Running With Obama

Obama definitely has plenty of contestants for the VP spot. Let the veepstakes begin.

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pick
Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!!!!!

Since the race for the Democratic nomination has drawn to the end, many pundits have begun to ask how the choice of a vice president might help to repair the damage inflicted on the party as a result of the long contest. The Clinton camp has promoted the idea of an Obama/Clinton ticket that can unify the party. But what are the other possibilities? Because we are part of the political team on The Root,we thought we would revisit this conversation we had in March about possible hot tickets. Now that Obama's campaign has lost one of the three members of his vice-presidential search committee, we figure he can use all the help he can get.

Hillary Clinton -- Dream team?

MELISSA: I can't imagine that anyone in the Obama camp thinks that this is a good idea. Hillary does not bring Barack a single vote that he can't already get for himself in the general election. She is polarizing, and Obama is unifying. Barack is a clean slate while she brings more baggage than Paris Hilton on a weekend trip to the country. This ticket does more to unify the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. Given HRC's current impersonation of Lady Macbeth, I have to advise brother Obama not to choose her as a running mate.

MARC: A few months ago, I would've said that Americans wouldn't support a black man and a white woman on the same ticket. Now, I'm convinced that an Obama/Clinton ticket is the only thing that can unify an increasingly separated Democratic Party. Unfortunately, like Kennedy/Carter in 1980, too much blood has been spilled in the primary for anyone to believe that these two respect, much less like, one another. This one won't happen.

Jim Webb -- Senator from Virginia

MARC: Well Melissa, if nothing else, Jim Webb deserves consideration for exposing and defeating George "Macaca" Allen, who otherwise might be the Republican nominee right now. Also, Webb's experience as Secretary of the Navy and Assistant Secretary of Defense (under Reagan) would help Obama improve his street cred among the warmonger crowd. Still, this is one of the scariest options on the table. With Obama drifting further toward the center, the last thing he needs is a running mate who has only been a registered Democrat for a few years. Also, with less than six years of Senate tenure between the two of them, this duo would rank as one of the most inexperienced presidential tickets in history. Unfortunately, he's probably on Barack's short list.

MELISSA: Marc, I truly hate this ticket, too. Democrats are so foolish when they think about how to win the South. Maybe it is because Howard Dean is the DNC chairman, but someone has got to tell these people that you can't just slap an up-South senator on the ticket and assume he will deliver his state. Hello…does anyone remember Kerry/Edwards? Barack does not need a Southerner to beat McCain. McCain needs a Southerner to beat Barack!

Joe Biden -- Senator from Delaware

MELISSA: I like Biden for Machiavellian reasons. He brings additional height to the ticket, and everyone knows that tall guys are more likely to win. He can play "crazy Joe" to Barack's serious tone. It makes Obama look even more presidential if all the nutty outbursts can be outsourced to Biden. And you just know that the media will remind us of Biden's "articulate" comments. Biden kicked off his own presidential bid last year by remarking that Obama was unlike other black leaders because he was "articulate," "fresh" and "clean." By publicly forgiving and embracing Biden, Obama will soothe the collective conscience of well-meaning white Americans who often say things that they "hope won't offend you." What better way to build a winning multiracial coalition?

 

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