Pros and Cons: Kathleen Sebelius as Obama’s Running Mate

Jun 04 2008 Published by under Featured News

While all of the media focus is on Hillary Clinton’s desire to be vice president, in this edition of Pros and Cons we’ll take a look at a different woman, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius. Could Sebelius be the non-Clinton ticket option for Obama?

Resume : Kathleen Sebelius is the currently serving her second term as Kansas governor. Prior to this she began her career by being elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1986. She left her seat in 1994, to run for a win the office of state insurance commissioner. She is credited with ending the influence of the insurance industry over the office of the insurance commissioner. Sebelius was born in Ohio, and is the daughter of the former governor John J. Gilligan. She is a former chair of Democratic Governors Association, and was tapped by the Democratic Party to deliver their response to President Bush’s 2008 State of the Union Address.

Pros to picking Sebelius : She is a very popular governor who has not had an approval rating under 60% in over two years. Adding her to the ticket would force the McCain campaign to spend some it s resources to keep a state in their column that should be solidly his. She could help soothe the feeling of many female Clinton supporters who desperately want to see a woman in the White House.

She is from Ohio, and her family history would certainly help the ticket in that critical swing state. She has been a public supporter of Obama’s campaign, and she and Obama are ideologically similar. She is a solid campaigner who has demonstrated a strong appeal with conservative Democrats and some Republicans.

Cons to picking Sebelius : Even though she a star of the Democratic Party, Sebelius is virtually unknown nationally. Picking a woman other than Hillary Clinton may only serve to infuriate her supporters. Sebelius vetoed a bill that would have allowed citizens who get permits to carry concealed weapons. This might not seem like much, but it is an issue that the Republicans and the NRA would jump on to paint the ticket as anti-gun. This criticism would hurt Obama most with voters in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

It is unlikely that Sebelius would help Obama in the South or West with rural white men. She is still untested on the national stage, and has no foreign policy experience. Sebelius would provide a gender balance, but she wouldn’t help the ticket much on non-domestic issues.

Odds of Obama selecting Sebelius : Her chances were much better until Hillary Clinton expressed an interest in being on the ticket. Even with Hillary in the picture, Sebelius should be on the Obama’s shortlist. If the campaign decides that they want a fresh face that can help promote their change message, Kathleen Sebelius would be a very good choice. Even if she doesn’t get on the ticket, I’m pretty sure that when her term is up in 2010, she is going to challenge, the less than popular Sam Brownback for his Senate seat.

The Choice-O-Meter Says:

OOOOOO (6 Os for Kathleen Sebelius)

(1 O = No Chance – 10 Os = A Sure Thing)

7 responses so far