Barack Obama has a wide range of Democrats to choose his running mate from. In recent years the Democratic Party has been able to elect 28 of the nation’s 50 governors. These state executives represent some of the party’s best talent. If Obama decides to add a governor to his ticket, here are five excellent choices.
1). Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) – Bill Richardson is the governor of New Mexico and a former candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination. He is a nationally known figure due to his time as UN Ambassador and Energy Secretary under the Clinton administration. He has been nominated for five Nobel Prizes for his diplomatic work. His foreign policy is completely opposite from the current administration. He would help Obama with Hispanic voters, but he also struggles with white voters in his own state.
2). Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) – Obama seems to be concentrating the early part of his general election campaign in the West, and the addition of the folksy rural Schweitzer would be the perfect complement to this strategy. Schweitzer became Montana’s first Democratic governor in 20 years. Before being elected he had held no other office. In the private sector, he was a farmer and a rancher who also visited 37 different countries while working on agriculture projects. He has been a job creator and a tax cutter in his state, and would have great appeal to the rural voters who have thus far tuned Obama out.
3).Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA) – If the Obama campaign is worried about their standing in the swing states, and wants to be certain that they Virginia into the Democratic column, then they should look no further than the popular Kaine. He was one of the first elected officials outside of Illinois to endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. The 50 year old has not been afraid to cut agency spending in his state, and is also a pro-life Democrat. He could provide Obama a bridge to the conservative white Southern Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton.
4). Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) – If Obama decides that he would like a woman with executive experience, who isn’t Hillary Clinton, to balance out his ticket, then Sebelius would be his best option. She is wildly popular in her state. (She has not had an approval rating under 60% in the last two plus years). She was chosen to give the Democratic response to President Bush’s 2008 State of the Union Address. This has led many to speculate that she is being groomed for bigger things. Sebelius has been clearly pro-choice, anti capital punishment, and opposed to laws that would allow citizens to carry concealed weapons or own machine guns. Her political positions are a compliment to Obama’s, and she would likely have broad appeal with women.
5). Ted Strickland (D-OH) – Strickland continues the pattern of this feature. All of these governors are from swing or red states. His selection makes sense if the campaign decides that they need to add a Clinton supporter to the ticket. One of his priorities has been to bring jobs back to Ohio’s coal and energy industries. This is a message that would play well in places like West Virginia and Western PA. He made expanding educational opportunities and healthcare priorities on his agenda. If the race looks close, a Clinton supporter from a critical swing state could be very helpful.
Please, feel free to comment and add your own choices to the list.