It’s August 4, 2008, nearly four years and a month to the day that John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate for vice president in 2004. What does that mean to the race in 2008? That it’s nearing time (actually, past due) for Obama to pick his VP choice. Word has it that the Obama camp has narrowed the list down to three names: Biden, Bayh and Kaine.
Joe Biden is a Senator from Delaware and former presidential candidate. He also serves as chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This is important because not only does Biden have foreign policy credentials, he has more experience in the Senate than John McCain does.
Evan Bayh is a Senator from Indiana, former two term Indiana governor and attorney general. He also has foreign policy experience as a member of the Senate Armed Services committee. He would complement Obama’s youth with his own at age 52, while being able to claim two decades of experience for his work as governor and in the Senate.
Tim Kaine is a Governor from Virginia. Like Obama, he is relatively young and new to the national scene. He was elected governor with support from Democrats, independents and Republicans. His cross-party appeal would be a strong selling point to a candidate that bills himself as being post-partisan. On the downside, Kaine is not well known outside of Virginia and his lack of experience could prove problematic.
Who do I think Obama will end up choosing? Senator Bayh is my bet. As a Hillary Clinton supporter in the primaries, Bayh would signal to Hillary supporters that the Obama campaign is not taking them for granted. With polls showing Obama ahead in Indiana without Bayh on the ticket, adding Bayh would further strengthen his chances of winning this ruby red state and turning it blue for the first time since 1964. The 11 electoral votes in Indiana, combined with Iowa’s 7 would be enough to make Obama the next president of the United States. Coincidentally, Obama will be making a campaign stop in Elkhart, Indiana on Wednesday, just 20 minutes east of South Bend. Will he use this venue to announce Bayh as his running mate? We’ll have to see in two short days.