Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Virginia VeepStakes - Nope!

Barack Obama has been in Hawaii for a little R&R and a lot of preparing for the convention and the selection of the VP. A couple of Virginians are figuring prominently in those plans.
Mark Warner will be the keynote speaker. A great opportunity for Governor Warner to showcase himself nationally and to promote the kind of centrist, pragmatic approach that made him a successful governor and that will elect him to the U.S. Senate by a landslide. Yes, it will be a 15-20 percentage point win! Or more.
The selection of Warner to deliver the keynote address is probably a signal that Governor Tim Kaine's chances to be selected VP are quickly dimming. It seems pretty unlikely that two Virginian governors would figure so prominently at the Democratic Convention. The grist mill says Kaine has seemed a little glum in the last few days. Cluck.
While Kaine certainly remains in the very short list of potential Obama running mates, two senators are, I believe, more likely choices - Evan Bayh and Joe Biden.
Senator Bayh campaigned with Obama last week and as a former Clinton supporter might bring some of her supporters on board. He's a solid choice from the heartland and probably a safe choice for the ticket. But, is he a compelling choice? And, with a Republican governor poised to appoint a replacement, the political calculus of the U.S. Senate may weigh more heavily on the decision.
With the Russian invasion of Georgia and international issues, at least for now trumping the economy, Senator Biden's expertise in foreign and military policy might be much more appealing to Obama. Biden is a bit of a loose cannon and has been known to let his mouth get him in political trouble, but there is little doubt he is one of the finest minds on international issues, connecting the dots, and seeing the big picture. Senator Biden has been pretty quiet recently - not wanting to insert foot? Another plus for Biden is the fact that Delaware's governor is a Democrat.
This bird doesn't gamble, but if I did I'd be betting on Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate. Of course, I like my crow with Tabasco sauce.

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