After it was announced today that Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) would be one of the senators accompanying Barack Obama to Iraq, I though it would be a good idea to take a look at Reed and what he might bring to a potential ticket with Barack Obama.
Resume : The 58 year old Reed is currently the senior senator from Rhode Island. Reed graduated from West Point, and spent from 1971-1979 in the Army. He was an Army Ranger and paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, and at the time of his retirement he had achieved the rank of Captain. In 1982, Reed graduated from Harvard Law School, and in 1984 was elected to the state senate where he served three terms. In 1990, Reed was elected to the House of Representatives where he served three terms.
In 1996, Reed was elected to U.S. Senate. He currently serves on Senate Armed Forces Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Committee. Reed is very liberal, and was one of the 21 Democratic Senators who voted against the Iraq war in 2002.
Pros to Obama picking Reed : By picking Jack Reed as his running mate, Barack Obama would be addressing several of his perceived weaknesses. Reed served in the military, and does not support the war in Iraq. As a three term House member, and two term senator, he has Washington experience. Reed’s top three issues in the Senate are education, defense, and healthcare, which are areas that the Obama campaign is focusing on. Reed would be an asset in soothing voter concerns about Obama’s experience in foreign policy, and defense issues. Reed is also a Roman Catholic which is a group that Obama has struggled with.
Cons to Obama picking Reed : Jack Reed is very liberal, and it would be easy for the Republicans to hang the criticism of Obama as a Northeastern liberal on the campaign. Reed is a bit of a national unknown which is both a blessing and a curse. He is not one of the names that casual voters know and would immediately feel comfortable with as Obama’s running mate. Geographically, Reed would not help Obama in the South, Rocky Mountains, or Southwest. It is possible that Reed could be too liberal for Obama whose campaign seems to be shifting to the middle.
Odds of Obama picking Reed: With Reed accompanying Obama to Iraq, the odds are better than average that he is getting a serious look from the campaign. We have not heard much about Reed, but this doesn’t mean that he might not be an under the radar choice. If the campaign decides that they want a defense and national security senator who isn’t Joe Biden, then it is likely that they will look to Reed.
The Choice-O-Meter says:
(OOOOOO 6 Os for Jack Reed)
1 O = No Chance – 10 Os = A Sure Thing