Thursday, June 17, 2004

Who should Kerry pick for VP?

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

Why? In terms of political advantage, he brings 5 electoral votes to the table - not as many as Gephardt's 11, but certainly more than the 0 that Edwards would bring. In 2000, Al Gore won New Mexico by only a few hundred votes, so Richardson would help in that swing state. Conversely, Gephardt's Missouri went for Bush in 2000, by almost 80,000 - not too many to swing the other way, but a little dicier. Richardson is of Hispanic heritage, and that can definitely be emphasized during the campaign - it should help bring out the Hispanic vote for the Democratic ticket. While he's from the Southwest and of Mexican heritage, his ethnic background might even help with enough Cubans, Dominicans, etc to help turn Florida. Richardson has extensive experience in national politics, having served in the House for 15 years, as Secretary of Energy, and as US Ambassador to the UN. His stints at Energy and the UN were during Bill Clinton's administration - and Clinton remains the most popular President of the last 20 years. Richardson has also served Bush II's administration, acting as a mediator and de facto Ambassador in setting up negotiations with North Korea and China over North Korea's nuclear capabilities. He's served as Governor of New Mexico for the last 2 years - a nice balance, both geographically and demograpically, with Kerry's Massachusetts. Northeast/Southwest, dense urban industrial/sparse rural agricultural. A good mix for a national administration that has to understand and accommodate the whole range.

Politically connected, geographically useful, experienced in both the legislative and executive branches, a skilled diplomat, the presumptive "first Hispanic VP candidate" ... a pretty compelling package, I think.

Of course, I doubt that anyone at Kerry HQ cares what my opinion is.

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