Wednesday, July 23, 2008

VP Picks For '08: A No-Brainer...

With 103-days remaining until American voters go to the polls to select who will lead this nation for the next four years, the chatter has begun on who will be the Democratic and Republican choices for Vice President. The selection of VP is of particular importance this election... more so than any in recent history. Truth-be-told... neither Senators McCain or Obama have any governing or administrative experience. And, unfortunately, executing an election campaign (no matter how well ... or ill-run it is) is no substitute for GOVERNING!

McCain nor Obama has ever run a company (where they would have gained valuable experience (and stress) in meeting a weekly or monthly payroll). Neither one of them have ever governed at the City, County or State levels. Consequently, neither have any hands-on knowledge of how to oversee massive budgets, deal with tax/financial shortfalls, or 'how' and when to dispatch the National Guard in an emergency situation. These are basic leadership skills needed by anyone who aspires to preside over the largest budget and greatest military in the world.

And although both men are engaged in this pointless 'roar-the-loudest' exercise–– in an attempt to convince the American public they are most qualified–– the reality is neither of them has ever had to lead, supervise, boss, head, or be that person where the "buck-stops-here" in their adult "elected official" lives. Therefore, it is incumbent upon both Senators to pick a former Governor as their Veep to compensate for the lack of experience in that area.

To that end, the Republican presidential hopeful will more than likely select former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. There is no getting around it for McCain. It's Romney... or back to the Senate.

Indeed the pundits will say Romney didn't campaign well in the GOP primaries. Regardless of how soundly the voting public rejected Romney during the primaries (he can't have everything: too rich, too handsome, too successful, too smart, perfect family, etc.) Americans are funny people. Voters couldn't purposely and knowingly give him yet another plus or advantage in life: the nod for the top-job-in-the-land. But, well... it's okay if he's relegated to the number two place on the ticket. Yes, placement here somehow dismisses the perception that: Mitt Romney's 'all-that-and-some-CHIPS'!

On the other hand, if presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama hopes to have any chance to win this election in the Fall... he is going to have to pick Senator Hillary Clinton as his running mate. The latest Rasmussen poll numbers show McCain up 10+ in Pennsylvania! Say what you will, those white, rural, working-class, blue collar men and women (18 million and counting) who will never vote for a man of color... love Hillary and Bill and will vote for either one of them if they ran tomorrow! And, like it or not... those are the very votes Obama will need... or he loses.

So... exactly where is Hillary's 'governing experience'? It's no secret... and, she couldn't really say it during the primary campaign... but, everybody knows she was co-Governor of Arkansas, and co-President during the Clinton White House years. Hillary said it throughout her campaign... that she really would be ready on "Day One"!

The Vice Presidential picks for 2008 are really a no-brainer. The match-ups will probably be: Obama/Clinton '08 versus McCain/Romney '08. Now, that will be a close race... a photo finish for sure!

1 comment:

Philip Meyer said...

Since Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee there has been unprecedented campaign to force him to choose Hillary Clinton as his running mate. I believe choosing Hillary would be big mistake especially in light of this effort to force his hand.

The Clintons have their good points. While I have problems with Bill’s ethics, I think his time as President was good for the United States and while I don’t think he deserves all (or even most of) the credit for the peace and prosperity that characterized the period from 1993 to 2000, he certainly deserves some. He made what I consider to be sound policy decisions. As for Hillary, I agree with her stated positions on many issues. However, none of this means she would be a good selection for Obama as his running mate. The reasons for not choosing her are clear.

Fundamentally, there are several factors for any nominee to consider when selecting a Vice-Presidential candidate. Obviously, the Presidential nominee would want to choose someone could assume the job of President but realistically, many potential Vice-Presidential nominees meet that criteria. The two more fundamental questions are 1) Does the Vice-Presidential pick increase the ticket’s chances of winning the general election and 2) Would that pick be a good fit in the future Administration?

As nears as I can tell Hillary is a wash on question 1. Several polls have shown Democrats favor putting Hillary on the ticket but most of them are likely to vote for the Democratic ticket anyway. More telling are polls of all voters and the most recent I could find suggested Obama-Clinton doesn’t poll much differently than Obama by himself.

On question 2, Hillary is complete flop. Vice-Presidents are supposed to be loyal to the President above all else and the Clintons have never played second fiddle to anyone, it is hard to imagine them starting now, especially to a man Hillary suggested was unprepared to be President. More than likely, the Clintons envision Hillary as Vice-President with greatly expanded powers and a portfolio for Bill as well; In effect, a tri-Presidency with Obama as the odd man out. That would be a disaster as this nation doesn’t need three chief executives.

Finally, there are the Clintons themselves. It might be tempting to take Hillary’s recent warm praise of Obama at face value but the problem is, how would one know? While even the most honest politicians fib a bit, Hillary and Bill have a record of mendacity that puts them pretty low in the trust scale. If someone isn’t accustomed the getting shot at, they tend to have a pretty good memory of when they did. It is hard to see Hillary’s repeated claim about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire as anything but a brazen lie. Also, because all politicians pander, pandering itself isn’t a disqualification but the shamelessness of the Hillary is amazing. There isn’t any serious Democratic policy analyst who favored cutting the gas tax and Hillary Clinton probably didn’t either. However, this spring she came out for a cut in the gas tax after having talked about the need for alternative energy and reduction in green house gases. Lower fossil fuel prices are the quickest way to make those goals harder to achieve. It would have been one thing if she called for a second stimulus package to, among other things, help mitigate the impact of higher gas prices. At least that could have been targeted to low income folks and because the recipients could spend the money on whatever they deemed necessary, the incentive to conserve would have remained. However, Hillary just couldn’t resist demanding a cut in the gas tax that would have benefited millionaire owners of Hummers, because she saw political gain. Not only was it dishonest given what she said she believed otherwise, it showed a lack of leadership and a lack of courage that Obama commendably showed on the issue.

Bill’s mendacity is well documented but perhaps he was being the honest one in this case, when he reportedly told someone Obama could kiss his behind if he expected support. All the more reason for Obama not to want a Clinton in his Administration