A recent interview on MSNBC and article at CNN.com concerning the Obama’s search for a running mate has caused enough consternation in me I feel the need to comment.
It is most unfortunate that I cannot remember the name of the man being interviewed on MSNBC, honestly it was just kinda on in the background while I played a computer game. But here is what the unknown brilliant man said…
“Does anyone really believe that Obama’s selection of a VP candidate will definitely deliver a swing state or demographic group? Honestly does anyone really think Hilary supporters will simply jump on board with Obama if he takes her as a VP candidate?”
Let me tell you about an observation I have about VP candidates. They can only hurt you. People are not going to like you more because some one else they like is playing second fiddle to you. The historic job of the VP has been the “hatchet man,” the one who does the dirty work, says the slightly taboo thing for shock value. The best VP’s have done this. Dismantled the others camps, attacked their credibility, their backgrounds, and all the things that would be beneath the primary candidate. Failed campaigns commonly had poor VPs. I am not sure if the Obama camp has acknowledged this fact.
My concern increased because of the following article by CNN.
“A veteran Democratic activist told CNN that former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson has accepted Obama's request to begin a screening and selection process for the No. 2 spot.
Johnson performed a similar role for Democratic presidential nominees Walter Mondale in 1984 and John Kerry in 2004.”
Why exactly is Obama choosing as his lead screener a man who selected VP’s for two LOSING democratic tickets.
Previously I have privately credited the Obama camp with being extraordinarily well run… but the choice of VP screener certainly doesn’t instill confidence. John Edwards is a great guy, a good hatchet man for Kerry he was not. And while the choice of the first female VP candidate for Mondale was ground breaking, she could do nothing to dent Reagan’s armor.
Obama is a nice guy. He needs a strong VP candidate who will pull no punches to save their own political futures. He needs a hatchet man to do the dirty work. Failure to do so is another weakness the Obama camp cannot afford.