You say that the choice will be based on who gives the best chance of winning...and I don't doubt that you're right. The concept of having someone who could step into the Oval Office in the event of a tragedy probably hasn't dawned on Barry and his team.
No suprise...these kinds of details don't seem to matter in Obama-land.
I've been watching PBS's "American Experience" tonight, on the lives Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. They built their New Deal Coalition on a pragmatic--and ultimately successful--plan to rebuild our economy and government.
Key word being "PLAN"....every detail of the first 100 days. They had dreams and charisma...but they realized that wasn't enough. They had specific objectives and goals, as to where they would lead the country, and how they would get there. Overall strategy, accompanied by tactics.
Both of them must be turning over in their graves to see their New Deal coalition turned over to some bullshitter who has no clue.
knowledgeable observers for his management of the liquidity crunch. People who talk about the Bear Stearns "bail-out" don't understand the financial sector...ask the shareholders if they got bailed out! Most of their shares' value evaporated over the last year; that's what free markets are all about.
The specter of Chris Dodd refusing to fill vacancies for the Federal Reserve is not one that most Democrats should look forward to. We all know that the judiciary has been politicized...trying to extend this trend to the Federal Reserve is both unfortunate and unwise. Morevoer, given Dodd's newly revealed problems with Angelo Mozillo, he might be a little more humble in the weeks ahead.
so your comparison is somewhat off base. Like his father (Sen. Thomas Dodd)--one of nine Senators in US history who was censured--Dodd is apparently ethically challenged. Taking goodies from the likes of Angelo Mozillo is definitely a conflict of interest for a man who chairs the Senate Banking Committee.
Mathews has that horrible laugh...God, it could curdle milk.
I still say the worst was David Gergen. After Senator Clinton's Tuesday night speech--i.e., when she was winning the South Dakota primary--the CNN gang was apoplectic that she hadn't followed their script. As usual, Gergen started babbling and compared her speech to Nixon's "Checkers Speech". Good old Gergen--all the traits of a dog except loyalty.
Your suggestion that the Obama folks can essentially "cover their losses" by signing up 10,000 new voters is, with all due respect, completely irrational. The blogosphere is a fraction of the electoral universe, and not even an accurate sampling. People here tend to be better informed, and feel more strongly about the issues and candidates. The fact that Obama and McCain are polling so closely--in a year when the GOP is on life support--should be sending you a message. Your 9,648 number might just be on the low side in a national election.
It might be more productive to recognize that there are a great many centrist Democrats, and we've had one foot out the door for a long time. Remember two things:
--Not all of these centrists are ready to bolt simply because Hillary Clinton will not be nominated. Personally, I was hoping for an independent bid from Mike Bloomberg, which never materialized. Many of us will base our decisions on issues, not on personalities, and not on feelings of spite or "revenge".
--Each person prioritizes issues differently; it's very presumptuous for supporters of Senator Obama to suggest that there is no way a centrist could, in good conscience, vote for John McCain. Each of us arrives at our vote differently, and we should get back to respecting that.
For me, the Democratic Party is failing on three key issues:
Free trade: we should be the "growth" party, and not saddle up with the likes of Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan. We're rapidly losing the momentum we acheived in the 1990's on this key issue. Pelosi scuttling the Colombia Trade Pact was craven, indefensible, and just a sop to big labor.
Ethanol: this is an insane policy, which is environmentally unsound. For openers, it takes 1700 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol. Worse, diverting 30% of our corn crop to this boodgoggle is driving up commodity prices, and contributing to a world famine. We could be importing sugar ethanol from Brazil, but guess what? We've slapped big tariffs on it. So think about this the next time you see a food riot in Indonesia on the evening news. We're too busy taking care of Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland. Both HRC and Barack voted for this monstrosity of an Agriculture Bill. I've worked for the Democratic Party for a long time, and this issue makes me ashamed of both of them.
Competence: The dynamic on Capitol Hill really hasn't changed much since we took control of Congress in 2006. It's still the same old petty bullshit the GOP pulled when they were in charge....we're just turning it into payback time. The worst example is Chris Dodd holding up Bush' nominees to the Federal Reserve. OK, we all know the judiciary is a political football, but the FED?? We're in the worst liquidity crisis in 30 years....Dodd's actions go beyond irresponsible and being "just politics"; they border on criminal.
So let's see where the campaign goes. I care about government too much to cast my vote for or against someone based on emotion or sour grapes...but neither is the choice as clear cut or easy as some would suggest.
Ted Strickland's classless withdrawal from the Veepstakes didn't help anything. Warner is now out, and Webb has privately told his colleague that he would rather not be considered. All that stuff that mysteriously popped up on FN this week about Webb's supposed love of "the Confederacy" wasn't an accident.
My hope is that people don't confuse quanitity of available choices with quality. Richardson, Mrs. Sabelius, Napolitano....I'm sure they're all pleasant people, but also very ordinary, bringing little to the national stage.
Comment below about Wes Clark is spot on. Given his background and experience, he would probably have a strong sense of duty if called. There couldn't be a better choice.
While General Clark is not a household name, I'm not sure I'd call him an unknown, either. As Supreme Allied Commander of NATO--who successfully prosecuted the war in the Balkans--his credentials are substantial. And after all, the choice should be about who could step in to the top job. Outside of LBJ, and maybe Ed Muskie, few VP picks have ever substantially impacted the party's overall success at the top or in congressional races.
Most of the other names mentioned are unknowns as well....Webb, Richardson, Kaine, etc. Remember, there's a whole world outside of the blogosphere who haven't even thought about this election yet.
Just read your diary on MI and FL, belatedly. Good thoughts.....not sure I agree with many of them, but you brought up a lot of things which haven't gotten any real discussion.
In the meantime, maybe we can have a cage match/fundraiser, I fight for HRC, you for Barack. If you tap out, the proceeds go to retire Hillary's debt. If I tap....well, it can fund your trip to Vegas, since Obama doesn't need the money :-)
Fig.4 head scissors, and if I'm feeling really frisky, the guillotine. Once in a while the triangle choke. Generally do more leg work than anything, since a lot of my opponents don't know how to defend against those moves.
Good luck in Vegas....hope you wait until the Fall!
Above all, loyalty doesn't always mean just saying "yes". To your point, a Vice President who will offer the benefit of his experience--and sometimes challenge the President's direction--would be a huge asset. With General Clark's military experience, nobody would doubt that he would support whatever final decision was made by the President.
Smart, handsome, and charismatic, Clark knows how to use television. General Clark has shown the ability to lead people; as a former Supreme Commander of NATO, nobody will question his background or qualifications.
One thing I've always admired about Wes Clark: he was an "active agent" in arguing that we should be involved in the Balkans conflict to end ethnic cleansing. President Clinton and Secretary Cohen were dragging their feet,and some have posited that Clark manipulated the two men and forced the issue. So he could be a "loose cannon" as VP, although I personally like the idea of someone who stands up to be counted, instead of just going with the flow.
You can't have it both ways: if W really is the village idiot (which most of us believe) Gore should have beaten him like a rented mule. All the talk about Al getting more popular votes in 2000 begs a more important question: why was it even close?
During the debates, we all waited in vain for him to deliver a Reagan-esque/knockout punch...e.g., "Governor Bush, just what IS your problem with peace and prosperity?"
Instead, we got treated to Gore walking over to get in Bush's space, and wrily asking: "tell us Governor: what is your stand on Dingell-Norwood?" Such a burning question.... neither Bush, nor the media, nor the voters had any idea what Al was talking about. The rest of the debates, he spent most of his time rolling his eyes and sighing.
Going back to 1988, he made an equally feeble run, that race was for the nomimation; he ran like a dry creek. Lost that battle.... to Mike Dukakis.
I'm sure Barack can make a better and more suitable choice.