By Joe Kerry
As 6 of us were crammed into a car that would have only seated four comfortably, stuck in New York City rush-hour traffic, Glenn started to talk about Senators Obama and McCain and who they were going to respectively select as their running-mates. Even though this wasn’t a formal ‘let’s think this entirely through’ sit-down session, I thought Glenn’s insights were unique so I’m going to pass them along before the campaigns make their official announcements.
Why Barack Obama Will Not Select Hillary Clinton
Two words why Hillary Clinton will never be Barack’s pick: Michelle Obama. Just as Hillary was the mover-and-shaker behind Bill Clinton, Michelle is the real power and ideologue behind Barack. In short, Michelle and Hillary are too much alike. Michelle knows that Hillary may be the best choice politically (unify the party, pick-up more blue-collar votes and strengthen Obama’s support among women) but that Hillary would extract such a high price for her support that Barack would always be part of a co-presidency with Hillary (and just ask Bill how that worked out). If Barack came to Hillary before his poll numbers started to shrink it might have been different, but now, any attempt to bring Hillary onto the ticket would be a sign of political weakness, not strength.
Glenn had another interesting observation which related to the timing of Obama’s running-mate announcement. In order to maximize media exposure Obama should have made his announcement on Thursday afternoon. This would have guaranteed having this as the lead story on the evening news, the Sunday talk shows, and on Monday when the new news cycle begins. Obama basically lost two days by waiting until Saturday, why? Glenn’s take is that a Saturday announcement effectively eliminates any chance that Hillary’s supporters will have sufficient time before the Democratic Convention to launch a pro-Hillary media blitz or cause political trouble, as Obama’s pick will dominate the news well into the convention.
Why John McCain Should Select Mitt Romney
John McCain’s strongest argument against Obama is that he doesn’t have enough experience to be president and Obama’s poll numbers have steadily fallen as McCain has made this point to the American people. If McCain selects someone as his vice president running-mate who lacks sufficient experience he is effectively undermining his most effective argument against Obama. Keeping that in-mind, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin—although Glenn is a huge fan of them both—would be off of McCain’s short list.
The other two names reportedly on McCain’s shortlist are Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney. Pawlenty is mid-way through his second term as Governor of Minnesota and Mitt Romney served one term as Governor of Massachusetts. Glenn’s thought is that Romney deserves the nod because the country is in tough economic times with a credit crisis, mortgage mess and banking bust guaranteed to get worse before getting better. Romney has proven his ability to deal with economic issues first as CEO of Bain & Company (a management company) and then as Bain Capital (private equity firm). Romney’s not going to have to ‘fake it’ when it comes to understanding the ins-and-outs of capitalism. Glenn was quick to add that doesn’t make Romney a perfect pick—but that’s for another time.
So there you have it, Glenn’s ruminations about the vice presidential picks of Senators Obama and McCain and we’ll all soon see how right, or wrong, he was.