Who will Obama choose for his Vice President? A Short list for Obama’s running mate.

May 10, 2008
Who Will Obama choose for his Vice President? Here’s a shortlist.

With Barack Obama now (according to some) the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, only one more really important question remains. Who will Obama choose for V.P.?
There are lots of possible choices out there that would make worthy vice presidential candidates, but the choice will depend, in large part, on Obama’s overall campaign strategy heading into what should be a dogfight with Arizona senator John McCain.

What will ultimately factor into Obama’s V.P. decision? According to seasoned political strategists, a good vice president brings a few things to the table. For Obama, the vice presidential candidate will more than likely be a person from a strong location so that they can command votes from their home state. Virginia, for example, is a swing state the Democrats really need this year.  In addition, Obama will be looking for someone who brings strong ideas against the war in Iraq. The person will need to be someone that can transcend traditional partisan lines and they should have the type of personality and experience that will compliment the Obama ticket.

Here’s a short list of the most likely possibilities to share the ticket with Obama. Some are stronger choices than others, but each is sure to get a measure of consideration over the next few weeks as Senator Obama chooses his running mate.

Obama’s V.P. possibilities: The Short List

Jim Webb
If you haven’t heard of this guy, then turn on your television or radio. He has the type of military record that is very attractive for Obama backers. As a former Secretary of the Navy, he should be able to stand toe-to-toe with John McCain on those issues. 

Webb brings a bulldog mentality to the campaign, meaning that he can fight Obama’s battles while the presidential candidate maintains the high road. As the junior senator of Virginia, he could also play a very important role in swinging the votes in that state, which should be up for grabs come November.

The only downside to Webb is that he is a little bit too aggressive when he’s on the attack. Obama’s spin control team might have their hands full with him.

Hilary Clinton
The media and many Democratic leaders would love to see this ticket happen, as it has been dubbed the “Dream Team”. Though Hilary Clinton would bring a strong list of credentials to the table and a great appeal to working class people, Obama would be taking a huge risk by joining hands with her.
Their well-documented differences have played out on televisions across America for months, so bringing them to together for a run at the White House might be too much to ask.

Bill Richardson
Richardson is very popular, especially among the Hispanic demographic. He has served as governor of New Mexico and he’s fiery to say the least. Richardson has been one of Barack Obama’s strongest supporters since the beginning of his campaign and he would bring lots of foreign policy experience to the ticket.

On one hand, Richardson is the perfect man to go up against John McCain, but he also looked a little bit lost during the presidential debates. He’s still a strong choice, though.

Joe Biden
Another one of those names that lingered on Democratic primary ballots for a while this winter, Biden is a well respected individual. He has the resume and leadership experience to really put the screws to John McCain. Biden, in his time in Washington, has become known as one of the hardest hitters in the political game.

The only problem with that is the fact that Biden sometimes doesn’t know when to put on the brakes. His abrasive personality might clash with Obama’s “good guy” nature that has been carefully cultivated.

Michael Bloomberg
The way-past-wealthy mayor of New York has publicly said he isn’t interested in the V.P slot. However, his strong reputation in finance and his money could both be very helpful for Obama, as could his independent and right of center positioning.   However, he doesn’t have  street cred in the foreign policy and military categories.

Wesley Clark
Remember him from the 2004 presidential election? Clark ran a good campaign then and showed the toughness that many democrats want to bring back to the party. Clark has an impressive resume, from his Rhodes Scholar achievement to his extensive military service. He has long been one of the most respected democrats on the issue of foreign policy.

Clark would bring in more southern voters for sure and he would be a very tough opponent for John McCain, but he also doesn’t have the broad appeal that Obama needs on the ticket. In addition, Clark has been known to not fare well on the national scene at times.

Brian Schwietzer
Schwietzer is in his first term as Montana’s governor and it hasn’t taken very long for him to gain popularity among the people of that state. He has a resume that is similar to Obama’s in that he does not accept money from the most powerful Washington lobbyists and he seems to be somewhat anti-establishment.
In addition to all of that, Schwietzer also has extensive economic experience from the private sector that he brings to the table. In his private life, he has spent lots of time in the Middle East, which would pay dividends as a vice president.

Schwietzer looks to lack the draw of the other candidates, both because of his location and because the local media has yet to pick up on him like they have the other candidates.

Kathleen Sebelius
The Kansas governor has the type of bi-partisan record that would make even Obama blush. Her support of the Senator was one of the primary reasons why he carried the state in the Democratic primary. She has shown the ability to not only work with republicans, but to turn them into democrats.
She could be the unifying female voice on this ticket that the democrats are looking for. She doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table in terms of location, however, which might be difficult to overcome.

Janet Napolitano
She comes from Arizona, the home state of John McCain. She has experience in Republican territory, which could help strengthen the post-partisan nature of Obama’s campaign.
Being from the southwest, you might assume that Napolitano would help bring in Hispanic voters, but she takes a very hard line stance on immigration. That along could further deter those voters and could ultimately be the reason why she’d never make it onto the Obama ticket.

Sherrod Brown
Here’s one name you might not have heard before, but Brown is the current governor of Ohio. He would be very attractive to the Obama campaign because he brings progressive economic thinking to the table and is a very outspoken critic against the war. Come November, his name alone could help win Ohio.
The issue with Brown is that he swings just as far to the left as Obama, so he would not help attract independents nearly as much as some of the more post-partisan candidates on this list.


page topic: who will be Obama’s V.P.? A shortlist of possibilities Obama is likely considering for his running mate.

2 thoughts on “Who will Obama choose for his Vice President? A Short list for Obama’s running mate.”

  1. Sherrod Brown is an Ohio state Senator, not governor. Ted Strickland is governor. Which one are your comments about?

  2. I love the Hillary/Obama ticket. I also love Al Gore and Jim Webb. These are well known names. Obama/Gore would be fantastic as he has name recognition. Webb is really intellegent and I’ve seen some of his writings. BUT, someone smarter than me needs to see if Obama/Clinton ticket would beat Mccain. that is the most important thing. I think it would. My first choice is Hillary, (gets all her supporters, her experience, the sympathy some have for her and gets women) 2nd choice Gore and third Webb. You know, in some countries, I think I read that the 2nd in a race always becomes the 2nd in line to the presidency. Seems right to me.

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