Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Breaking News: Barack Obama's Choice for Vice President

It is all but official. Barack Obama has made his pick for Vice President. No, the Illinois Senator and I are not golfing buddies and I don't have a crystal ball, but I have a couple of decades of experience in politics both working on campaigns and commenting on them and I think this is a fairly safe bet. I'm not at all a gambling man, but this would be one time where I would be willing to pull out my wallet. Obama has made his choice and you will hear about it soon.

Before I name the nominee, let me give you an idea of how I came to my conclusion. The VP choice is more important for Obama and McCain than it has been for any candidate at any time in recent history. Obama has demonstrated several serious weaknesses in recent months (and McCain has a few of his own) and he needs someone to fill his gaps. These are the weak spots in his armor, in my opinion:

* His age. Obama is among the youngest nominees for President in US history and he appears younger than his age. His recent flubs in his foreign policy statements have only accentuated his perceived immaturity.

* His inexperience. Six years ago he was in the Illinois State Senate. His rapid movement from no where to the top spot has everyone (including many of his supporters) a little nervous.

* Foreign policy inexperience. The situation in Georgia, the deteriorating problems with Poland and Russia, and Obama's soft response to these situations have made people very nervous about him as Commander and Chief.

* Demonstrates too much change. Change may be nice, but he is beginning to convey a level of change that many are not comfortable with. No, I am not merely talking about skin color, religion, or several other areas that relate to surface items, I mean his political philosophy (according to the National Journal, the most liberal in the US Senate) and his inexperience. He needs something to anchor his change and that could be his running mate.

So who is the best choice in light of these weaknesses? Well the field has been narrowed considerably in recent weeks to Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Gov. Tim Kaine of Virgina, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, and (as a dark horse) Senator Hillary Clinton. If this is the list, the choice is simple, in my opinion.

* Evan Bayh accentuates all of the weaknesses that Obama brings to the race of the Presidency. He has more experience and is far more ready to lead tomorrow than the presumptive nominee. It is true, everyone on this list is in a similar position, but Bayh is comparably young to Obama, making the matter worse.

* Kathleen Sebelius has very little name ID outside the Democratic party, she will possibly anger the Clinton crowd who will remember the other female who could have been on the ticket, and she brings no experience on foreign policy in a race that is increasingly being focused on this important subject.

* Governor Kaine is one of the few in serious consideration who is as inexperienced as Obama. This isn't an advantage though, because it will have everyone asking the question of "who is in charge?" Two inexperienced candidates in trying times like these will translate into electoral disaster.

* The "bad blood" between Obama and Hillary Clinton takes the New York Senator out of serious consideration. Imagine the ad campaigns McCain will have of nothing more than what Obama and Clinton said about each other in the primaries. Ugly. Very ugly indeed.

* That leaves Joe Biden. On the down side, many suburban cities in America now have populations that are larger than the state of Delaware. However, he brings incredible foreign policy experience to the table, he has years of experience that matches his maturity, he is witty and can give a solid speech. Furthermore, both Senators have a very similar experience. Biden assumed the office of US Senator at the young age of 31 and he can empathize with the challenges of age discrimination. He is simply a very safe bet, which is needed for a candidate who has become too closely associated with change.

I believe Joe Biden is a done deal. If I am wrong, it will be because he decided to go bold and deep. If that is the case, he will choose Clinton.

I'm pretty good at assessing such things. For example, I accurately predicted the demise of Katie Couric at CBS Evening News back in September of 2006. Sure it isn't official yet, but wait and see.

Kevin Price's articles are found daily in national publications such as USA Today, Chicago Sun Times, and Reuters. Subscribe to his newsletter here.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business radio show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review.

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Blogger Arilifus said...

I approve of your considerations in this matter. Your predication is well thought out and hopefully we will find out soon enough who the VP pick is going to be.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good call!!

8:07 PM  

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