Sunday, August 17, 2008

Obama's Choice For Vice President

Image credit: Obama campaign,, reduced by Cujo359.
Whenever the subject of who would be a good Vice-Presidential candidate has come up at other blogs, I've always taken a pass, except to suggest Hillary Clinton. What I always write is that the most important thing is that Obama chooses a candidate who will help him shore up support in his own party, both the leaders and the rank and file. That lesson was driven home clearly by this poll today:

John McCain has pulled even in Ohio, after trailing in PPP's June and July polls of the state. He and Barack Obama are each at 45%, with 10% of Ohio voters reporting as undecided.

Party unity is an issue for Obama in the Buckeye State. While McCain has an 89-7 lead with voters who identify as Republicans, Obama has a narrower 75-17 edge with Democrats. Delving deeper into the numbers, it appears that residual unhappiness from Hillary Clinton supporters could be the cause. The 25% of Democrats who currently either support McCain or are undecided are disproportionately middle aged, white, and female or in other words prototypical Clinton voters.

McCain pulls even in Ohio

The Republicans usually vote as a block these days. Call it unity, call it authoritarianism, call it small-minded hatred of people they disagree with. Whatever it is, it's a unifying force among them. Democrats tend to be less unified. We on the left tend require persuasion to vote a particular way.

Whoever Obama chooses needs to be able to help him with this gap. Hillary Clinton is one such person, but I suspect there are others. Obama's a good campaigner, and he seems to be doing well with the party's movers and shakers. Wes Clark, John Kerry, and John Edwards, among others, are supporting him. His lack appears to be his inability to convince the core Hillary supporters that he's the better alternative.

If I were Obama's people, I'd be asking folks like Taylor Marsh and Larry Johnson (not to mention Susan Hu) who they think would be helpful.

Asking folks like me won't do much good.


Vigilante said...

Clark for Veep! Exactly what I have been saying, beginning 10 May and again on 6 June, on 30 June, on 3 August, on 6 August, on 13 August and finally today. It's not rocket science or neurosurgery. It's smart, tough politics.

Cujo359 said...

Clark strikes me as a good choice. He seems to have appeal among Clinton supporters. He's learned a lot about politics in the last few years, and he's been one of the few Democrats with national standing who has been willing to call McCain on his BS.

With the exception of John Kerry's idiotic slagging of him last month, Clark has no political baggage. Plus, he has no office to give up.

Vigilante said...

Absolute agreement on all points raised,Cujo!