Now that the Democratic Party has secured its nominee in an official capacity, let’s take a look at potential VP choices that have been tossed about. This my short-list alone, compiled by my views and speculation. That’s not to say there are not other serious candidates who aren’t mentioned here, but I’ve also included a few unconventional ideas get the motor working.

Jim Webb

He is one of the more conservative Democratic voices, and a recent addition to the United States Senate. Webb has a strong military background with experience as a soldier in Vietnam, and later as Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan. One of the bigger slam-dunks for security issues, but it would potentially concede a hot Senate seat in Virginia that the Democratic Party might not be able to lose regardless of the outcome of the election. Also merits consideration that with him would come the backing of a number of retired generals and military figures that could certainly challenge, if not negate, McCain’s security credentials which are his biggest strength.

Ed Rendell

The governor of Pennsylvania who delivered the state for Hillary Clinton, it’s poised to be a huge battleground in November. More of a conventional target that could help with a critical state, but it’s hard to see how it would have any serious gains outside of the Northeast.

Tom Vilsack

A hugely popular former governor of Iowa, he was also a national co-chair of the Clinton campaign after his own run fizzled within a few months of launching. Would be a terrific name to have for the Midwest, but as Obama is from Illinois already and given Vilsack’s previous loyalties, it’s an unlikely choice given the other potential names.

Brian Schweitzer

With an approval rating often in the upper 70’s, he would fit the ticket as a more conservative yet popular Democrat from traditionally Republican territory. A guarantee to deliver Montana, and while clearly not a sizable state in election terms, it would prove more valuable to the surrounding states and draw moderate votes that McCain has been a lock for…until now.

Ted Strickland

The governor of the state that determined the outcome of the 2004 election, Ohio may again prove to be an important battleground. Having Strickland on the ticket and his ability to potentially deliver the most contested state in the previous election is a strong case for consideration, possibly a determining factor. In fact there may be no other potential VP candidate with a stronger case to be made if they do indeed lobby for the ticket. Clinton might argue that Obama cannot win without her supporters or political machine, but at the end of the day it’s the votes that matter and Strickland could help deliver a decisive victory in November.

John Edwards

He is still a powerful voice for labor in the Democratic Party and hugely popular, but was the losing VP nominee in 2004. Unlikely as a choice, as it would prove to be a safe bet but there might not be much for the Obama camp to gain in his selection.

Bill Richardson

The governor of New Mexico with arguably the greatest resume for either the Presidency and/or the Vice Presidency. Might raise concern among certain narrow minded party members more concerned about the prospect of African-American and Hispanic on the same ticket, but you cannot argue these qualifications or the fact he could get you New Mexico. Possibly the best of both worlds, but I cannot see how to parlay the fears of those other party members. It’s an unfortunate political reality that might be too strong to ignore for some.

General Wesley Clark

Choosing Clark would lock down the security and military experience card Obama has been lacking in the public eye, although it could raise flags as to his handling of affairs during the Kosovo crisis. Could be the choice that forms the most complete ticket in addressing world issues and affairs (other then Richardson) and the most prepared for a twenty-first century national security policy.

Sam Nunn

The former Senator of Georgia who was considered for the Kerry ticket in 2004, and also mulled a run in 2008. Hard to argue for someone with more experience that would augment Obama’s charismatic vigor. A moderate and conservative leaning Democrat who may be on the wrong side of issues for the liberal wing of the party, but as a VP and with a strong security card it could be looked at as too positive to pass on. He would be a strong name in the south for defense minded voters, and too qualified to be realistically challenged ob public service by almost any potential VP nominee of the Republican Party. A safe choice that would support Obama in all the areas he needs it.

Hillary Clinton

The one advantage she would bring to the ticket, and it does merit consideration, is the political machine that would follow. Fundraisers, volunteer base, supporters, all will be critical in a general election. However they may be too much bad blood between the two camps, and the lightning rod that is Bill Clinton would be a clear target for the Republican Party. While the mainstream media may be playing this up as what she wants to concede (and she does) I do not see how it could possibly work.

Chuck Hagel

A Republican from Nebraska, who will be retiring from the Senate and has been an openly critical voice of the Bush Administration. Quipped that “national security is more important then either the Democratic or Republican Party.” As a good friend of Senator McCain and a Senator sitting in the wrong aisle, it’s probably far too much to think this a realistic selection. Yet credentials on foreign policy and rejection of the Bush Administration merit a mention here. More likely as a cabinet position in an Obama White House that seeks to cross party lines for stability, and extremely unlikely for the VP slot.

Michael Bloomberg

A lifelong Democrat until running on the Republican ticket to win as Mayor of New York City, he would be a pro-business selection and someone that might garner more moderate votes then McCain. Bloomberg is one of the few figures in politics that could beat McCain at his own game. Would also bring a considerable monetary advantage to the ticket, as legally, he would be able to finance a sizeable portion of the campaign on his own if he so desired. Hardcore Democrats would have a hard time with an Independent on the ticket and as the possible heir, but would absolutely underline the message of change and score points with business leaning moderates. This is the gutsiest and most unconventional pick that Obama could make, outside of a Republican.

Tom Daschle

The former Senator from South Dakota and Senate Majority Leader, he brings to the table considerable political clout in regards to the inner workings of the U.S. Congress. One school of thought that has emerged is that Senator Obama should be selecting a candidate that can help him more when in office then helping him to win. Conventional wisdom would put him in the former, but his considerable knowledge of and politicking that Obama has (in many eyes) lacked due to his inexperience would be of crucial value in a new administration. Perhaps making him the chief front-runner for White House Chief of Staff, or the second most powerful man in Washington.

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