Amongst all of the rumors this week about Obama’s “top three” VP choices, (Bayh, Biden, and Kaine) as well as Sebelius as a dark horse choice, one name that hasn’t been mentioned is Gov. Bill Richardson. Why Richardson? Here’s a few reasons:
1) Foreign policy: Obama has been faltering lately, in no small part due to his tepid response to the Russian invasion in Georgia, Iraq, and backlash from the Berlin trip. What better way to shore up foreign policy cred than choose an ex-UN Ambassador?
2) Energy: Same situation as above. With recent failure on drilling, what better way to shore up energy cred than choose a former Secretary of Energy?
3) Hispanic vote and immigration: Obama isn’t stupid. He knows the one issue that can drive a wedge between conservatives and McCain is immigration. Why not shore up the Hispanic vote, leaving McCain in an even worse pander-position to Hispanics?
4) New Mexico: Swing state.
5) Element of Surprise: Why choose one of the three blokes that have been publicly “in the running” for the past week? Why not shake things up a little bit with a surprise candidate?
6) Disaffected Clinton Supporters: What better way to bring them in than choose a former Clinton Admin official, and attract some of his primary support at the same time?
7) Hispanic Vote in General: Why not choose someone who can shore up the rest of one of the fastest growing demographics and wrap it all up in a nice red, white, and blue package of hopenchanginess and NAFTA obfuscation?
One more bit of info: Bobby Kennedy, Jr. is speaking to the largely-Hispanic United Farm Workers convention Saturday (the day Obama debuts with his new VP) and Hillary is speaking to the same group on Sunday in Fresno. Good opportunity to show a unified message with both Hispanics and the Clintons.
My personal thoughts about Richardson’s qualifications are that he is laughably inept with foreign policy, appeared liked he wanted the VP job from anyone from day one, and can appear as phony and pandering to Hispanics. Just a little taste of opportunities to exploit if Obama picks Richardson for VP.
The cards are on the table, and within the next 24 hours we will all know whom Obama chose. In the meantime, though, it might he prudent to consider someone not in the media’s scope.