There’s a strong feeling on the left that Obama has to pick a female VP to assuage the bitter feelings of Hillary’s most ardent supporters. Here’s a typical take:
In order to mitigate impending political disaster and foster the unity of which he so eloquently speaks, Obama should choose a female running mate. Though it may not fully assuage the most devoted of Clinton’s disciples, the appearance of a female vice-presidential nominee underneath Obama’s name on the Democratic ticket would go a long way toward closing the intraparty gender gap that’s surfaced during recent elections.
Ideally, Obama’s running mate would be Clinton herself. During the most vitriolic exchanges between the candidates, especially those occurring during the Texas primary (including Clinton’s infamous “3 a.m.” campaign spot), any hope for reconciliation seemed quixotic.
I don’t think it will be Hillary. The Obama campaign doesn’t seem to have any interest in having her on the ticket.
A name that keeps popping up is Kathleen Sebelius, the Governor of Kansas.
Camille Paglia is an enthusiastic supporter of Sebelious for VP:
I’ve come to feel that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is Obama’s best bet. She is a polished public presence who epitomizes that cordial, smoothly reassuring, and blandly generic WASPiness that has persistently defined the American power structure in business and government and that has weirdly resisted wave after wave of immigration since the mid-19th century. An Obama-Sebelius pairing would be visually vibrant and radiant, like a new day dawning.
Add that to the receding oceans and the healing of the planet that the Messiah promises, and I think we can look forward to a virtual Utopia with these two.
Utopia for everyone but the unborn, I guess, because if Obama is considered the most pro abortion Senator for actually opposing a bill in the Illinois State Senate similar to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, (which passed in the US Senate by unanimous consent), Sebelious is considered by some as “the national pro-choice poster girl”:
Sebelius’ strongest point on her political resumé – radical pro-abortion policies that match or even rival Obama’s own commitment to abortion – may also be her greatest political liability, bringing back echoes of John Kerry. A self-professed Catholic, Sebelius’ repeated vetoes of pro-life legislation and devoted patronage of notorious Wichita late-term abortionist George Tiller have embroiled her in a public battle with Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann.
The archbishop has publicly informed the governor to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. Naumann said that Sebelius is giving Catholics a “spiritually lethal message” that the Church’s teaching on abortion is optional, and told her to repudiate her policies publicly, before he took further pastoral action against her to correct this scandal.
However columnist Robert Novak pointed out that “Kansas is the fiercest state battleground for abortion wars, making Sebelius the national pro-choice poster girl.”
Tim Graham had this to say at Newsbusters:
Last year, she vetoed a bill requiring explicit medical reasons for a late abortion, and she vetoed other abortion legislation in 2006, 2005 and 2003.
Those positions are necessary for Democratic politicians to pass their party’s pro-choice litmus test, but Sebelius’s connection with abortion is more intimate. She is allied with the aggressive Kansas branch of Planned Parenthood in a bitter struggle with antiabortion activist District Attorney Phill Kline. There is substantial evidence she has been involved in what pro-life advocates term “laundering” abortion industry money for distribution to Kansas Democrats. Kansas is the fiercest state battleground in the abortion wars, making Kathleen Sebelius the national pro-choice poster girl.
Again with the pro-choice poster girl…
And the Archbishop Of KCKS’s repeated rebukes of her persistence in taking Communion, while publicly displaying her commitment to abortion on demand, has got to be mortifying. A majority of Catholics supported Bush in 2004, so choosing a pro-abortion Catholic shouldn’t be viewed as a good way to pick up Catholic votes by the Obama campaign. But maybe they’ve already written the Catholic vote off. A strong pro-choice woman to replace Hillary may be all they are going for.
On the Republican side, McCain would be crazy not to pick Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska as his running mate. Not because she’s a woman, (although that doesn’t hurt), and not because she’s (relatively) young and beautiful, (although that doesn’t hurt), but because her conservative credentials are impeccable, she enjoys an astoundingly high approval rating as the Governor of Alaska, and she would breath life into a flat and almost lifeless campaign. She would give it a boost that I can’t see any other Republican VP pick giving the McCain campaign. She is in essence, the “WOW” candidate.
Jack Kelly at RCP recently said this about Sarah Palin:
Running mates usually aren’t named until the convention. But if Sen. McCain should name Gov. Palin earlier, it would give America more time to get to know this extraordinary woman. And because she’s at least a dozen feature stories waiting to be written, she could help him dominate the news between now and the conventions.
Another reason for selecting Sarah Palin early would be to force Barack Obama to make a mistake. He’d have to rule out choosing someone like Virginia Sen. Jim Webb as his running mate, for fear of exacerbating charges of sexism. And if he chose a woman other than Hillary, the impression Democrats are wimpy would be intensified.
I’m not sure ‘wimpy’ is the best word to use to describe Obama for choosing a woman other than Hillary…I’m sure Hillary could think of a better name.