Thursday, June 26, 2008

Early VP Shopping with Barack

Capital Hill is worse than a busy urban hospital when it comes to whisper campaigns, gossip and nosily dipping into celebrity records. A trio of VP vetter selectors went down to a duo; Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, after Jim Johnson's ties to Countrywide and its CEO were foreclosed upon by the McBush campaign. Members of the 110th Congress considered themselves select courtiers with the political heft to weigh in on their Veepster choices when the selection team visited Capital Hill.

An absolute unimpeachable maxim of the Obama team is NO DRAMA. Somebody get that memo over to six(ty) year old Billy Clinton, include the definition of sidelined and a picture of the new head of the party.

Obama was not a happy man when pols and a pundit riven national press corps immediately started trying to clamor for names and short lists. An ADD media needed a new story with a side benefit for them to be able to shape their coverage by getting dirty dancing details out faster than his vetting team's trial balloons. Hence, Barack's choice of the most closemouthed Kennedy with a penchant for privacy rights to be on the VP search team. Senator Obama made it crystal clear he would not be leaking nibbles and bits to a celebrity-obsessed starved for substance media. Barack made it plain he would not speak at all on the topic of names for a VP until the Announcement of his choice. That breaking news announcement will not occur until sometime in August, probably after his 47th birthday. The Democratic convention begins on Monday, August 25th and ends on a day of destiny, August 28th as he formally accepts the nomination. Forty years earlier from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial came the rhetorical arguments for equality for All in America based on the content of one's character in MLK's iconic I have A Dream Speech.

Polling is ongoing looking at the fluidity of the race and where Barack ranks, it would be premature to base a VP choice on bringing a state if Barack is already in a position to do that by himself. Higher level reasoning needs to inform his choice.
Imagine the surprise when Barack spoke on Wednesday about the type of person that would be his VP. His campaign manager, David Plouffe, was clear that selection for electoral purposes of picking up parts of Appalachia or elsewhere would not be a singular stand alone factor or even paramount in choosing. Another media canard flushed. But there are clues from the presumptive nominee:
"I want somebody who can be a good president if anything happened to me. And I want somebody who can be a good adviser and counsel to me," the White House hopeful told a news conference.

"And tell me where he or she thinks I'm wrong -- not just on national security policy, but on domestic policy as well. Beyond that, I will give you more details when I announce my VP candidate," said Obama, 46.

Lists include all manner of pols. A Shermanesque will not run nor serve statement has only come from Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. Some have floated Al Gore's name while others want to shore up a perceived weakness in Obama's portfolio on national security. One or two real maverick republicans keep sprouting on Dem wish lists Hagel & Powell even after weedkiller is applied. The long list covers a full spectrum of the Democratic Party including; hardliner hawk Sam Nunn of the really geeky glasses but nuclear weapons expert, the Show Me state's senator bubbly Claire McCaskill who came aboard the O train early, the daughter of a former Ohio governor and now Jayhawk Governor, silver haired Kathleen Sebelius, a couple of shiny four star NATO commanders bedecked with medals & ribbons, a Hoosier former Governor now Senator pol that makes beige exciting to She who must not be named, currently on a debt reduction tour in Unity, New Hampshire with Barack. The chattering press chipmunks will be all agog as to whether they have personal chemistry when she raises his hand to endorse him on Friday. Maybe they can do a fist bump instead...

Barack Obama dealt with the onslaught of schemes in various colors of Grey to anoint Hillary his VP by petitions from buffoon Lanny Davis and the I-am-rich-black-hear-me-roar Bob "BET" Johnson, their petty threats and outright demands came to naught. They should have gotten inside info. Look no further for Obama's strength of resistance than the fact that there are are no, zip, O pooches on a leash until he says both daughters are responsible and ready by March or May of 2009 after they figure out where they get mail. At least the Pennsylvania Avenue house will seem somewhat familiar to a dog as it has big white pillars on the North Portico and there are some in front of the Obama Chicago residence. Barack Obama has withstood pressure from two adorable seven and nine year old girls with cute whimpers and begging pleases who still do not have a badly wanted dog. The girls are vetting potential pets on the internet. Recently, Michelle Obama jumped in during an interview on Good Morning America as Barack outlined his pet terms and conditions, to state don't worry girls, you will get your dog, just not yet. Note to VP wannabes, Malia & Sasha have campaigned for almost two years on their pet platform and they live with the guy. Future president Obama please note: Caroline Kennedy rode her own horse, Macaroni, on the White House lawn. Once Caroline finishes vetting Veepers, maybe she can head up the girls dog search and get that one presented to Dad Obama too.

Barack will have a VP before those girls have a dog.

All kinds of reading material on vice presidents have great stories about the second in command. The current most awful one will have reams of history ripping him as he rides into eternal damnation. To see what not to do and what needs to be undone in an Obama Administration read Lou Dubose & jake Bernstein's most excellent book, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency. Obama's caution is wise.

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