The resignation of Jim Johnson from Obama’s VP search team has Obama saying it’s just not possible to vet the vetters. But while he’s trying to keep his halo clean, the search for VP seems to still be wide open. And of course, some optimists are still hoping Saint Gore will step up to the VP plate.

Johnson off the team. The first scalp’s been claimed from Obama’s campaign with the news that Jim Johnson has resigned from the VP search team. He went after “ill-timed” revelations about $2 million worth of mortgage finance he received for below market rates from Countrywide Financial.

NPR quoted Obama’s statement that “Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept.” The Wall Street Journal said Obama’s association with Johnson was a gift for Republicans “seeking to tarnish Obama’s image as a squeaky-clean outsider hoping to clean up Washington — not to mention divert attention from questions about lobbyists working in John McCain’s campaign.”

Al Gore talk starts up again. Now that the Obama-Clinton “dream team” ticket appears to have been scuttled, it didn’t take long for someone to revive talk of getting Al Gore on the ticket as VP. Yes, we like the idea. No, we don’t think he’ll change his mind. Politico has the story.

Camille Paglia on a female VP. Quasi-feminist academic Camille Paglia has sounded off in Salon about how crazy Obama would be to run with Hillary Clinton (“Are you mad? What party nominee worth his salt would chain himself to a traveling circus like the Bill and Hillary Show?”) but says she likes a different woman for VP: Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Paglia says Sebelius “epitomizes that cordial, smoothly reassuring, and blandly generic WASPiness that has persistently defined the American power structure in business and government”.

Sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Note on ABC News says the first real week of the presidential campaign has been devoid of policy and fulll of questions like “which vice is worse, being an ABBA fan or smoking?”. “Will the candidates go a whole week without hitting a theme the public cares about in the general election?” Sounds like a political campaign, huh?

At least 14 GOP lawmakers haven’t endorsed McCain. Obama is courting Hillary supporters to get behind him, but McCain also has some housework to do to get his own party onside. The Huffington Post reports that “at least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.”

Why the Dems have pushed to the left. Politco has a feature looking at the push to the left which has occurred in the Democrats since Gore won the popular vote but lost to George Dubya in *that* election. It argues that the effect of Ralph Nadar — not George W Bush — has pushed the Dems to the left.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey