interested in participating, please email me at dadasce@muohio.edu
    Thanks,
    Caroline

    Reply

  28. chisholm says:

    Bryan–
    I voted for Obama here in CA during the primaries, and I think he’d
    make a great president. I think HRC would make a strong VP
    choice. I think Obama is being a prissy about fighting with McCain.
    None of these concepts are mutually exclusive.
    You understand that, right? I mean, you do get that, right? That I
    can support Obama and still criticize him for being prissy?
    So since you do get that, what are you talking about?

    Reply

  29. Raging Red says:

    Obviously, the blockquote tag doesn’t work here. That first paragraph was a quote from “dolores.”

    Reply

  30. Raging Red says:

    I, and many of Hillary’s supporters, are beyond the age of having to Choose, so Choice does not have as high a priority as it used to in making our political decisions. Roe v. Wade can go down as far as I’m concerned; the young ladies in some States will only have to make another choice on which State to visit where they can exercise their rights to their own bodies.
    Wow, you’re vile.

    Reply

  31. mk says:

    “Discount this as you like.”
    Done!

    Reply

  32. Anna says:

    Obama should tuck Clinton away on Scotus. It seems to me the only way to avoid this never-ending, mind-numbing, positively embarrassing “catharsis” from lasting throughout Obama’s time in office. He should pick Clark as VP, but it doesn’t seem he will do that smart thing. I hope Obama will at least give Clark an important cabinet post so the General can serve the country again in its time of great need. As long as it’s not Clinton and it’s not Bayh as VP, I would only regret it’s not Clark, but respect Obama’s choice in the matter. Obama will pick whoever he is most comfortable with and meets his own needs; that’s something everyone has to accept.

    Reply

  33. Bryan says:

    chrisholm-
    Feel free to push the Clinton VP angle as hard as you want, but don’t try to slip in the “I am an Obama supporter” to make it seem as if you’re unbiased in the same post as you you write “If Obama is too prissy”.
    Kinda makes people tune out everything else you say as b.s., too.

    Reply

  34. chikin says:

    I think Sen. Clinton would make a fine VP candidate for all the reasons that chisholm mentioned earlier. The excitement that the Democratic primary generated, and all the media attention it attracted, would basically suck all of the air out of Sen. McCain’s campaign and essentially suffocate it. Let’s be realistic here–the only reason his ridiculous ‘Obama’s a rock star’ commercials are getting any sort of attention is that Obama’s campaign seems to be stagnating to the point of boredom, giving media very little red meat to work with. Now bring Sen. Clinton into the mix and you’ve got an instant story, superstars on the campaign trail and a re-energization of his campaign. I wouldn’t worry about a loss of support. The Obamaites got the nomination they wanted and I doubt they’d make a lot of noise about Clinton as VP. Clinton’s supporters get the first woman VP and a legitimate presidential shot in 2016, both of which I would not discount as motivation to her supporters to come out and vote, even if they do so with plugged noses.
    I do think that if he picks her, this race is essentially over and the Republicans might really need to start thinking about finding a way to get Sen. McCain off their ticket (health problems perhaps). I have no doubt in my mind that they would go to those lengths if faced with a Democratic ticket that could easily win by an EV landslide in November.

    Reply

  35. ... says:

    Chet Edwards getting short shrift by the usual suspects among the insiderish of the insiderish?

    Reply

  36. Kathleen says:

    Peach56…you’ve got someone younger in mind?
    Meanwhile, back in Podunckville, a peach a day will make Dopey and Darth go ‘way….

    Reply

  37. BSR says:

    From The Economist, back in May — still rings true to me:
    “Then there is the downside of the dream ticket. Mr Obama’s best selling-point is that he represents “change” and “hope”–a chance to break with the old politics of partisan division and personal destruction and to bring a new spirit of reconciliation to Washington, DC. The Clintons are not only living reminders of the noxious politics of the 1990s. Exit polls in Indiana and North Carolina showed that almost half of voters in the Democratic primary did not regard Mrs Clinton as trustworthy. They also bring a menagerie of old-timers in their wake, from high-paid lobbyists such as Mark Penn, to perennial bloviators like Paul Begala and James Carville.
    “HOW NOT TO DO IT
    The dream ticket would also be a formula for a dysfunctional administration. It is hard to imagine Mrs Clinton contenting herself with a purely symbolic role, any more than Dick Cheney has. She spent the early 1990s turning the position of first lady into a virtual co-presidency. She is married to a former president who has lost none of his self-regard. Team Clinton is full of people who have made it clear that they regard the Obamaites as uppity whippersnappers.
    “Does America really want the vice-president’s office to become–or rather remain–a rival power centre to the Oval Office? That could mean going back to the 1990s, when the White House was consumed by palace intrigue between rival factions, each determined to advance their own agendas and do down their rivals. The presidency is difficult enough to run at the best of times, without installing a former first lady and an ex-president in the vice-president’s residence.”

    Reply

  38. Zathras says:

    I’d like everyone to know that I do not expect to be nominated as Sen. Obama’s running mate.
    The devastating wordplay Rush Limbaugh and the Republican attack machine would inflict on the name “Zathras” would be too much for the country to handle, and many American voters are just not prepared for a Vice President known by a cybernym. As well, were I on the ticket questions would doubtless be asked as to whether I am actually an alien maintaining a residence on Epsilon 3 (actually, I just work there, and the Postal Service sends all my mail to my Earth address. But this is way too much nuance for a 30-second ad).
    Finally, I didn’t want to subject myself to a lot of dumb questions (like, what is so great about Great Machine?) and even dumber jokes (Zathras is not the One, he is only the Two; are we really voting for Zathras, or for Zathras) about my day job or family. I’d prefer to be known for my sound judgement and positions on issues, and since that seems to be impossible I don’t want to be a distraction. No one should be a distraction. Ever.
    My non-candidacy should not be interpreted as an endorsement of anyone else’s nomination by me or any members of my entourage. I’m sure that in this nation of over 300 million people, most of whom appear to be on someone’s short list, Sen. Obama can find a candidate to capture the imagination of a nation. Preferably, you know, of this nation, the United States. Capturing the imagination of some other nation won’t do Obama much good if he can’t get this one. In spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, he remains American, and he’s pretty much stuck with that for purposes of this election.

    Reply

  39. chisholm says:

    Peach — Your response to my post conveys your great fears about
    the race in 2016, but nothing about the one that will have taken
    place eight years earlier. You might want to reprioritize.

    Reply

  40. Peach56 says:

    Yeah, your right chisholm, and when 2016 rolls around she’ll be only 69 (oh! God, the Republicans will make some hay with that number!)with more gumption than I don’t know what, and it’ll be refreshing to have a wizening Grandma tellin’ us how things can git even better than they already had become from 2017 to Jan. of 2025 when we’ll be ready fer anuther progressive whippersnapper. I can see it!

    Reply

  41. chisholm says:

    Remember all the excitement generated by the Clinton/Obama
    primary? How with every state’s turn to vote the media
    breathlessly reported on all the thousands and thousands of new
    voters, the long lines to vote, the harried local/county registars
    talking about running out of ballots for people? How they’d
    “never seen such numbers,” how the excitement was palpable
    and unprecedented, how the turn-out was like no other primary
    in recent memory?
    That’s all over now, isn’t it. The zeitgeist is flat and stale. Bored,
    even.
    With Clinton out of the mix, Obama now stands alone — and he
    is in total free-fall against one of the most comprised
    presidential nominees in a very, very long time.
    Pick Clinton. Bring back the vigor and excitement of the primary.
    She’s been through the ringer for the past, oh, 30 years, and she
    can stand her own.
    Talk about being seen as a sure bet on the economy. And of
    course she has down sides, but who doesn’t? Hair-plug Biden?
    Please, talk about a Beltway Porcellian lifer. That choice would
    certainly support the BO theme of change, huh.
    But for me, an Obama voter, a cost-benefit analysis of a Clinton
    VP shows far more upsides. She’s such a known quantity, and
    that would really counter his problem of being the exact
    opposite.
    She will also be one of the most effective fighters available — in
    direct opposition to Obama’s current offensive strategy (term
    used very loosely) of rainbows, unicorns, and sunny Shirley
    Temples sent out to fight the Wehrmacht.
    If Obama is too prissy to get down in the dirt with McCain then
    for the love of god — for the sake of our country — choose
    someone who will.

    Reply

  42. Probably not good says:

    Obama-bin-biden?
    Obama-dine-dodd.
    Avoid those picks, because Rush Limpballs will come up with those catchy phrases just as quick as he came up with Breck Girl.

    Reply

  43. Defoliate Bush says:

    My sources say it is Richardson (just enough of a weasel to be a good match for the ticket)

    Reply

  44. Matt says:

    I have strong reason to suspect that Obama will be choosing the Cookie Monster for his VP. Remember, you heard it here first.

    Reply

  45. Marie says:

    Obama doesn’t have the guts to pick Clinton, the most obvious choice for a winning ticket. I put money on Biden, as he is off to Georgia, and will breathlessly rush back to paste some credibility on Obama’s foreign policy. That won’t stick. Biden has all of Hillary’s policy flaws – but somehow gets a pass from the left? Change you can’t believe in.

    Reply

  46. Kathleen says:

    Sebelius is as boring as Bayh…her rebuttal to the last SOU was numbingly uninspiring… and if Obama were to pick a woman other than Hillary, they would lose some of the most loyal Dem leaders/workers.
    The Veep is always the next candidate for Prez so Biden and Dodd are too old, for starters…I like both of them, but why would Dems pick a dead end Veep?
    Since name recognition is 3/4 of the game, why pick an obscure Governor just to win one state???? As for Jack Reed… wow a whole two electoral votes from R.I. Get real…
    I agree that O’bambino has already made his choice, quite a while ago IMO, but isn’t it unseemly for a candidate who didn’t win a majority of the delegates in the primaries/caucuses to pick a Veep before he is actually nominated?
    The proverbial glass ceiling has not been broken for blacks or women until either is actually elected to the offices of Prez and Veep… if ever there was a time when two heads are better than one, this is it…..Obama/Clinton..08…

    Reply

  47. Donna Z says:

    I’m Glad I Went Camping This Weekend.
    This entire Clemons’ discussion makes me very sad. WesPAC called the O-Team because he needed to set up his own schedule. The message from Obama’s office was simple and not necessarily horrible: there was no reason for General Clark to plan on being at the convention. Simple.
    There are making fools of themselves. Clark continues to support Obama in his appearances and is not whining at all. Everyone of the “accepted folks” either supported Clinton and/or have put their feet in the mouth. The idea that Clark needs to be shunned is stupid. Pushing him out of the party is even more stupid. And having a night devoted to security, troops, and vets without making room for Clark is insulting.
    The Democrats have one of the major foreign policy experts in the world, especially on all things Eastern European, and they have decided to ignore
    him. That’s their choice. I’ve always thought that the party functioned like a bunch of high-school cliques and they continue to prove me right. Kerry and Biden and that fool Bayh are all putting themselves forward as something that they are not: foreign policy gurus. (Oh please!)
    Steve is watching this closely and probably talking to people close to the source. My guess is that it will be Biden. As long as Obama doesn’t listen to Joe, that may be alright. Who knows. I’m sure that the credit card companies will be happy, future jailers of America will rejoice and it will hopefully be too late to partition Iraq.
    After reading this article:
    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2008/08/25/080825taco_talk_remnick
    I suggest we all take time think long and hard about what Remnick has to say, especially in his last paragraph:
    “But Putin is not Hitler or Stalin; he is not even Leonid Brezhnev. He is what he is, and that is bad enough. In the 2008 election, he made a joke of
    democratic procedure and, in effect, engineered for himself an anti-constitutional third term. The press, the parliament, the judiciary, the business élite are all in his pocket—and there is no opposition. But Putin also knows that Russia cannot bear the cost of reconstituting empire or the gulag. It depends on the West as a market. One lesson of the Soviet experience is that isolation ends in poverty. Putin’s is a new and subtler game: he is the autocrat who calls on the widow of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. To deal with him will require statecraft of a kind that has proved well beyond the capacities of our current practitioners.”
    Richardson, Bayh, Biden? I don’t see one of these people being able to bring anything to the table. I worry about this because my daughter will have to live with the decisions that are being made. I am depressed.

    Reply

  48. dolores says:

    “And yes, I am one of those aforementioned Clinton supporters who won’t vote for Obama.”
    Well, so am I, honey. And to those who say we will come around because of the Choice issue that’s in the balance, well, I have a surprise for you.
    I, and many of Hillary’s supporters, are beyond the age of having to Choose, so Choice does not have as high a priority as it used to in making our political decisions. Roe v. Wade can go down as far as I’m concerned; the young ladies in some States will only have to make another choice on which State to visit where they can exercise their rights to their own bodies.
    Hillary 2012, and let the chips fall where they may in the meantime.

    Reply

  49. DC5 says:

    The Obama/Biden ticket would be way too handsome and scare away any chance of getting enough white males. Young ladies would be attracted, but the die hard Hillary bitties would have all that male handsomeness on display stick right in their craws and they would become even more intransigent. Also, Obama needs someone less physically attractive on the ticket with him to make less effective the “celebrity” label being pinned on him. McCain as celebrity doesn’t get any traction because he’s an ugly old man. Celebrities are the beautiful people who the fat white trailer park trash are not; that’s the game being played by McCain. So to have the handsomest ticket ever, ain’t playin’ well in Appalachia and their intellectual kinfolk across the country. Gotta choose somebody with Huckabee/GomerPyle like looks. That’s the ticket!

    Reply

  50. blatant says:

    Sebelius cannot be named VP, no way, with all the kissing, hugging and holding hands that’s going to go on between the black man / white woman ticket, the Dems would be handing the election on a silver platter to McCain’s smear machine.
    Basically American presidential elections are decided by who can woo the most ignorant, and the Repubs win that contest hands down every time.
    Don’t give them imagery to go along with a “It’s 1 am, do you know what your daughter is doin’ now, Bubba” ad that will run in the last week in OH, PA, VA, IN, FL, MO, and any other teetering state.
    Our fate will ultimately be decided by Jerry Springer Nation folks, and we can’t give Rove the ammo to effectively target them in the final days before the election.

    Reply

  51. bob h says:

    My sense is that picking Clinton ensures the win in November. However, living with her for eight years in the WH would probably be hell. But it would be good for the nation. I cannot believe he will pick the insipid Sibelius.

    Reply

  52. tristan says:

    I like the article. What about Richardson?
    I don’t see Biden or any other Senator who’s been in DC for a long
    time because that would dilute the change message. A governor
    or first- or second- term senator is much more likely. Although I
    like Biden a lot and think he’d be a great VP or PotUS.
    I also don’t think it will be a centrist, as Obama doesn’t want
    anything to do with the DLC and he’s not really moderate himself.
    And yes, I am one of those aforementioned Clinton supporters who
    won’t vote for Obama.

    Reply

  53. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Not sure why Dodd’s name isn’t mentioned here as possibility.
    A Republican governor appoints his replacement. Not so in
    Delaware. Still, Biden’s three-province model for Iraq is
    problematic. His mouth is problematic.
    Many Clinton supporters are still saying they don’t trust Obama
    and won’t vote for him.
    Many? The few loud concern trolls will find a reason to vote against
    Obama even if Clinton is on the ticket. And I now think Clinton is
    an option, albeit a risky one, given the number of dull white men
    who have been floated as VP nominees.

    Reply

  54. Benjamin Spector says:

    I’m no Hillary fan but some say the ticket will get a 10 to 15 point bounce if she is on it.
    According to Halperin, Obama is in NM today. Hillary was campaigning and doing fundraising today with Richardson yesterday – maybe she is still around.
    i would rather have a no-drama change washington Sebilius ticket, but will accept Obama’s choice whoever it is. maybe tomorrow we will know.

    Reply

  55. joe m. says:

    Oh, and obviously the biggest problem with Biden is that he advocates an utterly colonial approach to Iraq. He wants to carve it up in a way that would clearly put a black mark on Obama’s presidency for 100 years. I don’t think Obama is that stupid or willing to take such a huge risk. he is not going to bend his core message that much (and especially not in such a tactical way as picking Biden would do. Imagine the Iraq discussion coming from the right with Obama advocating a pull-out and Biden advocating permanent bases and a divide and conquer strategy in Iraq. The republicans would be all over them…).
    Also he is not in ideological sync with Obama on many issues. Biden is a typical democrat politician. He is not distinguishable in any reasonable way, other than his big mouth.

    Reply

  56. Ahtar Ajurbiyess says:

    What…no (why the long face) KERRY?
    I heard that nonsense floated, too.
    Is it that no one wants to run with him, or what? These are all some fairly stinky picks, in the big picture. No “change” or “hope”–it’s more like he “believes” this hype about the pick will get people excited, but if it’s a let-down, it’ll be like the Dan Quayle choice where everyone stood around going “Naaaaah! No, he DIDN’T!! Come ON!!!”
    Hey, Hagel owns all those voting machines–maybe he can tweak them for the big BO, like he did for himself, so “they” say. Of course, as a Republican, that opens Obama to the charge that he’s just a George Bush type himself, with another party affiliation, another corporate candidate, a crook, a hack–so much for “change”–he’s the same junk in a new wrapper.
    Biden has all that NEIL KINNOCK and HAIRPLUGS stink on him. He comes from the CREDIT CARD state. He brings…NOTHING…save “adult supervision” perhaps, and that’s not a good thing. Certainly not CHANGE. And he has a big, fat mouth and he runs it all the time…keep him outta the Seven Eleven, he’ll start doing Apu imitations!
    If Biden is going to play responsible adult to Obama’s fresh-faced adolescent, you can kiss this effort goodbye.
    I can’t believe McCain will win this thing as easily as all this–my party is, once again, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
    This is getting OLD!

    Reply

  57. rob p. says:

    Well, Obama is having a townhall meeting in New Mexico later this morning. Maybe Richardson is the man.

    Reply

  58. joe m. says:

    I would really like to see David Bonior (former house minority whip). He could make Michigan a solid Obama state, and he is close to organized labor and ideologically in line with Obama. He is washington experience, but is not seen as too much of an insider. Plus, he has the balls to go against the establishment. He was the head of Edwards campaign, which may hurt him because of the affair.
    Otherwise, I don’t know why there is no discussion of Bill Richardson. Other than that he appears weak publicly, he has executive experience and especially international experience. He is a minority, but not a scary one (to white people). And he is ideologically close to Obama and can help him win New Mexico.
    It is my expectation that Obama will pick someone who is ideologically close to him. I would be shocked if picked someone for “balance” or to win any specific state (unless they were ideologically close to him). So I highly doubt that he would pick any of the media darlings. The people the MSM are talking about are all empty suits with no substance.

    Reply

  59. Janis says:

    If Obama really did say Wesley wasn’t needed, I mean. Good VP for a slide home.

    Reply

  60. 3Davideo says:

    Also, a point in H Clinton’s favor as a court justice: She’s stubborn. Do I need to cite that?

    Reply

  61. Janis says:

    I am so disappointed in Obama for the slap in the face to Wesley Clark. He was correct in what he said about McCain. Flying a plane, being shot down, etc., does not make you President material. Somebody! had to say it.

    Reply

  62. 3Davideo says:

    What, Bill Richardson hasn’t even been mentioned? He’s already one of the speakers on the second day of the convention, which is also when the vice presidential pick is supposed to speak. It is possible that Richardson could be the pick and given the day slot, but not have it indicate that he will be speaking as a new running mate. I don’t think a VP spec article should pass without Richardson at least mentioned in passing. More likely than Gore or Kerry, at least.
    BTW, one good point for Richardson that I’ve not seen mentioned, is as a former Secretary of Energy, he could argue energy policy like no other, which is important after McCain raised the drilling issue.

    Reply

  63. BSR says:

    Obama would be nuts to put Clinton on the ticket. She has a team (of Bill’s old cronies) that would (IMHO) constantly attempt to undermine Obama’s presidency and authority. I think her (considerable) talents would be much better spent as a Supreme Court Justice.
    Likewise, I don’t think Sebelius would be a good pick because many Hillary supporters would be up in arms that he picked ANOTHER woman.
    Dodd & Bayh are ok, but it would mean an automatic loss of a senate seat, as they are in states with Republican governors.
    I’m saddened by the falling-out of Clark with Obama’s camp. I think he would have made a fine choice.
    So….Kaine, Biden, Nunn….I’m not sure. We’ll find out this week.

    Reply

  64. dsk says:

    Answer to Alex. Biden can run for both VP and Senate. Lieberman did it in 2000 (probably trying to sabotage Gore even then). But he is the precedent.

    Reply

  65. Craig says:

    “…if you’re going to contend with baggage it might as well be
    with the Clintons,….”
    Spunkmeyer hits it on the mark. If Obama is going to go with a
    moderate, he might as well go with one that has clout and who
    can reach voters on basic economic issues.
    But Obama also needs to bring all the threads of the party
    together.
    One further thought. It is astounding that McCain is even
    credible in the polls. That may be a sign of Obama’s weakness
    but I suspect it’s a sign that many voters still have considerable
    homework to do. In recent years, aggressive foreign policy
    Republicans have been superficially effective at talking tough
    but ineffective in terms of accomplishing anything useful. Self-
    described neoconservatives and their allies are a bit like the
    snarling, barking dog that perpetually goes around in circles
    snapping at its tail. The tail of course is nothing more than the
    long series of Republican blunders with consequences that
    result in more snarling and barking and running around in
    circles. More of this nonsense is what the American people are
    thinking of voting for. And that is not a good sign.
    We’re in a crisis that is likely to last a generation. And it may
    take another election for a solid majority of Americans to catch
    on.

    Reply

  66. Dan Kervick says:

    Excellent news on Bayh, Steve. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that that decision holds up. Of all the candidates who are frequently mentioned, he was the only one I very strongly opposed.
    I like Kaine a lot personally. That’s not a political judgment about whether he would be a good pick or a bad pick; I’m just saying I really like the guy. Warner is the Virginian who looks like he was sent over by central casting to be President. But Kaine is the one who touches my feelings and speaks to me. And he and Obama seem like two peas in a pod. They have good chemistry and seem to represent the same broad generational movement, but with Kaine representing the great Commonwealth of Virginia and Obama the Midwest. They both seem to have that new knack of reconnecting progressive political policy values with an emotionally intelligent understanding of people’s deeper spiritual aspirations and longings for community. I personally find this to be an exciting and hopeful trend. If you go with the idea that in the current information-driven age the point isn’t to aim for interest group or ideological “balancing”, but to repeat, amplify and reinforce a good and consistent message in as many ways as possible, Kaine seems like a good choice, although I know he presents certain problems as well.
    (Full disclosure: my wife and I taught at Virginia Tech in the late eighties, and Kaine’s speech at the service after the killings there really moved us.)
    I am a little bit skeptical of the idea that Obama needs to choose some military man or elder statesman to acquire more foreign policy credibility and gravitas. There have been two major international crises during his run – the Bhutto assassination and the Georgia crisis – and in each case I thought Obama outperformed his chief rival, and was the one with the more sober view and more gravitas. In the Pakistan case, I thought Clinton came out of the gate too peremptorily and too aggressively, and said some things she shouldn’t have said in responsing to the passions of the moment. In the Georgia case it has been McCain who has been running off half-cocked. In both cases, Obama held back a little and showed more “realist” instincts and restraint, realizing that the emotions of the moment would eventually blow over, the media accounts would evolve, and that it is best not to box oneself in with commitments to bold new departures and radical interventions during the distorted lens of a crisis. Picking some military man or gray-haired statesman reinforces the Republican message that Obama isn’t ready. But Obama already gets my vote for Least Likely to Do Something Stupid During a Crisis.
    I say let Obama lead and take charge of these issues himself during his campaign. Don’t put him in the shadow of some alleged foreign policy “grown-up”, or help reinforce the opposition message that Obama isn’t ready and needs help from the old vets. Obviously, once elected, Obama should surround himself with a lot of sage advisers representing diverse perspectives. But he doesn’t need a babysitter for the campaign.
    His strongest attributes in my view are his great calmness, his judicious and deliberative temperament, his flexibility and lack of stubbornness, his ability to recognize and recover from errors quickly, and his ability to take a long-range view of things and stick to it during all sorts of panic and craziness. Why detract from his greatest strengths by suggesting to the public that he doesn’t have those strengths after all and is too green? John McCain is the one who needs a more evel-headed and sober foreign policy assistant, not Barack Obama.
    The country also has a vivid example before it of the last time a younger candidate chose a “seasoned statesman” to reassure voters that the ship of state was in experienced hands. George Bush picked Dick Cheney for that role, and Cheney turned out to be a dangerous crackpot and radical.
    And I don’t think Obama should be leaning toward the right with this pick. He’s done enough of that. He needs to rekindle some energy, and that requires reminding progressives of the manifold ways he is still on their side. I don’t mean that he can’t pick someone who is slightly to his right in some departments. But it should be someone whom progressives trust.

    Reply

  67. amused says:

    I’m laughing at this entry.
    It’s going to be Bayh. Just deal with it folks.
    The idea that the Obama campaign, which never has leaks, has given this detailed information to your anonymous source is hilarious.
    But the real howler for me is the tacked on bit about Obama listening to the hysterical bloggers re: selecting Bayh.
    Man. Too funny.

    Reply

  68. JKIR says:

    I think his ownly chance to win is if he picks Clinton. Many Clinton supporters are still saying they don’t trust Obama and won’t vote for him. My feeling from belonging to many of their forums is that about 50% would say immediately they would vote for the Obama/Clinton ticket while a large number say they won’t vote for him under any circumstances. I think at least some of those will cave at the last second if Hill is on the ticket, imho.

    Reply

  69. ed says:

    I’m still holding out for Clark, because he’s by far the best choice, but also because SClem’s been wrong about so much for so long, and this site is primarily a namedropping vehicle. Just look at the recent Evan Bayh debacle, for example.
    Obamaclark.com

    Reply

  70. Benjamin says:

    It is not because he doesnt listen to the netroots always (FISA) that he doesnt listen when it comes to certain important things.

    Reply

  71. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Steve:
    Are you saying that Obama listened to the Netroots re: Bayh? Are is Bayh out because of the many different corporate boards his wife is on? I don’t believe he cares what the Netroots say for a second(see FISA).

    Reply

  72. karen says:

    Interesting…I find it very difficult to believe that the Obama campaign would give any credence at all to complaints about Bayh. Wouldn’t fit their pattern.
    I think Biden is a big risk…I like Reed (his connection to Countrywide is more tenuous than Biden’s connection to MBNA) and, of course, Al Gore. But there are folks on the tubes who say that would be political suicide (Obama needs a minder, etc.). I don’t think so, but I guess I get their point of view.

    Reply

  73. Insult Comic Dog says:

    I would love for it to be Al Gore.

    Reply

  74. Benjamin says:

    Sebelius would be fantastic and she is very close to Obama. The fact she is so little talked-about makes me think she could be the surprise.

    Reply

  75. KR says:

    I supported Joe Biden for his run during the primaries, but that was only after Wesley Clark chose not to run.
    However, the biggest concern that I have with Senator Biden is that his positions were inconsistent with Obama’s, particularly Biden’s vote for the IWR (to which I opposed), in contrast to Obama’s vocal opposition to it from the beginning.
    Irrespective of Clark’s support for Hillary Clinton, Clark’s views on fp and ns has mostly been consistent with Obama, rather than Hillary’s, prior to her primary run.
    General Clark still remains the best and smartest choice for Barack Obama, as his VP, that gaurantees a Democratic victory in November.
    KR

    Reply

  76. retired-jag says:

    I have trouble crediting the previous post about the Obama
    campaign gratuitously reaching out to General Clark to say “Don’t
    bother coming to our convention.” How unnecessarily offensive!
    As a former candidate and leading figure in the Party–while not a
    super-delegate–Clark certainly has a right to attend the
    convention if he wants to. I thought his remark about John
    McCain’s POW experience was spot on!
    I can’t help but wonder if calling off Clark is actually the “head
    fake”, and Wes is the man after all. Choosing him makes more
    sense than choosing a sitting Democratic Senator or governor
    whose value in their incumbent positions exceeds any value they
    might add to the ticket. tks rich

    Reply

  77. Frank Wilhoit says:

    Senator Obama has some serious fence-mending to do with the progressive wing of the party. Gore or Kerry would help with that and would also send the all-important message that the 2000 and 2004 elections were not legitimate — far, far and away the most important message of all, but one that unfortunately can only be sent subliminally.
    Senator Biden is regrettably out of the question because of his medical history; his brain surgery left him with the disinhibition that is characteristic of a right-brain injury. In my view this is absolutely disqualifying.

    Reply

  78. paulo says:

    This is a legitimate question.
    What is the point of being coy about a VP nominee? Why head fakes? Why false leads? Why not not decide until you do it?
    I really don;t understand this Kremlinology regarding a VP choice.
    Is there a larger strategy that I am missing in the pre-VEEP decision time?

    Reply

  79. Mr.Murder says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080817/ap_on_re_eu/georgia_russia
    Oh, the Merkel linky.
    “In a speech Sunday, Merkel also suggested that NATO could help rebuild the tattered Georgian military.”
    Client states.Buffer states.Containment.
    Putin’s probably in on the deal, bet he’s got some Star Wars contractor stock. Probably traded some for Gazprom shares.

    Reply

  80. Justin says:

    I don’t believe you. I think you’re a chump.

    Reply

  81. Mr.Murder says:

    OT: Merkel sudes w/Georgia to NATO.
    Smart move to throw Clark under the bus. NOT.
    Looks like McCain’s call for the NATO membership contingency plans is gaining traction from EU members in need of a buffer state.

    Reply

  82. Mr.Murder says:

    Joe ‘MBNA’ Biden and Chris ‘Countrywide’ Dodd, two whiteys who ran to dilute possible support for Hillary.
    Obama selects either it’s proof he’s just workin’ for the man….
    He painted self into a corner with the way he campaigned. There’s only one choice he could make.
    The Obama/Sharpton juggernaut looms.

    Reply

  83. CD says:

    Evan Bayh was vetoed by the left wing internet base so he is out? Surely, you don’t believe that. But if this is somehow true, no wonder why Democrats have a hard time winning elections.

    Reply

  84. Spunkmeyer says:

    …and I’d throw into evidence for the power struggle the story
    below this one re. Wes Clark.

    Reply

  85. Spunkmeyer says:

    erichwwk, I think it’s just human nature to speculate. And in the
    world of DC politics, the ability to deduce such matters can be
    sometimes a boon or liability, depending on who is chosen and
    your relationship with said choice. There are so many schisms in
    the Democratic Party right now at the national level that things like
    this are the best way many can read how the wind will blow within
    it, power-wise, over the next 4 years.

    Reply

  86. DonS says:

    It looks to me like this story is notoriously unsourced, but, if its true, just what is Biden doing going to Georgia to do George Bush’s bidding?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/17/biden-to-georgia-at-saaks_n_119402.html
    Combined with this story speculating on the confluence of Dem/Rep political interests in propping up the dollar and perhaps, just perhaps instigating the Georgian brouhaha in a massive effort to help the rich at the expense of, well, just about everyone else. In this context, why not have Biden doing what he can to stump for the corporate enrichment team?
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9828
    Would Obama please address even the slightest concerns of the left of center folks who note these things and wonder, was George Wallace right, and still is, that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Rep and Dem and, increasingly it seems, both are ready to sell us plain folks down the river?
    This blog, while avowedly “realist” in its orientation, seems to have a penchant for truth. Can we cut through some of the BS? Does realism serve only the corporate masters? Or is it as some here opine; America, the people, is toast?

    Reply

  87. erichwwk says:

    Just wondering what value is seen in putting effort in “beating the official announcement” re VP selections?
    I can understand trying to influence outcome, but with all the serious problems with the US government system where information might pay significant LR dividends, why are the perceived benefits with VP speculation by such minuscule margins?
    Of course Steve has the right to do what he wishes with his personal blog, from entertainment to serious comment, and perhaps some frivolity is appropriate lest we take ourselves too seriously.

    Reply

  88. Joey says:

    Sammy “The Bull” Gravano would be a good surprise choice and a great ticket.

    Reply

  89. DBS says:

    Not sure why Dodd’s name isn’t mentioned here as possibility.
    Know for a fact they’ve vetted him. Asked for his stuff even after
    the Countrywide petite scandale came out in June. Would be a
    similar pick to Biden, but has some things Biden lacks–including
    fluency in Spanish (which could be huge in states like CO and NM)
    and knowledge of when to keep mouth shot. Not sure why he
    seems to still be so sneaking under radar.

    Reply

  90. Spunkmeyer says:

    At this point, I think having Hillary Clinton would shake up things
    the most. Joe Biden comes with his own baggage that would
    probably serve as a distraction as well, and if you’re going to
    contend with baggage it might as well be with the Clintons, who
    command a far stronger fan base than Biden does.

    Reply

  91. Alex says:

    I just realized yesterday that Biden is running for re-election this year. Do you have any idea, Steve, if he can run for both the Senate and the VP in the same cycle, like in TX? If not, Biden would be running the risk of being out of elective office with the opposition in power. He might be willing to do that, but…

    Reply

  92. prmco says:

    Another post under my stage name: Biden has got a lot of ‘splainin to do to Democrats regarding the credit card industry and his support of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005. It is not a pretty bill! Much damage has been done.
    Peter

    Reply

  93. Peter Mack says:

    Steve:
    Sibelius is a wonderful Finnish composer who probably would pull more votes – at least the Finnish vote – than Sebelius, an unknown, neophyte Governor of Kansas. Her name keeps being floated but who even knows her and sees her as President of the United States. Oh, I get it, she’s a woman. If he wants a woman, best pick Hillary. I know that all those brilliant Democrats led by the likes of Donna Brazile et al are going to blow it!
    Keep up your great, great work.
    Peter

    Reply

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