Okay, three months until post time, and the pundits are talking about it, so it must be getting serious. John McCain is having barbecues at his crib this week talking to the front-runners (who have already long since been named here, thank you very much), and Barack Obama is treating his pageant with the ix-nay on the earch-say of the Manhattan Project, possibly out of deference to his opponent from Chappequa, who caused the first caution flag of the Indiananapolis 500 weekend with her unfortunate RFK comment that possibly sent her VP hopes into the wall of the fourth turn harder than Graham Rahal.
THE DEMOCRATS – BARACK OBAMA
Mark Warner – Former Governor/U.S. Senatorial candidate, Virginia: There has been suspicion for some time that columnist Robert Novak is about a decade late for having a blanket tossed over his lap to watch the rest of life’s parade from the day room, to be awakened for meals as necessary. In reading his latest column I can’t offer any serious argument in Novak’s defense. Novak has disclosed that his reliable sources tell him that former Virginia Governor and current U.S. Senatorial candidate Mark Warner is in serious consideration for a spot on the Obama ticket this fall. Unfortunately, Warner is an extremely heavy favorite to pick up another seat for the Dems this year. Assuming Obama doesn’t make his pick until August, the Virginia Democrats have to produce–and fast–someone of higher stature than the Pinetop District chairman of the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors.
Jim Gilmore must been awakened from a long spring nap thinking the next best thing to a Macaca Moment landed in his lap, but he needs to carefully consider the source. Robert Novak is so pliable at this point in his career that a “reliable source” could drop a story about McCain naming Mark Foley as his Internet & Technology Adviser and Novak would probably run with it.
This could be brilliant–Warner and Obama are already going to bring a stampede of Democratic voters to the polls with them this fall, and all the Dems need to do is mount a last-minute viable candidate who can negotiate a narrow win over Gilmore. But it’s probably just arrogant and foolhardy–Gilmore still has a good name in Virginia and was running for President as recently as summer 2007. The assumption that the Democrats’ could pull such a 11th hour, 59th minute replacement for Warner who could defeat Gilmore without Warner dying in a terrorist attack has, as a sensible fall campaign strategy, about as much to recommend it as the Dems offering free third-term abortion vouchers for every new Democratic voter registration.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 15 to 1
Evan Bayh – Governor, Indiana: I’ve been sold on this pick, but it’s not without its problems. He’s a smart white guy with executive experience, and huge purchase with the people who buy the canned beer every day and the off-brand salisbury steak dinners at Wal-Mart. This state went 60% for George Bush in 2004, but 62% for Evan Bayh the same year. Obama very nearly won Indiana this year in the primary, and having Senator Bayh on his wing could put him over the top in the fall. On the other hand, the bitter pill in this possibility is that the Democrats would likely lose a seat in the Senate. In over 40 states it falls to the Governor to fill a U.S. Senatorial vacancy, and one of those is Indiana. Indiana’s Statehouse is manned by Governor Mitch Daniels, who was George Bush’s Director of the Office Of Management & Budget. To date, Daniels hasn’t signed a deal for a tell-all book about any shifty goings-on at the OMB, and he didn’t resign to “spend more time with my family,” so he’s still in the tent and a reliable shot for picking a reliable Republican drone as Bayh’s replacement. On the other hand, Obama might not even need Bayh if recent polls are any indication. A 4/25/08 Indianapolis Star-WTHR poll had Obama leading McCain in a head-to-head matchup at 49-41%.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 5 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (5/12/08): 2 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (4/28/08): 4 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (4/14/08): 8 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/31/08): 15 to 1
Hillary Clinton – Senator, New York: All of the endless nasty soundbites and bad blood notwithstanding, with what will probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000,000 popular votes in the kitty, they almost have to give the right of first refusal to Hillary–as long as they have some confidence that she’ll refuse it. She’s still bringing the crowds and she’s still bringing the votes. And she’s so petty and power-hungry that if you don’t give her the love she’s suspecting, then she’s going to take her love to town–specifically Denver, and no one wants it to be settled there, except all of us who want the political equivalent of WWE Raw and Triple H and Randy Orton fighting with bandsaws. Her RFK comment Friday may have been the last outrage for Obama, but it may not be up to him anymore, and we’ll see after Puerto Rico and the credentials meeting on May 31 if she’s hell-bent on turning this into a hostage situation.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 16 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 14 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (4/28/08): 9 to 1
Brian Schweitzer – Governor, Montana: The Viggo Mortenson of the Democratic Party. A Democrat in a staunchly-Republican state and a veritable renaissance man from the land of the Unabomber. Pro-gun, anti-war, and refused PAC and special interest money during his 2004 campaign; has broad world experience during his previous job as an irrigation developers. Wears a bolo tie and campaigns with his dog. He’s a very colorful, talented, and progressive pick, and, the paucity of his state’s three electoral votes notwithstanding, he might help deliver Colorado, but it’s a longshot.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 18 to 1
Bill Richardson – Governor, New Mexico: Rounding the turn and coming up fast. I had him at 40 to 1 in February, but upon further reflection I think he has enough of a fat resume to outweigh his Hamlet beard and goofy “AKA Pablo” mien. With all indicators showing the Western states to be the new battleground in the fall, he could be a huge asset against McCain in the Southwest. He won’t jeopardize the Dems’ numbers in the Senate, people know him, and he won’t scare small children like Dick Cheney or Charlie Crist’s tan would. He still looks like your uncle who would get too drunk at a 4th of July barbecue and start throwing cans of solvent into a burning barrel before ending the evening passed out amidst a colony of Milwaukee’s Best Ice cans and a bottle of Jim Beam stubbornly clutched in his hand, but that goes away as soon as he opens his mouth and starts talking sustainable development and switchgrass ethanol.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 10 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (2/18/08): 40 to 1