Thursday, May 08, 2008


It's getting to be that time.

There are probably at least three candidate typologies for the number 2 floating around out there.

One, is the "reinforcement" candidate. In contrast to the "balancing" theory of VP selections, where #1 looks for a #2 from a different region, age, gender, ethnic group, division of government, or ideological end of the party, the reinforcement idea holds that the #1 is best served by someone who mirrors or reinforces the top of the ticket. Bill Clinton's selection of Al Gore probably typifies this idea.

Two is the aforementioned balance pick. The balance pick could embrace some balancing characteristics while including a number of reinforcing aspects.

Three is a "unify the party" pick, which in this case, would most likely bear strong resemblance to the idea of balance.

While I've given the second and third typologies some thought, the reinforcement idea makes the most sense to me. But below I've included some examples of candidates that might fit into each type. Undoubtedly, these typologies are not necessarily mutually exclusive. As they say, everything's relative.

Amy Klobuchar -- freshman U.S. Senator from Minnesota. She's young and attractive. And female. Would be a gutsy choice.

Kathleen Sebelius -- governor from Kansas in her second and last term. Has seemingly rebuilt the Democratic Party in a very conservative state. Modest speaking skills. Female.

Russ Feingold -- third term U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Relatively young. Reliably progressive. Not terribly dynamic and has is divorced.

Bill Bradley -- former U.S. Senator from NJ, and former basketball star. Older, so would provide balance there. Has endorsed Obama and would embody Obama's different kind of politics. Despite his star credentials, Bradley is also charismatically challenged, and is also known for being wonkish and distant.

Bill Richardson -- former everything, congressman, diplomat, energy secretary, current governor of small but swing state of the SW, NM. Hispanic. Foreign policy cred. Also seen as somewhat eccentric.

Tom Daschle -- former U.S. Senator and Democratic leader from SD. Serious, older and experienced. Presided over the Democratic loss of the Senate in 2002 and managed to lose his own seat two years later--and deepen the Democratic Senate deficit in the process. Not particularly riveting as a speaker.

Joe Biden -- U.S. Senator from Delaware. Vetted. Decent speaker. Foreign policy cred. Outspoken, got chased from the '88 field for a verbal plagiarism gaffe that didn't get much notice in his '08 run.

Chris Dodd -- The Democratic, U.S. Senator from Connecticut. Opposed telecom immunity. Former head of the Democratic national party. OK speaker, used to debates.

Party Unity
HRC -- probably brings more negative than positive. But here's an alternative view.

Evan Bayh -- former governor and current U.S. Senator from Indiana. Former head of the DLC. Looks like a president. Not a stemwinder on the stump. Basically conservative and has supported the war.

Wild cards
Tim Kaine -- Virginia governor. Young, thought to be principled. Still in his first term from a conservative state.

James Webb -- first term U.S. Senator from Virginia. Former official in Reagan admin. Blunt and outspoken. Can dish it out.

Gary Hart -- former U.S. Senator from Colorado and two-time former Democratic presidential candidate. Got caught misbehavin' outside of marriage in '87. Has re-invented himself as an elder statesman-scholar.

Bob Casey, Jr. -- first term U.S. Senator from Pennsylania. Like his late but more famous father, is anti-abortion. Wiped out former Senator Rick Santorum in '06. Came out for Obama during primary season.

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