I have also been doing a lot of thinking about who Obama chooses as his running mate and who gets the job of Secretary of State under an Obama Administration. Here's a rundown of the top names:
Bill Richardson - Executive experience. Used to be Secretary of Energy. Hispanic and from the South West. Foreign affairs experience. Former Ambassador to the UN. Downside? Hispanic and African American on the same ticket. Not really appealing to those blue collar Democrats.
Jim Webb - former Republican. Secretary of the Navy for Reagan. Brings the state of Virginia along with him where he is now a Senator. Beefs up executive and foreign affairs experience. Quite blunt apparently on the stump. Gets the white working class vote though. Fits in with Obama's post-partisan appeal.
Tom Daschle - Former Senate Majority Leader from South Dakota. Will appeal to those pesky C2s. Downside? Doesn't seem very dynamic. His endorsement did not help Obama win South Dakota in the primaries. If he can't do that, he does not seem very useful.
Ted Strickland - Governor of Ohio. Important swing state Obama needs to win in the election. Appeals to the white, working class and religious vote.
Ed Rendell - Governor of Pennsylvania. Strong military credentials. Can win over the blue collar Democrats. Downside? Clinton supporter.
Secretary of State
The most interesting question. Anyone Obama chooses will have experience, which means that they will probably hail from the Clinton era. Might have to be critical about Iraq too.
Joe Biden - Senator from Delaware. Lots of experience leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Was on the Judiciary Committee before that. Safe pair of hands running the State Department. Downside? My dad told me he once plagiarized a Neil Kinnock speech. Enough said.
Richard Holbrooke - perennial Clinton favourite. Good experience brokering the Dayton Peace accords. Hawkish but sensible. Doesn't suffer fools gladly. Like him a lot.
John Kerry - Disaster.
Wesley Clark - If you want experience, this man once ran NATO, he can run 'foggy bottom.' But, he does not have his own political base and is a poor communicator.
Tony Lake - Clinton's National Security Advisor. Switched support to Obama in 2008. Very experienced. Intellectual bruiser too. Think Denis Healey. But a controversial figure. Used to work for Kissinger and not liked by Republicans. Would be a nasty nomination process. Probably, not going to happen.
Chuck Hegel - Republican. Former military man. Very, very critical of Bush Administration over Iraq. Advocates early withdrawal. Would really toughen up the Obama Administration but 'softie' Europeans would be uneasy.
Chris Dodd - Who? Well, he did stand to be President this year but withdrew after poor showings in the early caucuses. Apparently, he is quite good on foreign affairs. Would be a real liberal. Maybe bring a breath of fresh air to State. Doesn't seem to have the gravitas though. I actually don't know who he is properly.
Strobe Talbott - Former Assistant Secretary of State under Clinton. Very experienced. Intellectual heavyweight too. Like him a lot.
Jamie Rubin - Assistant Secretary of State under Clinton. Ferociously bright. Brilliant communicator. Good looking. Use to teach at the LSE. My hero. Unfortunately, it is not going to happen.
If Obama wanted to be really exciting, he could of course choose Al Gore. That would be very dramatic.
Or he could do what Santos does to Vinick in the West Wing. He could offer McCain the job of Secretary of State. Just an idea....