Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Obama Vice-President: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Posted in Barack Obama by allisonkilkenny on June 13, 2008

I’m just kidding, there are no good options. At least, not yet, and in my opinion. However, I have taken some of the front-runners and ripped them apart for your amusement. You may notice Wesley Clark isn’t on this list. I hate Wesley Clark. There. That’s my critique. I don’t think a war-mongering turned peace-loving Johnny-come-lately has any business in a progressive campaign. Moving on…

Obama seems to be trapped between a rock and a hard place, or “unethical” and “more unethical.” It will be the death of his progressive credibility if he touches a Clark VP, or any other military person. Obama stands to lose more inviting a military person into his cozy den of righteousness than he does if McCain accuses him of being inexperienced and naive. What the hell do we need more of the old-order experience for? Look at what it’s got us. Obama needs to hammer that message home: “I’m new. That’s a good thing.”


1. SAM NUNN
Currently the co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative), a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, Nunn served for twenty-four years as a United States Senator from Georgia (1972 until 1997) as a member of the Democratic Party
Why he’s awful:

— His support of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell fiasco
— His support of Reagan’s retarded Star Wars program, and
— He and Dick Lugar were the last two crazy, old coots still securing nuclear arms within the crippled Soviet Union. This “Cooperative Threat Reduction” has mutated into a sick kind of bribing scheme where the U.S. shells out cash to Russia to store and not use their weapons, and what does Russia do? Pays for new weapons. And who knows where some of the other weapons end up (*coughcoughMIDDLE EASTcoughcough*) Read about the sick program here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1235150/posts

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2. KATHLEEN SEBLIEUS
Currently serving as the 44th Governor of Kansas. She is the second female governor of Kansas, the 2008 respondent to the State of the Union address, and chair-emerita of the Democratic Governors Association

Pundits say Kathleen Seblieus would wither under the scrutiny of a national spotlight, and I watched her “coming out” political video, which was widely panned by the mainstream press as appearing “weak” and “uninspiring.”

It was weak, at worst, but I honestly don’t know enough about her at this point to make a judgment. I know she’s a liberal in a red state, which tells me she’s either a pitbull or willing to compromise her more progressive morals for the sake of votes.

The major arguments against Seblieus as VP make me want to like her all the more. Pundits accuse her of being weak on military experience (True.) and not being Hillary Clinton (True.) In other words, we can’t have a socially liberal woman run who’s not: A) wearing fatigues or B) Hillary Clinton. What’s a more articulate way to say “Go Fuck Yourselves“?

3. AL GORE
Forty-fifth Vice President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. Gore also served in the U. S. House of Representatives (1977–85) and the U. S. Senate (1985–93), representing Tennessee. Gore was the Democratic nominee for president in the 2000 election, in which he won the popular vote but ultimately lost to Republican candidate George W. Bush

Gore won’t take #2 after having won #1 and having it wrestled from him. End.

Also, liberals have pretty sunny memories of the Clinton-Gore administration. This is the administration that brought us NAFTA, vast telecommunications deregulations, and pharmaceutical industry rapings. Lest we forget, the Clintons sold the Democratic party down the river with something called “Triangulation,” i.e. meeting the Republicans “half way” on most issues in order “to win.”

What we won, exactly, is still a matter of contention.

Having said that, Gore is now doing remarkable things for the cause of protecting the environment, things he never would have been able to do shackled to the monstrous political behemoth. I like him as a free man. He should keep working as a conscientious citizen, which is what I think he wants to be doing at this stage in his life.

4. JIM WEBB
Junior Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan
Why he’s awful:
— Obama will need a filibuster-proof majority in Congress to ensure substantial gains, and taking a blue Senator from a red state would be unwise because another blue Senator may not win the seat.
— Webb is useless on the campaign trail: stilted, awkward, afraid to make eye contact let alone ask people to vote for him
— Um, he also called Affirmative Action “State-sponsored Racism,” which again, you could claim he was saying only to placate some of his more racist constituents, but still…holy shit! What a thing to come back at him if he runs with the black guy.
— He said women are biologically inferior to men and unfit to be soldiers in his article with the self-explanatory title of “Women Can’t Fight” (A little too on-the-nose, don’t you think?)
— A follow-up to the sexism thing: When it came time to defend military women against sexual harassment, Webb warned against a media-led “witch hunt” rather than defending soldiers. He has since apologized for this, saying he was “over-reaching” with the biological argument, which is putting it mildly.

The only positives I’ve heard about Webb are:
— He’s anti-Bush, but who isn’t? Laura Bush is anti-Bush at this point.
— He’ll give Obama military credibility, which I still say is something progressives need to move away from. As if some dude ordering the bombing of civilians gives him political cred.
— It’ll win him conservative votes in the south, which I don’t buy. Hardcore conservatives will still see a northern, liberal black dude and think the world is ending.

5. TIM KAINE
Governor of Virginia

Of all the choices, I can say the least amount of nasty things about Kaine, a luxury afforded to him by his inexperience. The less decisions one makes, the less chances there are of thoughtful critiques.
— He would kick Webb’s ass in a campaign-off. He has energy, charisma, and people seem to like him.
— He’s also loyal and has been an Obamaniac since Day 1 when people told him he was nuts for supporting the Senator from Illinois.
— He was anti-death penalty even when 67% of his constituency screamed in objection. Despite being anti-death penalty, he has allowed executions, though he tried to delay them while the Supreme Court was in session.
— He is pro-gun control.

If Obama insists on nominating a red VP (a choice I’m still against,) it might as well be Kaine, who is a conservative only in name. Socially, he’s blue. However, I still say conservatives will see through Kaine in a second. In his own state, he only has a 57% approval rating, which is all he needs to maintain power, but he will suffer huge conservative credibility blows once taken to a national scale and the neo-con pundits tear into him.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Obama wants a conservative, who looks militarily experienced, as his mate (or so everyone tells me.) Except, in order to placate his progressive base, he’ll get a more “liberal” conservative with socially liberal values. That will piss off Conservatives. Conservatives aren’t going to vote for a socially-liberal Conservative, nor are they going to vote for Obama. Therefore, Obama should escape any accusations of Triangulation and go for a more progressive, BLUE VP nominee. He should stay away from the old order (pro-Iraq, pro-big business, anti-minorities,) and stick with his progressive choices.

Sure, the conservatives will jump all over him for being inexperienced if he chooses a non-military VP. They’re going to do that anyway. They’ll do that if Custard comes back from the dead and runs as Obama’s VP. So why play into their hands at all? Obama can gain credibility by sticking with his theme of “New, diplomatic, healing,” and selecting someone out of the beltway, someone away from the military, a real, breathing liberal.

GOT ANY MORE V.P. IDEAS?: Leave comments with other suggestions and I’ll tear them apart, as well.

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One Response

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  1. Matt Kirshen said, on June 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    What about McCain? Republican, but with a maverick image and a strong military history. An Obama McCain ticket would be unbeatable.

    Unless it goes up against McCain Obama, in which case it’s anyone’s game.


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