Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Second Thoughts about the Second Spot

I sometimes have to think about eating my words. Attentive readers will recall I have in the past attached a lot of importance to Barack Obama picking the right person with whom to share his presidential ticket. To sum up my argument, I wanted him to choose an authentic vice-president rather than merely a running mate. In football terms (I am not a fan) I wanted Barack to put a member of the varsity on the field, someone who would give him a full four quarters of hard-contact play versus a role player who would balance the ticket and give the ticker just one more state's electoral vote.

I still think Wesley Clark is his best choice to fill this position. But I saw something today which gave me pause.


What brings this up is the buzz which I hear on the radio and on Google about who's on Obama's short list: Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Senator Joe Biden, Senator Evan Bayh, and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. I have already vetted these possibilities fully to my own certitude and found them lacking. So, I'm concerned that if his list isn't any longer than this, I think he's in trouble. Actually, it's more accurate to say we're in trouble. I'm not worried about Barack getting elected. I'm worried that such a VPOTUS selection would indicate that Obama
  • is not motivated to work for a tsunami-scale landslide victory (with Congressional coat tails) which will punish and repudiate Republicanism for some time to come,

  • is really not going to be working in the next four years for a change we can all believe in.
Let's take up the issue of a landslide, 49-state Electoral College victory. As you read the remainder of this column, listen to this video of Brian Schweitzer, Montana governor. I think he makes a lot of sense, talking about who decides elections, in every state.

What Schweitzer offers us is sobering thought about more than the independents' influence. Especially it's about the less-informed, least-informed, or uninformed voter who decides elections. That's the people who are not on the Internet, do not watch Keith Olbermann or listen to Air America. These are the people you find at Walmart or in the bars. Like or not, they might just vote against their best interests in order to vote for someone who reminds them about themselves. That why we got stuck eight years ago with someone who talks and walks like the uniformed voter. Listening to Schweitzer's speech above suddenly got me worried about how Obama could best reach out a grab the uninformed voter around his or her red neck.

The second reason I'm posting this is it got me to thinking what Brian Schweitzer brings to the table.
  • a soil scientist and rancher

  • 6 years' experience in Saudi Arabia working on irrigation projects.

  • a fluent Arabic speaker.

  • a true-believer when it comes to an enlightened energy policy

  • an excellent public speaker different from Obama's style which still communicates authenticity and responsiveness to the voter.
There are other positives which Senator Jon Tester relates here.

I think Governor Schweitzer can make the first string varsity. Not as convincingly as wide-receiver Wes Clark. But a helluva lot better than the role-players on the so-called short list above.

11 comments:

  1. Like you, I am very concerned about Obama's short list for VP. Watching MSNBC tonight it sounds a lot like Virginia Governor Tim Kaine leads the pack right now.

    I believe this is a trial balloon and, based on the commentary I'm hearing, he'll be off the list by tomorrow. He has no experience and little depth. Frankly, he doesn't meet the primary criteria... he simply isn't ready to be President tomorrow.

    Plus, unlike you, I am starting to worry about Obama actually being elected. But you can read about all that over on my blog.

    And.... on a different subject, I wnat to be the very first to nominate Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) as the Republican of the Weak. Stevens will drive more votes directly to Obama and the Democrat Congressmen and Senators that all the Obamacans combined. Plus, Alaska will elect a Democrat Senator for the first time in 40 years.

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  2. Picking Kaine would be a bitch-slap in the face of the Progressives.

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  3. For one thing, "Kaine" sounds too much like "McCain". It will confuse the "uninformed voter". Wait! Will that be a good thing? Or not?

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  4. I agree, Wizard, with all points you raise above. And you're especially right about Stevens! If Stevens runs in the general election, he'll turn out to be another gift that keeps on giving!

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  5. Republican of the Weak... I love it!

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  6. K's going to be mad at me, as is boris, but I'm still in Clark's corner.

    As governor, Kaine supported a ban on partial-birth abortion and once said that his overarching position on the matter was in line with President Bush, a stance to which female voters aren't likely to warm.

    Uh, well, yeah...

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  7. The short lit is lacking. At first, I was supporting Gov. Sebelius. I think she's strong on environmental issues and is a good administrator. But I've come to the conclusion, sadly, that America is not sure they want a black man as president and would be even more reluctant to have a president with a woman as V. P. So, I think racist and sexist America would go along with a Gen. Wesley Clark, a white guy with a lot of medals on his chest...

    I like the fact that Clark didn't back down on the statement he made about McCain. And I think he would speak up to keep our soldiers out of an unnecessary war.

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  8. I agree with MacDaddy for the same reasons. Although I think Obama is inspiring many people. Politically, Clark seems the best choice: he's actually pretty liberal and wants to get us out of this Iraq mess. That one act would do so much for America.

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  9. I'm not sure what kind of comments Clark made about Obama when Clark was supporting Hillary. Plus, Clark and Obama look too much alike (they do!), so those pictures of Clark cozying up to war criminals and dictators will hurt an already battered Obama for wanting to talk to Iran (I know, that's such a silly argument). I had an OMG moment reading about Schweitzer--like all my Republican friends will have to vote for Obama because they'll be on the wrong side of history if they don't!! I think he's the one--he will skewer McCain--a golden, rural tongue!

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  10. So who should he choose? A VP that will help him get elected or one who will be best suited for the job?

    I'm sticking with Wes.

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  11. At the risk of repeating myself, cold war vet [VP that will help him get elected or one who will be best suited for the job?] and macdaddy [I think racist and sexist America would go along with a Gen. Wesley Clark, a white guy with a lot of medals on his chest] are speaking from pragmatism. Would that it weren't so.

    I happen to like Clark: hell, even Michael Moore supported Clark. However, Obama better support the ban on coastal drilling. He's starting to flip flop, and it's going to significantly undermine his chances.

    From Obama '08 Quote of the Day: Obama on Coastal Drilling

    Believe me — if I thought that there was any evidence at all that drilling could save people money who are struggling to fill up their tanks by this summer or this year or even the next few years, I would consider it. But it won’t. And John McCain knows that. Now, he seems to be backing down. That won't get him elected.

    However, Wesley Clark may keep him in line: All that matters 100 years out is Constitution & environment. (Jun 2003) On the issues is a great site to get info. Clark also supports holding businesses accountable for toxic waste and is against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Clark, overall, may be the best choice. (Don't hate me, K...)

    Of the subject, I was please to learn Barbara Boxer was Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record. (Dec 2003). That's a Badge of Honor.

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