I have so far heard the same dozen or so names, tumbled around and around in the MSM and even the blogosphere, as likely V.P. picks. Below, a case for a few less-thought-of possibles.
Max Cleland. I am shocked that Cleland has only been highlighted as a possible contender in the diary by The Bagof Health and Politics on June 3. The argument can so easily be made for an Obama/Cleland ticket:
- He is a war hero.
- He was a victim of partisan politics.
- He has a strong record supporting vet affairs, like Obama.
- He admits voting in favor of the Iraq war was the "worst mistake he ever made," and is honest about the immense political pressure to do so.
- He's from Georgia. Once again, he's from Georgia.
- He's an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.
- He's incredible, lovely, warm-hearted and at the same time he can debate like no other-- his passion and fire is almost Ted Kennedy like.
- He would also be a historic candidate.
- He'd be a surprise.
- He's got integrity.
I don't think there is a strong likelihood of an Obama/Albright ticket because Albright is so closely associated with the Clintons, it may be difficult for the Obama camp to trust her. That said, this is another one that hasn't surfaced very frequently in VP discussions. Surprising, given the title of her most recent book, Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America's Reputation and Leadership.
The thing about Albright is that she's a diplomat, something Obama fosters in his politics. She's unquestionably experienced. Need I point out that she is also a woman, an older woman, an older woman with Clinton ties. She's smart, she's nuanced, and I for one would not be the least bit worried about Albright holding her own in debates, with the press, and taking on the Republicans.
Davis would certainly be a surprise. He was so obviously a victim of partisan politics at its worst. And it would be an interesting pick for several reasons: The Terminator's poll numbers are dropping steadily. Before targeted, Davis had a solid moderate appeal (and I'm not personally a fan of moderate politics, but I understand there's a call for that). He has a strong environmental record. He was a fiscal conservative. I love this piece of his record:
As California's chief fiscal officer, he saved taxpayers more than half a billion dollars by cracking down on Medi-Cal fraud, rooting out government waste and inefficiency, and exposing the misuse of public funds.
Davis would also be a reminder that you can't trust Republicans-- look at the Terminator now. Schools are failing, he can't manage the budget, and his approval numbers aren't good.
I've always appreciated Cuomo politics, until Mario began spouting about the "unity ticket"... Cuomo, like Obama, had the landmark speech. Was always touted to be a likely President. Who can blame people, he has that quality. He's very experienced and I think someone who is mostly diplomatic in nature. He's a New Yorker. He's very thoughtful about his politics and isn't someone that has been seen as a traditionalist... there's a lot of integrity with this one. He has experience managing New York and its beast of a budget. And despite his very intellectual gifts, people relate to his demographics, I think. One thing that I always wondered about was whether or not he had any morbid skeletons in his closet. He was so speculated, it seems odd that he wouldn't run. Perhaps I'm paranoid. Maybe he didn't want to run, but a VP slot would help him find his way to The White House.