Friday, February 22, 2008

Tangled Webb

Polprint has long (well, for a month) been bullish on Jim Webb’s prospects as a VP for Obama. He embodies both change and experience (especially foreign policy, which Obama badly needs). Today the Fix has belatedly added Webb to its veepstakes.

However, Virginia politics could complicate things. A friend from the state has pointed out that Virginia already has one Senate seat open. John Warner (R) is retiring, and Mark Warner (D), a popular--and unrelated--ex-governor is running. (Mark Warner had been term-limited out as governor after one term of four years; this is one of Virginia’s stranger rules.) Whether Virginia’s Democrats want to field candidates for two open seats in quick succession is open to question. However, Polprint admits to being shaky on the rules here. Would the governor appoint someone to serve for the remainder of Webb’s term, in which case all might be well since the governor is a Democrat?

This hypothetical issue gets especially tricky since one of the best candidates for an open Webb Senate seat could be the governor himself. And he--Tim Kaine-- has two more years until he is term limited out. Complicating things further, Kaine is also considered possible VP material for Obama; indeed he endorsed Obama very early—a year ago--and so would probably be vexed if Obama went for Webb.

Polprint is glad not to have to solve such puzzles.


Anonymous said...

Have you totally given up on Richardson, who may have the experiential gravitas as well as the Latino vote and western residency? Perhaps that's a little too much color for America. Let us atone for one sin at a time, eh? And am I alone in thinking Clinton and Obama were looking pretty good alongside each other in Austin? Can one dream? Well, a dream would be Gore. But that ain't gonna happen. Neither is the Obama-Clinton ticket, but c'mon, admit it, the thought crossed your mind, too, when they smiled at each other. Truth is, an Obama-Clinton ticket isn't potent: It would have no draw among McCain supporters. Alas, Obama, who for art thou?

Kate said...

I am coming back around to Richardson. An experienced Latino could be very helpful against McCain (whose liberal stance on immigration may draw a lot of Latino votes). It will be interesting to see how strong the Latino turnout in Texas is on March 4. I do think Richardson would need to be vetted particularly carefully; he's got a long record that would be picked apart, including the Wen Ho Lee nuclear problem while he was at Dept of Energy.

Obama-Clinton will never happen. As you say, Clinton wouldn't close the deal with cross-over voters, and she might push some away.

Thanks for commenting.

Kate said...

By the way, did you see the piece in the NYT today on Richardson? (

There is an entertaining front-page photo of the two Bills watching the Super Bowl. Richardson appears to be enjoying himself; Bill Clinton less so. If I were to write a caption for the photo, it would be something like:

Clinton: "Great pass, Eli. C'mon, Bill, please tell me I didn't drive all the way to the middle of nowhere for nothing."