In an interview with Time magazine, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama dropped a few hints about the kind of VP he is looking for. These new hints have me wondering if a surprise pick is on the way.
Obama was asked what his VP decision will tell voters about him. “Hopefully, the same thing that my campaign has told the American people about me. That I think through big decisions. I get a lot of input from a lot of people, and that ultimately, I try to surround myself with people who are about getting the job done, and who are not about ego, self—aggrandizement, getting their names in the press, but our focus on what’s best for the American people,” Obama answered.
He continued, “I think people will see that I’m not afraid to have folks around me who complement my strengths and who are independent. I’m not a believer in a government of yes—men. I think one of the failures of the early Bush Administration was being surrounded by people who were unwilling to deliver bad news, or who were prone to simply feed the president information that confirmed his own preconceptions.”
The first part of his answer doesn’t fit Joe Biden, whose love of media attention and high profile doesn’t really match what Obama seems to be looking for. The second part of his answer about wanting someone who could compliment his strengths would appear to rule out Kaine and Sebelius who would reinforce Obama’s strengths, not compliment them.
Time’s Karen Tumulty did her own bit of guesswork, and thinks that it is either Evan Bayh, or someone new. I have some doubts that it is Bayh, who fits part one of Obama’s answer, but he isn’t the strong independent type, that I could see disagreeing with Obama or delivering bad news. Since Obama is campaigning with Kaine today, we can rule him out. It could be Biden or Bayh, but as this process go on, I am starting to think that there could be a third surprise candidate.
If Obama is really looking for somebody who is low profile, and not a yes man, then the name of Sam Nunn keeps popping into my head. Nunn is very low profile, and has the kind of resume that would compliment Obama, and he would be free to speak his mind because he has no presidential ambitions. Nunn would give Obama a Southerner on the ticket, and strength in Georgia, which is a state that he is trying to swing.
Should Obama go very safe, then he will pick the ever dull Evan Bayh. If he wants a little sizzle, and a lot of foreign policy, then he will pick Biden, but if neither of these two fills the bill, it could be a surprise. If it is a surprise that would explain the late announcement. It is possible that Obama’s choice is somebody that some Democrats might not care for, but by announcing it right before the convention, the campaign would avoid any criticism. It is just a gut feeling, but I am starting to think that surprise might be coming.