Respect In The Morning
Barack Obama's vice presidential search team has floated the name of a member of President Bush's first-term Cabinet, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, as Obama's running mate.Non-ideological, perhaps, but not non-communicative. It would definitely send a message to Senator Obama's nominal party. But the DC denizens there believe those people are not listening:
The search committee, now led by Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, raised Veneman's name — among others — in discussions with members of Congress, said two Democrats familiar with the conversations.
The mention of Veneman's name surprised Democratic lawmakers. The low-profile Republican was close to food and agriculture industries but clashed with farm-state Democrats and environmentalists during her tenure, which lasted from 2001 to 2004. ...
Choosing Veneman would be a way to "show that he can get things done without all the partisanship," said the Democrat familiar with the discussions. "Her appeal would be nonideological. It would be, 'I'm just here to get the work done.' She's not a hot-button conservative."
Other Republicans mentioned as potential Obama running mates include Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, who accompanied him to Iraq, and retired Marine Gen. James Jones.
The selection of a Republican could bolster Obama's unifying message, a Capitol Hill Democrat familiar with the discussion said.They said it all along during the primaries: his opponent's supporters would all blindly support him in the fall against the Republican. This would be a test of their faith, just to prove that he can get his own way no matter how he spits in their faces. But how enthusiastic would they be if it really boils down to a choice between two Republicans?
"You select a strong independent woman who appeals to Republicans and independents, and so that's hard to beat," the Hill source said, explaining the logic of the possible choice. "Choosing someone like [Veneman] doesn't hurt you with the Democrats. It just doesn't hurt you. But it helps you with Independents and Republicans."
I'm afraid this might be what is called a "deal-breaker". I wondered how the Democrats would find a way to lose even in this overwhelmingly anti-Republican year.