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View Diary: Dick Gephardt as VP? (65 comments)

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  •  You've got a whole lot of "no's" (1+ / 0-)
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    Dem in the heart of Texas

    but not much answer to your question:

    What should I know about the former majority leader? What should we all know about him? And, most importantly, is any of it good enough to warrant him in Obama's "VP Fave Five?"

    So I will attempt to answer your question. Gephardt was majority leader/minority leader in the House of Reps for 14 years (during all of Bill Clinton's presidency). He represented Missouri and was a likable but rather dull political figure. He was well known for his labor support and his mostly protectionist position -- he was against free trade just as it was coming into vogue in the 90s.

    He would bring a level of familiarity and comfort, could possibly deliver Missouri (important swing state), and his calling card was economic policy. Specfically, this would be a way for Obama to telegraph his opposition to free trade more fully, and would also "reach out" to labor -- who overwhelmingly supported John Edwards in the primary.

    On the negative side, he has that real "yesterday's news" vibe, especially considering he ran for president himself back in 1988. He is not very charismatic (that is being charitable). He voted for the AUMF however he has since said that vote was a mistake.

    If being old and yesterday's news disqualified one from being on the VP list, then people have got to stop bringing up Sam Nunn.

    If having supported the AUMF before seeing the folly of it disqualifies one, then people have got to stop suggesting John Edwards.

    At the end of the day, he will not pick Gephardt. He is not consistent with Obama's change message and doesn't offer much that someone else could bring. For example, in some ways I think Sherrod Brown could be the 2000s version of Gephardt (on the trade issue, not on the charisma).

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