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Obama Begins VP Hunt In Earnest

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On the very top of the list at this point? Jim Webb, Ted Strickland, Kathleen Sebelius, Claire McCaskill. All solid, moderate democrats from swing states.

But you want to know who’d be the boldest pick? Chuck Hagel. That would literally shatter the partisan divide in one fell swoop. The only issue there is that Hagel would have to promise to govern in a bi-partisan, left-leaning fashion if anything ever happened to Obama. And how likely would that be?

In any event, the AP has some more:

Obama has asked former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson to begin vetting potential vice presidential picks, Democratic officials said Thursday. Johnson did the same job for Democratic nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Walter Mondale in 1984. […]

Obama’s campaign refused to talk about who was being considered, but possible options are Clinton; governors such as Arizona’s Janet Napolitano, Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Tim Kaine of Virginia; foreign policy experts like former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd or Delaware Sen. Joe Biden; or other senators such as Missouri’s Claire McCaskill and Virginia’s Jim Webb.

He could look outside the party to people such as war critic and Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel or independent New York mayor Mike Bloomberg. Or he could look to one of his early prominent supporters such as former Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota or try to bring on a Clinton supporter like Indiana’s Evan Bayh.

I actually forgot about Napolitano, but she’s from Arizona and does anybody think the Dems will capture that state this year with McCain running? Not a chance. Better to go with somebody from Missouri or Kansas.

As far as Nunn, Dodd and Biden…they’re all very smart, but would probably be better for cabinet positions. They just don’t bring much life to the campaign.

Bloomberg I just don’t see at this point. To monied and if anybody would enhance charges of “elitist” for Obama, it’d be him.

Lastly, Bayh, Daschle and Kaine are pretty much all snoozers and I think they’ve hit the ceilings in their respective careers. High ceilings no doubt, but ceilings nonetheless. I mean, maybe Kaine could become a senator, but the highly talented Mark Warner will probably be occupying that seat for years to come so his chances for a more national presence are slim to none at this point.

By the way, according to one report today, Hillary wants in.

Of course she does. This juggernaut is leaving the station and she knows how well organized it had to be to beat the Clinton brand…and she’s guessing it’s going to win big.

And true, Obama could lose and then Clinton is seemingly well-positioned for 2012, but not if she keeps shooting out these poison pen letters to her constituency regarding Barack’s electability. It’s over, and everybody who’s being realistic knows it.

My hope is that the rules committee smacks her down on May 31st and she bows out as gracefully as she can once all the primaries are over. But just because she raised a lot of money and garnered a lot of votes does not mean she’s the right running mate for Obama. Not by a long shot. Let’s hope that Barack always keeps this in mind during what will be the decidedly delicate process of letting her down easy.