Monday, August 18, 2008

Dear Barack: The Veep Choice That Could Shock the World


Hillary Clinton will NOT be Obama's choice for VP because:

1) HIllary will not give Obama one state he does not have already.

2) Hillary as VP will make thousands more Republicans in swing states actually go to the polls and vote for McCain - when otherwise, unexcited by McCain, they are morely likely to stay home.

3) Hillary and Bill introduce noise and missteps to a campaign that Obama has run nearly flawlessly.

4) Bill seems to personally resent Barack Obama, and will be unpredictable *and* put under the microscope - producing even more noise.

5) Most importantly, if elected Hillary is not likely to follow Obama's lead. They both want to be the boss, and only one of them can be. If Hillary won, Obama would be an unlikely choice for her VP for precisely this same reason.

I think Obama's VP choice will not be Biden, Bayh, Daschle, Sibelius, or even Clark. It will be someone who most of us have not heard of. Someone who has credible and serious experience in foreign policy, and (hopefully) domestic policy, at high levels, but is also relatively new to the national stage.

Along those lines, of the names I've heard mentioned I think the most likely bet is Tim Kaine. Governor of Virginia, bipartisan experience, blue-collar background and Harvard-educated lawyer, winner of many accolades for his work in fair housing. He would put Virginia in play, and also strengthen opportunities for Congress and Senate candidates in Virginia.

That's my prediction.

We'll all see, in just a few days. Things are heating up for a greatly-watched season finale here. I hope the good guys win. Or at least, the non-incompetent guys who haven't been in the White House for the past 7 years.


Ahem! Turns out it was Biden after all. OK then.

In retrospect, this was a good choice in that it was quite safe, and not providing any sort of in-line for McCain: Biden's differed from Obama somewhat, which insulates Obama from criticisms of groupthink; Biden comes from Delaware which is considered relatively non-latte-drinking, and therefore Biden is hard to tag as an elitist.

McCain of course picked Palin. In some ways a smart political decision for the McCain campaign; it was his best chance to unite his own party, perhaps get some Hillary-supporting dead-enders. And possibly cause the Obama campaign to overreact. Which some thought they did, at least for a while.

Unfortunately for the McCain campaign, those who aren't GOP Uber Alles see Palin as completely unqualified, not intellectually curious, possibly power-abusing, and absolutely on-record before the cameras a liar. A serial liar who just keeps lying.

I think the American people as a majority are seeing this, and seeing also how her choice reflects on McCain, and will vote accordingly.

The next step: making sure this election isn't close enough to steal.

Friday, August 1, 2008

5.8? No, 5.4

So there I was talking with a co-worker about a manual I was writing, when the building started shaking like a bag of jelly. I suggested, "Looks like it's time to go outside then." But surprisingly there were no takers. People were just standing around, kind of frozen. Some acoustic ceiling tile fell about this time. The shaking was done, in fact the quake was done. And I was kind of frozen too, just 'cause no one else was moving.

Another guy said "Come on. Let's go outside. Who are the real native californians here?" and the spell was broken. We went down the stairwell. Part of the way down the stairwell the panic started to take effect among some. They started rushing past where I and others were to get outside.

It's a funny thing. I felt the trouble was already passed, but wanted to get outside to make sure. I later heard that you're not supposed to go outside. Maybe if there's no clear open space nearby, and you're in danger of being clobbered by power lines or falling debris. Otherwise I consider the stay-inside strategy pure nonsense.

Soon everyone was in the courtyard, chatting it up but no one relaxed enough to have a cigarette. We started a betting pool. I went with 5.3, another co-worker went with 5.4.

Several hours we were all back in the office, and all the power went off. Everyone's computers went down. I'm just a contractor - like "I'm just a caveman" - but maybe we should have something ready for that contingency.