Monday, June 09, 2008

Veepstakes Profile No. 3: Kathleen Sebelius

Pros: Selecting a governor from Kansas would do much for Barack's appeal in the midwestern states, not to mention appealing to certain female voters still troubled by Hillary Clinton's loss in the primary. Sebelius has shown the ability to work across the aisle with a republican legislature, and will help woo even more "Obamicans" to the camp. Finally, Sebelius has shown a particular fondness for working on education issues - an issue at the center of Obama's campaign.

Cons: Most of the nation, myself included, got their introduction to Sebelius when she gave the Dems' rebuttal to the 2008 State of the Union address; and if Obama is to charisma what Tiger Woods is to golf; then Sebelius's comparison would be somewhere between me and Charles Barkley. Though rumor has it that she's a warm and engaging personality on the campaign trial - she seems to have a lot of work to do before she is ready for prime-time.

Ideological Similarity: 6

Added Electability: 9

Risk: 7

Intangibles: 5

Total: 27


Big Daddy said...

Now you're just taunting me Dude... Where's The General????

I like Sebelius though I think 9 for added electability is way too high. She doesn't help him on foreign policy, she doesn't help on the economy too my knowledge and there's still the ism factor. Perhaps it's my innate pessimism/realism of the American public but while she's "better" than Hilary, an African-American man and a woman on the same ticket... you're looking at 30% losses in the South.

Head Dude said...

Yeah, I'd score her much lower, plus she'd piss off a lot of Hillary fanatics who want Hillary to be the first woman.
I don't think carrying Kansas is too important, and she'd only increase the foreign policy gap.
Let's settle for one big "first" in this election...and let the running mate be a white male.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree on two points:

1. For "ideological similarity", Sebelius gets a strong 9 or better. Others bloggers have written about the match on policy positions, and Sebelius is somewhere between highly and perfectly compatible with Obama.

2. For "added electability", I would lower the score to a 7 or so. The primary benefit is the acknowledgement to some of Hillary's original base that their concerns have been heard by Obama, and acted upon. Others have argued that picking any other female besides Hillary is a "slap in the face" to these supporters, but I think there are many legitimate reasons to acknowledge alternatives among those accomplished outside of federal government.

Sebelius is term limited in the governorship to 2010, so she would be willing to join the ticket.

Sebelius is an extremely popular governor in a strongly Republican state, underscoring Obama's inclusive message.

Obama will not want to run with another senator if it can be avoided, eliminating Hillary and Biden, etc.

The idea of an Obama-Sebelius ticket will leave the press buzzing with the idea that two constructs will be broken, among both race and gender at the highest level of national leadership. While the rest of the world will yawn, this will still seem novel in the United States and further amplify free coverage and an underlying moral construct by the press.

Sebelius is accomplished enough to show substantial strength and accomplishment in executive experience, but not so qualified and tenured as to overshadow Obama himself. Candidates like Richardson and Clark run that risk. Many argue that Obama needs to compensate for perceived deficiencies in experience or policy experience, although many recognize that intellectual robustness and branding (change, vigor, youth) are more compelling. These brand elements are also compatible with Sebelius.

Sebelius is a compelling choice for Obama, and I the more I look at the merits, the more I'm convinced she will be the choice.

For the record, I will not be voting for either major party candidate, despite my comments here. I am simply trying to add to this analysis.

Head Dude said...

Ralph, is that you?

The Dude said...

Thanks Anonymous Commenter. We welcome your contributions in the future!

Big Daddy said...

I echo the comments of the Dude. A very nice and crisp analysis. I might argue a point or two but it would be nit-picking at best. Well said.

Anonymous said...

i wish you guys would find a potential running mate who has, oh, i don't know, LEGITIMATE STRONG POLICIES that demonstrate WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM and WHAT THE BENEFIT WILL BE...maybe someone who takes a stronger stand on LGBT and women's issues, hmmm? because obama, while charismatic and all happy-hopeful, is shamefully underprepared when you look at his policy statements, and not a champion of the social policies that matter to a solid chunk of voters. ugh!
--wife of undude

Head Dude said...

Dear Wife of Undude,

Get over it -- Hillary lost and you know you're not going to vote for McCain.


The Committee

Head Dude said...

And actually, LGBT and NARAL already endorsed Obama, so apparently they think he takes a strong stand.

The Dude said...

I play pick-up ball with the CEO of Planned Parenthood here in Houston - he said they are endorsing Obama this week.

Big Daddy said...

I would accept the nomination but sadly I'm not old enough to be president and I'm not sure the constitutionality of a VP who might not be able to assume the office. Plus TWO African-American men on one ticket might be just too much.