Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Big Field for Obama Veepstakes

The first test of his decision-making is at hand.

The short list is down to "about twenty current top government officials, former top government officials and former military leaders" as Barack Obama looks for a running mate who would both give him credibility and be qualified to succeed him.

There is Hillary Clinton, of course, but name recognition of those being considered runs all the way down to the retired former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Gen. James Jones, who meets the first qualification but would be a little shaky on the second.

There are governors, of course--Tim Kaine of Virginia, Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, although one of them, Ted Strickland has ruled himself out with a Shermanesque declaration.

Among former rivals for the nomination, John Edwards has professed no interest, leaving Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich--and Joe Biden.

The esteemed E. J. Dionne Jr. has made his choice known in the Washington Post: Biden "should be at the top of any list of vice presidential picks for Obama...Few Democrats know more about foreign policy, and few would so relish the fight against McCain on international affairs. Few are better placed to argue that withdrawal from Iraq will strengthen rather than weaken the United States."

That may be more of an argument for Biden as Secretary of State than VP, for which there are countless contenders--Jim Webb, Evan Bayh, Mark Warner, Tom Daschle, Sam Nunn and on and on.

Obama's vetting committee has a lot of work to do, but they may be inspired by recalling how less effort in going through the process produced Dick Cheney.

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