Thursday, August 14, 2008

More VP

More microanalysis of announced speakers at the Dem Convention has put some doubt in the Biden boomlet today. However, a report somewhere suggested the Obama camp is looking favorably on the "experienced" option, so suddenly Tom Daschle is in the running.

On the "change" side, there's this tea-leaf reading saying it's Gov. Kaine.

But here's how the two arguments seem to be breaking down, with an additional wrinkle (according to...well, me.) The "go for experience" camp is providing names with lots of Washington baggage, but also people known mostly for experience in foreign affairs and national security. The "go for change" argument is for someone outside dysfunctional Washington, looking towards the future of the party, proven ability to work with Repubs and Independents and--here's the wrinkle--a governor with accomplishments on economic/energy issues.

That last wrinkle is not to be ignored. Because Obama's campaign has already moved its emphasis from Iraq and foreign affairs to energy/economics (as with the first Olympics ad) and economics/energy as part of that (second ad.) This is where Obama is strongest, and clearly it will be how he wins. He has to pin a bad economy on Bush and McBush, and add healthcare to the argument along with energy. From now to the election.

So what does Obama do--does he pick an "experience" foreign policy/national security old white guy VP to mollify those with doubts, so he is free to make the economics case himself? Or does he pick a "change" young or female governor who can make both the change politics and the economic/energy/health care case?

Obama is likely to announce his choice, they say, on Monday or Tuesday. Then and probably only then will we know. But I think the argument for the "change" VP candidate is strong, and Tim Kaine and Kathleen Sibelius are strong possibilities. Sibelius has the extra advantage of being from the (mid)west, where Dem gains are going to be made this year and for the forseeable future, and she has a compelling record, especially in getting GOPers on her side. Kaine is smart, articulate, much more compelling in action than in still photos, and though he is gov of an eastern/southern state, with a mixed record, it is Virginia, where Obama has a good chance to win (probably even without Kaine on the ticket, though.)

I am sympathetic to the "experience" option, and if there was a candidate identified that was convincing, I'd be happier. My instinct says not to get a Senator, and those are the only names mentioned. Bayh would be the worst choice of those mentioned a lot, and I think it would be a mistake.

Meanwhile, don't miss the Baracky II viral video above.

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