What About A Republican For Obama VP?

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This idea of Obama picking a Republican seems all but dead. Yet, there are some obvious merits to such a strategy. It would help to garner Obama some votes with a demographic that is problematic for him: white “conservatives.”

[Speaking Truth To Power: Elections 2008]


As delegates assemble in Denver for the Democratic Party’s Convention, the intriguing question is: who has Barack Obama chosen as his running mate?

Texas Rep. Chet Edwards, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Senators Evan Bayh, of Indiana; Hillary Clinton, of New York; and Joe Biden of Delaware are some of the names on the list.

Some Hillary Clinton supporters who want to see her as the vice-president, are threatening to vote for John McCain if she isn’t selected. Many of these “progressive” women have shown that they can be just as racist as rednecks, though more hypocritical.

How can they claim they support the policies of Senator Clinton and the Democratic Party and vote for a man who has pledged to continue the disastrous policies that now has this nation teetering on the verge of a recession? Are they really willing to “cut off their noses to spite their faces?”

Adding Senator Clinton to the ticket could bring back these “supporters” to the fold, but at what cost? As columnist Les Payne has warned, if Obama picks her he’d better have his food tested every time he eats.

Delaware Senator Joseph Biden appears to be high on the list. Because of Biden’s foreign policy credentials, including his position as Chairman of the U.S Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, he is seen as someone who can complement Obama in the area of foreign policy. Given all the hot air about Obama being “inexperienced,” Biden would definitely help neutralize those charges.

In recent weeks, John McCain has risen in the national polls and the conflict between Georgia and Russia may have helped him. Curiously, Randy Scheunemann,—a former lobbyist for the Georgian government and a pivotal player in the Iraq Invasion— who is a foreign policy advisor for John McCain is no doubt counseling him on how to leverage this conflict for his political benefit. It‘s his chance to tout his supposed war hero status as a Vietnam P.O.W.

One name that hasn’t really been mentioned is retired general Wesley Clark. If he were picked that would surely nullify any boost that McCain can claim using his status as a veteran; McCain also wouldn’t any longer exploit the Russian invasion of Georgia, or the Iraq or Afghanistan wars for political gain.

Earlier there was some talk of Obama perhaps picking a Republican to help win more votes in Dixieland. Wouldn’t that signal real change from the corrupt cesspool of business as usual party politics? I believe the party system, along with the financial fraud inherent in it, thwarts democracy instead of helping it to flourish.

Party politics encourages blind loyalty from both candidates and voters. Don’t you think many Republican voters and politicians knew Bush wasn’t worthy of being elected? We need an election system where candidates can run as individuals, free from the machinations of party politics. Well, we’ll explore that more another time in another column.

This idea of Obama picking a Republican seems all but dead. Yet, there are some obvious merits to such a strategy. It would help to garner Obama some votes with a demographic that is problematic for him: white “conservatives.” And it seems quite clear that’s why Bayh, Edwards, Sebelius and Kaine—all Democrats from Southern states—were being considered by Obama. Such a pick would also offset those votes he would lose from those “supporters” of Senator Clinton.

Tim Kaine is seen by some as a strong potential pick because he is a successful governor of a Southern state. There is no question that the so-called “Red States” represents a major challenge for Obama. How many white “conservatives” or Republicans will be willing to vote for a Black Democrat for president?

Adding a strong Southern politician to the ticket is probably Obama’s best hope of winning in November, for he needs someone who can win white votes in a very white America.

Note: As of the end of this writing, CNN is currently reporting that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh haven’t been chosen. The assumption now is that Delaware Senator Joe Biden will be the pick. We’ll know tomorrow before the rally.

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"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Benjamin is a member of The Black Star News’ Editorial Staff

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