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Shiai

Much like Bob Dole in '96, then...the party leaders basically sitting back and letting the veteran have his due, so to speak, because the assumption is that no one could win it for the Republicans in the upcoming election. So, let the veteran have his moment in the spotlight before he's shuffled off of the main stage.

The most interesting development at the GOP convention will be whom the party selects as McCain's running mate, because I don't see it as a career drawback for the veep nominee. Rather, I think it could be parlayed into being the opening salvo in someone's run for 2012, with this being the perfect opportunity to get lots of free publicity and to meet and woo local party leaders in key primary and caucus states, all on John McCain's dime.

Jeff Mariotte

That's true, depending on how bad the loss is and whether the VP nominee is irreparably damaged during the campaign. But if he is a powerful campaigner it could be a good career move.

The Republicans lost a bet by having Zell Miller do their keynote speech last time out, because--as we saw with Obama in '04, and Bill Clinton (although his was far from his best speech) before that--that's a good opportunity to introduce an up-and-comer to the nation, and instead they threw it away on an aging Democrat. If they do the same thing with Lieberman this time, then it'll just prove that they don't learn from history.

J. Carson Black

Your lips to God's ears, Jeff!

I've been wondering if he's going to take Lieberman, myself. He spends more time with that sad-sack whiner than he does with his own wife. Lieberman was such a dynamic VP candidate for the Dems (note to Gore: what the hell were you thinking?) that I would love to see him do the same sterling job for the Repubs.

Obama's tougher and stronger than these people think he is. But let them misunderestimate him. McCain will do his job as sacrificial lamb, and hopefully shuffle off into history.

Carl Dershem

Lieberman as VP would surprise me not in the least. He's as much a pseudo-centrist as McAncient is a pseudo-maverick, and he'd pull in the "Reagan Democrats" who actually believe he's a good guy.

My big question is who Obama might pick.

Shiai

Richard Nixon...who should know...once said a running mate can't help you; all you can hope for is to pick one who won't hurt you too badly. But I think Obama will most definitely have to try and put someone on the ticket who can help him in November.

The criteria should be a steadfast Hillary supporter (because Barack needs to bring as many of them back into the tent as he can)...a respected veteran politico who knows how to play hardball...and a governor of a major state that the Democrats need to carry. If you do the math, that basically sums up as Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell.

J. Carson Black

Ed Rendell sure knows how to deliver a state. And he's delivered different parts of it at different times. He put together a coalition of liberals and moderates for himself, and then turne around and put together a coalition of women and Reagan Democrats for Hillary.

Also, if he accepted, it would be a signal to Hillary's massive following that we all need to pull together.

I myself would love Jim Webb. Or Hillary herself, which probably won't happen.

Shiai

I'd also love Webb, and I think he's definitely someone to look at in the post-Obama years. But for all of his attributes, I'm not sure he can bring all that much to the ticket that Barack doesn't already possess himself.

I'm also not sure Hillary would even want to consider being the running mate. To paraphrase Nelson Rockefeller, she just doesn't seem built to be standby equipment. I suspect she'd much rather stay in the Senate if she couldn't have the Oval Office for herself, where she can continue to build her base and become a major player in the party well become the two terms she could possibly hope for as president. With the Democrats now sadly nearing a new era without Ted Kennedy, the party is going to need new lions, and I think Hillary fits that bill.

But even if Hillary declines a role in the new administration, there are plenty of other heavy hitters for Obama to call upon. How about Joe Biden at State, John Edwards at Justice, and Wes Clark at the Pentagon? Oh, and Bill Clinton as Ambassador to the UN. :D

Jeff Mariotte

The Biden-Edwards-Clark cabinet is a good start. I'd love to see Obama make some of those announcements before the election, as a way of showing that he is genuinely serious about the issues he'll be facing (not that I have any doubt, but some do, and demonstrating that he'll be filling those posts with solidly experienced people couldn't hurt.

I saw a homemade sign in a car the other day saying "Nobama 08--Once a Muslim, always a Muslim." I was sorely tempted to pull the driver over and point out that a) There's nothing inherently wrong with being a Muslim, b) that's somehow claiming that a Christian can change faiths, a Buddhist can change faiths, etc., but a Muslim can't, and c) OBAMA WAS NEVER A MUSLIM! He went to a Muslim school for two years in Indonesia. He also went to a Catholic school for two years, but he's not a Catholic.

Maybe I'm an "elitist," but I think that people who believe Obama is a Muslim (or was) should only get half a vote, because it shows they can't do the simplest bit of research. If they believe that he's a Muslim who is in ideological lockstep with his Christian ex-pastor, they only get a quarter vote.

Johnny Crow

Jeff I am right there with you on both the post and the comment! 110% Oh and I hate Joe Lieberman and I knew he was not a good choice for Gore or the democratic party. What a douche. Anyway, I have nothing else to say that most of you haven't said already. I used to think Hillary would have been a good VP but not so much now. I think we need someone more sincere and more central than obama to get those voters from her camp.

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