Obama’s got his team out looking for a VP, but his choice of VP searchers is under fire. Meanwhile, some are still raking over the coals of why Hillary lost and whether she should be on the VP ticket. But finally there’s some discussion happening around other potential Dem VPs. And is McCain ready to take on Obama over economic management?
The VP question:
Barack Obama last week named a small team of three which will help him select a vice presidential running mate. This includes Kennedy daughter, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. But along with the Kennedy sheen, Obama’s copping some flak over his choice of Jim Johnson and Eric Holder.
The Washington Times editorial says the choice of former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire because of his role in Bill Clinton’s pardon of billionaire tax evader Marc Rich.
Meanwhile, the choice of Jim Johnson is also being attacked. Johnson was Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign manager and also chaired the VP selection process for John Kerry in 2004. The National Review says the McCain camp is leaping on the choice of Jim Johnson, for his seemingly sweet loans from Countrywide Financial Corp, and asks “How is Obama’s veep searcher Jim Johnson not one of those overpaid CEOs the candidate decries?“
The VP candidates:
The Washington Monthly looks at the discussion of Republican-turned-Democrat and acknowledged hothead Jim Webb as a potential running mate for Obama. While some have argued that Webb would help Obama appeal to “blue collar, military-loving Reagan democrats” – others say that choosing a hawkish running mate would be a tacit acceptance of McCain’s criticism that Obama lacks military cred.
The New Republic has an interesting analysis of the dream (or nightmare) Obama-Clinton ticket, saying that while it’s hard to dispute Clinton is qualified to assume the presidency in a time of crisis, it’s harder to accept that she and Obama could work harmoniously together:
The modern archetypes for a vice president are Al Gore and Dick Cheney. Publicly, both men were highly visible advocates for their respective administrations; privately, each was among his administration’s most trusted and influential advisers. And one key factor in each man’s success was the close working relationship he developed with his boss–a relationship based on trust and mutual respect. Given the campaign Clinton has run, it’s virtually impossible to imagine a similar relationship ever developing between her and Obama.
The Hillary fallout:
The NYT has published a series of opinion columns looking at why Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination failed
Moving beyond the nomination race, BlogHer writes that “grieving women is a good story but sexism pales in the face of our economic future”. It says that one of the ways Obama can get the pro-Hillary female Democrats onside is to address their economic concerns.
Meanwhile, the Momocrats blog asks if there really are Hillary supporters so rabid that they’ll vote McCain to punish Obama for winning:
I don’t get it. The man who made a repugnant, homophobic joke that slimed Chelsea Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Janet Reno? The man who didn’t object when a male supporter asked him how to “beat the b****[referring to Clinton]?” The man who wants to get rid of Roe v. Wade? And the same man who partied it up with Bush on his birthday when Hurricane Katrina tore New Orleans apart? The same man who called his current wife a c***? OK, these diehard Clinton supporters are going to vote for a man who thinks it’d be fine if companies paid their female workers less than their male workers, as long as they could disguise that fact for 180 days (or the length of the current statute of limitations for suing one’s employer for pay inequity). Huh?
McCain “town hall” proposal
It takes balls to challenge as skilled an orator as Barack Obama to a series of Town Hall debates – but hats off to McCain for proposing just that. His open letter to Obama is worth reading. The Democrats and Liberals Watchblog doffed their hats to McCain for the proposal, saying it was “high time we relegate the media to their rightful place as neutral observer, rather than framers of the debate.”
“The cynics in my own party may snipe that McCain is only avoiding formats more unflattering to him. Or that he’s seeking free exposure in the face of a huge financial disadvantage. So what? Barack and John understand together that the point is to bypass the media filter.”
Campaigning on the economy:
Salon writes that the McCain camp has released a press statement accusing Barack Obama of not understanding the American economy. “That’s either a whole lot of chutzpah or a whole lot of stupidity. Is the campaign purposefully trying to remind Americans that McCain is the presidential candidate on record as declaring that “the issue of economics is not something I have understood as well as I should”?
The attack comes as Obama kicks off a two week “Change that works for you” tour with an economic speech in North Carolina. The Direct Democracy blog wrote that “Obama and the larger progressive movement is doing a good job reminding people of the McCain-Bush similarities. But today’s speech text also has some positive signs that Obama will work to hold the larger conservative governing philosophy responsible for our economic circumstance, not just George Bush.”
“As millions of Americans start tuning into our political process for the first time, it’s crucial that they hear detail about which underlying causes brought us to this mess in the first place — it’s not enough for people to assume that George Bush’s incompetence sunk everything. Politicians come and go, but the bogus assumptions about “tax cuts,” “privitization” and “free markets” have endured long past Reagan. It’s good to see a Democratic nominee talking concretely about the good things our government can accomplish.”
And just in case Obama’s tough talk on grubby campaign donations made everything seem just too peachy to be true, The Huffington Post reports that while News Corp head Rupert Murdoch may have backed Obama, he’s happy to have a bet both ways, donating $28,000 to the Republican Campaign Committee as well. God bless America.