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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

THE VEEPSTAKES

A brief rundown of candidates. I'll exclude McCain choices, because it's not my party; however, my guess is Romney as the favorite with Crist in 2nd place.

Ideally, Barack Obama could find someone who brings some foreign policy experience and also knows the Washington inside game. The insider skills might well be provided filled by his White House chief of staff or Congresional liason. So foreign policy credentials is a higher priority although Obama himself is and will be strong in this arena. Finally, the VP candidate must complement the Obama theme of change without bitter partisanship.

First, not Hillary. Sure, she's well qualified to take over if the worst happened and she certainly would help win the election. However, Obama must think of governing and that's hard to do while watching your back and worrying about Bill.

The senators, such as Webb, Biden, McCaskill, maybe Dodd. First priority is that the Senator's successor must be a Democrat. We can't afford to lose a seat. Webb looks the strongest - opposes Iraq war, a strategic thinker with a military background.

Of the governors, ex-governors and others, the leading candidates would be Bill Richardson and Kathleen Sebelius, Democrstic governor of Republican Kansas. Downside for her is lack of foreign policy experience and possible loss of a Democratic goevernorship. Richardson has the foreign policy and executive experience but is not a great campaigner. Unlike with others of limited campaign skills, such as Wesley Clark and Evan Bayh, Hillary would be reluctant to make up for shortcomings of this "Judas". Sam Nunn is probably too old for this new generation movement

Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be a very interesting choice, but could he be happy as second banana?




ELECTION NIGHT HILLARY

On an historic evening when an African-American had just clinched the presidential nomination, his rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, gave a campaign speech. She offered some praise to Barack Obama for the strong campaign he had run, but carefully avoided the word. "won".

During the day, expecting Obama's victory, Clinton's campaign had stepped on the celebration of this milestone with, among other things, her statement that she was open to being the candidate for vice president. This gave extra meaning to her demand that the 18 million (sic) Americans who had voted for her must be respected.

Hillary's speech was before a few hundred donors and supporters in a basement gymnasium at New York's Baruch College. (Didn't Obama once tell us that the word Barack was a form of the word Baruch?) With no television monitors there, some in the audience certainly had not heard that Obama had just won the nomination. They surely would not get this news from her.

Terry McAuliffe introduced Clinton as the "next president" and her speech was a mixture of farewell thank yous to supporters and campaign workers and vows to keep standing up and fighting for her beliefs and the American people. The Senator again presented her case that she was the stronger candidate and argued that she had won the popular vote, a notion disputed by the Obama campaign. She said she would work for party unity, but she had already been including this in her stump speech. No congratulations to Obama, no endorsement, no concession.

And no graciousness.



FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN PRIMARY VOTES

While campaigning in Florida, Hillary Clinton defiantly sent out new signals that she might take her fight for the nomination all the way to the party’s convention in August.

First, Hillary held a "victory" rally in Florida, claiming a "win" where
there was no contest. Then,she flip-flopped on her prior position that FL
and MI votes should not count.

Her claims to the results in these states are spurious, whether or not
Obama was on the ballot. When you are a Clinton, with a background of the
presidency and decades in the public eye, of course you will get the most
votes when your opponent has not campaigned.

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