Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Political News: Obama/Kaine versus McCain?

There's been a lot of buzz recently about vice presidential candidates. The one getting the most buzz is Obama, who is very popular in the media and among Democrats in the U.S.

On the "shortlist" according to the AP, is Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. There are mixed feelings about how Kaine would do and whether he would be helpful to the Obama campaign, which has been going full speed ahead since the primaries.

This all-important presidential race comes at a time when American are sick of the international policies and just plain worn-out from a slumping economy, rising gas and food prices, and moving to rentals as a result of the foreclosure crisis. No wonder Obama's focus on the word "change" seems to influence so many Americans.

So, who is Kaine, and what are the pros/cons?

Tim Kaine is a 50 year old governor of Virginia chosen after serving as Lt. Governor and Mayor of Richmond. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics and then pursued a law career, serving for 17 years.

(I personally am drawn to him because of his efforts to bring Virginia in line with the Violence Against Women Act).

The pros:

Kaine is governor of Virginia, a battleground state in this upcoming election. His location is also important because although many southerners might argue Virginia's true "southernhood" it is considered the south. Balancing the ticket is important- Obama's midwest background calls for a VP candidate from another region that might be more difficult for Democrats to win. Hence, John Edwards connection to North Carolina.

Kaine looks a little older than Obama. While many are remarking that Obama seems "too young" (and concurrently, that McCain is "too old") it would be helpful to balance the ticket. We've had plenty of "old, white men" in politics here in America-perhaps that familiar image would soothe voters who are unsure about Obama.

Obama says he is looking for:
"I'm going to want somebody with independence — who's willing to tell me where he thinks, or she thinks, I'm wrong," he said. "And I'm going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country: where we need to go — that we've got to fundamentally change not only our policies, but how politics work, how business is done in Washington."

Kaine's location just underneath Washington might help, as well as some of his forward thinking ideas as governor.
News sources also report that Kaine is lucky enough to reach out to four categories of key voters:" Kaine could serve as ambassador, his proponents say, to four key groups: Virginians, Catholics, working-class white voters and Hispanics"

(Isn't it a little ridiculous how quickly everyone gets labeled during an election year?)

Now, for the cons:

Kaine has no foreign policy experience.
He also doesn't have a lot of experience with how business gets done in Washington. My personal feelings are that this could be a good thing: is anyone impressed with how the country's been run recently? I'm not sure I'd want to vote for someone trenched in Washington politics!

Also on the shortlist for potential VP candidates are all Senators.
From Indiana, Evan Bayh. The downside? If he is on the list and Obama wins, a Republican governor could replace Bayh in the Senate and throw off the Republican/Democrat balance in the Senate.

From Delaware, Joe Biden. As many already know, I am a HUGE Joe Biden fan. I knew he would never get the nod for the presidential nomination, but this man has experience, charisma,and intelligence. Barack, please choose Biden! Biden has years of foreign policy experience and work in the Senate reaching across the aisle. He could balance out the ticket. The downside is that Biden is from the New England region-not an area that Democrats generally struggle to win. (not to mention that Biden is the creator of the very Violence Against Women Act that Kaine supports!)

From New York, Hillary Clinton The downside? Don't get me started! I love Hillary Clinton but this is John McCain's wildest dream: an Obama/Clinton ticket.

We'll have to wait and see what happens, but it's an exciting time in politics!

In 2006, I had the opportunity to meet both Barack and Joe at a political event in Ohio. Both were captivating-anyone who has heard Barack speak can understand why he is well liked. One of my duties was to follow around Barack taking pictures (at that time, his security wasn't nearly as close knit as it is now) and I had the chance to hear him speak to people. He has a way of connecting with people instantly that is so important in both politics and pageants. He has a very "down home" view but he is also very good at energizing a crowd. Biden, of course, has a great sense of humor. He is extremely intelligent but brought laughs to the initial presidential candidate debates. He has a lot of experience in the Senate and is well liked.


Jessica Nelson said...

Hi Laura, you don't know me but I was wondering if you would be able to give a little advice regarding your experience with putting on a kids pageant? I am currently a contestant for Miss Ohio and was thinking of doing a kiddie pageant to help raise funds for CMN... if you are willing to share some info and advice....please contact me at or my mom who will most likely doing most of the work at thanks....Jessica

M said...

I never thought I would find anyone else who is as big a Biden fan as I am! He's been my political crush for over 20 years! lol. When I was stationed at Dover AFB, he was the Senator from Delaware and he was very supportive of all of us and really showed it through his personal and political support. I totally LOVE this guy! ;-)