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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:

  1. He is a war hero.
  1. He was a victim of partisan politics.
  1. He has a strong record supporting vet affairs, like Obama.
  1. 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.
  1. He's from Georgia.  Once again, he's from Georgia.
  1. He's an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.
  1. 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.
  1. He would also be a historic candidate.
  1. He'd be a surprise.
  1. He's got integrity.  

Madeleine Albright

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.  

Gray Davis

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.

Mario Cuomo

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.


Originally posted to Briee on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:09 PM PDT.


Of the less than usual suspects, who would you choose?

73%88 votes
6%8 votes
1%2 votes
18%22 votes

| 120 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cleland will NEVER take it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MI Sooner, Briee

    I have it from a trusted source (the former Senator himself). He told me two years ago he is unequivocally, thoroughly, utterly, 100% done with elected office. He will still attend fundraisers and promote other candidates, but that is all. He is happy living back in Georgia and (most of the time) away from the fracas.

    The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:12:34 PM PDT

  •  not Madeleine or Mario (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, MI Sooner, Rich in PA

    Madeleine Albright was born in Europe and is not a natural-born citizen.  Mario Cuomo turns 76 years old this year.  

    •  Age is not an issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I wouldn't want Obama to pick the heir now.  I'd rather he pick someone that likely won't be running in 2016.

      "There is no barrier of people's acceptance. The only barrier is the media. Remember what people cannot see or hear, they cannot think about."

      by dugjxn on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:33:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Gray Davis was a lousy governor. (7+ / 0-)

    Yeah, maybe he was a victim of partisan politics, but he wasn't very popular and he wasn't very good.

    •  He was good at executing people (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, blueness, Briee

      He even attacked a Republican candidate for governor in 2002 as being soft on capital punishment.

      Davis endorsed Clinton this year.

      (To be fair, the Gray man was right about Enron. And the talk-radio-inspired recall was a low point in California political history.)

      A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

      by raatz on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:20:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MI Sooner

    He LOST in Georgia.

    Sorry, this sounds like a gimmick idea, not a serious candidacy. He a solid person, love to see him back in public service, but this is a non-starter.

  •  Cleland is amazing, but... (5+ / 0-)

    he needs to take over the VA as soon as possible. Too many veterans are hurting and the people from top down don't know what to do about it. Max Cleland could fix so many of the wrongs in the Veterans Administration.

  •  Albright was born in the former Czechoslovakia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, Angry Mouse

    which means she can't be Veep, and as for the other two...

    Cuomo is also done with politics (and 75).

    And as a California native who saw the recall up close and personal, no to Gray Davis. Please, if there is a God, no to Gray Davis. He should not have been recalled, but there is no way he would help Obama at all. Anywhere. He'd probably hurt in California, and I'm guessing that huge charisma wouldn't swing a lot of voters elsewhere either.

    The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:15:14 PM PDT

    •  I'm glad someone pointed this out (0+ / 0-)

      Albright would be fine with me, but she's not a natural-born US citizen, so she's not eligible.

      -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

      by Rich in PA on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 07:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Gray Davis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, MadGeorgiaDem

    as VP might be the one way Obama would lose California.

    I suspect more and more it's going to be Joe Biden, who I'd be fine with.

    •  Why Joe Biden? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I really, really, really dislike Joe Biden.

      What are your reasons for liking him?

      •  Lots of reasons (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, Red Bean, MadGeorgiaDem
        1. Foreign policy crediblity (chairman Sen For Rel committee)
        1. Northeastern Catholic a bit more attuned to PA/Ohio voters
        1. An experienced campaigner
        1. Thoroughly vetted, no need to introduce

        and most of all

        1. A terrific attack dog, which you need in a VP candidate (both Lieberman and Edwards failed badly in that)

        I think he'd take his GOP counterpart whomever it is apart in their debate

        •  He's spotty on abortion. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          NARAL rates him 36%.  If there's any way Obama can alienate women voters, it's by choosing a VP with less than a perfect score on reproductive rights.

          •  If he's spotty (0+ / 0-)

            better to be VP, where he does nothing, than a Senator, where he votes.

            And if he were to become president, he'd be fine with judicial choices.

            •  One thing we learned from the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Jim Johnson episode is that -- fairly or unfairly -- Obama must select someone who cannot be branded with the "Washington Insider" label. Otherwise he risks undermining the change message that is crucial to his candidacy.

              So, Biden's out. As are most of the current crop of sitting Senators.

              •  Apples and oranges (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mattman, Zanna, mattinjersey, Briee

                I don't take that message at all. A scandal-free Senator who never has been subject to ethical questions (I believe Biden qualifies) is not remotely disqualified.

                Obama likely needs someone who is a known entity, has a receding hairline, makes the chattering class feel something of a comfort zone. Picking another newcomer/outsider frankly to me seems a bit more risky.

                •  Need not be a newcomer (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Just someone who does not represent business-as-usual. Someone whose selection reinforces the change message.

                  Biden is a good man. But not the right pick for Obama's VP.

                  •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

                    The sense from the polling today (Obama lagging quite a bit behind the "change" desire number) is that his ability to achieve that change is questioned. That leads to the need for a qualified experienced insider to work at his side.

                    McCain's strongest appeal is that he seems to many to be an experienced political figure who is still not totally tied to the status quo. That image needs to be countered somewhat on the Obama side (as well as exposing McCain of course.)

                    And as I said - he'd be a strong campaigner, which is no small thing.

                    Democrats have not had an effective VP candidate to play this role since maybe Hubert Humphrey in 1964 or maybe Sargent Shriver in 1972 (although as a replacement he was far less effective).

                    •  Respectfully disagree (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Obama won the nomination because he effectively ran on a theme of changing Washington and by having a clear opposition to the war that is free of nuance. I believe that he needs to select a running mate that amplifies rather than contradicts those points.

                      •  The general election (0+ / 0-)

                        is not remotely the primary election (in which remember he received less than half the votes when you include all the candidates, not just Clinton's) but is played out on a far wider canvas. As presidential candidate, he captures change. That message is understood. Now he needs a reassuring, veteran running mate to make those who question his experience.

        •  we don't need anyone from the Northeast (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Obama will very likely win everything but PA and maybe NH in the Northeast, no matter who he picks for VP. He needs to pick someone from the West (coastal or mountain) or maybe from the South that can drag at least half the contested states in those areas into the Democratic column. Cleland might not get him Georgia but could help out in NC and Florida. Graham would definitely help him in Florida at the very least. Wes Clark could tip some of the states with lots of military bases away from McCain (same for Zinni) and maybe give Obama a shot at Arkansas

          You can argue that geographic balance is often misguided—certainly Edwards seemed to do little for Kerry's chances in any of the Southern or Border states. Obama will have to make a smarter choice than Kerry did. But I can't see Biden or Dodd or Kerry or any current or former candidate not named Clinton making a difference outside of regions Obama will probably hold anyway. And I'm afraid Clinton has burned a few too many bridges with Obama at this point to be a good option. Too bad Richardson was such a lackluster campaigner since he had the right kind of regional appeal. Obama needs a strong campaigner who can play "bad cop" to Obama's "good cop" with the media when they get out of line, and who will project confidence and unflappability and not start apologizing and equivocating when the right wing noise machine goes after him or her, since you know that's going to happen.

  •  I love Max Cleland, but he (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't want the job and I doubt he'd help Obama here in Georgia all that much, if at all. He'd be a great VA secretary though.

    Gray Davis. Too bland and too unpopular. California is pretty much a lot and he'd add nothing.

    Albright isn't eligible.

    Love Mario Cuomo, but again, he doesn't bring anything to the ticket and his time has passed.

    The loudest cries for war come from those who have never seen one.

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:23:57 PM PDT

    •  Max's health an issue? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm quite fond of Max, and am still waiting for an explanation as to how those Diebold machines had Max wiping the floor with Saxby Chambliss in nearly all-white north Georgia (my forebears have lived in Habersham and neighboring counties since 1823) but Saxby, right-wing scumbag white boy, winning the election by running impossibly strong for a Pug in heavily black south Georgia.

      But while supposedly the VP hasn't got a lot to do, is Max in sufficiently good health that he'd be up to taking over as president if Obama got (God forbid, but who we kiddin', here) one of those Arlen Spector magic bullets?

      •  I haven't heard anything about his (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        health being an issue. As far as I know, Max is in good health, given his disabilities.

        I still believe that Max and won in 2002. I'm afraid we'll never get an explanation as to the huge discrepancies in the polls and the reported vote count.

        I hate Saxby Chambliss and would love to see him crushed in November. Unfortunately, the Democratic bench here in Georgia has become rather thin in recent years.

        The loudest cries for war come from those who have never seen one.

        by MadGeorgiaDem on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 08:53:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another less-considered choice: Bill Bradley. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sploch, Briee

    I wrote about why in this diary.

    'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

    by Maxwell on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:26:57 PM PDT

  •  Of the ones mentioned in this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueness, Briee

    Max Cleland.

  •  They all suck except for Cleland. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, glaser

    Actually, Cuomo is okay.  He's just really old.

    Prediction: Obama/Sebelius vs. McCain/Pawlenty.

    by Namtrix on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:43:40 PM PDT

    •  too old, too young-- (0+ / 0-)

      McCan't is too old so they want him picking someone young-- up and coming.

      and the greatest argument against Obama, is that he's too young, too inexperienced.  Why wouldn't he then pick someone with loads of experience and age on his/her side?

      TUNE IN--

      by Briee on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Picking someone older is fine. (0+ / 0-)

        But Cuomo is too old, and does he have any national security experience?  Because if you're going to choose someone really old, they should at least have foreign policy experience (like Sam Nunn).

        Prediction: Obama/Sebelius vs. McCain/Pawlenty.

        by Namtrix on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 07:00:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Madeleine Albright thinks 400K dead children (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Sagebrush Bob

    was an acceptable price for our sanctions against Saddam.

    In the late '90s, researchers estimated that the sanctions had caused 300 to 400,000 excess deaths among Iraqi children.  Mostly due to poor sanitation and mal-nutrition.

    When asked if that was acceptable, Albright basically said, "It's a hard question, but yes we think it is."

    Not good VP material, even if she was eligable.

    Results count for more than intentions do.

    by VA Classical Liberal on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 06:43:59 PM PDT

  •  There is a reason... (0+ / 0-)

    That these are less considered possibilities.

  •  Ummm.... (0+ / 0-)

    Madeline Albright was born in  Prague,Czechoslovakia.  I don't think she is qualified.

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by Snickers77 on Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 07:30:06 PM PDT

  •  Screw Madeleine Albright. (0+ / 0-)

    Madeleine Albright is a globalist scumbag, Bilderberger, fascist.  She can go to hell.

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