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« Yahoo! shareholder meeting more of the same, unfortunately | Main | Now it’s McCain’s Turn: Who’s He Going to pick as VP? »

August 25, 2008



Besides Hillary, who do you think he should've picked that would have better mitigated these risks?


Super tough question - how come you have to be the first to comment Mark ;)? Everyone else who likes the post just emails me!

But seriously though, part of this post is meant to indicate how strong the argument for picking Hillary is. Not to be flippant, but I want to re-assert that the election should be over by now. It's not.

In any case, there are a few choices out there that I find to be pretty interesting, given the points I made above. Tim Kaine, from Virginia, certainly makes a lot of sense in that he's young, progressive, somewhat of a superstar himself, in an executive position and has shown an ability to woo Republicans. He was apparently on the short list and I think he would have successfully countered some of the unenthusiastic response we're seeing as well as addressing some of the questions about being an executive.

Additionally, I found Governor Kathleen Sebelius, of Kansas, to be a pretty interesting option. Not only was she able to become governor of Kansas as a Democrat and a female, but she's poised, has the mid-western pull and seems to be a pretty level-headed person.

So, I think either of those two were more exciting and thought-provoking executive options.

Mark Jacobs

You'll be interested to know that this post and your comment earned a John McCain banner ad through AdSense.

It's time to unite, my friend. Let Fox handle the backward looking distractions.

James McCarthy

I read this post yesterday - very interesting. I found this insightful:

<<"He's a team player. I believe that he's got an ego that will allow him to mesh with Obama and play second fiddle. It's very very hard for most politicians to accept that Obama is essentially a superstar politician as the result of 6 to 10 years of planning and risk-taking, in conjunction with some luck. They grew up in a system where you're supposed to work for decades in order to get to the top of the heap. Even the Clintons toiled for a LONG time to get to 1992. It's tough to really tell, but my sense is that Biden doesn't actually have this issue and that is important to a positive working relationship because egos derail political organizations far more often than is typically reported.">>

Specifically - the jealousy that surely is taking place. Just like the young executive that ramrods his/her way into the boardroom when the other senior management has been plodding along the 'path or promise' or whatever ... doing each step in order. I had not thought of this as a source or resistance ... it surely will be.

Benjamin Hoyt

LOL. Do you realize that your blog is currently running a "John McCain for President" banner ad? Awesome...


Hahah, Ben, both you and Mark have commented on that. It's pretty damn funny, wish there was a way for me to control it. Kudos to the McCain team for doing some targeting I guess :)


There seems to be this constant, albeit, somewhat contrived, drumroll for Hillary behind what so many people say and think about both Obama and now Biden. Even more, there is this annoyingly bothersome, and distracting hum of people participating, in their own way, with the "game" of politics. What befuddles me in these discussions, is the notion that the vetting team that Obama put together is somehow less equipped then those of us who announce our opinions, both privately and publicly, regarding this choice. We second guess, which is important, but we second guess about the wrong things. These people do this 20 hours a day, every day....we were getting fucked up all weekend and watching expensive laser shows...there is an important difference there. More importantly, by acknowledging and perpetuating a discussion on electability without really addressing the substance of the issues, we aide those, like our current president, who wish to hide their lack of substance within the constant humdrum of "politics".

Is it important for us to discuss these things, of course. Are there more important matters that we should be discussing, undoubtedly. Ask around, find out who can tell the difference between Obama's economic plan, his education plan, and McCain's plans on those same matters; is it not more important, as educated people who hope for change, to equip ourselves with that knowledge in a way that would allow us to convey the ideas that are most important to others? Is that not the the key to maintaining (or some might say, rescuing) our deliberative democracy?

I understand the nature of politics, and I understand why it is important to pay attention, but I question the belief that a change in that system would not take place if the same number of people who yell at the top of their keyboards, were to change directions, lose the word "I" from their discussions and instead focus on facts, presented in a way that would really convey important concepts to the thousands, and at times millions, of people they have access to.

That said, do I think that Biden was the best choice? Well, frankly, I do not believe that is the appropriate question in a deliberative democracy. We have this amazing ability to have our voices heard, and yet, what both disgusts and frightens me, is that, we are in such a hurry to have our "self" heard, we fail to raise our voices toward anything that matters. (that is not aimed at you Robi, but just the notion that the question of Biden's electability supersedes the real issues of this campaign, issues that are constantly ignored by both the mainstream media and the blogs).

I am reminded of a thought that was hovering above the wonderful music on Sunday. As a huge Nels Cline fan, I had to sit close to watch him work his magic with Wilco on Sunday and as such, I had a fantastic, pressure free seat right up front, and though it was crowded, there was room to mill about and enjoy those around me. Throughout the weekend, but perhaps mostly during Wilco, I was struck by the number of people photographing and videotaping the concert, the number of people posing for their facebook page, and my mind drifted to the idea of nostalgia and memory, and the thought that we are now making present moments past before they even occur. So caught up in this image of the self that we present to the world, we fail to simply exist in the moment. More important (and related to your post), I wonder if we fail to realize all that exists in those singular moments, all that lurks in the interstitial spaces of everyday when we get caught up in making those moments a part of our expressed identity.

My view of the present state of politics and of discussions such as those your post compels are related in the sense that, as we stare at the broad expanse of information that rests before us, we become so caught up in identifying that one snapshot that resonates with our own identity, we fail to slow down and see all that there really is, and as a result we aide in the demise of the ideal of a deliberative democracy. Its like my dad used to ask my brother and I..."if i give you the keys to the car, are you going to run it into a tree?" Technology and access to the many has, in many ways, given us the keys to the car; more importantly, money and opportunity has provided us with the keys, what are we going to do with it, yell at the moon for not being the sun or get the car home in better shape than it was given to us.

Mark Jacobs

now that's a comment. inspired me to finally wash my car.

Benjamin Hoyt

Kudos to Rory for a thought-provoking, if somewhat overwhelming, comment. I particularly appreciated his point about people being obsessed with taking pictures of themselves doing things that they ought to be more focused on actually doing. Also, the idea that this selection ought to be about more than simply whether or not he was the best choice for helping Obama win the elect, as if the Vice President selection is simply a card to be played during the election year and forgotten after November.

Back to Robi's post, however, I just thought I'd share my personal reaction to the Biden announcement. I have been a pretty irrationally rabid Obama fan now for several years, going back to when I lived in Chicago. I simply find the guy inspiring because I feel that he represents a lot of characteristics that seem to get chipped-away at by the harsh world of politics. I have been struck by how he somehow manages to come across as honest, articulate, intelligent, reasonable, and sincere while so many other politicians seems to struggle to achieve these characteristics.

I'm didn't think that I was terribly attached to this intangible idea of "change." I don't think I'm looking for major, fundamental changes to "the system." I like to think that I just want to see what happens if we get a smart, hard-working, trustworthy, and charismatic leader in there who has a clear mandate from the people. However, my reaction when I heard the Biden announcement made me question whether or not I'm really that ambivalent about "change."

When I heard that Obama had chosen Biden as his running mate my first reaction was basically, "ugh. Really? Well thats...anti-climactic." I don't even know very little about Biden. I'm more than willing to accept that he's a shrewd choice who compliments Obama's weaknesses while strengthening his overall electoral odds. Policy-wonks who know WAY more about this stuff and spend WAY more time thinking about it than I do made this decision. I will pretty-much take it as a given that this was a "smart" choice.

The problem, for me, was just that Biden seems so...uninspiring. I had hoped that Obama would do something bold; that he would choose someone both capable and symbolic. How about a Republican? A Latino? A woman? Or even a military man like Clark? But, another old, wooden, white, long-time Northeastern Senator? It just felt so very.....not Obama.

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