Yesterday, Stuart noted here that there may be some Obama Veep news soon. This morning Marc Ambinder is reporting that the short list down to four:
The following three Democrats are being vetted by Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy and there is independent evidence that Obama is taking a serious look at them:Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Gov. Tim Kaine, Sen. Evan Bayh.
Additionally, allies of Sen. Joe Biden say that he is under serious consideration, although he is not being subjected to the same level of vetting.
Ambinder also notes that he doesn’t “get the impression that Obama has made up his mind yet” but Obama’s aides have said that “Obama is narrowing his choices.” He also provides some analysis of what picking each of the four “would say about the Obama presidency and what he expects in a vice president.”
Sebelius and Kaine are both governing choices, not campaign choices. They’re not going to match Obama’s enthusiasm levels; they’re not going to do all that well at the VP debates; they’re not even going to solve political problems (even Kaine). But they are solid; they are centrist-in-style; they are Washington outsiders; they know how to balance budgets and deal with Republicans. As an historical analogy, think Clinton’s choice of Gore.
Choosing Biden or Bayh would put in the White House strong and knowledgeable legislators who would be expected to do heavy lifting with allies and adversaries. both would do well at the debates; Biden is flashy and might upstage Obama, but he’d be the best sheer campaigner and his selection would bring a jolt of enthusiasm to the Democratic ticket (as if it needed more). The downside here is the same as the upside: the focus will be on the ticket and not on Obama, per se. Bayh and Biden would call attention to Obama’s manifest lack of engagement with American foreign policy. And Biden, in particular, would face a prolonged period of press recapitulation. (And could Obama trust him to keep his mouth shut?)
Some of us are still vying for Hillary as VP, including Clinton’s former campaign chair, Terry McAuliffe:
“Hillary Clinton. I don’t even think it’s a close call,” McAuliffe said in an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today. “How do you not pick Hillary Clinton? We would sweep all across the country, up and down the valley… Think about it.
“It would be a bold move,” he said. “I don’t think people would expect it… It’s be a bold move: Barack Obama, leadership, take this country to a new place, first African American, first woman…. History!… I’m telling you!… All across the country!””
It would be a bold move, as some pundits are eager to write off that possibility. Personally I am not thrilled with Kathleen Sebelius or Gov. Tim Kaine. Biden and Bayh are bit more palatable. The quickest way, in my opinion, that Obama could “quell doubts among women” is to choose Hillary has his VP. It looks like chances are slim at this point, but one can hope.