Top Five Running Mates For Barack Obama (Other Than Hillary Clinton)

With Barack Obama finally wrapping up the presidential nomination for the Democrats, pundits and experts alike are rushing to proclaim who might get the nod for Vice-President.  A good vice-presidential pick, according to Chris Bowers from openleft.com, should “reinforce[ ] his strengths, not one who balances out his perceived weakness.”

With that in mind, the first name that obviously emerges as the top VP pick is none other than Hillary Clinton.  I don’t know whether this is just a knee-jerk reaction because she was so close to picking up the nomination herself, or the fact that Obama and Clinton monopolized the political landscape for the last several months so that no one can think of anyone other than Clinton. 

Either way, the lack of any creative thought is a sad reality for the Democrats and for Barack Obama.  But once the “Go Hillary Go” dust settles, many viable Vice Presidential candidates will remain.  This is not to say that Hillary Clinton is not a good Vice Presidential pick (she certainly is but don’t ask me why).  Rather, the democrats have to realize that there are viable and meritorious Vice Presidential candidates out there who can galvanize the electoral base and support Barack Obama other than just Hillary Clinton.  To that end, here is my list of the top-five running mates for Barack Obama.  I have analyzed several data sources, spoken with numerous people, and consulted various indices both in the U.S. and abroad.

1)  Zohan:  Zohan, a former Isreali assassin and now a hairdresser, is just the kind of “action-man” Obama needs to support the rhetoric in his speeches. After all, Obama is really good with words and rousing arenas with awesome one-liners, but no one knows whether he can actually do what he says he is going to do.  With Zohan by his side, voters really won’t care.  Zohan can fill in the Obama “action” gap with his quick wit and proven record of hits.  Zohan will also erase any doubt that Barack is not a friend of Isreal.  Finally, Zohan’s profession as a hairdresser is just the kind of dichotomy the democrats need.  The assassin part will sway blue dog democrats and libertarians to vote for an Obama/Zohan ticket, and the hairdresser part will sway those democrats who want to vote for Ralph Nader.

2) Ronald McDonald:  What Obama lacks in age and experience, Ronald McDonald can make up for it with his ageless, international charm. We cannot overlook the fact that Ronald McDonald is fluent in approximately 31 languages, which will dampen any criticisms that Obama lacks foreign policy experience.  Further, McDonald has corporate connections as the CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for the megacorporation, McDonalds.  This will certainly allay any fears that Obama is a “corporate hater” or “business hater” or “socialist.”  Ronald McDonald’s corporate upbringing, coupled with his generosity, compassion, and color coordination, will help tip on-the-fence republicans and conservative democrats towards an Obama/Mcdonald ticket.

3) Sir Alexander Ferguson: Sir Alexander Ferguson’s record as the greatest football coach in English Football — and perhaps the greatest football coach in the world — is just the kind of “aged star quality” that Obama needs to counteract his own “young star quality.”  Sir Ferguson has solid, no-nonsense managerial experience running such teams as top ranked Manchester United.  Of course, if Sir Ferguson can manage his football teams so well, then imagine what he could do with a country?  Who else had the foresight and shrewdness to sign Cristiano Ronaldo when he was 19 years old?  That’s exactly the kind of message that an Obama/Ferguson ticket will have.  Ferguson has a proven track record of making the right choices during difficult times and when it mattered the most.  This is something that Obama hasn’t shown.  But by having Ferguson on his ticket, voters will forget that Obama has no track record.

4) Min Behadur Sherchan:  At 77 years old, Sherchan is the oldest person on record to climb the formidable Mt. Everest. John McCain may be 71 years young, but can McCain climb Mt. Everest?  I don’t think so.  And that’s exactly the kind of weakness that Obama needs to ruthlessly exploit by having Sherchan on his ticket.  With such a monumentous achievement as climbing Mt. Everest, it truly doesn’t matter what else Sherchan has done or what he believes in or what his economic policies are or even what his views are on the Iraq War.  It all doesn’t matter.  Sherchan can rest on his laurels.  What is there left to do after climbing Mt. Everest?  Nothing, except to run for Vice President with Barack Obama.

5) Chewbacca:  As a towering Wookie, Chewbacca has exactly the kind of presence that Obama so desperately needs to win the general election.  He has the physical stature to deflect any claims against Obama of being weak on terror or on crime or on unions — issues that usually kill the democrats in a general election.  Chewbacca is a certifiable badass. He also has the international stature to deflect any claims against Obama as lacking foreign policy experience.  It goes without saying that Chewbacca has experience in other universes, a fact that even McCain cannot dispute, as well as language skill.  Chewbacca is also a certifiable wingman and will be a loyal vice president.  Voters will know that he has no aims to be the president or some ulterior motive to control the president, as many know Hillary will want to do if she gets the VP nod.  Finally, Chewbacca can only help Obama with his rhetorical jibberjab to confuse and bewilder voters into voting for an Obama/Chewbacca ticket.  As we all know, the famed “Chewbacca defense” was no accident, and it something that Obama has mastered.  Why not have the person-practice that Obama mastered on his very own ticket?

In the end, the choice of VP will be an important decision for Obama.  Only time will tell if Obama has made the right pick.

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Maureen Dowd Op Ed: She’s No Morgenthau (Or Let’s Not Vote For Hillary because . . . because she knows the right people)

I read in the New York Times this morning an interesting op-ed article (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/opinion/21dowd.html?ei=5087&em=&en=08b4e377efcbd515&ex=1195880400&pagewanted=print) from the always entertaining Maureen Dowd.  In Dowd’s op-ed, “She’s No Morgenthau,” Dowd barbs Hillary Clinton because of her lack of foreign policy experience and suggests that she is where she is today because of her connections, as opposed to any identifiable experience or talent.

I may not be a die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter — or even a supporter for that matter (I lean towards Obama) — but Dowd’s editorial is the biggest piece of crap I’ve read in a long time.  To be sure, she may not have the resume of a foreign policy guru, but then again, how many American presidents can you count that have such a resume before taking office?  In the end, the capacity of making sound judgments is just as important as having identifiable accomplishments in the foreign policy field.  Clearly, the voters will have to decide whether Hillary, or another candidate, is the type of person who can lead the United States, make sound judgments domestically and internationally, and have both the compassion and smarts to get the job done.  Although Carville and Stephanopolous may have run a great “war room,” as Dowd suggests, they clearly are not “presidential material,” as running a great “war room” is not the end-all, be-all qualification of presidential worth.

But the thing that pisses me off the most about Dowd’s article is the idiotic suggestion that Hillary Clinton never accomplished anything professionally except for making the right connections.  Sometimes I ask myself how Dowd became a coveted op-ed columnist in one of the greatest papers in the world.  The fact is that Dowd has swallowed the line of the old boys network:  that women get to where they are because they know the right people (i.e, they’ve slept with the right people).  Gimme a damn break and wake up Maureen.  This is the 21st century and regardless of what you may think of Hillary Clinton, she is an accomplished professional with demonstrated successes (and failures to boot) and has made the right connections.  So sue her.  Then when you’re done, sue every male president in the last century, because they, too, made the right connections.

The kicker is that everyone who has become president in the last 50 years has made the right connections.  That’s what politics is all about.  And Hillary is good at politics because she has made the right connections (hell, she married one).  What does Dowd and her friends want, a presidential candidate who lives in a shoe and gets to where he/she is by ability alone?  That’s a dream world.  You have to know the right people to get your foot in the door, especially in politics, but that does not carry the day in the end.  It is a candidates ability, judgment, and character. 

Obviously, the voters will decide in good time whether it is just her connections that place her in the position she is in now or maybe, just maybe, the voters have the damn smarts to know that Hillary has the qualifications to be a damn good president even though she doesn’t have a penis.

Here’s a segment of Dowd’s op-ed (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/opinion/21dowd.html?ei=5087&em=&en=08b4e377efcbd515&ex=1195880400&pagewanted=print):

Her Democratic rivals had meekly gone along, accepting her self-portrait as a former co-president who gets to take credit for everything important Bill Clinton did in the ’90s. But she was not elected or appointed to a position that needed Senate confirmation. And the part of the Clinton administration that worked best — the economy, stupid — was run by Robert Rubin. Hillary did not show good judgment in her areas of influence — the legal fiefdom, health care and running oppo-campaigns against Bill’s galpals.

She went on some first lady jaunts and made a good speech at a U.N. women’s conference in Beijing. But she was certainly not, as her top Iowa supporter, former governor Tom Vilsack claimed yesterday on MSNBC, “the face of the administration in foreign affairs.”

She was a top adviser who had a Nixonian bent for secrecy and a knack for hard-core politicking. But if running a great war room qualified you for president, Carville and Stephanopoulos would be leading the pack.Obama’s one-liner evoked something that rubs some people the wrong way about Hillary. Getting ahead through connections is common in life. But Hillary cloaks her nepotism in feminism.

“She hasn’t accomplished anything on her own since getting admitted to Yale Law,” wrote Joan Di Cola, a Boston lawyer, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal this week, adding: “She isn’t Dianne Feinstein, who spent years as mayor of San Francisco before becoming a senator, or Nancy Pelosi, who became Madam Speaker on the strength of her political abilities. All Hillary is, is Mrs. Clinton. She became a partner at the Rose Law Firm because of that, senator of New York because of that, and (heaven help us) she could become president because of that.”