The Democratic Party’s Secret Weapon

All of us here have voiced concern about the precarious nature of some of this year’s senate races.  In a Democratic year, why are Oregon and Maine such long-shots?  Why is the picture so unclear in Colorado?  And, more importantly, what can be done to fight the prospect of more Republican victories down-ballot?  Well, I’ve got an idea, and I know that a handful of others in the blogosphere agree.  I hope it echoes across the Internet and reaches the ears of the top campaign strategists for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (I’m hoping for Obama as the nominee)– pick Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer as the VP candidate, and the prospects of Democratic victories brighten all across the country.  Whenever I mention Schweitzer’s name, people inevitably respond, “But Montana only has three electoral votes!”  By focusing on electoral math alone, they miss the point; if all we think about is electoral math, we are doomed to a future of precarious, one-vote majorities– nowhere near strong enough to pass progressive legislation and undo the damage of the Bush administration, which will take years.With that in mind, I say the national ticket needs not one, but two galvanizers who can make campaign stops that whip up the crowds and help the down-ballot candidates.  On that count, Brian Schweitzer is our party’s secret weapon.He is a fantastic orator– second only to Obama himself in the party– and has a proven ability to resonate with Republican and independent voters. He can definitely help us pick up some Rocky Mountain states– with him on the ticket, Colorado is ours, and the coattails of an Obama/Schweitzer ticket would undoubtedly pull Mark Udall over the finish line– and we could pick off Nevada and New Mexico as well.  Oregon would become more solidly blue (improving the chances of Merkley or Novick,) as would Washington State (solidifying Gov. Gregoire’s re-election chances).  Furthermore, while I doubt we would win Arizona, we would at least force John McCain to fight us on his home turf, which would cost him time and resources, and give the national GOP a headache (ahh, schadenfreude!)”But wait!” you say, “What about those rust-belt states that we need to win?  Hell, what about New Hampshire and Maine?”  To which I say, the aforementioned independent and Republican voters to whom Schweitzer has appealed have been rural and/or working-class citizens who don’t want their jobs to be outsourced, are worried about the economy in the wake of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and disapprove of the way the war is going, but who want to keep their hunting rifles.  You think there aren’t voters like that in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania?  Of course there are!  Those are the very voters who swing those states, and Schweitzer is exactly the candidate to persuade them to vote Democratic!As for New Hampshire and Maine, Schweitzer’s fiercely independent, non-dogmatic persona will resonate quite well with the numerous independent voters who might otherwise consider McCain.  The libertarian streak that runs through the Mountain West is not all that different from good old-fashioned Yankee independence.  Furthermore, Schweitzer took a bold early stand against the Real ID act.  Make some campaign stops with Tom Allen and use that issue as the centerpiece and . . . who knows?  We might just be able to unseat Susan Collins.

For those who don’t know much about Schweitzer and might worry that he’s some sort of DINO, relax– he is pro-choice, pro-civil union, and VERY pro-environment.  In fact, he has successfully re-framed the environment issue as “conservationism,” not “environmentalism,” and it has worked– people who hunt, fish, and participate in other outdoor activities want to preserve the natural environment in which to do so. Under Schweitzer’s stewardship, Montana has been at the forefront of wind energy.

So, if you agree with me on this, I exhort you to spread the word, write blog posts, and e-mail the Clinton and Obama campaigns!


by: you @ soon

To post this comment click here:

One Problem

I thought about Schweitzer too, but i come to the same problem. You are ceding foreign policy experience on the ticket which is risky and not getting a loyal voting base that you wouldn’t already have.I think you get the same effect you speak of with Bill Richardson, without having to worry about his foreign policy chops and the latinos which is a demographic which we will need to focus on.

I’m a bit radical in who I think Obama should pick. I support him picking Michael Bloomberg as his vice president. Not because of what I think of Michael Bloomberg personally (I don’t like him and he still screws over the democrats in my state even though he is now an “independent”.) but I think the media coverage over something like that and the loyal following he has would kill McCain. And not to mention his fiscal chops as an executive and CEO makes us seem like the only ones who know how to handle the economy.

Main  Street (Obama) and Wall Street (Bloomberg) you can’t lose when they combine their power to win. And I think McCain is going to pick Sanford to shore up his base so this will even have a greater impact.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


 

by: Conniver @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 11:10:56 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

Foreign Policy

When you say that Schweitzer has no foreign policy experience, you are speaking only of official inter-government policy; he does, in fact, have experience in foreign relations, having worked as an irrigation scientist for seven years in Saudi Arabia.  With that in mind, methinks he’d handle diplomatic endeavors very well– definitely not with the cut-’em-down-with-guns-a-blazin’ Republican mentality.You mention Richardson and Bloomberg; both have far more problems than Schweitzer.  Richardson’s resume is perfect, as we all know.  However, he has liabilities on the stump, as he is quite gaffe-prone.  Other than shoring up New Mexico, I really don’t see what he does for us, as it is obvious he is not a galvanizer when he speaks.  Furthermore, there are perpetual rumors of womanizing that encircle him.  I personally couldn’t care less as to whether the rumors are true, but when you look at a campaign with a strategist’s eye, it is never a good idea to run with a rumor-plagued candidate.  (I have a feeling that the presence of the rumors were what dissuaded Kerry from picking Richardson for the #2 slot in ’04).

Bloomberg’s Wall Street background is precisely his liability.  Middle America would be quite wary of a mega-rich Wall Street type, and Bloomberg doesn’t exactly come off as a “regular guy,” the way Bush was able to hoodwink the public.

Furthermore, a Black/Hispanic ticket or a Black/Jewish ticket (or, for that matter, a female/Hispanic or female/Jewish ticket, should it come to that) might be a bit too much change for this country at this point.  As a Jewish woman, I wish this were not the case, but the sad truth is, if Obama is our nominee, he’s going to need a white man as his VP.  And not just any white man; a white man who can assure those voters who might be irrationally tentative of Obama’s name that a vote for the Democratic ticket will signify better times for the country.  As far as I can tell, the only one who can really make that case– and get voters revved up about it.  Sure, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine or some general like Tony McPeak would fulfill some aspects of that.  But their ability on the stump pales compared to that of Schweitzer.  My basic point is this:  after a rally in a rust belt or mountain state, swing voters will be positive and energized about the Democratic ticket if Schweitzer is on it.


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 15:22:32 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

 They all have problems.

I didn’t know that about Richardson’s personal life though, that would not be something we would want after the Spitzer debacle.Bloomberg has just so much benefit imo, he has billions of dollars which he could spend on the campaign, he is an executive (New York City is much larger in population then Montana.) He is well like by a lot of democrats and republicans  and is one of those “mavericks” the media adores.

As to the corporatist problem, I think it would hurt with the base which, loves Obama so the people i think it would hurt him with don’t care who his VP is (Within reason) they are voting for him.

The union vote is the only area of the electorate where Bloomberg probably hurts him. I think he should actually take the bribe…….. I mean idea that Senator Clinton suggested about a Poverty Czar cabinet position and give it to Edwards.
Or at least it be publicly known to our Union friends that Edwards will be Sec. of Labor in the new administration. I think Edwards strongly behind Obama can go away into holding Union Support.

Back to Bloomberg. He owns a media company and not to mention the fact that the media would fawn over the open show of bi-partisanship and would eliminate all the media adoration that McCain has as the straight talker moderate who can work with Democrats. I mean they love that kind of crap, look when the nuclear option crap was going on, the gang of 14 thing the media loved. This would guarantee us a media advantages at least in the beginning.

It will sound better when we kill him in the media when its Michael Bloomberg a former republican taking McCain to task. And with the economy as an issue Michael Bloomberg love him or hate but because of his Financial background knows what he’s talking about and will run rings around McCain.

Bloomberg can also go a long way into getting the white collar vote.

I just think with Bloomberg we can bury them in money and walk away with this thing fairly easily.

But yeah I am with you on maybe it wouldn’t be best to have a double minority ticket.

However being Jewish i don’t think would have a negative effect in the states we need to win. Florida I actually think it would help. Pennsylvania and Ohio I don’t think it matters  to be honest (Rendell is jewish). And I think he builds on Obama’s Strength by basically taking the entire center of the electorate and putting it squarely in the Democratic fold.

Not to mention Obama has problems with the Jewish electorate from what I have been reading. Having one of their own on the ticket could reassure a key democratic base and help us win.

I think Bloomberg can guarantee us a win in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and helps a lot in Florida. He eliminates McCain’s independent strength in blue states and doesn’t hurt us in red states.

Schweitzer is good and I do like the idea of Western Vice President. And is a safe pick and would probably go along way in winning Montana, Oregon, New Mexico, and Colorado. However  I think Obama is going to win all of those anyway (except Montana) and the people we are trying to convince are the voters we already have. The West is firmly in Obama’s back pocket. From what I have seen in the primary and even having McCain on the R side i don’t think can change the clear momentum he has.

I Think Bloomberg is a key from taking this from an election which we win by say 2 or 3 states and making it a landslide.

however we win with Webb, Clark, Schewitzer, Richardson almost any of the major contenders for the slot. (EXCEPT HILLARY)

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


 

by: Conniver @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 16:45:00 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

There’s a big problem with Bloomberg.

If Democrats are reestablish their presence on the national scene, they’re going to have to get back to the roots of the party of ordinary people.  In other words, they’ll have to show that they’re the party for the poor, working-class, and middle-class Americans.  That’s a big reason Kerry flopped.  As good a guy as he is, he fit the caricature of the wealthy east coast elitist, in no small part to the Republicans who get that they need ordinary folks to win and do everything they can to get their votes while working against their interests.  Putting Bloomberg on the ticket will smack of hypocracy and disengenuousness, and will hurt Obama with the blue-collar workers he’s already doing poorly with in the primaries.  For Obama, Bloomberg would be a suicide pill, no matter how many of the largely irrelevent talking heads he wins over.

Check out Blue Arkansas:

http://bluearkansas.blogspot.com/


 

by: ARDem @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 17:59:44 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

The West is not necessarily a given . . .

. . . we’re going to have to work hard to win those states.  Furthermore, I would say that Schweitzer brings us more than just the west.  He would help us solidify Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and could put West Virginia in play. And my main reason for posting this whole thread on a site devoted to senate races is, the combined pull of Barack Obama and Brian Schweitzer could be the exact formula we need to win all those crucial senate seats that hang in the balance.  And those are certainly not all in the West!


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 18:27:09 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Schweitzer is great

Yeah he would help everywhere like I said he’d be one the best choices.He’s heavily anti-gun control though, which could piss some people off. (i’m not terribly pro-gun control myself) I don’t know from what i’ve seen of him I really like him.

I just think bloomberg has a lot of benefit which i stated above and the perception problem alot of people think with Bloomberg could be quelled with proper campaigning and the money he would be able to throw at it would be worth i think any negative connotations his wealth may bring.

I think its gonna be Jim Webb or Wesley Clark. They seem to want foreign policy experience.

Which is fine both are good.

I think the republicans are gonna take Mark Sanford.

So yeah I like debating this though, Bloomberg would be my choice if I was Obama though.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


 

by: Conniver @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 18:52:10 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

 

 

Pawlenty?

I think McCain very well could pick Sanford, it would really help his conservative image, but all signs point to Pawlenty.  He’s been doing quite a lot (I live in MN) to position himself towards the VP position and I bet he is currently the number one choice, but Pawlenty doesn’t really add much to the ticket that McCain doesn’t already have.


 

by: AndrewMN @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 15:52:34 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Also asessing Schweitzer’s foreign policy

I would like to add he is the governor of Montana, which borders a foreign county we do a great deal of trading with. I have never heard of Montana being a hot spot for illegals (well, since its not by Mexico). But Gov Schweitzer can say “yep, I have successfully protected the borders as governor and I can do it again as part of the Obama administration.Obama can’t talk about immigration and use it to his advantage, but a fresh face can.

I was kind of hoping for Tim Ryan to be veep, though.


 

by: Bobby @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 11:59:32 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

He’s pro-life

That kills him.He’ll make a great senator in 2011.


 

by: Populista @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 12:09:06 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Tim Ryan is pro-life?

Eek.  There and I thought of him as a potential national contender someday.  Too bad.


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 13:12:50 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Yes

Although he has worked hard to make that less of a issue:http://timryan.house.gov/index…

and

http://www.thirdway.org/press/…

which has the support of people like Tom Allen, George Miller and James McGovern who can hardly be called pro-life.

But yeah. It’s Ohio. Ted Stickland is anti-choice too. It’s a problem but it’s how it is right now. Even Dennis Kucinich was anti-choice until the day before he ran for president. And Ryan is very, very good on the rest of the issues so he’ll still be a good senator. I sorta hope he does a flip-flop on that issue because I think he would be a great presidential canidate someday.


by: Populista @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 18:06:32 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Why is abortion such a big issue?

Idc if the veep is pro-life or pro-choice, the odds of him casting the tie in the Senate are so close to zero. Dems are never going to win over the religious folk (which make up a good piece of the electorate) until Dems take a harder stand on abortion. This could be anything from making a national law that requires the child’s father’s consent, or having the woman look at an ultrasound (both lower abortion rates and maintain choice).We can’t be absolute choice and expect the wide electorate to welcome us as liberators.


 

by: Bobby @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 20:53:37 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

How about two scenarios

A.  President is gone.  Stem Cell research bill comes up.  Does he veto it out of his own personal committments?  Come on.  This could be a very big issue.B.  What if the president dies?  Assasination is a possibility.  That’s one of the big reasons I don’t support the idea of a split ticket.  Do we live the rest of our term with barely being able to squeek out stem cell bills?

C.  Why would a pro-life president appoint anything but constructionist judges?  If they are truly pro-life, they would want to overturn Roe v. Wade.  If we can’t appoint a liberal judge for another four years, we will face some serious issues.

Look at the big picture.  There are a lot of problems.  Even if Obama weren’t assasinated.  The VP, if he’s young enough is the new standardbearer of the party, the frontrunner for the next president.  Do we really want a pro-life frontrunner in eight years?  There are tons of complications from this.


 

by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 22:14:11 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Agreed!

With that being said . . . G-d forbid anything should happen to Obama!  I hope that man is wearing a bullet-proof vest everywhere he goes!


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 22:29:09 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

We can’t have a 50 state strategy

If we can’t compete in all 50 states due to an unevolved theory that women should be able to have abortions whenever. Here comes another ’04.


 

by: Bobby @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:00:59 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

Abortion

Is a top priority issue for a lot of female voters in the democratic party, their are a lot of upper class women who would be republican on fiscal issues but because of reproductive rights are firmly Democratic.If you were to have a pro-lifer on the ticket it would cause such an uproar that it would not be worth it.

Tim Ryan is a good congressmen and a good choice for Voinovich’s seat but not for vp.

Again the choices I see are.

Webb and Clark cause of foreign policy and miltary chops.

Richardson and Sebelius because of executive and demographic advantages.

Or Kaine, Casey, Strickland, because of the state.

Or a unity type ticket which would be a Bloomberg, Hagel, type ticket.

That’s who I think this is gonna be between.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


 

by: Conniver @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:44:46 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

I realize

Casey,Stickland and Hagel are pro-lifers but they have significant  advantages that could outweigh the the female vote uproar that it would cause.However I think none of those are a good choice.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


 

by: Conniver @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:46:49 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

 

 

We can’t be a Democratic party if we’re willing to

sacrafice our beliefs just for a win.  Hell, if you really want to win, lets elect a Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-corporate, strong military, Pro-Iraq war Democrat.  Then those whacky conservatives won’t tell the two apart, and they’ll HAVE to vote for the Democrat!  YES!  It’s a perfect plan!John McCain (D) ’08!!!!


 

by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 11:04:58 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

bobby seems to be arguing

that choice isn’t a key democratic value. while i’d take a pro-lifer who could get us out of iraq and push a populist agenda… that’s only if he wouldn’t push things like parental consent (that’s not choice) or forced ultrasound observation (that’s cruel intimidation).

It’s difficult to get the news from poems

but men die every day for lack of what is found there

–William Carlos Williams


 

by: RichardPlatypus @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 15:09:32 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Parental consent is required if you are under the age of 18, unless it is an undue burdon for the woman, in a case where her parents don’t live anywhere near her, or the father might abuse the woman if he were to find out, etc.Why would a Pro-lifer push parental consent when it is already required?  I think states can pass laws unrequiring it, but yeah.


 

by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 15:40:40 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Thats exactly what I’m saying

The last thing I want to see is Democrats making abortion an issue (because when that happens, we lose). Our best bet is to let it rest at the state level. I am just so bothered that Democrats chatting on a site dedicated to monitoring federal office are so ardent about abortion (when we’ve argued with conservatives several times this isn’t a federal issue).Pro-Choice or Pro-Life, IMO, should not be litmus tests for who we think can run our country best. When we say Tim Ryan, Bob Casey, or Ted Strickland can’t be POTUS or VP because they fail the litmus test, we can’t complain when Republicans appoint judges based on that litmus.

I’d take a pro-lifer who could end the war any day, or a pro-lifer which can bring jobs back. I won’t take a pro-lifer whose ambition is to ban all abortions (rape, incest included) and makes it their top priority.

Any pro-life Democrat, in fact every pro-life Democrat running for Congress/Senate I’ve worked with has never made abortion legislation one of their priorities. And just being pro-life helped them pull in mad votes from conservative independents.

I might come from a different wing of the party, but I just don’t think pro-life is a sacrifice to any of our core values. Its when they start sacrificing peace (Lieberman), environment, and jobs that I support their removal. But thats me.


 

by: Bobby @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 18:22:07 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Yeah I agree with you.

And I would have no problem voting for a pro-lifer as a vp.The War, Education, Health Care, Economic issues are all more important to me then that issue. However i’m not a women and I know for a lot of women its one of the main reason they would never consider a Republican. Sure its not every women in the party but its a significant number of them.

But I go back to women, simply put a lot of our female base is centered around this single issue. If we run a pro-lifer, it could cause increased fractioning in an already pissed off voter demographic that is upset that Hillary lost.

All we need is someone like Bob Casey on the ticket and everyone of the women’s organizations will go insane.

I don’t think its a litmus test, like it is in the Republican Party but I don’t think a pro-lifer is a viable VP in THIS election.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


 

by: Conniver @ Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 19:32:55 PM CDT

Another key observation . . .

. . . about foreign policy is this:  Most Americans don’t pay attention to the details.  They don’t bother to see if someone genuinely has the goods on foreign policy.  They are assured of a candidate’s competence as long as he (or potentially she) seems “tough.”  Remember, the totally incompetent Bush and his chicken-hawk puppeteer Cheney had no military records to speak of, no ground to stand on regarding foreign policy.  Yet, by appearing “tough,” they beat a genuine war hero who happened to have an upper-class affect that he could not overcome.  Brian Schweitzer certainly seems tough– because he actually is tough.  And, as all of us know, any team made up of the current crop of bright stars in the Democratic party will undoubtedly improve our foreign policy the minute Bush leaves office, so I don’t think we as voters need to wring our hands over who’s on the ticket in that regard.  But to get to that point, we gotta win!


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 21:00:02 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Lately I’ve been toying with the idea

of Bob Casey Jr. as VP.  Yeah, I know he’s anti-choice and against stemcell research, but I don’t perceive him as being as rabid and unreasonable in his opposition as Republicans tend to be, and to be quite honest I can understand where the “prolife” point of view comes from.  That said though, he’d balance the ticket effectively with Obama, drawing in blue-collar workers which haven’t been going to Obama in droves, and reinforcing Obama’s message of unifying the country.  Besides that, he and Obama obviously have good personal chemistry.Schweitzer would be a good choice as well.  A governor, colorful and a good speaker, great attack dog on the trail, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in addition to your scenario, he put his own state up for grabs.  And he’d definately appeal to the rural voters I’d love for us to have.

There are a couple of problems though.  One, Schweitzer might not take the job.  He’s notoriously anti-DC, though he did run for senate, so who knows.  Besides that, I have a big problem with this clean-coal idea he’s been pushing.  I’m not convinced it will work, and I’m for getting off coal in the not to distant future entirely.  I’m not sure I want that policy position coming into an Obama administration.

Check out Blue Arkansas:

http://bluearkansas.blogspot.com/


 

by: ARDem @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 15:10:22 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Clean coal . . .

. . . is better than burning coal.  And, in the short term, it would slowly wean this country off of its dependence on foreign oil. Furthermore, I have faith in Schweitzer’s hypothesis– remember, he has a background in biochemistry, specializing in agronomy, so he’s not outside his own field of expertise in devising and exploring the idea.As for Bob Casey . . . puh-leeze!  Never even mind the fact that he’s anti-choice (a disqualifier enough in my book– can you imagine the GOP picking, say, Olympia Snowe for a spot on a national ticket?  Never in a million years, so why should we cop out?)  The fact is, Casey is a dull speaker.  Period.  Yes, he beat Santorum . . . but, really, Santorum sank himself, simply by being an undeniably unhinged certifiable raving lunatic.  We could’ve run a piece of cardboard and beaten that nutjob.  And, hey, we practically did– Casey makes John Kerry look like a natural-born entertainer!  Furthermore, he meanders in debates, and doesn’t sound as if he knows what he’s talking about all the time (I’m sure he is very smart and has a strong command of the issues, but my point is that he doesn’t seemas if he does.  And in politics, perception = reality!)

Add to all that the fact that double senator tickets usually tank.  Casey would be a bad choice.  I say, if it’s not Schweitzer, it should be a military figure.  The halls of congress are not a good place to go looking for a running mate, I’m afraid!


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 15:32:11 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

With regards to clean coal and Casey

Clean coal is theoretical and experimental at best.  Besides, the problem is not foreign oil, it’s fossil fuels as a whole.  Coal, after all, provides about half of this nations energy, with disastrous effects on the environment, and not just the kinds you breathe in.  Ask the people in Appalachia dealing with the results of mountain top removal about that one.  Besides, when they’re clean alternatives like wind and solar available, why bother with fossil fuels at all?Secondly, I would disagree with the notion that Casey makes Kerry look like “a natural born entertainer.”  I think that’s bias on  your part, no offense.  Casey may not be the most remarkable figure in politics, but he’s certainly far more personable than either Gore or Kerry IMO.  And you completely missed the point of the assertion.  Casey has appeal to blue-collar workers, a group that Obama has not exactly been drawing rave reviews in the primaries and whom he’ll need in the general to beat McCain.  He effectively balances the ticket and he and Obama have pretty good personal chemistry, which sometimes is more important.

That said, I don’t think having a prolife/anti-choice/whatever Democrat on the ticket is a bad idea.  I’m prochoice myself, but I’m from a red region of the country and have seen first hand how a lot of people, particularly good, religious, working class, rural voters who are with the Democrats on almost every other issue can’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat because of this one issue.  I know that in a lot of progressive circles there’s a tendancy to scoff at that notion, but I can sympathize with them, and Casey’s selection would reinforce the unity theme in the Obama campaign and work towards consensus on this divisive issue that isn’t going away anytime soon and show these voters (most of them good people, my kind of people) that there’s a place for them in the party.

Check out Blue Arkansas:

http://bluearkansas.blogspot.com/


 

by: ARDem @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 17:52:51 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

We need a governor

…to balance a Senator. So I’d been looking South, the traditional balance to a Yankee. And I still think Mark Warner, the former Democratic Gov of Virginia, brings a lot to the ticket, and is very Obama-compatible. He has a a record of bi-partisanship, working with a group of moderate Repubs in the VA Lege to get his bills through and keep the state from going into the ditch where Gilmore had been steering it. He also has a record of business success, not so bad against McBush who says he doesn’t know much about economics. (BTW Not to worry about Warner bailing out of the race for Senator if named to the Veep slot. WaPo’s Cillizza says that Warner’s old Lt Gov would be happy to step in; and there are others on the bench, like the guy who lost the AG race by a couple of hundred votes last time around.)But a Western Gov — Schweitzer — would be fine with me. It’s not the one little state’s EVs, it’s the region, and how that region is perceived across the country. And I don’t worry about a lack of foreign policy experience. I do worry a bit about lack of political experience in general — how many years in government? How many hard fought campaigns has he run? But I’ll put him on my list, top five.


 

by: WoodyinNYC @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 16:04:30 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

How many hard-fought campaigns?

Exactly two.  Schweitzer ran against Conrad Burns for senate in 2000, and lost by only a handful of votes.  He then went on to win the next gubernatorial election, but not by a landslide.  Since then, though, his actions in office have garnered him incredibly high approval ratings; he is one of the most popular governors of any state in the country. So, he’s got some experience under his belt.That brings up another important point; he is young enough to be Obama’s (or Clinton’s) successor in 8 years.  If we’re going to build a lasting majority, we have to think long-term.  Another free-for-all election in 2016 could undermine the progress made by a Democratic administration.

As for Warner . . . he’d be great, but I do worry about giving up the prospect of that senate seat.  With Warner in the race, we have a 99.999999999% chance of winning that seat.  I don’t want anything less than that– we’ve got enough precarious senate races on our hands without having to throw uncertainty into Virginia!  Remember, Chris Cillizza is not on our side, nor is he on the GOP side.  He is simply on the side of whatever makes headlines. Ejecting Mark Warner from the senate race is great for journalists, but terrible for us!

And I don’t think it was his Lt. Gov. who would be running in his place if he were to leave the race– Warner’s Lt. Gov. was Tim Kaine, who is now the Governor.


 

by: The Caped Composer @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 16:19:51 PM CDT

 

Oops. I misread this

From Cillizza’s Friday Fix:

1. Virginia: Everyone assumes that former governor Mark Warner’s decision to run for the Senate in 2008 means he isn’t in the vice presidential sweepstakes. Don’t be so sure. Former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, a key Warner supporter, would love to be in the Senate and would almost certainly be willing to step in if Warner was named as the veep choice of either Clinton or Obama.

And this from Wikipedia.

Donald S. “Don” Beyer, Jr. (born June 20, 1950) is an American business and political leader. He currently is an owner of automobile dealerships and is involved in community, political and philanthropic work. Previously, from 1990-98 he served as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia as a Democrat during the gubernatorial administrations of Democrat Doug Wilder (1990-1994) and Republican George Allen (1994-1998).

Another possible replacement for Warner:

Robert Creigh Deeds (born January 4, 1958) is a lawyer and politician … in the Senate of Virginia, … since 2002. He was the Democratic nominee for Attorney General in 2005, eventually losing by the closest margin in Virginia history, 323 votes or about 0.017%.In the campaign, Deeds presented himself as a conservative Democrat, supporting gun rights, strong punishment for criminals, and the death penalty. Senator Deeds is strongly pro-choice … McDonnell spent $5,962,067 whereas Deeds spent $3,103,040.

Deeds is the only declared Democratic candidate for the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election.

So we got bench. And if Warner is at the top of the ticket as the VP nominee, you think that will somehow hurt our chances in the Senatorial race? I don’t think so. Anyway, at this point, we need help more badly in the Presidential race than in that Senatorial contest.


by: WoodyinNYC @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 22:58:35 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

complete agreement

he’s definitely been my #1 choice for about a year nowi’m someone who’s head over heels with both obama and schweitzer. but in general i think he has the potential to win over people who are resistant to obama with an equal intensity as obama has with youth & certain breeds of coffee-imbibing independents…

i don’t see his name mentioned by any anonymous sources close to the campaign, though, so i worry that he’s hardly being considered. if i had to bet, i think obama’s gonna choose tim roemer. which probably won’t be taken too well by the blogs because of his run against Dean for DNC chair… but i think he’d be a better choice than, say, tim kaine (his response to the state of the union was too embarrassing to watch) or michael fucking bloomberg, who i still hold responsible for my 41 hours on pier57…

It’s difficult to get the news from poems

but men die every day for lack of what is found there

–William Carlos Williams


by: RichardPlatypus @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 16:27:30 PM CDT

 You know anonymous sources?

Then spread the word to them!  And, by all means, spread the word in the blogosphere!!!!(I think Schweitzer hasn’t been mentioned because he hasn’t made an endorsement.  He’s waiting until the Montana primary to do so, I think).


by: The Caped Composer @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 18:16:49 PM CDT

Yes. All 3 Elected MT SD’s are waiting. NT


by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 18:59:25 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Lol everyone I know in New York

I go to school at St.Johns, so even though I live in Long Island I am in the city almost everyday.Liberals I know all hate Michael Bloomberg, but yet he wins one of the most liberal cities in the country with ease. Apparently their are a lot more billionaires  in New York then we thought.And the Eminent Domain issue is local, and won’t matter on the national level.

See the thing with Bloomberg is again not to make us be happy, in fact I guarantee, it would probably piss off the left in the party a great deal.

My main argument with him is as i said above is to attract independents and republicans who don’t like McCain. And I think couple this with the natural ability of Obama to unite would cause a shift in the center of electorate and all moderates would flock away from the Republican Party faster then they already are.

I mean when you looked at the polls that had Bloomberg as an option he was getting 15% of the vote. You throw him on the ticket with Obama and we can probably take that vote and move it squarely into the Obama column. Which guarantees us a win.

The left may be angry with the pick, however I think they love Obama enough to vote for him not matter what.

And Michael Bloomberg on the federal level would no doubt be a Democrat, his social views even though I know you can poke holes in it are probably better then half the democrats we mentioned. He’s endorsed Obama’s economic plans as well. So if he lines up on Economic and Social issues I think he’s a good choice.

McCain strength is that he’s not seen as another Republican. When you do generic polls republican v democrat, its like a 10 point Democrat win. But McCain wins some polls and loses others by the margin of error. If you throw a fmr. Republican on the ticket whose not like Chuck Hagel whose 98% conservative just against the Iraq War, I think the argument that John McCain is just another Republican becomes more blatant. Michael Bloomberg is the best on the issues in the Republican Party to fill this position.

Webb has the women problem, which again might not be the best idea considering women will already be pissed that Clinton lost. That gun thing in the airport too wouldn’t probably go over well.

Sebelius to me seems like such an obvious play to the women vote it may have a backlash. It’s almost like here we’ll give the vp a women but not Hillary. Women I think we be pissed. And I think she is boring as all hell. Although I have no problem with that pick, she makes sense geographically and for other reasons. Just don’t think its gonna have the desired effect of quelling female voters who love Hillary.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


by: Conniver @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 11:59:49 AM CDT

by: you @ soon

Lol everyone I know in New York

I go to school at St.Johns, so even though I live in Long Island I am in the city almost everyday.Liberals I know all hate Michael Bloomberg, but yet he wins one of the most liberal cities in the country with ease. Apparently their are a lot more billionaires  in New York then we thought.And the Eminent Domain issue is local, and won’t matter on the national level.

See the thing with Bloomberg is again not to make us be happy, in fact I guarantee, it would probably piss off the left in the party a great deal.

My main argument with him is as i said above is to attract independents and republicans who don’t like McCain. And I think couple this with the natural ability of Obama to unite would cause a shift in the center of electorate and all moderates would flock away from the Republican Party faster then they already are.

I mean when you looked at the polls that had Bloomberg as an option he was getting 15% of the vote. You throw him on the ticket with Obama and we can probably take that vote and move it squarely into the Obama column. Which guarantees us a win.

The left may be angry with the pick, however I think they love Obama enough to vote for him not matter what.

And Michael Bloomberg on the federal level would no doubt be a Democrat, his social views even though I know you can poke holes in it are probably better then half the democrats we mentioned. He’s endorsed Obama’s economic plans as well. So if he lines up on Economic and Social issues I think he’s a good choice.

McCain strength is that he’s not seen as another Republican. When you do generic polls republican v democrat, its like a 10 point Democrat win. But McCain wins some polls and loses others by the margin of error. If you throw a fmr. Republican on the ticket whose not like Chuck Hagel whose 98% conservative just against the Iraq War, I think the argument that John McCain is just another Republican becomes more blatant. Michael Bloomberg is the best on the issues in the Republican Party to fill this position.

Webb has the women problem, which again might not be the best idea considering women will already be pissed that Clinton lost. That gun thing in the airport too wouldn’t probably go over well.

Sebelius to me seems like such an obvious play to the women vote it may have a backlash. It’s almost like here we’ll give the vp a women but not Hillary. Women I think we be pissed. And I think she is boring as all hell. Although I have no problem with that pick, she makes sense geographically and for other reasons. Just don’t think its gonna have the desired effect of quelling female voters who love Hillary.

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


by: Conniver @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 11:59:49 AM CDT
by: you @ soon

I see a pool of people

Richardson, Sebelius, Schweitzer, and Bradley.Roemer has some issues.  There is NO WAY Obama is going to take Roemer.  He was a key supporter of No Child Left Behind.  He’s a pro-life Democrat.  I can understand if you’re running for Congress, but not for Vice President.  Tim Roemer also voted for the AUMF in Iraq.  There is NO WAY Obama would take Roemer.  If voting for Iraq isn’t an issue, Obama would take Daschle over Roemer.  Simple as that.


by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 16:47:42 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

No Pro-Life Democrat will be on the ticket.

It will piss off all women voters in the party, and a lot of them will already be angry with the party due to Hillary losing.Will never happen.And btw I have a question for everyone here, Michael Bloomberg on the ticket isn’t to make us happy its to attract independents. Would anyone here not vote for Obama if Bloomberg was his vp?

“Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”-Will Rogers


by: Conniver @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 18:59:05 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

i totally thought

roemer was out of congress by the time AUMF was voted on. because for some reason i remembered going to the protests in the beginning of ’03, which is obviously incorrect. agreed, i wouldn’t vote for anyone who voted for the war for president so no way in hell could it be right or even strategic to pick them…
a shame that he’s being talked up then! when i said ‘anonymous sources’ i didn’t mean that i knew them, i meant that recent articles by ben smith, cilizza, et al referenced people who were ‘in’ on the process.i’d totally put richardson/sebelius ahead of him in the first place. but i’d still have to take him over bloomberg. bloomberg’s civil rights record in nyc has been deceivingly atrocious and his Roman Emperor complex and penchant for eminent domain abuse and fellating big developers is destroying my city… and the only people bloomberg might sway would be…… other billionaires? the only way the guy wins elections is playing darts with his money.It’s difficult to get the news from poems

but men die every day for lack of what is found there

–William Carlos Williams


by: RichardPlatypus @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 19:33:25 PM CDT

This is what sports and news reporters do though

They talk about a bunch of people they think “Could be” that guy, and then it turns out they are completely wrong.  For example, Indiana’s basketball coach was rarely if ever talked about by the sports guys.  They took a lot of time talking about a Bloomberg and a Gore run, neither of which happened.  It is absurd.  Don’t trust them, that’s what I say.  I think Schweitzer is probably a good guess just because the media isn’t talking about him.Also, I disagree with people who say Jim Webb, he sold us out on FISA.  That should have disqualified him from all the recent VP talks.


by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 20:56:14 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

A few problems

One. He is up for re-election. He can’t run for both governor and VP at the same time. I don’t think he would pull his re-election bid this late in the game.Two. He wouldn’t take it. I do not think he would. He HATES Washington and everything about it. He loves what he is doing, he loves being a free minded, independent thinker. He can do that in Montana. As VP he can’t. I just don’t think he would take it.I love him and have been a huge fan for a long time but I just don’t think this is the job for him.

We need someone on the ticket that reinforces the message and actions of the head of the ticket. Someone who works well with the head of ticket and someone who reinforces Obama’s message.

To me the only one who can do that is Sebelius. Besides I am hearing way to many rumors of Washington hacks on the ticket. Biden, Roemer, Nunn, Powell, Daschle, Clinton. All would be disasters.

Sebelius has endorsed and campaigned hard for Obama. To me her work in Kansas is what Obama wants to do nationally but with more progressive results due to the more progressive climate. They clearly like each other. She would make both the DLC types and the progressive types happy.

The only real strikes against her is that she is a women, “no national security blah blah blah”, might not carry her state and gave one bad speech. Frankly I don’t see how any of those are that bad.

That’s my two cents. I see why Schweitzer is appealing but I don’t think he’s the right choice.


by: Populista @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 22:42:48 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

There is a giant myth about balancing the ticket.

Clinton didn’t balance his ticket and look how bad he did.  He won two presidential elections in a row.There are two ways you can go about building your team.  You can balance, or you can reinforce.  If you balance, Obama is looking for a white male with executive, foreign policy, and economic experience, preferably not someone in Washington.Personally, I think we need to reinforce the ticket, so we can hammer on McCain that much more.

If you reinforce the ticket, you’re looking for somebody who represents change.  Sebelius and Richardson would both do that.  Bill Bradley isn’t in Washington, so although he was in the Senate, he may fit.  Russ Feingold represents change, but I doubt he would make the change.  Bloomberg currently being an independant would appear as though he represents something new.


by: Jeremiahthemessiah @ Sat Apr 05, 2008 at 23:31:01 PM CDT

by: you @ soon

Balancing AND Reinforcing

When pundits have droned on and on about “balancing the ticket,” my impression is that they are essentially saying that Obama needs to pick an old party hand– say, Joe Biden, or (G-d forbid) Sam Nunn– in order to counter the “inexperience” meme.  I agree with the bloggers who assert that such “balancing” would, in fact, undermine the message of change.  I wholeheartedly agree that we need to reinforce the ticket.  And I see Schweitzer– a young, energetic candidate who has proven himself as an agent of change, with crossover appeal to independents and Republicans– as a reinforcement as such.  When I speak of balance, I refer more to contrast in oratorical style and cultural/ethnic background.  Obama and Schweitzer are both great speakers; the latter has a fiery, direct, no-holds-barred approach, while the former, as we all know, specializes in cool-headed uplift.  Both styles are needed to win an election, so the “balance” would work wonderfully.  Plus, what better contrast to an urban black Protestant than a rural white Catholic?  With that ticket, we’d definitely get message reinforcement while also bringing the right kind of “balance,” so to speak.(By the way– thanks for responding, everyone!  I’m thrilled that my thread has stirred up this much discussion!)


by: The Caped Composer @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 00:35:13 AM CDT

Balancing Issues and Reinforcing Change

I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate.  He could do a great deal as a senior statesman and diplomat serving as VP in an Obama Administration.But I think my top choice for Obama’s running mate, somebody that can balance Obama on issues (military experience, defense, foreign policy) and, at the same time, reinforce the message of change:Senator Jim Webb of Virginia

He’s also a Senator, but he also hasn’t been in Washington long enough to be considered tainted by insiderism.  With Obama’s message of optimism, hope and change, and Webb as Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy, McCain couldn’t use the myth of Reagan as a cudgel with independent voters.  Webb would help us secure Virginia’s electoral votes.  Webb would kick the bejesus out of McCain’s running mate in their debate, for what that’s worth.  And Webb is the father of an Iraq War veteran, so he could connect with parents better than most on the recklessness of the Bush-McCain Iraq “policy.”

Just my two cents there.


by: Senate Guru @ Sun Apr 06, 2008 at 01:17:05 AM CDT
by: you @ soon

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I have two big worries about Webb.

The first is that we absolutely need that senate seat.  I know, Virginia is starting to have a Democratic bench, but we need those guys for the gubernatorial elections, since that’s an open seat every four years.  Upsetting the balance in Virginia right now could lead to the return of the loathsome, rapacious miscreant known as George Felix Allen, who is plotting his comeback behind the scenes as we speak.

My other big concern about Webb is, you may recall that he drew some negative attention in 2006 as a result of the statements he published in the early 80′s arguing that women should not serve in combat.  Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy publicly denounced him, and many women shared her sentiment (too bad Lt. Gen. Kennedy was born in Frankfurt, Germany, otherwise she’d be a great addition to the shortlist, as she has been a prominent critic of Bush’s foreign policy.  But I digress).  Many female voters will already be angry if Hillary is not the nominee.  Picking Jim Webb would bring that anger to a boil, rather than letting it die down and make way for other issues.   I can definitely see why many people might think he’s a good pick at first glance, but he’s got a lot of very unpalatable skeletons ready to leap out.

That, and he sold us out on FISA.

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