washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Thinking Veepstakes

It may seem early to be thinking about the Democratic presidential nominee’s running mate, but, hey that decision is less than a year away. Somebody has to get the ball rolling, so just for fun, here goes one blogger’s early shortlist:

Bill Richardson – Assuming he doesn’t pull a NH upset, he has to rank high on everybody’s veepster short list. Obviously, he brings serious Latino creds. And he just might ice the SW for Dems. He also has an appealing ‘regular guy’ quality that comes across in interviews. And he matches nicely with any of the other Democratic aspirants. Hard to see a downside.
Chris Dodd – Senator Dodd has decades of experience, and if there were more equitable media coverage, he would likely be one of the front-runners. Presidential nominees always say the primary criterion for their V.P. choice is someone who is “ready to be President at a moment’s notice.” Nobody in the current field fits that qualification better than Dodd.
Howard Dean – Smart, passionate and straight-talking, Dean would bring impressive grass roots creds to the ticket. Plus he can articulate the case for voting straight Democratic ticket down the line better than anyone, and we need that big-time. The “Scream” media fallout that ended his white house run in ’04 now seems more about trifling MSM coverage than his emotional stability.
Russ Feingold – Would energize left-progressives like no other nominee and bring home a swing state in the bargain. Would fit best with a more centrist presidential nominee.
Three rookies – Claire McCaskill, Sherrod Brown and James Webb. Each reps a swing state, and the “fresh face” thing might draw some extra interest. All three won close elections, but with broad-based support and could rumble with the best anywhere. McCaskill is an energetic champion of working families, Brown is one of the fiercest debaters in the Senate and Webb exemplifies the strong but more thoughtful foreign policy yearned for by many Americans.
Caroline Kennedy – Stop scoffing and try to remember her speech at the 2000 Democratic convention. Talk about poise, class and symbolic power. Yes, I also doubt she would accept it. But she is highly patriotic and, if called to serve by the right uncle, who knows?

My short list is based on the assumption that none of the ‘Big Three’ would accept the V.P. nomination. Can’t see Clinton or Edwards accepting it, or being offered it for that matter. And my hunch is that Obama might prefer thriving as a top Senator for a few years to cutting ribbons and attending funerals. Just thinking here. If you have any better suggestions, fire away.

2 comments on “Thinking Veepstakes

  1. davybaby on

    You had me going there for a while, until I saw Caroline Kennedy on your list. ROFL! Well, at least she wouldn’t be as bad as her cousin, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, was when she ran for Governor of Maryland in 2002.
    Of the names you cited, the only two who have a shot are Bill Richardson and Sherrod Brown, though Richardson has certainly been unimpressive in his presidential campaign and Brown is an anti-trade extremist. But, seriously, Chris “Waitress Sandwich” Dodd? Jim Webb, who is on his third marriage? Get real!
    For other possibilities, I would add Gen. Wesley Clark, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and Gov. Kathleen Sebeius (D-KS), with the latter two being unlikely if Clinton is the nominee.
    More than likely, it will come down to Clark, Bayh and Richardson.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.