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Who ought to be '08 candidates for veep?

Posted: May 5, 2008 6:38 p.m.
Updated: July 5, 2008 5:01 a.m.
 
The vice presidency "isn't worth a bucket of warm p---."

So said "Cactus Jack," aka John Nance Garner, our 32nd vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt (from 1933-1941).

Almost 70 years later, more than two dozen people - all reputable, big-named politicians - are potentially in the running for the No. 2 slot in the nation.

With the presidential conventions only a few months away, many of these names have been tossed around by pundits.

Name recognition is key, and there is no guarantee that the names below are the only people who are being considered for the second office.

Most of the names on this list are rather obvious (Rice, Huckabee, Edwards, Romney, Richardson); a few are obscure (Bobby Jindal); and a few are a little surprising but make sense (Antonin Scalia). Here is the list, albeit not final or official - but, I think, a fair assessment of potential candidates.

Here are my thoughts on potential veeps:
1. Barack Obama, (D) Illinois senator. Assuming, of course, he doesn't get the nomination. Plus, I doubt he'd choose to be second fiddle to Clinton. He may be better off as senator until 2012 or 2016.

2. Hillary Clinton, (D) New York senator. Assuming, of course, she doesn't get the nomination. Plus, she's less likely to assume second fiddle to Obama. I think it's all (nomination) or nothing (going back to NY) for Hillary.

3. Condoleezza Rice, (R) Secretary of State. She's a natural fit, and it could be the Republicans' answer to the Democratic race - she's African-American AND a woman.

4. Antonin Scalia, (R) Supreme Court justice. He'd be like Dick Cheney, except not as quiet and behind the scenes. Scalia would hog all the cameras ... which would be a good thing, as the cameras would not always be on McCain.

5. Mitt Romney, (R) Former Massachusetts governor. Another natural choice - he's electable and has a strong following in the party.

6. Mike Huckabee, (R) former Arkansas governor. Another person with a strong party base, and if he is on the ticket, there is no way the Republicans lose the Southern vote.

7. John Edwards, (D) former North Carolina senator. Edwards has more intrigue than substance - his 2004 performance as VP candidate may hurt more than help him.

8. Sarah Palin, (R) Alaska governor. A former beauty queen and athlete, her policies appeal to both Dems and Reps.

9. Bill Richardson, (D) New Mexico governor. Richardson has the perfect mix of diplomacy, knowledge, experience and electability. What's taken the Dems so long to move him up the list?

10. Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina senator. He's young (52), decorated (war vet), and knows how to lead (key figure in Bill Clinton impeachment).

11. Sam Nunn, (D) Former Georgia senator. The Democratic answer to John McCain, Nunn (69) is almost as old as McCain (71). Plus, he retired from politics in 1996 because he lacked "zest and enthusiasm."
Not exactly someone I want as VP.

12. Charlie Crist, (R) Florida governor. He's frequently campaigned with McCain. Crist, who just started his first term as governor, would all but guarantee McCain Florida's 27 electoral votes if he is on the ticket.

13. Jim Webb, (D) Virginia senator. A Republican turned Democrat, which already gives him appeal to the Dems, Webb also has insider experience. He served as Reagan's defense secretary in the late '80s.

14. Evan Bayh, (D) Indiana senator. A moderate who gave the keynote address at the 1996 Democratic Convention, he endorsed Hillary Clinton and constantly campaigns with her.

15. Bobby Jindal, (R) Louisiana governor. We already have a woman, an elderly, and an African-American. Let's throw an Indian-American in the mix! He's also well-spoken and electable, and he's young (36). He also opposes stem-cell research funding - a big plus for the GOP's conservative base. Rush Limbaugh was the first to drop his name in the rumor-mill.

16. Ted Strickland, (D) Ohio governor. He may be a Dem, but Reps publicly endorsed his gubernatorial candidacy in Ohio. He's also outspoken and a major proponent for education.

17. Tim Kaine, (D) Virginia governor. The first non-Illinois official to endorse Obama, expect him to be high on Barack's list if he secures the presidential nod.

18. Joe Lieberman, (I) Connecticut senator. Lieberman ran for VP as a Dem, switched to "Independent" as a senator, and now may run as McCain's sidekick - though it's a long shot.

19. Tim Pawlenty, (R) Minnesota governor. Another young, vocal politician who has paw-lenty of support for McCain.

20. Mark Sanford, (R) South Carolina governor. A staunch conservative and Southerner, Sanford would be just as appealing as a Veep candidate as Huckabee - at least in the South.

21. Tom Daschle, (D) former South Dakota senator. A superdelegate who supports Obama, Daschle is always mentioned as a possible candidate.

22. Rudy Giuliani, (R) former New York governor. Once a favorite to win the Republican nomination, Guiliani is on the outside looking in, as he has a few enemies within the party.

23. Bill Clinton, (D) former president. Almost impossible politically, that hasn't stopped people from talking about a Hill-Bill ticket. Bill isn't necessarily prohibited from running - he is only barred from being elected president, not serving as president - meaning he may be elected VP and can be elevated to the presidency. But don't hold your breath - this won't happen.

24. John Kerry, (D) Massachusetts senator. He was the Dems' nominee for president in '04. It's unlikely he'd run for Veep in '08.

25. Al Gore, (D) former vice president. Can a person who served two terms as Veep run again? Even if he could, I seriously doubt he would. He's better off as an Oscar-winning ambassador for the environment right now.

Parimal Rohit is a Signal staff Writer. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. Have your own favorite pick for the vice presidency? Log on to www.the-signal.com and go to "blogs" to find this column, then name your favorite nominee for the No. 2 spot.

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