Friday, May 09, 2008

VP Picks

Chris Cilizza has the top 5 VP picks for both candidates. For McCain, they are:

5. Mitt Romney
4. Charlie Crist (Gov. of FL)
3. Rob Portman (former OH congressman, U.S. trade rep, etc.)
2. John Thune (Senator from SD)
1. Tim Pawlenty (Gov. of MN)

No surprises here except, possibly, the exclusion of Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina.

For Obama, the picks are:

5. Sam Nunn (former Sen. from GA)
4. Tim Kaine (Gov. of VA)
3. Hillary Clinton
2. Ted Strickland (Gov. of OH)
1. Kathleen Sebelius (Gov. of KS)

This list is a bit more surprising, mostly for its absences. First is Jim Webb, Senator from VA and former Sec. of the Navy for Ronald Reagan. He's got the foreign policy credentials of Nunn, he's from swing state like Kaine and Strickland, and he's the white, working class appeal of Clinton and Strickland. The second is Claire McCaskill, Senator from MO. She doesn't have executive experience like Sebelius, but she's much more likely to help Obama in MO than Sebelius would in deep red Kansas.

I could go on to add some other names like Evan Bayh of IN, Mark Warner of VA, Bill Richardson of NM, Tom Vilsak of IA, Joe Biden of DE, etc. This raises a further point about the talent pools in both parties. On the Democratic side, the pool is pretty deep. In addition to the names above, it wouldn't be hard for me to come up with the names of another half-dozen or so talented and attractive politicians with real national potential. On the Republican side, not so much. Gingrich? You must be joking. Jeb Bush? Not with that last name.

I'm not sure why this is. Is the Republican party just that exhausted?


Anonymous said...

Four years ago I chatted with someone who has worked on quite a few Democratic campaigns across the country and he and I remarked about how weak the Democrats' bench was. What happened in four years? Yes, it seems quite deep now. But maybe it is more by comparison to the "exhaustion" of the other side.

Sibelius seems like a pretty good bet to me. I am not sure Kansas is out of the question for the Democratic ticket with her on it, given her popularity and the implosion of the state GOP. And would she not perhaps help in potentially swingable neighboring states (CO, MO, NE, among others)?

Anonymous said...

And there are some names not on this deeper list that need be considered: Wes Clark, Janet Napalitano [the battle for AZ would be great], Ed Rendell, or Ken Salazar. You are right, the talent pools is deep for the Dems.

jjv said...

The Republicans are exhausted intellectually and spiritually. you can't be the party of small government and balanced budgets and overide this farm bill, pass the medicaid extension, vote to override the veto of the Farm Bill, create the Dept. of Homeland Security and help people evade bad loans by giving them tax payer money. The gap grows to wide in words and deeds. That said I do think there are other good McCain picks but all come with weaknesses. Haley Barbour is the only politician to come out looking better from Katrina. Tom Ridge might help McCain take Pennsylvania, and thus the election and he is a Marine (but pro-abortion). Michael Steele ran the best campaign of 2006 for any Republican in my opinion. Giuliani is still out there(but obviously too many flaws for vp).

Also, I think the reason the "bench" is so large for the Democrats is because how great the issue background is for them. Its hard to think of anyone who would hurt an Obama ticket besides Al Sharpton!

If the Democrats don't win every level of Government this year it will be solely because they nominated a man who is too Leftwing and seems not to understand the security issue. I think Obama, with the MSM, will succesfully hide his far leftism and he will likey win. There will not be a reliable filibuster number of Republicans. Then the small pockets of traditionalists remaining will be dealt with as the jacobins treated the vendee.

Ok, I exaggerate but boy does it feel taht way.