Word has it today that Barack Obama “has begun a top-secret search for a running mate.”
Although Obama would not acknowledge the search is on, Democratic officials speaking on the condition of anonymity say that “Obama has asked former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to begin vetting potential vice presidential picks.” Johnson vetted VP candidates for “Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984.”
Marc Ambinder notes that “Kerry began his three-month search process in March of 2004,” and “Johnson and his team looked at scores potential candidates and vetted about a dozen of them” before “ultimately settling on Ex-Sen. John Edwards.”
In my email box this morning, I found an email from Air America and radio host Thom Hartman, who makes the case of why Obama should “Ask Hillary First”:
The issue at hand for the Democratic Party for winning in ‘08 is not losing to McCain but losing to a divided Democratic party. The first thing Obama should do if nominated is put Hillary on the ticket. Will the Republicans have a field day with her on the ticket? Yes! Is their some bad blood in the water due to some negative campaign strategies on the part of the Clintons? Probably. Can Hillary be a tough fighter able to play tough allowing Obama to stay higher above the fray? Yes!
Howard Dean said a few months ago that the loser will be the most important person in the Democratic presidential run this year. Hillary’s legacy in this 08 election could place her as the healer and bring together a united Democratic party. As a winning ticket they also move this country closer to healing the racial and misogynist undertones that still have roots.
Can you picture Denver with Hillary’s delegates close to half of all delegates demanding that she be included on the ticket? To some it’s a crusade. If Hillary was the one out ahead – by just a little over half – wouldn’t Obama supporters want the same?
Obama’s offer and Hillary’s acceptance of an Obama/Clinton ticket hold the healing and the power to move this country in the direction of the real change in Washington that Obama talks about. First he must bring the Democrats back together again.
Obama – ask Hillary first. And if she should say no, the offer would still have a unifying affect.
I’m among those with the same line of thinking as Thom Hartman, “Obama’s offer and Hillary’s acceptance of an Obama/Clinton ticket hold the healing and the power to move this country in the direction of the real change in Washington that Obama talks about.”
Although my first preference is a Hillary Clinton presidency, the pragmatic side of me recognizes that we need to get on with the show… And that means beginning the process of vetting VP candidates.