I had big plans for this post today. I was going to solve a mystery once and for all.
Over the past few days I have been scanning articles, watching all the cable news shows and keeping my ear to the ground for any hint, any clue I could get my hands on that might help me solve this mystery.
Sadly, it is still a mystery.
Who is going to be Barack Obama's Vice President?
I posted a piece last month on this topic, but I wanted to take a much closer look at the candidates that everyone else was talking about, not just the people I thought Obama's campaign may be looking at.
What I learned is that there really are no front runners right now, with the possible exception of Sen. Jim Webb (D - Virginia).
I also learned that there is no real unified theory on the type of candidate Obama should select. A lot of the pundits and analysts out there think they have it boiled down to one simple rule...it must be an old, white male, it needs to be someone who can deliver The West, it needs to be someone who can deliver Ohio or Pennsylvania, it needs to be Bill Richardson to get the Latino vote, it needs to be someone with strong foreign policy credentials, it needs to be someone Barack can trust and personally gets along with, and the list goes on and on.
By the way, the theory is also being thrown around out there that if Hillary wants to "knock Barack Obama on his heels" she should select a VP before the convention. Sound familiar?
Some of you may have read my post about what I described as Obama's "nuclear option" back on St. Patrick's Day. Some of you also may have sent me some e-mails about what a terrible idea it was and how crazy I am for thinking of it. I'm just saying...you might have. Turns out, Kevin Drum of Washingtonmonthly.com is just as crazy as I am. That makes two of us.
Back to business...the real point I want to make is that no one has any idea who Obama may be considering right now and no one has any real idea as to who the VP will be.
There have been more than 30 names I have come across and almost all of them are attached to an excellent theory as to why they would make a good running mate for Obama. The decision is going to be tough, but having too many good choices is a high quality problem.
Unfortunately this high quality problem has led me to a failure to achieve my goal with this post. So instead of giving you the front runners, here are some interesting thoughts:
Gen. Colin Powell: Last summer Powell was on ‘Meet the Press' and told Tim Russert that "that he has had a couple conversations with Democratic presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama and that he might not necessarily endorse the Republican candidate for president."
This has people talking about an endorsement and a few, like one of my favorite conservatives Andrew Sullivan, have even suggested Obama-Powell. It sounds great at first, but that whole "better judgment" line that Barack effectively (and rightly) uses in regards to the Iraq War might be compromised by selecting the guy who made the case for war to the UN.
Sen. Hillary Clinton: Of course we've all heard this one before, but what I found interesting was that Hillary was mention in every single story I watched or read about the Obama veepstakes.
What is more interesting is that none of them, as in zero stories, thought it was a good idea or that it might happen. She is only mentioned to explain why she won't be the nominee.
Given the fact that conventional wisdom has been wrong time after time during this campaign, maybe all of this actually makes
Sen. Jim Webb: Speaking of front runners, Webb seems to be the favorite so far. There are not too many arguments against Webb floating around out there, but my political instincts are telling me this won't happen. It is tough to imagine two Senators with relatively little
Webb does bring plenty of military experience to the table, however, and he is popular in
Sen. Joe Biden: I initially wrote Biden off as a VP. The thinking was that he doesn't help in regards to electoral votes, but after further thought, maybe he does.
As I have written before, Obama puts many news states in play for the Democrats.
He has more credibility on foreign policy than any other elected democrat out there. Plus he says funny things like Rudy Giuliani's campaign message only consists of three words, "a noun, a verb and 9/11." And I always respect a guy who is as unnecessarily long-winded as I am.
Speaking of being long-winded, there are several more very interesting potential VPs out there to discuss. So thanks for reading Part 1, but this one is to be continued tomorrow.