With the Obama campaign keeping us in high suspense today, let’s take a look at the contenders.
1. JOE BIDEN. Joe Biden? I happen to be a Joe Biden fan. He’s super-smart, has a great sense of humor, and knows foreign countries down to the block level. But if you put him on the ticket, you’ll have to spend valuable time and energy cleaning up after him. And truthfully, he creates a stature gap, because he’s bigger than Obama. Also, the idea of him as Secretary of State is a laugh. He’s not what I would call a diplomat. Funny, though, how the pundits who dismissed his presidential run from the get-go have suddenly discovered his virtues.
2. TIM KAINE. Who? He’s in his first term as governor, which gives him more executive experience than Obama but would create a ticket with less total experience than the Bear’s quarterback duo of Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman. Plus, you couldn’t very easily paint John McCain as out-of-touch because he’s not very familiar with the Internet given that Kaine doesn’t know how to sign up for a text message.
3. EVAN BAYH. I predicted Bayh long ago – and have the witnesses to prove it – but truthfully I didn’t know that he not only voted for the Iraq War, but co-sponsored the authorization. I’m not sure how Obama gets past that one.
4. HILLARY CLINTON. Obama might need her now, but a running mate like Bayh offers the benefit of blending into the background. Not so Hillary. It would be all about the Clintons again. I wonder if Dems can see now, though, that a Clinton/Obama ticket would have been the real dream.
5. CHET EDWARDS. No.
6. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS. Like Kaine, she’s a governor. And like Kaine, she doesn’t have much more than that going for her, except that she’s a woman. Ain’t gonna happen.
7. MIKE BLOOMBERG. Why not? It would be mucho multipartisan – Bloomberg has been a member of just about every party out there – he has tons of executive experience, he’s unflappable, competent, and would win over reluctant corners of the Jewish vote. He could be painted as a New York liberal except that he happens to have been a Republican for most of his term before recently changing his registration to Independent. He doesn’t carry a state, but he carries a huge wallet.
8. BILL RICHARDSON. For a guy with such a great resume, he sure comes off as a lightweight. Then again, that’s just what the job calls for.
9. RUSS FEINGOLD. If only. He would truly represent change – plus experience. It will never happen.
10. TED STRICKLAND. The Ohio governor took himself out of the running early, but why not? He’s a governor and former congressman, he brings a state, he was a Hillary supporter; sure, he’s missing the foreign policy component Obama has said he wants, but isn’t that what a Secretary of State is for?