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Barack's VP

Every news outlet in the world is speculating about the VP nominations that will be announced soon. I'm more familiar with Barack Obama's choices, so I'm gonna lay it out here. The three media-analysis-based front-runners are Evan Bayh (D-IN), Tim Kaine (D-Gov.of VA), and Joe Biden (D-DE). Here are my "professional" opinions:

Evan Bayh is a member of the Democratic Party, but identifies himself as a centrist. He received his law degree from UVA and served as Secretary of State from 1987-1989.

Pros: He is pro-choice, voted to add sexual orientation under hate crime rules, and voted no on banning same-sex marriage. He supports diplomacy and sanctions before resorting to military action in Iran, and is a small business advocate.

Cons: He voted yes to ease wiretapping restrictions, yes on a flag-burning constitutional amendment, and has a moderate stance on Iraq (i.e. doesn't want to leave, but doesn't want to continue with the failed effort).

Comments: His moderate and centrist stance could be good for bipartisanship and could help garner the swing vote. He's my personal top pick, but may not be the best strategic candidate to help Obama win.

Tim Kaine is a member of the Democratic Party. He is a Roman-Catholic, worked for a year as a missionary for the Jesuits, got his law degree from Harvard, and is fluent in Spanish.

Pros: He opposes capital punishment, has worked and is committed to reforming health care, and is a fair housing advocate.

Cons: He has a "faith-based opposition to abortion" (RED FLAG), has voted against same-sex marriage in VA, but personally opposes same-sex marriage.

Comments: His "faith-based" quotation really gets to me, as does his opposition to same-sex marriage (which is 99% of the time a religious viewpoint). BUT, I will say that a) like Bayh, he might be good for bipartisanship because of these views, and b) he doesn't seem to let his personal beliefs interfere TOO heavily in his politics. But that's a huge "seem" for now. Also, it's hard to find a lot of information on national issues, since he's not a Washington politician.

Joe Biden is a member of the Democratic Party and was a 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate. He obtained his law degree from Syracuse and has served on the Senate representing Delaware since he was 30.

Pros: He has a lot of experience, especially foreign policy experience. His health care plan calls for expansion but not universality, and he's big on civil rights. He has name recognition from being in the election this year.

Cons: He makes questionable comments sometimes. Not necessary bad comments, but comments that can easily be twisted by an opponent.

Comments: His speaking without thinking (a la McCain), could be bad for Obama, as the Republicans are looking long and hard for comments to pounce on. I could imagine Biden ruining the campaign if he weren't careful. The upside of this is that he could come up with some really vitriolic one-liners on which to hoist McCain.

So my pick is Evan Bayh, and the other two are kind of a toss-up. But he might pull someone out of nowhere and surprise us all (Hillary? Unlikely..). Whatever the outcome, we'll probably know by tomorrow.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
Bayh - I guess you can grade his centrism on a curve (Indiana is a very conservative state, so you're not going to get a liberal lion like Ted Kennedy or Barbera Boxer there), but I still don't like making him the presumptive Democratic nominee in 2016.

Kaine - His hair freaks me out. And yes, looks count in a presidential election. Plus, he's not that popular in Virginia right now. If we really need a Virginian, Warner would be the ideal choice, but he has repeatedly turned down the job. He's guaranteed a seat in the Senate come January and if Obama loses he's the frontrunner in 2012.

Biden - If it weren't for his strong ties to the credit card industry, he'd be my first choice. Still, he might be too old to run in 2016, so he might be a worthwhile "Cheney" pick. Either way, if he's not on the ticket, he's almost certainly Obama's Secretary of State.

I'm holding out for Richardson (even though he's a lackluster campaigner and has some, ahem, "zipper problems") or Clark, but I'm warming up to the possibility of Sebelius. As for Clinton, my biggest objection to having her on the ticket, that she would rally the demoralized GOP base, has been neutralized, as Rove protege Steve Schmidt has sufficiently scared the evangelicals into voting against Obama (even if they can't be bothered to vote for McCain). I still don't think she's a good pick (she contradicts the overarching message of change, she would overshadow the top of the ticket, Bill has proven to be incredibly gaffe prone thus far this cycle, amongst many other concerns), but I'm no longer of the opinion that she's a disastrous pick.
Aug. 23rd, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
Well, Bayh and Kaine are out. I think it's gonna be Richardson or Biden.

And who is this Kathleen Sebelius? Kansas? What? Where did she come from?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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