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Posted by NorthCarolina in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat May 24th 2008, 09:17 AM
Conservatives Dominate Veep Speculation
by: Chris Bowers
Fri May 23, 2008 at 15:17

One of the ultimate engines of conventional wisdom, the Washington Post, weighs on the vice-presidential front-runners:

Among others, Obama is expected to look at seasoned Democratic statesmen such as Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and former senator Sam Nunn (Ga.). Biden, who has twice sought the presidency, including a 2008 bid, comes from a working-class Irish Catholic background -- a demographic Obama has struggled with in the primaries. Sen. James Webb (Va.) is another potential prospect, a decorated Marine and former Republican with strong working-class support in his GOP-leaning state.

Some Obama insiders think he will consider a number of female candidates, including Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.). All three endorsed Obama early in his campaign.

In the interest of party unity, Obama could turn to a Clinton supporter from a swing state, such as Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell or Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Republicans who could land on his radar screen include Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, now a political independent.

This is a very conservative list. In fact, it is so conservative, that it makes Biden and Sebelius look like hard-left, flaming liberals. Webb and McCaskill both rank below all of the Senate Presidential contenders on Progressive Punch and National Journal. Ed Rendell was the founding member of the "frainthearted faction" on Social Security (among many other things). Ted Strickland is anti-choice, and generally socially conservative, which is a really, really bad way to unite the party after a woman was defeated in the primary (Webb is just as bad on this front). Hagel and Bloomberg aren't even Democrats. Napolitano doesn't think troop withdrawal from Iraq is a good idea, and will come at McCain from the right on immigration. Evan Bayh has long been one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate, ranking 49th for 2007-2008 on Progressive Punch, ahead of only Ben Nelson.

Progressives are completely shut out of prominent veep discussions. This is connected to several longstanding problems, from the lack of progressive voices in the national media, to progressives being taken for granted as voters, to progressivism never being seen as the future of the Democratic Party. The options are so conservative, that only Sebelius would arguably be to the left of Hillary Clinton. This is basically why I have arrived at Sebelius by process of elimination: she is the only frequently floated name who wouldn't suck as the future face of the party.

It is also slowly pushing me into Paul's camp, favoring John Edwards. While it would be weird to have the same Veep for two different nominees, while Edwards was of questionable value to Kerry in 2004, and while Edwards has sworn off being Veep again, he does run as a progressive, and polls by far the best of any other VP option. That would make him a decidedly non-sucky choice, which is something that is hard to say about most of the other names that are being floated in national discussions on this matter.

Link to article
http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do ;jsessionid=9602F932A849C4D513932A1831B7B70D?diaryId=5959
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