Setting off speculation about his possible VP pick, Barack Obama may have unnerved his MSM cheerleaders. They’d already been dismayed to find that the Chosen One a mite “self righteous” as one Washington Post columnist described him and “arrogant” as a Slate blogger mused. (What was their first clue? I mean aside from the cult-like music videos, Obama girl and his wife’s insistence that he is the only source of pride in America in the last generation?)
Last weekend Obama piped up with this when asked about his VP pick:
“I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I’m not as expert on. I think a lot of people assume that might be some kind of military thing to make me look more commander-in-chief-like. Ironically, this is an area — foreign policy — is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Sen. Clinton or Senator McCain.”
Oh, and like, he was going, “fer sure.” Can a presidential candidate sound like a California beach babe? Before we unpack that, a word of advice: when claiming to be expert on national security it is best not to use phrases such as “bunch of stuff” and “some kind of military thing” and “commander-in-chief-like.” People, like, might get the idea, you know, that you have not been around the military, you know, um.
He also said:
“I know what those trips are like! I’ve been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There’s a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then — you go.”
I didn’t notice the “native dance” routines during Senator McCain’s eight trips to Iraq, but maybe I missed them. (Now in all fairness, it’s quite possible that as a junior Senator with no committee chairmanships and no area of expertise Obama wasn’t allowed to meet with any heads of states or do anything of substance on any of his foreign trips.)
But not to worry — he really needs no assistance from a VP in international affairs since his college trip to Pakistan and his grade school years in Indonesia provided all the background briefing he needs. Honest. He explained:
“So when I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa — knowing the leaders is not important — what I know is the people…I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college — I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”
So as we turn to the list of VP possibilities we can forget the helpful suggestions that many Democrats have offered up. Senator Jim Webb, former Marine and Undersecretary of the Navy? Forget it- would not add anything. Senator Biden or Governor Bill Richardson? All they have to offer is knowledge of native dance and useless familiarity with heads of state. But what about Anthony Zinni, retired four star general and former head of CENTCOM? It would be a waste: Obama thinks he has national security covered.
We perhaps need to look more closely at Obama’s remarks and his stated requirements for a VP. He said that foreign policy was the area in which he was “most confident.” (Hmm, it seems the DNC spent a few weeks bashing McCain for saying something similar but let’s leave that for another day.) He is certainly right.
For unlike his vast years of foreign policy experience he has far less experience in domestic affairs at the national level. He has no private sector experience, has never headed an appropriations or tax or any other committee, and has never been a key player in any major piece of regulatory, tax, health care, energy or budget legislation. (He did manage to get almost a billion dollars in earmarks, however.)
It then follows that what we need is someone with domestic policy experience. Well there are many good candidates here. Let’s start with Dennis Kucinich. He hails from the vital swing state of Ohio, has executive experience (okay he may have led Cleveland into bankruptcy) and has a single payer healthcare plan than would make even Elizabeth Edwards swoon. And as a first hand observer of UFO’s he can boost the Democratic team’s science credentials — no more of those anti-science Republicans if they are elected. As an added bonus he’s run for president longer than Obama, making him the more experienced pol of the two. He should at least make the short list.
If Kucinich is not to Obama’s liking there is always Charlie Rangel. All those New Yorkers despondent over Hillary Clinton’s loss will have a favorite son on the ticket. Rangel, of course, will help expand Obama’s horizons on the subject of taxes. Obama’s plan to raise taxes on those making more than $75, 000 showed his lack of experience. Rangel will show him how a real tax raiser operates and that “mother of all tax increases” can become reality.
If Kucinich and Rangel are not household names there is always Nancy Pelosi. Women voters will be delighted to have her on the ticket (as will Steny Hoyer who can finally claim the Speaker’s seat). Her vast legislative experience, devotion to protectionism, defense of strict gun control and coziness with Bashar al-Assad (a little foreign policy experience is fine, I suppose) will insure that not a single Big Labor donation or San Francisco vote is lost. And, given her single-handed blockade of House action on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the trial lawyers would continue to pour money on Democrats.
Finally, there is Ralph Nader. There’s a man who knows something about the auto industry and the plethora of other businesses stealing, polluting, price fixing and generally ripping off every American. And Obama won’t need Al Gore in his cabinet once he has the real Green candidate and a plan to outlaw the internal combustion engine.
So there are many good picks for Obama if he is looking for someone without foreign policy credentials. And to our friends on the Left who have started worrying that the Agent of Change has a Godzilla-sized ego and shows an odd lack of appreciation of his own shortcomings, we can only say it is not too late to find a VP with gravitas. I hear the humble and battle-tested Hillary Clinton may be available.