Before leaving on his overseas trip, Sen. Barack Obama reviewed information on several prospects and narrowed the field. His focus now includes five colleagues in the U.S. Senate -- Joseph Biden, Evan Bayh, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton and Jack Reed -- and two governors, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, according to Democratic operatives, though he could still make a different pick.
On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain also is understood to be narrowing his list, with speculation focused on about the same number of choices. They include ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a rival during the Republican primaries; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with whom he has a strong friendship; and former Rep. Rob Portman of the battleground state of Ohio. Republicans also are touting Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and campaign adviser Carly Fiorina, ex-CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co., among others.
I would be very pleased with the selection of Sebelius, Dodd, or Reed. I'd be okay with the selection of Kaine. Biden, Bayh, or Clinton I would consider poor choices. Bayh and Clinton would be personally demoralizing.
On the Republican side, I'll be brief. ... None of these picks particularly frighten me. John Thune is probably the safest choice, but I can't see him fundamentally changing the game. Fiorina is untested as a campaigner and her qualifications are dubious. Romney would be a disaster. Crist has to overcome rumors about his sexuality. And Pawlenty just doesn't carry much juice.
I think it will be Biden for Obama (and I will be happy with that, agreeing with Booman otherwise even though I would love it if it were Dodd or Richardson, who is getting no buzz whatsoever) and Portman for McCain, although the WSJ article really makes it sound like McCain is being talked into Romney. poblano says:
If Bob Novak is circulating internal polls showing Mitt Romney helping John McCain in Michigan, you can be pretty sure that the Republican establishment is behind the idea of making Romney McCain's VP. It's easy enough to understand why. Romney has been a good team player: an excellent fundraiser and a tireless campaigner. He is unlikely to embarrass either himself or the ticket. And he could potentially be an asset in several states, among them Michigan, New Hampshire and Nevada.
But Romney also comes with several liabilities which, when combined with his strengths, would tend to produce a very interesting electoral map.
Who do you think will be the second bananas? Post a comment.