Friday, June 06, 2008

Five Questions For Barack Obama

Now that the Democrats have a nominee we can look at the path ahead. So, much like I did for the Republican nominee, here are five questions for Barack Obama.
  1. Can He Unite the Party? This has been one of the toughest fought primary contests ever. Obama needs to remind Clinton supporters that it is a lot better to have a Democrat in the White House than a pro-life, pro-war, pro-Bush Republican. Part of party unification will undoubtedly be the choice of his vice-president. This leads nicely to question number 2.
  2. Who will be Obama's VP? A VP selection is an awkward business and few people have a more awkward choice than Obama. In spite of the press, an Obama-Clinton ticket would be disastrous. The Billary side show would ruin Obama's image. My choice? Retiring Republican senator Chuck Hagel. Why? A bipartisan ticket would do Obama a great service and who better than the most anti-Bush Republican who also happens to be a decorated Vietnam Vet. Hagel's quitting because he's disgusted with Washington. Obama wants to change Washington. Perfect. The only problem is that Hagel's a social conservative and might not want the gig. More likely? A Clinton surrogate (Gov. Strickland (D-OH), Gov. Randell)(D-PA) or a woman (Gov. Sibelius (D-KS) or Sen. McCaskill (D-MO)).
  3. Can He Re-Write the Electoral Map? Obama will win if he's able to change the electoral map. As always, Electoral Vote (link at sidebar) is the best source for these computations. Long story short Obama's counting on winning formerly red states like Virginia and Colorado.
  4. Can He Keep Fundraising? Obama has been breaking fundraising records for months. If he can keep it up, he can crush John McCain (who can't fundraise to save his life). While there are no indications that the well is dry, it's a long time until November.
  5. Are People Ready For A Black President? This is the biggest question. It was an issue among some Democrats. We can only hope that this is not an issue.


Anonymous said...

For VP, what about Sen Webb from Virginia or Governor Stickland from Ohio? Webb might help in three counts - a Senator known for his moderate and independent stances with a bit of rebel personality (though well-spoken), highly regarded by military though outspoken war critic, and Virginia where early polls show Obama might do better than expected. Strickland is a very popular Ohio governor who they swept in after years of Republican rule. And he has been a staunch Clinton supporter. Plus Ohio folk have had several native sons in the white house but it's been a few decades since the last. I have some roots in Ohio and you might be surprised at how that nostalgic notion of return to prominence might have a great pull.

As regards to Hillary, I disagree. There would be no better way to unite the party as efficiently. Despite all arguments "against" her, she got just as many actual votes as Obama in some of the largest turnouts for primaries in decades (so all those newbies were not Obama supporters). If you're going to argue that Billary is a side-show (after all Bill was President for two terms) than what is Rev Wright and friends? Not saying there are not negatives as well, but there are some pretty convincing positives. I haven't heard the groundswell minions who "won't" vote for Obama if Hillary is on the ticket, but there are a good number of Hillary democrats who may find a home with "independent-minded" McCain if she is out of the picture entirely - and they reside in states Obama still needs - Pennsylvania, Michigan, or even Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Silly me, I just noticed you had mentioned Strickland as possible VP.

Aaron Ginsberg said...

Webb would definitely be on my list. In fact, I think I'll make a separate post about this. I was just thinking unity in this post. Thus, Clinton surrogate or woman.

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