Where is the value in the Vice-Presidential Betting?

November 14, 2007


Why I have bet on Webb and Warner.

Having bet on Jim Webb and Mark Warner (and also on Kerrey, Nunn and the ‘field’ option) I am now going to explain why I think that the following have a good shot at being on the bottom of the ticket.

Jim Webb – Jim Webb is from Virginia, a state that Democrats should be looking to win.. As a former member of the Reagan administration who gradually became a populist he has clear appeal to blue-collar ‘Reagan Democrats’ whose election day allegiances often swing close contests. Although he is anti-war, and consequently beloved by the ‘netroots’ he has impeccable national security credentials as a Vietnam War Hero, a former Secretary of the Navy and as a father of a Marine fighting in Iraq. Although his controversial views on the Civil War and suitability of woman in combat, as well as a political philosophy which appeals to those who think that the trouble with Ross Perot was that he was not Scots-Irish enough, would raise some eyebrows this factor should not be overestimated. Indeed, it might be thought that his presence on the ticket might mollify any chauvinists or racists wary of voting for the Democrat frontrunners.

Mark Warner – As I said before, Warner’s is moderate, experienced and his home state of Virginia is marginal enough to make putting him on the ticket good from an Electoral College point of view. The only problem is that he might be too moderate for the ‘netroots’ and he is currently committed to running for the Senate (and a possible 2012 bid). However, I believe that the benefits of having him on the ticket are such that he might be asked to ‘take one for the team’ and abandon his run in favour of second place on the ticket. Indeed, if Hillary is forced to move to the left during the primaries having a moderate Southerner on the ticket will be imperative.

Other possible candidates who could be on the bottom half of the ticket include (with the exception of Nunn and Kerrey they are covered by the ‘field’ option):

Ken Salazar: Latino and from a swing state (Colorado). Moderate in his views and a successful state attorney-general before he was elected to the Senate in 2004.

Sanford Bishop: Experienced congressman and a respected leader of the conservative ‘blue dog’ wing of the Democrats.

Sherrod Brown: Senator for the swing state of Ohio. Populist rhetoric would pacify the left and allow Clinton to run a more restrained campaign.

Harold Ford Jr: Experienced and charismatic former congressman who was controversially defeated for the Senate in 2006. Currently chairman of the centrist DLC.

Sam Nunn. Experienced former Senator from Georgia. National security and defense expertise adds credibility on foreign affairs to the ticket.

Bill Nelson. Well respected and experienced senator from Florida.

Janet Napolitano: Popular governor of Arizona, and would mollify female voters if Hillary went down in flames.

Bob Kerrey. Vietnam war hero (although some controversy over an incident during his service). Well respected and popular centrist.


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