Obama Vice President picks

August 14, 2008

(Posted: 8/14/08) For what it’s worth…here are my pick/hunches/guesses for Sen. Obama’s Vice President (Gov. Sebelius and Rep. Roemer are my strongest guesses):

***My only hard & fast rule for Tier I guesses is that his VP will not have voted for the Iraq War***

TIER I:

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (Kan.) (Moderate; has battled health care industry; hunts; Ohio roots; gray hair, yet youthful; “regular” wife & mother)

Gen. Wesley Clark (Decorated veteran with executive foreign policy experience; 3am experience; respected by netroots)

Gov. Brian Schweitzer (Mont.) (Popular governor; foreign policy experience–yes, you don’t have to be in the military to have foreign policy experience; will lock in Montana’s electoral college votes; pro-sportsmen; anti-FISA; netroots will love him) UPDATE: VIDEO OF GOV. SCHWEITZER‘S ADDRESS TO DNC

Fmr. Rep. Tim Roemer (Ind.) (Opposed NAFTA; serious Foreign Policy & Intelligence credentials; solidly puts Indiana in the toss-up category; Louisiana connection–hey, it’s possible Cleo Fields almost won the governorship a few years back)

TIER II:

Fmr. Sen. Sam Nunn (Ga.)

Fmr. Gov. Ray Mabus (Miss.)

Gov. Janet Napolitano (Az.)

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)

WILD CARDS (If not selected, I expect them to be key advisers or cabinet members):

Gen. Richard Cody

Gen. Anthony Zinni

Fmr. Sen. Max Cleland (Ga.) He is a lobbyist.

Fmr. SecDef William Cohen (A moderate Republican)

NOT GONNA GET PICKED:  Clinton, Bayh, Biden, Richardson, Powell, Hagel, Kaine, Webb (Webb is too important of an ally in the Senate and it would be hard for Virginia to produce a candidate to replace him)

Click here if you want to know the real answer as soon as it’s announced.  Read Garrett Graff, Sensei of Social Media’s New York Times Op-Ed about Obama’s announcement technique. Follow Graff on twitter here.

Final thing to watch for the remainder of the campaign…the Rocky Mountain strategy…during the primaries much hullabaloo was made of how poorly Sen. Obama performed in Appalachia; meanwhile he was winning big in the Rockies.  I project he will win MT, CO, NV, OR, WA, CA and NM in November (the old Florida/Ohio “big state” paradigm is soooo 2004)

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A true “where were you when…” moment

June 4, 2008

January 28, 1986:  Space Shuttle Challenger crash (Sitting in front of the television; in sixth grade)

January 17, 1991:  Beginning of Operation Desert Storm (Sitting in 10th Grade English class watching Channel One and was penpals with a Soldier deployed to Saudi Arabia)

September 7, 1996:  Tupac Shakur shot in Las Vegas (Sitting at my BOQ watching MTV ***Breaking News*** with Kurt Loder)–BTW, I always believed Tupac is dead

February 10, 2007:  Barack Obama announces his candidacy for President of the United States of America (Sitting at home watching on C-SPAN then drove from Petersburg, VA to Hampton to attend the State of the Black Union)

June 3, 2008:  Barack Obama clinches Democratic Nomination (Standing in a room full Obama supporters in Washington, DC–listening, cheering, hi-fiving)

I wish I could express the internal elation I feel about Barack Obama winning the Democratic nomination for President.  Different than the other “where were you when” moments where I sat back and watched; this time, I actually was able to shape history.  Certainly my role was minor: a donation here, phone call there, knocking on a few doors, and consistentely wearing Obama gear despite the odd looks from classmates during the fall of 2007.  But I know my role was important because “the strength of the pack is not the wolf; the strength of the wolf is in the pack.”

From the outset, Senator Obama acknowledged that his campaign was not about him…instead it was about “us” (American voters).  “…in my heart I know you didn’t come here just for me, you came here because you believe in what this country can be.”

I was fortunate to see Barack Obama, twice in the summer of 2007 at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans and the National Urban League Conference in St. Louis.  One thing I noticed were Obama volunteers cheering, selling Obama gear, recycled gear, and signing up new supporters at each event.  The media totally missed the groundswell of grassroots for Obama.  (As I reflect, over the past 17 months no one has asked me to support their candidate for president…why?)

Great leaders provide purpose, direction, and motivation.  Despite the haters critics saying, “he’s too young;” “he’s too inexperienced;” “it’s not his turn.”  Senator Obama realized he had to seek the Presidency at this moment to bring about change: 

“I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness – a certain audacity – to this announcement. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Knowing the fight wouldn’t be easy, I knew the best thing I could do was join my candidate in the arena.  It’s too easy to second-guess, ridicule, doubt and follow conventional wisdom.  If one wants anything in life they must work for it.  I, too, wanted change in the culture of Washington.  Therefore, I got off the bench and got in the game guided by my favorite quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”President Theodore Roosevelt

If you are still reading…as you know, this blog is for my Social Media course and I leave you with a quote from Barack Obama’s announcement speech:  “Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age.”

Join me in the Arena.  Forty years from now, when your grandkids ask “where were you when” tell them you were Standing for Change.  Tell them you were Standing with Barack Obama.

***This message complies with Dept. of Defense Joint Ethics Regulations***