Obama’s VP: Biden or Bayh?

Barack Obama’s vice president may have a last name that starts with “Bye,” CNN’s Alexander Mooney reports.

Barack Obama's running mate?The two senators widely believed to be at the top of Barack Obama’s shortlist for VP have been given prime-time speaking slots at the Democratic convention Wednesday night — the very same night the vice presidential candidate is slated to speak.

According to the Democratic National Convention Committee, both Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden will deliver speeches on national security during the marquee night — the same evening former President Bill Clinton is also scheduled to speak.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar will also speak Wednesday evening, according to the convention committee.

Of course, it could mean nothing. After all, Harry Reid surely isn’t going to be VP, even though he’s speaking that night.  And it’s not like the DNC couldn’t switch around the schedule to accommodate their vice presidential nominee.  Obama’s vising Richmond next week:  Could it be Tim Kaine?  Marc Ambinder thinks so.  And don’t dismiss the possibility of a dramatic wild card.  Robert Kuttner thinks Al Gore could be sweet talked into lending his stature to the ticket.

Of the above list, Kaine strikes me as the most obvious choice because of the executive experience and his helpfulness in bringing Virginia.  Bayh is largely unknown but he’s young and considered a rising star.  Biden brings national security gravitas but a lot of baggage.  And he’s a little long in the tooth to be the attack dog in an “the other guy is too damned old” campaign.   Al Gore on the ticket is a lefty fantasy.  He still thinks he won the presidency in 2000; no way he plays second banana to a guy who was a year out of law school while Gore was vice president the last time.

Reading the tea leaves is fun but it’s just pure wild guessing at this point.  It’s fully possible that even Obama doesn’t know yet who he’ll pick.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, The Presidency, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Boyd says:

    Heh. “Al Gore’s stature.” Heh heh.

  2. markm says:

    PLEASE be Biden, please be Biden, please be Biden…

  3. Snoop Diggity-DANG-Dawg says:

    Please let it be gaffe-machine Joe Biden! Please, please please!

  4. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Can you just imagine both Biden and Obama speaking at the same event? It would be fun to watch each one trying to get the other one to shut up so that he can say something.

  5. Am I the only Virginian wondering why anyone thinks Tim Kaine would play well outside of the Old Dominion ?

  6. I pulling for Bill ‘give monogamy a chance’ Clinton as the surprise pick. Wouldn’t that satisfy Hillary and the Clinton supporters (heh).

    On a more serious note, the networks are scheduled to air one hour of Wednesday night. We have a VP to be named later and Bill Clinton scheduled to appear. Any bets on Clinton going long and bumping the VP from prime time network coverage?

  7. markm says:

    “I pulling for Bill ‘give monogamy a chance’ Clinton as the surprise pick.”

    OOPH…should that be the case…SOMEBODY better have the presence of mind to bug the W.H. for audio and video. THAT would be a donneybrook of epic proportions.

  8. Fence says:

    I think Obama would be making a mistake picking someone who voted to authorize the Iraq war, as Bayh and Biden did.

    Is there a single upside that Kaine offers over Mark Warner, other than his greater willingness to take the job? Tim Kaine seems like he has been decent governor but if you ask people why most people here probably couldn’t come up with much more of a reason than to say it is because they think he has continued doing what(ever) Warner was doing. Warner seems like a President who has major crossover appeal in Virginia. Tim Kaine might be confused with Tim Calhoun. But for whatever reason Warner thinks two months of heavy campaigning isn’t worth it to become the favorite to eventually become the 45th President.

    Richardson certainly would “balance” the ticket. Obama has stellar abilities and a thin resume. Richardson has a stellar resume and thin abilities. No thanks.

    Wes Clark presumably did himself in with the McCain snark. Nunn is solid for the job but not the campaign. Hillary is Hillary.

    How about Bob Graham (which is what they should have done in 2000, obviously). But Graham is as old as McCain.

  9. Michael says:

    But Graham is as old as McCain.

    That’s okay, though, because Obama isn’t attacking McCain’s age and experience. As long as Obama doesn’t pick an Iraq war supporter, his current line of attack is still open.

    McCain has to consider a VP’s age and experience, because that’s the line of attack he’s chosen. Obama could diffuse that line of attack, without undermining his own, by picking an older (and, more experienced) VP.

  10. Michael says:

    On a side note, if Obama picks’ Graham, and McCain picks Crist, it’s going to be a fun time in Florida.

  11. Bandit says:

    I’m sticking with Edwards.

  12. markm says:

    Oh…oh THIS would be much better than Biden:


    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!