Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, May 19, 2008


Over at Daily Kos, DHinMI argues that Al Gore should be Barack Obama's running mate. While I am fully aware of Gore's many advantages, I have a question for you.

If you are a candidate for president, running as an "outsider", who wants to "change the way things are done in Washington", do you select as your running mate a guy whose father was a Senator and who himself was a Senator? Who had an office in the White House for eight years? Who was born in Washington, D.C. for Christ's sake?

I don't see it.


History Buff said...

I don't think Gore is interested-been there, done that.
Perhaps DHinMi is trying to up the experience factor. Also, Gore's pretty popular right now.

Raised By Republicans said...

I agree with all the points here. Al Gore wouldn't take it and it would be a bad idea anyway.

If Obama is going to run a campaign on change Al Gore makes no sense at all.

If Obama wants to establish a strong link to the Clinton years, Hillary would be a better choice than Gore. But I think the whole premise of establishing a link to the past is a loser idea for Obama.

No, Obama should not go into the past for a running mate. He should look to shoring up his support among those who liked Clinton but without signing on with all of Clinton's baggage.

To do that I think the following choices are examples of good ideas:

Governor Kathleen Sebelis (D-Kansas): Plusses = she's a woman, she's got serious bi-partisan appeal, she's Catholic and grew up in Ohio (her father was governor Gilligan of Ohio), she's a widely acknowledged rising star in the party.

John Edwards (D - South Carolina, retired): Plusses = His populist approach could be a vote getter in rural areas, he's popular with union activists, appointing him would give the impression of the party coming together.

Richard Gebhardt (D - Missouri, retired): Gebhardt is from a swing state, he's tight with the unions, he's got gravitas but isn't too closely associated with the Bush-Clinton-Bush era, he's old enough to give the gravitas effect and not to be an annointed heir apparent so appointing him wouldn't be a blow to Hillary's future ambitions.

The Law Talking Guy said...

On the other hand, the problem with Obama is "lack of experience," some say. Al Gore has more experience being Vice President than any other man alive except George Bush's father. =)

USWest said...

Wanna bet that Edwards' Obama endorsement was given in part to have a shot at the number 2 spot?

I think so.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Well, given how much Clinton has worked to hurt Obama's standing with white working class voters, Edwards may be the best possible choice for VP candidate now. It's a shame. If she had exited the race two months ago, rather than going to every state in the union badmouthing Obama even though he was to be the nominee, Obama would have enjoyed large victories in Ohio, Penn, KY, and WV. There would be no conventional wisdom there or anywhere that Obama could not win with white working class voters.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Well, if Obama had run unopposed in the last two months, he would have won huge but meaningless victories in Ohio, Penn., Kentucky, WV. But Obama's trouble with lower-income voters is old news. Obama had trouble with the working class vote in almost every state. The exception of course being that African Americans of all classes voted as a bloc for Obama.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Simple question: are the Democrats, who will nominate Obama, better off for having had Clinton campaign against him in March, April, May, and (likely) June? Has her campaign helped Obama's electoral prospects, or hurt them?

It's so obviously a negative.

Raised By Republicans said...

I agree with LTG that the question is simple. Do we think Clinton's continuing past the point of viability has helped or hurt Obama's chances in November?

On a related point: I'll contest Dr. S's assertion Obama has had problems with working class white voters in nearly every state. It is actually relatively recent development.

Iowa, Nebraska and the other plains states are nearly all rural, white folks and Obama thrashed Clinton in all of them. Obama did better in rural areas in New Hampshire than Clinton did. Same with Nevada. Obama also split the white vote in South Carolina more or less 3 ways with Edwards and Clinton - with Edwards not Clinton doing the best of the three.

I suggest that many rural working class voters tend to vote against the percieved front runner. In the earlier primaries and caucuses that person was Hillary Clinton and Obama benefitted. By the time Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky were voting, the front runner was Obama.

But perhaps we can have a discussion about how the electoral map will be changed by an Obama nomination. Some states that a Clinton campaign would consider not worth contestign will be in play for Obama. And some states that Obama will struggle in would be in play for Clinton. The academic question is does Clinton put more states in play than Obama does? The more relevant question now is how a map with Obama as the nominee plays out against McCain.

Dr. Strangelove said...

There are positive aspects of Hillary's continued presence.

1. Media attention. The Democrats have had massive free media exposure for months and months. We have never seen anything like it before. News headlines do not even bother to report the results of Republican primaries anymore. (McCain who?)

2. Voter involvement There has been tremendous excitement about the Democratic race. There has been record voter turnout, even in the primaries where we are told it does not matter. Amazingly, fundraising has also gone through the roof on the Democratic side--even now--while the Republicans are barely sputtering along.

3. Campaign Organization. The long, tough season--the contested nature of the battle everywhere--has strengthened the local campaign organization of Obama (and Hillary) across the fifty states. Obama's campaign in particular is well-funded and now a well-seasoned team.

4. Testing. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright thing was going to come out sooner or later. Surely it is so much better for it to come out now, be splattered everywhere, and then become old news--forgotten--by November. And Obama's trouble with working class voters was always there. (RbR is just wrong on this one.) Exit polls have consistently shown Obama's weakness with lower-income, lower-education voters, from Iowa onward. (The Iowa map also shows Obama's margin of victory was from young voters in the cities.) We've talked about in on the blog since Super Tuesday. Obama has been tested for real in every state--something very few candidates ever enjoy--and he has come out stronger than before.

I think the positive parts more than outweigh the negatives.

Raised By Republicans said...

OK, I tried to post a comment with exit poll numbers from New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Oregon. I looked up some but not all of the numbers for a second try.

Obama did very well (dominated in one might say) among voters making less than $50,000 in Oregon and Wisconsin (both states with below average numbers of African American voters).

Regarding Hillary's appeal in Iowa. According to the CNN exit poll, Obama won 34% of the people who make less than $50,000 to Hillary's 32% and Edward's 19%.

I think this ambiguity in the numbers supports my main point here which is that Obama's alleged problems with lower income, (white), working class voters is based on observations in one region of the country. If one takes the time (as I did before blogger ate my comment) to look the numbers up state by state, you get a far more ambiguous picutre.

So I contest the statement that "RbR is just wrong on this one."

Raised By Republicans said...

By the way, even in Texas, Clinton and Obama split the under $50,000 voters 52% for Clinton to 47% for Obama. She did do better among white voters (55% to 45%) but that's hardly the kind of numbers we were seeing WVa and KY. So it's not even a Southern phenomenon, it's something specific to the Appalachians.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Dr.S, you forget one thing: having Clinton rather than McCain make attacks on Obama legitimizes those attacks in a way that McCain alone could not have accomplished. So it wasn't about "testing" - it was about doing damage. If the son-of-an-Admiral snob McCain calls Obama an elitist, we laugh. When a Clinton does it, it hurts. If Fox news blasts about Rev. Wright, Dems close ranks. Not when it comes from Paul Begala and James Carville.

I am not speaking out of my ass here. The Obama campaign is livid for exactly this reason, and is naturally having a hard time being "gracious" as Clinton now uncharacteristically demands.

You could say that the Dems got free media attention, but from March 4th onwards, I think it's fairer to say a different adage applies to explain McCain's disappearance from public view: when your political opponent is bent on committing suicide, the best thing you can do is get out of the way.

Hillary and Bill Clinton have A LOT of work to do to fix the damage they have done to the party, not to speak of themselves. I wonder if they will do it. One suspects that the boomer mentality will not lead them to be team players in the end.