VP Speculation Heats Up
All indications are that Barack Obama has made his choice for running mate and will announce it today. Through some combination of clever public manipulation to throw people off the scent and wishful thinking on the part of those with a stake in the outcome, the guesses as to who it’ll be are all over the map.
Obama’s stated criteria:
“I want somebody who’s independent, somebody who can push against my preconceived notions and challenge me so we have got a robust debate in the White House.”
This prompted one wag to guess that Dick Cheney has been tabbed.
John Amato thinks Obama’s slide in the polls will cause him to rethink things and land on the obvious choice, Hillary Clinton. Mark Halperin examines the Hillary speculation and finds the evidence that she’s being seriously considered rather thin.
For his part, David Brooks hopes it’s Joe Biden because he’s a serious, decent guy who’d give Obama what he needs: working-class roots, honest, loyalty, and experience.
Matt Yglesias guesses it’s Kathleen Sebelius.
Meanwhile, “several advisers close to his campaign” are telling Elisabeth Bumiler that John McCain has ended his flirtation with the likes of Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman and will almost certainly go with an abortion opponent, probably either Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty. These same sources, though, say “it was not beyond the realm of possibility” that McCain will go with “a wild-card choice,” General David Petraueus. Then again, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that aliens from another galaxy will land on the White House lawn this morning.
Mark Halperin has “two sources” saying it’s “apparently” Romney but that “no offer has been made.” If so, Sean at FiveThirtyEight says that it would be a choice of “Demographics Over Narrative,” going with a guy who could help in Colorado and Michigan while hurting the ticket on the “regular guy” front since Romney owns a lot of homes, too. John Cole thinks the Romney choice would explain “why they are now completely freaking out over the first real punch Obama has thrown at them [i.e. the attack on McCain’s “seven houses” -ed. ] despite their having been running attack ads for months.”
The guys at Electoral-vote.com weigh in on the concept of “fusion tickets” — picking a running mate of the other party, as would be the case if Obama picked Chuck Hegel or McCain picked Lieberman — noting that they’ve been losers historically.
UPDATE: Politico‘s Mike Allen reports, in a piece titled “Hillary gets stiffed,” that Clinton wasn’t even considered.
“She was never vetted,” a Democratic official reported. “She was not asked for a single piece of paper. She and Senator Obama have never had a single conversation about it. How would he know if she’d take it?”
The official also said Clinton never met with Obama’s vetting team of Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy. And the official said she was never asked for medical records or for any financial 2008 information about her or former President Bill Clinton. The last information the couple has disclosed about taxes and financial holdings was for 2007. The Clintons also were not asked about donors to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. “This would be the biggest leap of faith ever,” the official said. “She’s waiting for the text message like everyone else.”
An Obama aide said “absolutely exhaustive research was done on her over the course of the 16 month primary. She was researched more closely than any candidate in history.”
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine that there are embarrassing secret revelations of the Clintons that we’re not already privy to. Certainly, none would be more embarrassing than the ones we already know.
Meanwhile, Obama is apparently calling all those people who he vetted and didn’t select. So far, Congressman Chet Edwards, of whom I’d never previously heard, has not received a call. In the spirit of full disclosure, neither have I.