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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Final Democratic VP Speculations

Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are 48-72 hours away from finally revealing their choice for the bottom half of their 2008 ticket. Yesterday it was announced that Obama and the VP nominee will appear together in Springfield, Illinois, this Saturday.

Yesterday's developments also included one of my Veepstakes Finalists stating that he was not chosen as VP nominee. Delaware Senator Joe Biden curtly told a group of reporters that, "I'm not the guy."

This is similar to Tim Kaine's comments last week that he was awarded the silver medal of the Veepstakes, though the Washington Post's claim that Kaine was scheduled to speak on Tuesday was incorrect. It appears that Kaine does not have a speaking slot yet, which means he still might be the guy. Still, after it was revealed that Mark Warner was awarded the keynote address for Tuesday, it seemed quite unlikely that Wednesday's vice-presidential nomination speech come from a fellow Virginian. Moreover, seeing as Wednesday's theme will be foreign policy, Governor Kaine is an unlikely selection to top off the night, though he deserved to be a Finalist yesterday.

Which left my Final Four, until Biden's revelation that it's not him, which leaves three.

Two of them, with Kaine and Biden, have been speculated to be the final four accorinding to the media. They are Senator Evan Bayh (Indiana) and Governor Bill Richardson (New Mexico), each of whom are slated to speak on Wednesday, fueling speculation that one of them is probably the nominee. Fair enough.

But it's not who I would choose.

Barack Obama, with all his rhetoric and speeches, has had a campaign that is, at its core, about two issues. There are two reasons he won the primary. He was vociferously against the Iraq War from the beginning and he's attacked the insider politics of the last few decades (change).

Furthermore, moving forward in the election, his major weakness is lack of foreign policy and military experience. So, the question for VP comes down to who fits the strengths while complimenting the weakness?

Let's take a look:

The last two to be eliminated after hearing their comments, Tim Kaine and Joe Biden, did not fit the mold. Tim Kaine has no foreign policy experience while Joe Biden has been in Washington for 30 years.

Evan Bayh has foreign policy experience, serving on the Armed Services Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence. However, he originally supported President Bush in the Iraq invasion, and was slower than most Democratic Senators to become critical. Moreover, he was a huge supporter of another politician many Democrats think was too slow to recognize the 2003 mistake, Hillary Clinton, in her quest against Obama's campaign of "change." Furthermore, Bayh, in his 9th year in the Senate, cannot be considered a Washington outsider.

Bill Richardson fits. He's a Washington outsider with foreign policy experience and whose primary platform included an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Yet, does anyone realistically think the Democrats will run two minorities on the same ticket? It just won't happen, right?

And that's the Big Four that the media dubs as finalists. Kaine, Biden, Bayh, and Richardson, each with an Achilles Heal. Holistically, evidence points to Evan Bayh as having the least undesirable characteristics of the four candidates, so Evan Bayh will probably be the vice-presidential nominee.

Yet there's one other name which, though it's not getting any media attention, makes a lot of sense.

Short blog on that tomorrow.

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