Sunday, May 18, 2008

good news and bad advice

Good News

Although Hillary Clinton hasn't quite called it a day yet, it is clear the preliminaries are essentially over and the general election - Obama and McCain - is now underway.

And I admit to being pleased to hear that Bob Barr, former right-wing Republican Congressman from Georgia, is seeking the Libertarian Party's Presidential nomination. Since Barr's profile is significantly higher than any current Libertarian member (Ron Paul is not a member any more), it seems likely he will win the nomination. And as Micah Silfrey writes, he may do a Nader on McCain.

McCain looks weak - as Silfrey notes, McCain was still losing up to 20% of the vote to Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee, even after Huckabee had officially ended his campaign. And it floors me that Ron Paul's website gets 50,000 unique visitors a week, compared to McCain's 90,000 (Obama and Clinton way way more). There are people out there in the GOP that aren't ready to settle for McCain. And I hope Bob Barr will be an option for them.

I would never vote for Barr. He has resorted to race baiting and is overall far too conservative for my tastes. But I do admire his opposition to the de facto Bush Administration's ongoing encroachment on our personal liberties.

Bad Advice

In other speculation, David Ignatius sets a "test" for Obama, to go outside the Democratic Party in choosing a vice presidential candidate. He specifically suggests Republican senatore (retiring) Chuck Hagel and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

I admire Hagel for his criticisms of Bush's foreign policy. And Bloomberg, not even a Republican any more (not that he ever exactly epitomized GOP ideals) isn't a bad sort.

But I think it would be stupid to reach outside the party. How would Clinton supporters see this - that not only did Obama not pick Clinton, he went outside of the Democratic Party to find somebody? That would seem a bit insulting, not only to Clinton but to other Democrats. If Obama decided he wants a decent Republican for a cabinet post fine - but NOT to be the person in line to assume the presidency should something happen to the president.

And in any case, I think that Obama should choose somebody far less conservative than Hagel. Somebody with Democratic party credentials. Bloomberg isn't a good fit either. He's a Jewish guy from New York City, who would be running with a black guy from Chicago.

I tend to think Obama should pick a white male. Somebody with some foreign policy chops would be good. I'm thinking Wes Clark - former general, who ran very well as a candidate in 2004. Plus Clark is a Clinton Democrat - the next best thing to picking Hillary.

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