Coming out of the long and hard-fought Democratic presidential primary campaign, Senator Hillary Clinton topped this week's survey as the candidate who most of you believe would be the strongest running mate for Barack Obama, garnering 22.1% of the 307 LA Progressive readers who responded to our poll this week. Click here to see the bar charts.
Following Clinton were New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (14.3%), Virginia Senator Jim Webb (13.0%), and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (11.7%) in double figures.
The characteristics deemed most important for a vice-presidential candidate were the ability to step in as president (15.9%), military experience (14.9%), populist appeal (9.1%), and Washington experience (9.1%)
Here’s what some said about an Obama-Clinton ticket:
The experience she would bring to the administration is exceptional, she is well thought of across the world and could represent the President admirably.
Almost half the party will feel disenfranchised if Obama ignores Hilary Clinton or refuses to pick her because he thinks she is stronger than he is. If he does not choose her, he WILL appeal weaker. Her strengths complement his appeal.
Clinton has a formable history advocating for issues affecting children, women and families - she could focus on the domestic agenda to address key issues; she also learned so much from her health care debacle which she would bring to that conversation.
Strongly attractive to wide cross section of women. She is seen as a great role model and the kind of woman we'd like to see as president—competent, with class; strong but not abrasive; conciliatory but not weak. Can bring in more Republicans--has done it. Can contribute to a feeling of unity within Dem Party and across the nation, especially for Independents; Great fit with Obama—his origins are in Kansas which can be a focus from her. Great manager to help him implement programs/reach goals.
On Jim Webb, we heard this:
Webb is a true progressive in the Theodore Roosevelt way. He's tough, experienced and sees through the lies of the current administration. He speaks truth to power like Obama and is a man's man. I think he is the best of all possible choices for Obama. Webb can bring many Southern voters, Republicans, Reagan Democrats and Independents. We also know that he can step in as pres immediately if anything happens. Jim Webb has integrity, military service and no BS attitude-ignites young voters!
Has the moderate Republican, anti-war, Southern, and white male votes, is very white and appeals to people with some issues about race, is male so not asking voters to adjust to two major transformations at once.
Populist appeal to the white working class "Reagan Democrats" who do NOT agree with the Republicans that what's best for the top one percent is what is best for America, but vote Republican because of "values" issues. His 2nd Amendment stance, his populist rhetoric, and military record all have appeal to this group... the specific demographic that has been costing Democrats elections consistently since 1968...
On John Edwards:
Edwards crossover appeal to Republicans and Independents will help to balance the resentment of many who would oppose him from either party because of his race which is particularly true in the South. Edwards focus on the economy, the declining middle class and health care in this political/economic environment would result in a synergistic boost to the campaign. The fact that Edwards refused to take lobbyist $'s as did Obama would harden the public consciousness in favor of Obama!
I personally think John Edwards dropped out to soon, and all the hoopla with Hillary really hurt his champagne. Also Edwards had the more conservative democrats rooting for him. Between him and Obama, they both want what is best for the people, not the big money lobbyist and also Edwards has his eye on the big green picture. If we don't stop ignoring global warming as a major threat were not going to around long enough to worry about what happens to our children and their children.
Richardson knows what he is doing; he knows energy policy-- now a major crisis area. He knows diplomacy—the primary alternative to war. He might communicate better with our Latin American adversaries, as he is conversant in Castillian. He has executive experience and would fit in if Obama was murdered. He comes across as a nice guy who is reasonable and hard to hate.
Richardson's message agrees with that of Obama's and they have similar goals with regards to toe Iraq war, healthcare, ending Bush's tax cuts and advocating for the less fortunate. I also feel that Richardson will help to win back some of the traditionally Democratic "Hispanic vote" that, at this point, does not seem to be supporting Obama, not to mention the positive and important perspective the Gov. will bring to the table in terms of developing fair immigration policy reform.
Al Gore has become an international hero. We know he can handle the White House, foreign relations and address Climate change which interests evangelicals as well as average democrats. He was robbed in 2000 and will get the votes. Claire McGaskill has the gender and geographic advantages - not sure if she will bring in the woman/Hillary votes, but , maybe.
Al Gore is the best president this country never had. If not for a corrupt Supreme Court ruling, we would have had a commander in chief who would have been doing his job on September 10th, and September 11th would still be just another day on the calendar. We would have had eight years of peace, prosperity, and integrity in government. Our country would still be the moral exemplar of the world.
This is cynical, but Wesley Clark is a white male general. It would give people who are not inclined to vote for a black some incentive to go beyond their comfort zones. I'd rather see someone else in the VP position, but I think we have to be pragmatic. I didn't want Obama to be the candidate because he's such an easy target based on his name & his color. I think we have to neutralize him. (This is only about being practical...I am NOT racist. I voted for Shirley Chisholm for god sakes!)
Former general Wesley Clark has military, foreign policy, and administrative experience, factors which help explain his success as NATO commander during Bill Clinton's presidency. He would do a capable job as president if he were suddenly thrust into that position. In addition, he was a high-profile supporter of Hillary Clinton, which might placate some of her voters. His inclusion on Barack Obama's ticket would also address Obama's perceived weakness on defense and foreign-policy issues.
He has the military experience, he is a FOBill, he has run a campaign, he has appeal to larger demographic - white males, more conservative and military, he has knowledge of foreign policies, having worked in foreign countries, he is very smart like Obama, and he understands complex situations and can think on his feet - if he ends up as president.
On the Republican side, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led the way with 18.5%, followed closely by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (16.2%) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (14.9%).
A large percentage of respondents thought racism would make the presidential a close one, with Barack Obama and his running mate winning in a squeaker (36.4%). More comforting, another strong contingent agreed that the country’s a mess and Obama will win in a landslide (20.7%)
As the most encouraging result, a strong contingent either said they would work their hearts out because they’re enthralled with the idea of an Obama presidency (28.3%) or because they’re loyal Democrats (13.6%)— for a total of 41.9%. Less than 2% said they would either sit out the election or vote for John McCain.
--by Dick & Sharon
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