Another Interesting Name to Think About

The lede yesterday from First Read's account of meetings on Capitol Hill during the day to feel out potential Vice Presidential nominations for the Democratic ticket was the mention of retired General James Jones. Here's the entire list, after which I'll tell you the name other than that of Jones that jumped out at me:

Besides Jones, the other names on the list bandied about with congressional Dems include (and not in any order): Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Evan Bayh, Kathleen Sebelius, Ted Strickland, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Jim Webb, Bill Nelson, Jack Reed, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Tom Daschle, and Sam Nunn. You'll notice a few names NOT on this list (that's not my exclusion -- hint hint). Besides Jones, I'm told the two other names that invited extended discussion were Biden and Strickland.  

This seems to be the one of the first times I can recall of Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed being mentioned as a potential running mate for Barack Obama (or at least as strong of attention as the others on the list have received). While there may be some concern about putting two Senators on the ticket together, and Rhode Island isn't exactly an electoral juggernaut in need of a homestater to keep it in the Democratic column (its four EVs are quite solidly blue at this juncture), there are some compelling reasons to at least think about the Ocean State's senior Senator.

Reed is a former Army Ranger who also served as a professor at West Point, his alma mater. A Harvard Law grad, Reed was elected to the State Senate in 1984, the U.S. House in 1990, and the U.S. Senate in 1996. During his time on Capitol Hill, Reed has been a strong voice on the important issues, most recently earning a 97.67 score from progressive punch, making him the sixth most progressive member of the Senate. Indeed, on the key votes Reed has shown great judgment, for instance standing with 21 others in the Democratic caucus and his fellow Rhode Islander Linc Chafee in opposing the Iraq War in 2002 (a vote that would seem to put him in line with the thinking of Obama at the time).

I don't necessarily think Reed is on the veep shortlist (not the broader list of names being floated but rather the five or ten names most getting the most serious attention), or that he needs to be among the handful from which Obama chooses. Nevertheless, Reed has an interesting profile, one that could bring some real positives to the ticket if selected. And now that others are apparently keeping an eye on Reed, perhaps it would be wise for us to watch him as well.

Tags: 2008, Vice President (all tags)

Comments

39 Comments

Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Why don't we just leave our sitting Senators where they are?  We need them in the Senate to help us get to the Magic Sixty Votes to make Joe Lieberman completely irrelevant and neuter the GOP Obstruction Caucus.

by beerwulf 2008-06-11 04:22AM | 0 recs
Also, RI's governor is Republican

Reed's replacement would be bad news.

by Bee 2008-06-11 05:14AM | 0 recs
yup i agree

and why in the world would John Kerry be considered at all for the veep/

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-11 05:25AM | 0 recs
Maybe to offset McCain's military service? /eom

by Liberal Monk 2008-06-11 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: yup i agree

He isn't seriously being considered... He supported Obama... I'll bet a million pesos that its being floated more as a respect thing.... kind of like Edwards being floated despite saying NO NO NO.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-11 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

I can't believe Kerry is even on this list.  I guess that's just a sop to a loyal supporter?

I'm unfamiliar with this site, so I don't really get the "hint hint."  Is the author talking about Richardson?  Clark?  McCaskill?  Rendell?  Gore?!?

I agree with Beerwulf -- leave the senators alone.

by Bob Fenster 2008-06-11 04:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Oops, just realized I am actually familiar with MSNBC (laughs).  Still not sure what he's getting at.

by Bob Fenster 2008-06-11 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

I think he was just referring to Claire "Judas" Richardson and Claire "Also Judas" McCaskill, because apparently they're on the Clintons' secret enemies list...

by nwodtuhs 2008-06-11 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Oops, brain scramble. Make that Bill "Judas" Richardson.

by nwodtuhs 2008-06-11 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Glad to know I'm not the only one with a scrambled brain this morning.  

(Unfamiliar with Chuck Todd and MSNBC, wow.)

by Bob Fenster 2008-06-11 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

It's hard to think of someone better qualified to serve as VP under Obama than Kerry, even if electorally he's not the best option.

But isn't Jack Reed where charisma goes to die?

by Adam B 2008-06-11 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Whereas Kerry is excitement personified? ;)

by Quinton 2008-06-11 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

He got better.

by Adam B 2008-06-11 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Questions; Why are these names being leaked and by whom? Is it a way of getting into the public domain for feedback or is it malicious? Could it be a head fake? Where is McInsane's VP list? Is this another excuse for the TM to distract us from the important issues facing Americans, after all this is what they do?

by eddieb 2008-06-11 04:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About
Keeps obama's name in the news.
I like Kerry for VP as long as he resigns his Senate seat if he isn't up for re-election.
by usedmeat 2008-06-11 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Go Senator Barney Frank!  It would be nice to have a Jr. Senator from MA that actually introduces a bill sometimes.

by LIsoundview 2008-06-11 06:03AM | 0 recs
I dont think

Kerry, Clinton, or Strickland are on the real short list.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-11 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

By far the smartest choice would be Hillary.  Any other selection will force the media to address the subject of Obama's many shortcomings.

If he chooses Clinton, the answer to the question "Why her?" is simple--party unity.  End of discussion.

by Upstate Dem 2008-06-11 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

I HRC is smart she won't touch the VP slot with a ten foot pole. Look how things worked out for Edwards after hitching his wagon to Kerry's star.

by usedmeat 2008-06-11 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

I don't think you could use the party unity line...  For the most part... with the exception of a few people... dems are coming home to support the Dem canidate.  And simply choosing her for unity makes BOTH of them appear weak.

I'd say she is a tireless fighter for Healthcare and she, like all the members of my cabinet will be fighters for helping all of us change the system in DC... etc.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-11 06:12AM | 0 recs
Hillary Guarantees Obama Loss

The election is not just about the Democratic electorate in which case Obama-Hillary makes sense.Look at the historical data that compares at the time of the candidate dropping out. While 65% of Hillary supporters initally said they would support Obama, the same percentage of Bradley supporters said they wouldn't vote for Gore in 2000 and McCain supporters wouldn't vote for Bush in 2000 and Jerry Brown supporters wouldn't vote for Bill Clinton.

But already Obama is getting 80-85% of the Democratic vote. I guarantee that he will get 90-93% of the Dem. vote with the remaining Dems being made up of Liebermann-types, die hard Hillary supporters, Dems who won't vote for a black man.

While Obama needs Hillary to campaign for him, putting her on the ticket will cost him Independents and White Men.

by chatters71 2008-06-11 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Guarantees Obama Loss

I don't see why Hillary Clinton herself being on the ticket would be anything but a help in getting Obama elected. But she comes paired with Bill. The larger problems would be that it would put Bill's finances in play, and that has not yet been vetted. During the primaries Obama didn't go there, the press didn't go there, but the RNC and the 527s definitely would.

by Juris 2008-06-11 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Guarantees Obama Loss

Bill Clintons finances are the least of Obama's problems with the 527 groups.  Bill Clinton campaigning with Obama would give him great credibility, especially on the economy.  The Clinton name is golden when it comes to the economy.  

by karajan72 2008-06-11 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Guarantees Obama Loss

Funny I heard about the money Bill Clinton is making giving speeches as a private citizen in web attacks on HRC.

by usedmeat 2008-06-11 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Guarantees Obama Loss
putting her on the ticket will cost him Independents and White Men.
The misogynist vote?
by usedmeat 2008-06-11 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Its funny you say that... EnglishLefty on Open Left, posted a Diary with Reed as his top choice.  I was laughing when I saw Reed on the shortlist...

Give me Schweitzer, Clark, Warner or Clinton (leaving out Edwards since he went Shermanesque on it... of course Teddy Roosevelt did that too and was forced into the role.)

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-11 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Speaking of Chafee, I think he would be a really interesting pick:

-- the only Republican (at the time) Senator who voted against going into Iraq
-- left the Republican Party because it was too mired in neo- and social conservatism
-- endorsed Obama in the primaries
-- fully progressive (to the left of Obama, in some instances) on GLBT rights, stem cell research, abortion, the environment, etc.
-- hated by Limbaugh, Hewitt, etc. as one of the most offensive (to them) RINOs

It could send a really strong message to independends and moderate Republicans to someone who reflects his sensibilities on the ticket.

by Dreorg 2008-06-11 06:23AM | 0 recs
No thanks

Chafee is certainly a less offensive Republican pick than an anti-Women anti-civil-rights Republican like Chuck Hagel, but lets leave the Republicans out of it all together. Also why are some enamored by picking someone who lost their last major political race (Dascle for instance).

by Christopher Lib 2008-06-11 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Reed didn't win 18 million votes, get almost 2000 delegates and inspire millions of Americans.  It's a no brainer.  Hillary Clinton for VP.

by karajan72 2008-06-11 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Not a no-brainer, sorry.

1. The recent Gallup poll using her as veep does note that she inspires higher Democratic loyalty, but turns off independents and motivates Republicans to vote against her
2. If Obama does pick her, expect the word "blackmail" to pop up a lot in our useless media.

There's strong reasons to pick her and strong reasons not to pick her.

by bosdcla14 2008-06-11 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

In other words she doesn't do well with voters who might vote Dem and repubs who never will.

by usedmeat 2008-06-11 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

you could say she does do well with people who WILL vote dem but poorly with the maybes (aka the people who decide elections).

by Trowaman 2008-06-11 08:14AM | 0 recs
Still betting it will be Daschle

I think Tom called dibs on being veep quite a while ago.

by votermom 2008-06-11 06:31AM | 0 recs
Rasmussen's latest Michigan poll

has Obama up by 3. Switch it on the map, please.

by Black Anus 2008-06-11 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Obama (or his people) is using the veep nomination to highlight specific members of the Democratic Party on a national scale. I never heard of this Jack Reed guy but the fact that the Dems have a West point grad/professor/Harvard lawyer among their ranks is good PR, especially if he get media play.
It's the same thing that McCain is doing with Bobby Jindal. Even if he doesn't pick him, the fact that the Republicans have a conservative, Indian-AMerican, Catholic governor is a nod toward independents and Moderates.

My guess ? Obama has one or two people that he is narrowing down to, and the rest of this is a "Who's Who/ Rising Stars of the Democratic Party" courtesy of the media.

by xodus1914 2008-06-11 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

I'm with beerwulf on this one.  Why on earth would Obama choose a sitting Democratic Senator when, to do so, would create a vacancy that will be filled by a Republican Governor (e.g., Bill Nelson, Jack Reed)?  Leave them in the Senate to help us build a filibuster-proof majority that would thwart any mischief by an obstructioist Republican minority designed to prevent any progressive legislation proposed or supported by President Obama.  The same goes for appointing a sitting Democratic Governor. In many cases, this would create a vacancy filled by a special election or a Democratic Lieutenant Governor with not nearly the name ID or support enjoyed by the person he or she would be replacing.  I think it is better to choose a former Senator or Governor who retains high name ID and support in a battleground state.  I am not talking about Sam Nunn (frequently mentioned)!  While in the Senate he led the opposition to allowing openly gay citizens to serve in the military.  Not only was Nunn on the wrong side of history but he helped undermine President Clinton (along with the attempt to kill health care reform) at the inception of his administration.  

Here is a person that I think should be considered and, had he been selected in 2000 rather than John McCain's de facto running mate (Joe Lieberman), we would be enjoying the last years of the Al Gore Administration- Bob Graham.  With Bob Graham on the ticket, Florida would have been beyond stealing range for the Republicans in 2000 and likely would be in 2008.  Bob Graham was and is extremely popular in Florida and, more importantly, was right about the war.  As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was one of approximately seven Senators who actually read the NIE on Iraq and sounded the alarm that Bush was lying us into war.  He was truly the Paul Revere of the Senate, has great foreign policy credentials, would likely deliver Florida and his selection won't create a vacancy that a Republican Governor could fill.  

by New Dealer 2008-06-11 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

The only name on the list that has no chance is Clinton's.  Obama would be insane to attach all that baggage to his campaign.

by nobarryo 2008-06-11 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Another Interesting Name to Think About

Why does your screen name mean, and why is this your first post? Trying to stir up trouble. State your purpose!

by Jeter 2008-06-11 04:24PM | 0 recs
Yeah, he's got enough baggage of his own

Starting with his wife. And then Jeremiah, and Father Phleger, and Bill Ayers, and Tony Rezko...and suggesting that our flag was a "symbol of oppression".

You have a lot of nerve suggesting the Clintons have baggage.

by BJJ Fighter 2008-06-12 06:22PM | 0 recs

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