The New Frontrunner(s)

How fitting that on the same day I make my list of new frontrunners for the Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination, one of my favorite blogs (Chris Cilizza’s “The Fix” from the Washington Post) does the same thing… Anyway, here’s my list of the new Democratic contenders (from least likely to most likely) for the Vice Presidency:

Joe Biden (Senator, Delaware). There’s no doubt that Joe Biden has A LOT of experience and know-how. He’s spent 35 years in the Senate, has seemingly endless foreign policy knowledge, and has a comprehensive plan for ending the Iraq war. But there are two big drawbacks to Senator Biden: his state and his mouth. Delaware is not exactly a crucial battle-ground state, with three electoral votes and a solid history of Democratic success. Also, Biden is famous for being… shall we say, gaffe-prone (see: Joe Biden on Barack Obama, Joe Biden on Indian-Americans, and Joe Biden on Dennis Kucinich’s wife at minute 3). With Biden in the spotlight so much, he’s bound to mess up – and that could make the campaign nothing but a viral video. Biden’s a great choice for Secretary of State, but not Vice President.

Jack Reed (Senator, Rhode Island). Sure, he’s a long shot, but look at what Jack Reed would bring to the ticket: he’s been in Congress for 17 years (in the House from 1991-1997, and in the Senate since then), he was a West Point graduate and Army Ranger, and he voted against the 2002 Iraq War Resolution. I think if he represented any other state in the union, he’d be considered a serious contender for the spot. Alas, Reed comes from Rhode Island, a solid base state for the Democrats with just four electoral votes – tough break.

Tim Kaine (Governor, Virginia). “The Fix” also went over the cases for and against Tim Kaine this week (weird, huh – stop taking my ideas, Cilizza!), and named him as the favorite for the spot. True, Kaine is a good friend of Obama’s and has been a loyal supporter. He’s also got the kind of faith credentials that could appeal to religious voters in battleground states, and would pretty much guarantee Virginia for the Democrats. But I don’t think those advantages would be enough to overcome his faults, chief among them a lack of foreign policy experience and pro-life stance. The Obama campaign has often been criticized for its youth and inexperience – having a running mate with one term as governor under his belt wouldn’t help play down those critiques.

Evan Bayh (Senator, Indiana). Bayh has a wealth of experience from representing Indiana as Governor and Senator over the past 19 years. Indiana is a state shifting left recently, and could go to the Democrats for the first time in more than 30 years this election – having a Hoosier like Bayh on the ticket could put the state (and its 11 electoral votes) in an Obama/Bayh column (not to mention his ability to appeal to states across the midwest). Sure, Bayh was a Clinton supporter originally, but if Obama selects him it will be a great move toward party unity.

So there you have it, my list of the top contenders to become Vice President. Who do you think Barack Obama will choose?

Oh and one more thing – I got a TON of help making this week’s coverage of the veepstakes from Savidge for America’s resident politics/Seattle-area tourism correspondent (better known as my brother), Galen Savidge. Without his help, I would have seemed even less informed… Thanks, Galen!


One Response

  1. This was a really good analysis.

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