EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images Following a steady drumbeat of undecided superdelegates declaring for Barack Obama, the Associated Press declares that the Illinois senator has “effectively clinched” the Democratic nomination for president, and reports that Hillary Clinton is “open” to being his running mate. Since it won’t be long before the veep speculation gets wildly out of ...
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Following a steady drumbeat of undecided superdelegates declaring for Barack Obama, the Associated Press declares that the Illinois senator has “effectively clinched” the Democratic nomination for president, and reports that Hillary Clinton is “open” to being his running mate.
Since it won’t be long before the veep speculation gets wildly out of control, allow me to jump the gun with some guesses.
- Hillary Clinton. Sure, Obama would be leery of having such a powerful, independent figure on the ticket. But she’s got major leverage in the form of 17 million primary supporters. If she demands the job, it will be tough for him to turn her down.
- Bill Richardson. New Mexico’s governor has a lot going for him: He’s relatively young; he’s half Hispanic; he’s not a senator, he’s got foreign-policy cred; he’s charismatic; and he supported Obama at a key time, at the height of the Reverend Wright blowup.
- Joseph Biden. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wouldn’t be able to help much with the electoral map. An effective attack dog, Biden could catch some javelins for Obama on foreign policy.
- Kathleen Sebelius. The Kansas governor was an early Obama backer in a business where loyalty counts. She brings outsider credibility, reinforcing Obama’s anti-Washington message, and hails from one of those red states he’s always talking about. But outside of Kansans and political junkies, how many people have even heard of her?
- Sam Nunn. At 70, the former Georgia senator is a long shot. But his security bona fides are undeniable, especially on a nuclear proliferation, and he’s a safer choice than the unpredictable Jim Webb and the Clinton-supporting Wes Clark.
Those are the obvious picks, and of course there are the media fantasy choices to consider as well: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and outgoing Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, both centrist Republicans. But it’s highly questionable whether either of those two choices would resonate outside the confines of New York and Washington. Nor are two of the other oft-mooted choices very realistic: Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and his Pennsylvania colleague Ed Rendell. Both were Clinton backers, and as old-school, established politicians they would probably confuse the brand and dilute the “change” message.
Readers, what do you think Obama will or should do?
Blake Hounshell is a former managing editor of Foreign Policy.
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