Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Too Short List

The internets are all abuzz with word from the New York Times that Barack Obama will likely announce his choice for running mate tomorrow. Word is that the short list is shorter than ever, with Evan Bayh, Tim Kaine and Joe Biden as the real contenders. Man, am I hoping that the politicos are wrong.

Evan Bayh is a junior U.S. Senator from Indiana. He was also a co-sponsor of the joint resolution to authorize Bush's War on Iraq - which will certainly go down in history as the biggest blunder in U.S. history. Before Congress voted to give Bush pre-emptive power, I knew that invading Iraq was wrong. Most of my friends knew it was wrong. Even my blue-collar Pennsylvania family knew it was wrong. But Evan Bayh exercised his best judgment and voted for the war...and now regrets his choice. Sometimes, mistakes can't be fixed.

And, Joe Biden. Senator Joe Biden has lots of political history and tons of foreign policy experience. And, like Senator Bayh, he supported the Bush Administration's War for Halliburton. Given Senator Biden's experience, his support is particularly upsetting, and particularly damaging to one of Barack Obama's greatest assets - his good judgment from the beginning. While Bayh and Biden were voting to send us in to an unwinnable war, Barack Obama was speaking at an anti-war rally.

Senator Biden also, along with the likes of Strom Thurmond, Joe Lieberman and Orrin Hatch, sponsored the ridiculously un-American RAVE Act (Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act), which allows concert and rave promoters to be arrested and prosecuted if anyone is found with controlled substances at the event, if so-called drug accessories such as glow-sticks or bottled water are also present.

Add to these problems, Biden's inability to control his mouth, and the fact that his middle name is Robinette, and that during the primary he said of Obama, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's a storybook, man," and I think it's clear that the short list is a little too short.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine seems like a nice fellow, and he's by far the best choice of the three, but he's not going to help Obama much with the lack of experience argument. He'll solidify Virginia as a blue state in November, but he's not a nationally exciting candidate.

I'd be happy with Tim Kaine...but I'd be happier with Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who according to most politicos is on the short list...just not the short short list. She has a strong resume, a good record of getting things done right, and is one of the most popular state governors in the nation. In 2005, she was named one of the five best governors by Time Magazine. I also think she'd do a lot to excite disgruntled Hillary supporters who would love to see a woman Vice-President be sworn in in January.


Lauren J said...

It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. As much as I'd love to see a woman VP (or even better, a woman P), I think Obama's going to play it safe and go for a seasoned middle aged white man to balance his youth and race in hopes of making the ticket more palatable to America.

stimpasaurus said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a woman veep too. RAVE act? Never heard of it... that's the stupidest I thing I ever heard.

Dantallion said...

Too bad that he's HAVE to go with a "safe" pick to make him more palatable... we still have a long way to go...