Obama Veepstakes (been sitting on this for a while)

Nuclear Option: Sen. Jim Webb (VA), Gen. Tony Zinni (VA), Gen. Wesley Clark (AR)
These are some of the popular picks in the media. They’re great guys and I understand the argument that they shore up his perceived Foreign Policy problem, but they undercut his message that Dems can articulate a strong message on National Security without trying to out flag-wave Republicans. If we’re always running to men in uniform then we’re not doing that: this is the thinking that got John Kerry the nomination and lost us the 2004 election. There is the added regional argument in that they’re all from the south but I think Webb is the only one that can safely be said to put a state in play and I don’t think his personality will lend itself well to the role. I term them the Nuclear Option because I understand the reason we have them but think it would be disastrous for us to actually consider using them
Bracket Winner: Sen. Webb (VA)

Women: Sen. Clinton (NY), Gov. Sebelius (KA), Gov. Napolitano (AZ)
I hesitated to include this bracket as a) I think it’s kind of sexist to give them their own corner and b) I don’t think he should pick Clinton as she is a polarizing, overbearing figure. She’s got too much baggage and will undercut his new politics message. That said I don’t think he would pick another woman because that would be even more insulting to her supporters, rather than bringing them in it will lead them to ask, “If you wanted a woman what was wrong with Hillary?” All that said I think if he were to pick a woman there’s one that fits best with the campaign theme.
Bracket Winner: Gov. Sebelius (KA)

Statesmen: Sen. Joe Biden (DE), Sen. Sam Nunn (GA), Gov. Bill Richardson (NM)
Again these guys are great and would help address the Foreign Policy deficiency, or would they? Wouldn’t it just highlight that Obama thinks he has a problem with this if he picked one of these guys? Doesn’t that again undercut his message that judgment not experience is key? I’m sure all three will play important roles in an Obama administration but not as VP. Biden and Nunn can’t deliver a state and well Richardson clearly didn’t resonate with anyone as a candidate in his own right, like Bayh and Strickland I would say he’s someone with a great resume and not a lot else (though his speech at the Obama endorsement made me wonder where that Bill Richardson had been for the last year).
Bracket Winner: Sen. Joe Biden (DE)

Trending Blue: Sen. John Edwards (NC), Gov. Mark Warner (VA), Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT)
These are the guys from Red States with great personalities that might be worth picking for the regional argument and their enthusiasm. However Edwards had his shot at no. 2 and couldn’t put NC into play. I think that we need Warner more in the Senate at the moment. And Montana doesn’t have enough electoral votes to make the regional argument strong enough.
Bracket Winner: Gov. Mark Warner (VA)

Peacemakers (s): Gov. Ed Rendell (PA), Sen. Evan Bayh (IN), Gov. Ted Strickland (OH)
These are the guys from Clinton’s Short-List that could help unite the party. They’re popular statewide officials from large red/swing states with impressive resumes. However I think Rendell is the only one worth any real consideration here, the other two are about as engaging as belly button lint.
Bracket Winner: Gov. Ed Rendell (PA)

Dark Horse: Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE), Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NY), Rep. Adam Smith (WA)
These are my long-shot picks. One Republican, one Independent who used to be a Democrat before he used to be a Republican, and one guy you’ve probably never heard of (yeah he’s not that Adam Smith). Hagel would certainly feed well into a message of new politics and have crossover appeal; he’s also had a lot of nice things to say about Obama recently. Bloomberg also has a lot of independent appeal (and billions of his own money to spread that appeal) but is still questionable. However I think the one that emerges here is Adam Smith. An early Obama backer and effective surrogate he’s shown he can handle himself well with the media. An effective campaigner he was able to turn a Republican district into a safe Democratic seat. As a long serving member of the House he has served on the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committee and is chair of the Subcommittee on Unconventional Threats (which might be handy if your administration was facing an unconventional threat like say…terrorism). This is a solid background on Foreign Policy that compliments Obama’s rather than overshadowing it. And what says “new politics” quite like picking someone that’s completely off the radar of the mainstream media?
Bracket Winner: Rep. Adam Smith

I know…a final six, not quite the NCAA but well it’s just a metaphor. In the end for me it comes down to two in the finals.

Finals: Gov. Ed Rendell vs. Rep. Adam Smith
I think these two represent the best choices depending upon which route Sen. Obama decides to take with his running-mate. I think Gov. Rendell offers a safe option on a number of fronts. As a Clinton supporter he can help reconcile her camp, he’s got solid experience that compliments without overshadowing, and he’s from a critical swing-state. Rep. Smith is clearly my favorite though, not just because I’m the only one that has him on their radar (though it doesn’t hurt). I think that it is good to reward those that backed you early and eagerly. I think he is a dynamic campaigner who will complement Obama’s strengths and shore up his weaknesses well, and while Washington isn’t exactly a swing state they did have a pretty tight Gov. Race last time out, and could have some appeal in other Northwestern states. In the end he would be my pick.

Comments

Anyone else...

wanna play?

Sebelius

She sure does seem to inspire the women I know.

Sebelius

is my hero (heroine.) Please give shake her hand for me on Monday, James.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

This is what happens

When you talk across the room before hitting 'post'.

Feingold

he's a solid pick but I thought Edwards supporters didn't think he was a real progressive? (j/k) I think Feingold himself said that his recent messy divorce makes him too much of a liability.

To answer your question there's plenty of people I would add but I tried to keep this as short as possible I would probably add Kaine to the trending blue, take out JRE and make a new Progressive Bracket (but may come up with a cleverer name for it) with him Feingold and...I'll have to think about the third.

I also wanted to make my darkhorse bracket 3 unknowns and then make a crossover bracket with Republicans/Independents but just thought it was getting too complex.

Two more brackets would make for a final eight, four, two.

Overlooked?

In which bracket would you place Senator Russ Feingold?

Some disagreements

I think Clark is a much stronger choice than Webb. Mostly because he has run a national campaign before, his home base is OK and there are a lot of people who seem to think the west holds more hope for us than the south. And, I think with Kaine and Warner in his corner we will win VA with or without Webb.

I also think that Rendell is a poor choice because he has a habit of going off message. I think he is a great choice, but a worry in a lot of ways. Out of that subgroup I think Strickland is the much stronger choice, and he has a much more strong tie to Appalachia, as opposed to Rendell, whose base is Philly.

I agree with you on Biden and Sebelius, and I think you make a strong case for Adam Smith.

Good post.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Some other thoughts

I thought Clark's firm was based out of Little Rock, I know he won OK in the 2004 primary, is that what you were referring to? I don't think primary wins necessarily translate into general election ones or visa. I guess I forgot to add that as a strong Clinton Supporter he could help the healing as well.

Yeah, I just like Ed Rendell a lot, I been reading too much "Prayer for the City". I figured he could help around the OH river valley and with Jewish voters. I seriously would pick a rock from Appalachia to appeal to that group before Strickland (or Bayh, maybe they would step up if given the chance though).

Woops

Good point about where he is from.

I loved "Prayer for the City". Amazing book by a great author.

I know what you mean about picking a rock, but Strickland did do really well in the parts of Ohio we will need to take to win that State and PA in the fall.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

He was born and bred in Arkansas as well.

He and the Clinton's putting on a strong push there (assuming they would if not given the nomination) could win the state for us.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Rendell? Sebelius? Smith?

Chalk it up to the hour and brain-fry but I totally skipped the fact you had Rendell in your finals. Don't you think his February comment would be a bit of an albatross?

"I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate."

Granted, he was talking about Pennsylvania. But do you think that sentiment will fly with African-Americans? How about caucasians who cringe at the thought of people with this view? I would think this statement alone would be the kiss of death. I know that I wouldn't want a man as my Veep who thinks some people aren't going to vote for me because of my race. If Rendell is even on the radar it is a small, insignificant blip. So, in the finals? Not at all.

As for Governor Sebelius, she is a midwesterner. She holds no attraction in helping to secure any region of the country other than the heartland. She won't help the vote count.

Adam Smith is a general unknown. I like that he rarely sides with the FRC and that he voted yes on ENDA but I will need to dig more to learn about him.

How about Dodd from Ct?

All the analysis points to his weakness in the industrial states. (NY, NJ, Ca, Pa, etc.) Dodd has that 'common man's' connection, plus understands the importance of things like Labor Relations laws, bad trade agreements and the evils of outsourcing tax breaks. Those are important isssues in those states.

Chris Dodd

Being the 2nd ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, speaking Spanish fluently,
authoring legislation like Family and Medical Leave Act and being named Head Start Senator of the Decade.
Dodd for VP!
or perhaps
Senate Majority Leader.

I love this guy!

Levi

They're my brackets

so the picks are mainly just who I like out of the choices.

I think Rendell's bigger liability for the general would be the video of him talking about Nation of Islam and Farakhan, but I don't think that's insurmountable. African Americans aren't going to vote against Obama because he picks a runningmate short of them being a neo-nazi.

I think there is a case to be made that Governor Sebelius will help in OH as her father was a former Governor there.

As to Smith, I don't think Obama will hold someone being an unknown against them. The more I have looked into him the more I like, and I've watched him several times on MSNBC and thought he was one of the better Obama surrogates. My only qualm is that he voted for the war but he was one of the first to admit what a mistake that was.