Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The talk has shifted to Obama's search for a running mate. Lots of banter about whether he'll tab Hillary, but I think that's crazy talk and I suspect that idea goes nowhere fast. We can only hope.

Anyhow, I'm gonna throw my idea into the ring because I know that most, if not all, of the nation's prominent strategists come to The Neighborhood for most, if not all, of their political analysis.

And I embrace my role.

My choice is . . .

. . . borrowed from a suggestion Neighborhood Regular™ George made in the comments to another blog. And his suggestion was . . .

. . . Jim Webb.

Webb is, in my so very unhumble opinion, an excellent choice. He balances Obama's perceived political leanings by being a more "conservative" Democrat, one who was actually a GOPer back in the day. Plus, with his military record, he can neutralize a bit of Crazy John McCain's "war hero" thing.

(And unlike McCain, who while brave & worthy-of-respect was a "war hero" only by dint of being captured, Webb really was a war hero.)

More importantly, perhaps, Webb can bring his white southernness to the table to neutralize whatever latent racism may threaten to derail Obama's campaign. (Though in fairness, it won't do squat to neutralize the blatant racism that probably won't, but could, completely derail Obama's campaign).

Finally, I'm probably out-of-my skull on this one, but I wonder if Webb couldn't turn a solid red state blue on election day. I know Virginny's traditionally a non-starter for Dems, but with the D.C. 'burbs and a sizable Black population already somewhat in Obama's camp, couldn't Webb tilt the balance a bit?

Who knows.

Anyway, that's my mid-June thinking. I reserve the right to change my mind 43 times between now and November and America's political punditry better accept that fact. But more important at this juncture: Your Thoughts?

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Blogger Toast said...


1. Terrible on Women's issues. Kiss any thoughts of wooing Hillary's feminist supporters back into the fold if we add Webb.

2. Too conservative, and while the right wing perceives Obama as liberal, about half of activist progressives don't, so this would alienate our base at the expense of a futile attempt to attract the center-right.

3. Forget where I read it, but somebody pointed out that the strategy of adding someone to "balance" a candidate's perceived shortcomings (Webb "makes up for" Obama's perceived weakness on military/foreign policy issues) often backfires because it's a tacit admission of said shortcomings.

4. Everything I've read about Webb suggests he's temperamentally unsuited to playing second banana.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

Rickey only has three words for you: Walter fucking Mondale.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

I think it's going to be Bill Richardson, wo stuck his neck out to endorse Obama despite being a Clinton placement.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous wfta said...

I would prefer if the VP did not come from the senate. I want to see some movement on some tough issues and a filibuster-proof senate may be key to that.

I predict that Hillary’s crowd will not vote for McCain (or Nader) or stay at home. I’d hope to have them happy(er,) but they don’t need to be 100% pacified.

“… neutralize whatever latent racism …”
Bubba, south of Nova Scotia racism is anything but latent. They just stopped using the word when all the southerners started voting Republican. I don’t know if any running mate will make a difference. That said, Obama has polled well with educated whites who identify as Democrats and independents.

Personally, I’m not worried about the military / foreign policy experience. Obama will slaughter McCain in the debates; at least as far as undecided voters are concerned.

Bill Richardson may not be a bad choice. He appears pragmatic, not too ideological, not too old, has some name recognition; should do well with Hispanics. And, hey, I think Joe Biden is too old to learn to keep his mouth shut.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

Yeah, Webb's got that whole sexist comment working against, and I think it was on his watch as Sec./Navy that the whole Tailhook thing happened -- that's a definite way to kiss the feminist vote goodbye.

I also read analysis that Webb's election in Virginia was because he appealed to the Obama "wine" crowd, and not the redneck poor white man vote.

And I think Richardson is out because I've heard he's got a bit of a Bill Clinton problem with the ladies.

I'm going darkhorse here and saying he picks somebody with a "Kennedy" in their last name. Well, that or he grabs the governor of Arizona who happens to be a woman who is good on the immigration issue.

2:58 PM  
Blogger George said...

I'm not as sure about Webb the more I look into it. Elizabeth Drew seems to says yes; while Tim Noah is a definite no.

But then again, won't we be of two minds about any running mate?

12:44 PM  
Blogger DED said...

If Obama picks Hillary, he loses my respect and potential vote, inconsequential as it is.

I like Jim Webb (so far) as a Senator. He'd work for me as VP (so far) but Toast brings up good points with 1 & 3.

I like Richardson from what I know of him.

It'll probably be someone we don't know about. John Royal might be on to something with the Arizona governor. That's right on McCain's home turf!

2:58 PM  
Anonymous VMH said...

John Royal might be on to something with the Arizona governor.

Janet Napolitano is her name and might be a good choice except she has never been married. I suspect "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." which while it hasn't been a problem at the state level might be an issue for a national race.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Terrible on Women's issues

Because he wrote an article 29 years ago about women in the military? This means he's "terrible" on "women's issues"?

What are "women's issues" anyway? He's anti-menstruation?

Walter fucking Mondale

Thanks for ruining "fucking" for the rest of my life, Rickey.

Janet Napolitano is her name and might be a good choice except she has never been married. I suspect "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." which while it hasn't been a problem at the state level might be an issue for a national race.

I like it. A Black candidate and a lesbian for a running mate. Someone call James Watt.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Bob "Chief Beer Advocate" said...

"I think it's going to be Bill Richardson..."

Richardson: "I believe that Western states and Eastern states have not been talking to each other when it comes to proper use of our water resources...States like Wisconsin are awash in water."

Adding a guy to the ticket who is perceived to want to steal the Great Lakes, so desert states can water their lawns will guarantee a loss of Michigan and maybe other Great Lakes states too.

That is a horrible idea.

12:39 PM  

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