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Posted on Aug 22, 2008 in Barack Obama, Campaign '08, Democrats

Ruminations on Obama’s Impending Choice

 Update: 1:05 EST: Biden is the man. Wow, they really want to lose this election.

 Update: 9:34 EST: CNN reports a flurry of activity at the Biden house as family and friends arrive and confirms Kaine was not chosen. Obama will announce Saturday morning (isn’t the media frenzy fun?) 

Update 9:05 EST: MSNBC reports that Bayh and Kaine have been notified by Obama that they are NOT being chosen. 

That Senator Obama is a real tease making us wait this long to find out who his No. 2 is going to be. As I see it, he only has a few choices based on his needs. Obama either needs (or wants) a swing state, help with a demographic or someone experienced. More minor concerns may include the need to change the public’s waning opinion of him as an elitist, ivory tower liberal. A ticket with two Senators may not be a wise choice considering Obama’s lack of executive (or much of any) experience so he may want a governor. With that said let’s have a roll call of possible veeps.

1) We have to remember that Obama is choosing his running-mate, not the DNC or the Democratic laymen. For that reason I think Hillary is unlikely. Obama must win the race and govern on his merits alone. The last thing he wants is Hillary (and Bill) looking over his shoulder on every decision and he does not need the impression that he chose her out of desperation.

2) Obama needs to choose either an experienced leader or someone that can deliver some electoral votes in a swing state. It is unfortunate for him that a combination does not exist. So…

Joe Biden:
Experienced but from a solid blue state. His arrogance may come to haunt the ticket. Moreover, I think the American people won’t be too impressed with him. After all, the man has run for President forty-seven times and has always done poorly.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XberX_t-WvI[/youtube]          Biden is a “gaffe machine.” Or is he?

Tim Kaine:
Kaine can deliver Virginia’s electoral votes. However, he is almost as green as Obama when it comes to the experience factor. Two lightweights on one ticket could be a major problem particularly considering the rough month Obama has had with regard to that deficiency.

Evan Bayh:
Bayh is the closest thing that Obama can hope for in experience and winning a swing state. Bayh has been around for a while as Governor of Indiana and US Senator. In a tight race he could turn Indiana blue. His executive experience could be a boost. Conversely, Bayh is also Blah and does not generate any sort of excitement. His ability to win Indiana may also be overstated.

3) Others in the running may be chosen on either their ability to change the perception of the ticket or to placate some demographic.

Chet Edwards and Kathleen Sebelius:
This Aggie has become the topic of interest of late. He is an old school Texas Democrat that likes guns and the Bible. He could help Obama with white Midwestern voters who see the Chosen One as an elitist snob. On the other hand, Edwards would sour the liberal base and he has no chance of winning Texas for Obama. Obviously Obama may think Sebelius can help with the his sub-par polling with white women. She is also a governor and could add to the ticket in that respect. On the other hand, she will not turn Kansas and, boy oh boy, the Hillary folks would be beyond enraged. In the Democratic sorority there is only room for one leader and that is Hillary!

All in all, I think Obama may choose Bayh as he offers the most and detracts the least. He is experienced in both the legislative and executive branches. He does not offend anyone and he won’t make too many gaffes. Chet Edwards is too much of reach, however inspired, and Biden is not very likable. We shall see shortly though.