Saturday, August 18, 2007

Vice Presidential Picks

In general I think trying to predict who the Vice Presidential picks will be (especially 5 months before the Iowa caucus) is a fool's game. This is especially true when one takes into account the recent history of vice presidential nominees- who would have predicted Geraldine Ferraro? Lloyd Bentsen? Dan Quayle? Jack Kemp? Joe Lieberman? Each was a surprise pick. The RealClearPolitics blog (the best political website on the internet) posted a list this week of the possible vp nominees in each party. In my mind, however, each party has a clear frontrunner. For the Democrats, with Hillary dominating every national and state poll, she will likely look to the second place finisher, Barack Obama, in order to unify the party and put forward the party's strongest ticket. Even though Obama has begun to show his inexperience with a series of bizarre policy statements (i.e. he would invade Pakistan as President, he would ruled out using nuclear weapons as President (he then quickly changes his mind), he would meet with the leader's of all the rogue nations), nevertheless Hillary would be under tremendous pressure from the black community to pick Obama.
On the Republican side, the frontrunner for the vp pick has to be Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas. His second place showing at the Ames straw poll is evidence that people have taken to him. He is a southern conservative who has performed exceptionally well in the debates (his answer at the June 5th debate to a question on evolution is the best and most eloquent answer I have ever heard given at a debate- check it out on YouTube). He would even out a ticket with a Northeast moderate such as Rudy or Romney. My one caveat is that I need to find out a little more about his policy beliefs- his depiction in today's Wall Street Journal as a candidate with some unconventional beliefs does give me slight pause. While Huckabee has very little chance of taking the presidential nomination (with little money or name recognition), it seems as though his run has put him in good position for a place on the national ticket.
As an aside, while I try to rarely read The Jewish Week (because I find paper leaning too far to liberal Judaism), it never ceases to amaze me how shallow their political reporting is. In this week's Jewish Week, their piece on Huckabee on page 3, reads more like a propaganda article from the National Jewish Democratic Council and less like the balanced reporting which belongs in a non-partisan Jewish newspapaper.