Obama VP This Week; McCain Aug. 29


Drudge reports that Obama will name his VP on Wednesday. As Matt Drudge is the bane of most liberals, I’d almost expect that Obama will go ahead and name him (and it will be a him) tomorrow instead; as he may not get enough news time if he does it Thursday. Word has it that it is between Bayh, Biden, and Kaine.

I’m rooting for Biden. He has been one of my favorites for a long time, because not only did he win every debate he participated in, he also can level incredibly incisive and bold attacks against the GOP, definitely a weakness for Obama. If you want to know what happened to Rudy Giuliani’s chances to win the presidency, you can watch them just about go up in flames here:

His other two possible picks are little more than geographical. Evan Bayh could seemingly bore a nun (Sam Nunn? let’s not even go there), but he is from Indiana, a possible swing state that could go Obama’s way. Rumor has it that one of Obama’s electoral map strategies is to set up a fortress in the mid-west (or Michigan, Illinois, Indiana) and take McCain out of this early. I don’t think Bayh will necessarily be able to do that; if McCain picks Romney, he could take Michigan, where Romney outperformed McCain. However, Biden matches up really well against Romney; Mitt ran an awful campaign, and probably would have been the target of Biden’s barbs had Biden himself lasted longer. They still might take Michigan, but Biden, a Delaware native, will seal up Pennsylvania.

Biden may have problems if McCain does the smart thing and chooses Tom Ridge, but Ridge’s pro-choice stance would upset the base. That’s a stupid argument against Ridge, and not just because I happen to share Ridge’s views on the issue; There’s no way in hell that Tom Ridge is going to stand in the way of a conservative Supreme Court Justice or cause a change in the Republican party platform, or McCain’s strongly pro-life views.

Tim Kaine is an intriguing choice, but still a flawed one. Kaine is the popular Virginia governor, a Southern Democrat in the mold of Jim Webb, with not as much political talent or baggage. He is pro-life, which is somewhat troubling because abortion is an uncomfortable topic for the Democrats, and that, through their rhetoric, they are conceding the moral high ground on. That won’t drive Dems to McCain, but it will make the testy, at times overly principled liberals a bit more willing to stay home on election day. Virginia however, would be a huge win for the Dems, although it’s looking more like Obama will pick it up regardless of whom he picks. It’s also a state in the Biden’s mid-atlantic turf, although his influence doesn’t extend as strongly as it does in Pennsylvania. Tim Kaine also has no foreign policy experience; when polls say 2/3 of Americans have hit their heads recently, or see McCain as better on foreign policy, (In other news, trouble on the Iraq-Pakistan border today…) you do have a problem. You nearly couldn’t ask for anyone better than Biden on foreign policy.

So why isn’t Biden a lock? He does have somewhat of a temper, and can go a little far in attacking his opponents. That may alienate some people, and may be off-message for Obama’s ultra-positive campaign. Still, Obama has started going after McCain–he just hasn’t been forceful enough. The real reason Biden hasn’t sealed it up? One word: Delaware. It’s too tiny to make that much of a difference on the electoral map, and Biden will have to rely on his influence in bordering Pennsylvania to make a full case for the Vice Presidency. It’s unfortunately a pretty big knock against him in typical politics; Obama has made more shrewd, conventional moves since becoming the nominee, and Biden may become a casualty to this line of thought from Obama. We will see very shortly.

By the way, McCain’s best chance is Ridge, who Republicans won’t put up with, so cross him off. That leaves Romney and Pawlenty. Pawlenty recently hit out against McCain for not being more positive, but not too harshly; he could be positioning himself as the voice of optimism opposed to McCain’s near constant negativity on Obama. If McCain wants to lose, and lose very, very big, he will choose Romney who is cheesier than Wisconsin, part of an extremist religion, has fired more people than GM (ok not actually), and is a giant Bull’s eye for the Democrats’ “republicans are out of touch message.”

6 Responses to “Obama VP This Week; McCain Aug. 29”

  1. 1 Justin

    You’re wrong, just wrong. Kaine doesn’t improve Obama’s chances of winning VA, and Obama needs to put into play every state he can. That doesn’t happen in the case of Indiana unless he taps Bayh. Bayh would also do more help to win Ohio than Biden would.
    Of course I could be wrong because I’m not inside the campaign, but it’s their mistake to think otherwise.

  2. 2 poliology

    Um, I agree with you:

    “although it’s looking more like Obama will pick it up regardless of whom he picks. ”

    I do rate Bayh higher than Kaine, and I could definitely see Bayh helping Obama in Indiana and the mid west…however I think Hillary could make the bigger impact there if she’s willing to play along (who knows).

    Biden may just be my sentimental favorite, and he doesn’t ever do well in presidential primaries. Therefore, even though I rate Biden higher, I’m expecting Bayh.

  3. With McCain, I think he needs to pick someone more youthful yet more conservative than him (difficult requirements, certainly). As far as Obama, he needs someone who has a track record of being firm and direct. I’m leaning towards Hillary, but of course, she’s probably do more damage than harm. I’m not sure about Bayh, but he seems very likeable. If he has enough experience, he is the one to go with.

  4. 4 poliology

    McCain is a tough one; I definitely agree about the youth requirement, but I don’t see conservatism as a winning ideology this year. McCain’s liberal reputation is greatly exaggerated in the media; he’s made shifts to the right–even on immigration, which has more or less dropped off the map as a major issue this year. I think he needs to have someone with a positive message; making this election a referendum on Obama is a risky strategy.

    I think it’s pretty clear Obama would definitely win with Hillary; too bad he can’t drop her afterwords because governing with her and Bill and all sorts of other Clinton people would essentially create two administrations; aside from making things difficult to accomplish (the goal of government, lest we all forget), it could make Obama a one term president.

    Bayh is definitely likeable, and has a solid reputation in his state. My problem is he’s too passive. Even when he endorsed Hillary (who was running an even more brutal campaign than McCain has), he didn’t go after Obama too hard, although maybe his reasoning is that he thought he could play a role in an Obama administration. Bayh doesn’t have an incredible amount of experience, and he does tend to be a bit bellicose–which would counter a strength for Obama. Also, and let’s dumb down a minute here: He looks a LOT like Edwards. Still, if Bayh can find his voice, he’d probably be the best candidate because its very important that Obama win Michigan, and even possibly Indiana. I have my doubts about Bayh will find his voice, so I’m going with Biden who can really get across the foreign policy and economic points that Obama needs to win. Paul Krugman’s most recent op-ed echoes your point that Obama needs to hit this rhetoric firmly–I agree whole-heartedly. Watch those semi-insignificant tracking polls soar if Obama can figure out that problem

  5. 5 Greg

    Why the hell did Barack chose *Biden*? I mean, look at Kerry’s electability problems and multiply them by three. Biden comes off as a rich, arrogant a-hole. His “regular guy” quotient is zero. Plus, he’s been in the Senate for 200 years, so he has a million votes to pick apart…a million ways to make him look wrong on the issues. He’s never been a chief executive…was no governor available? Maybe a VP pick could slide on that one, but what state is he going to deliver…Delaware?! The worst part is, he’s an East Coast elite. Barack desperately needed a centrist (even conservative) Democrat with humble beginnings from the south to shore up his greatest weakness…the middle class white vote. Sam Nunn might be boring as dirt, but Obama needs something more like a Nunn and less like a Biden. I don’t get this at ALL.

  1. 1 Vindication « PoliOlogy

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