Ok, so I recognize that my last post was a little abstract and might have suggested a discussion that only appealed to me.
Here's a different topic.
Assuming, Obama clinches the nomination later this week, who should he name as Veep? (In the interest of full disclosure, I'd be delighted, but I'm 6 --- soon to be 5 --- years too young; so no currying points with Ideas Man, something that I know is a goal for all of you).
To get started, here are some of the "talking points" along with my 2 cents (adjusted for inflation).
First, let's dispense with:
Hillary Rodham Clinton. I've made no bones about my dislike for HRC. But the nomination has been incredibly close and, at times bitter, so this is the obvious way to "heal" that split. Now, leaving aside my personal feelings for HRC, I still think it's a bad idea insofar as their styles and messages don't just not mesh but are opposed (each would pretty clearly dilute the "brand" of the other). Plus would they really be able to conceal their hatred long enough to present themselves as a "unity" ticket? Plus, I really think in their hearts of hearts they both know it's a terrible idea.
So let's move into the first category of candidates, who seem to obviate the problem of personal rancor while attempting to "heal the rift." Clinton supporters:
Ted Strickland. A popular governor from an important swing state (Ohio) brings in executive experience (well 2 years of it ...). From what I know about him, he seems likeable enough and appeals to that all important consituency of blue collar whites, who are apparently the only real Americans (I am proud of my elitism).
I haven't heard of Ed Rendell being talked about (he has a little more experience and is a former DNC and perhaps the paradigmatic Clinton hack). It seems to me that he'd be good for the same reasons as Strickland, but I'm glad that he's not on the list, because I really dislike him, even though I voted for him twice (the alternative was always way worse). He did a goodish job as mayor of Philly when I first moved here, but his two big causes as governor have been: expanding legalized gambling and property tax reform. Really? These are Democratic issues (when they both involve transfers of money to the rich from the poor).
Then there's the ex-Clinton supporter (Judas) if you will: Bill Richardson. Great executive experience and Hispanic (his name is pronounced Beeel Reechardson --- just ask Al Gore); and Hispanics have been trending almost as much to Clinton as blue-collar whites but they apparently don't matter as much. Now, you might say that this is racism --- I won't, although I'll think it --- demographically, the more interesting thing is that it shows that Democrats still can't buy onto the notion that if they sweep the West they can lose the South... I like him, and he really fills the "experience gap" the best of three I've mentioned. Plus, I was favorably impressed by his early-ish endorsement of Obama when I had written him off as a Clinton hack (Beeel Reechardson Super Star ....)
Now let's move into earlier supporters of Obama.
Here, we include. Janet Napolitano, the popular governor of Arizona. I'll follow the news media in pointing to the two most salient facts about her: she is a woman (would this heal the "rift" without including a Clinton supporter? Certainly partially, but I doubt fully b/c I think that the rift is as much about the internal divisions of Democratic politics as gender. But I've been taking to task for this elsewhere so I won't push it). Don't know much about her except that she's done well in a conservative place without becoming a "blue dog Democrat" but I don't think I need to research much more b/c now that McCain is the Republican nominee she is a remote pick.
What about Jim Webb? Obama's representative among angry white Appalachian men. As a Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat again, good cross-over appeal (might do better among some Southerners than McCain --- depending on who he nominates for Veep and how much Veep actually matters). Great integrity and smart enough, but a little too conservative for my taste. Despite being part of the post-90s democratic party, he has good experience; but I"m not sure he breaks enough with the demographics that have scarred our party. And lets not forget that he was vocally against women in the military when he was Undersecretary of the Navy, and although he's been open about the fact that he's mistaken, that wouldn't do great things for the gender issues that have plagued the party ...
Ok, so what about the uncategorizable candidates?
Here, first we have John Edwards who might parlay his third place into the veep slot. I like Edwards a lot and probably think of my own politics as the closest of anyone I've listed. Of course, there's the "been there/done that" thing and he claims he doesn't want the vice-presidency (inside money says he wants to be A.G. which I think he'd be great at and would hopefully use to start more vigorously enforcing labor laws and business regulations).
Then there's Michael Bloomberg. I have to admit he's my favorite choice, assuming he wants the job. Unlike Rudy Guiliani, he's actually done a great job as mayor of NYC; he's been a technocrat in the best sense of the term: someone who tries to use the tools of government to solve problems in a non-partisan way. Even so, I'm not sure that I'd want a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent for President but I think that both in terms of what he brings politically to the ticket and as a future shaper of policy, he'd make a great vice-president.
Granted neither Edwards nor Bloomberg will get rid of the "elitist" charge, but it's a bogus charge in the first place. . .
Joe Lieberman. Of course, there's the been-there, done-that phenomenon. AND THE FACT THAT HE SUCKS. Fortunately he is not really in the running (too busy kissing McCain's ass and stirring up controversies over non-issues like whether or not to talk to Iran).
Any favorites on this list? Anyone I'm leaving out?