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January 31, 2008

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I really don't believe an O/C or an C/O ticket would work. If Obama comes out ahead, he will need a VP who brings compliments to the ticket, perhaps clear military and/or diplomatic experience, (particularly if McCain is the R) -- my suggestions would be Senator Webb or Wes Clark, and Hillary is going to need someone who stands out against Bill, and is willing to put that difference into play. Richardson maybe, but I don't know if he could show adequate bright difference from Bill.

Chris Matthews put out a good idea today, one that I have been entertaining, Make John Edwards Secretary of Labor, and let him use the perch to work on his poverty issues. From Mine Safety inforcement to making it easier to organize labor, he could lead big things, and hopefully do it semi-independent of WH Staff, and in full public view. I particularly like the notion of a Southerner at DOL.

But if it is Obama, I am particularly interested in putting Webb in the VP slot. It would put the border states in play, and maybe even Florida. Even Hillary could benefit with Webb -- and I doubt if he would play shy around Bill.

That's an interesting point of view. My reason for thinking they would work well together as a ticket is because they could present such a united front. But I see your thinking that their similarity could, in fact, be a weakness.

The underlying question is how effective it is to bring geographic or other diversity to a ticket. My instincts are that people are looking for a pair who seem to genuinely enjoy each other and play off each other's strengths, and issues of balance come second (or lower). A ticket that feels like Thelma and Louise, or Butch and Sundance, may resonate more in the public imagination than the Odd Couple.

But in the end it's a case-by-case question -- for a candidate like George W Bush, with glaring deficiencies in foreign policy and government (and so much else), he needed someone like Cheney, not another puppydog like Quayle, to give him balance and cover his (many) weak points. I don't see either Obama or Clinton having that kind of glaring deficiency, particularly on military issues, though on the other hand the right wing hasn't really begun to belittle them yet... and if they could generate the myth that Kerry was weak on defense, I'd be foolish to think Clinton or Obama were invincible.

I remember in West Wing, the admin had to watch out for a VP who had ambitions and would sabotage things at inopportune times. Could be bad,
That said, solidifying the ticket now and having both constituencies happy could make a lot of sense, in addition to saving a lot of powder and money for the general campaign to come.

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