INSIDE WASHINGTON

Political Insiders Poll

National Journal
James A. Barnes And Peter Bell
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James A. Barnes and Peter Bell
May 23, 2008, 8 p.m.

Q: Who would make a good run­ning mate for Barack Obama?

Demo­crats (78 votes)

Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton of New York 17 per­cent Kan­sas Gov. Kath­leen Se­beli­us 12 per­cent Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware 9 per­cent Ohio Gov. Ted Strick­land 9 per­cent Sen. Jim Webb of Vir­gin­ia 9 per­cent Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell 8 per­cent

Also re­ceiv­ing votes: Sen. Evan Bayh of In­di­ana, re­tired Gen. Wes­ley Clark, former Sen. John Ed­wards of North Car­o­lina, New Mex­ico Gov. Bill Richard­son, “too soon to an­swer,” 4 per­cent each; Sen. Chris­toph­er Dodd of Con­necti­c­ut, Sen. Bill Nel­son of Flor­ida, former Sec­ret­ary of State Colin Pow­ell, former Vir­gin­ia Gov. Mark Warner, 3 per­cent each; New York City May­or Mi­chael Bloomberg, re­tired Gen. Jim Jones, Vir­gin­ia Gov. Tim Kaine, “doesn’t mat­ter,” “not Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton,” “someone qual­i­fied,” 1 per­cent each.

Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton

“She re­ceived a ma­jor­ity of votes from wo­men, seni­ors, Lati­nos, and blue col­lars in the primar­ies. We need those voters ex­cited in the gen­er­al elec­tion.”

“As­sum­ing that ‘good run­ning mate’ is a syn­onym for a vice pres­id­en­tial se­lec­tion who can help you get to the swear­ing-in ce­re­mony, Hil­lary Clin­ton is the an­swer, though it is un­likely as long as Obama sup­port­ers refer to Clin­ton cam­paign­ers as ‘you people.’ “

“One way or an­oth­er, like it or not, he is go­ing to need help with the work­ing class and wo­men.”

“People will say, Obama needs an old-guard white male with for­eign-policy ex­per­i­ence to bal­ance out John Mc­Cain. I think it will be a mis­take to try to com­pete with a Mc­Cain pres­id­en­tial can­did­acy with a vice pres­id­en­tial can­did­acy. He needs a wo­man on the tick­et, and pos­sibly even a Re­pub­lic­an wo­man. The prob­lem is, how can he pick any oth­er wo­man but Clin­ton?”

“There’s al­ways an up­side and a down­side to any se­lec­tion. Obama should suck it up, his top sup­port­ers should suck it up, and the party bigs should weigh in and put this his­tor­ic tick­et to­geth­er.”

“We can’t seem to make up our mind, so in clas­sic con­sumer ex­cess we should buy both.”

Kath­leen Se­beli­us

“Gov­ernor, fe­male, viewed as pro­fes­sion­al and prin­cipled.”

“What more can you ask for? As a D.C. out­sider from a red state, she un­der­scores the Obama mes­sage that he rep­res­ents change and that he will be the pres­id­ent of blue staters and red staters. It would also be a ges­ture to the dis­ap­poin­ted fem­in­ist back­ers of Hil­lary Clin­ton. Fi­nally, hers and Obama’s roots in Kan­sas may just put the state in play for the Demo­crats.”

Joseph Biden

“Joe Biden, a tested can­did­ate with the re­spect of many in party circles, would fit the bill. Geo­graph­ic­al bal­ance and the need to as­suage a con­stitu­ency or two will be dwarfed by the need to mute Mc­Cain’s clearest strength in the gen­er­al elec­tion.”

“Who brings for­eign-policy heft and na­tion­al se­cur­ity ex­pert­ise? Who con­nects to white, blue-col­lar, hard­work­ing men? Who isn’t afraid to take the gloves off? Who’s ready to be pres­id­ent if, God for­bid, duty calls? Joe Biden.”

“To beat Mc­Cain, Obama will greatly need someone with ex­per­i­ence and stature who ac­tu­ally knows and has dealt with for­eign lead­ers.”

Ted Strick­land

“Strick­land brings a num­ber of pluses to the Obama cam­paign—ex­per­i­ence, gov­ernor of a key state, cred­ib­il­ity with blue-col­lar voters, and back­ground as a min­is­ter. Al­most as im­port­ant is his pres­ence as a prom­in­ent Clin­ton sup­port­er, as Obama will need to unite the party over the sum­mer.”

“Strick­land is pro-gun, a former min­is­ter, and is pop­u­lar with the uni­ons. Most im­port­antly, Strick­land has em­phat­ic­ally stated that he doesn’t want to be vice pres­id­ent, which shows how nor­mal and sane he really is.”

Jim Webb

“He can go toe-to-toe with Mc­Cain on se­cur­ity, won Vir­gin­ia with a strong eco­nom­ic pop­u­list mes­sage, and will do what a vice pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate should do—de­fend the can­did­ate, carry the mes­sage, and make the choice crys­tal clear.”

“He puts a pre­vi­ously red state in play, he is a former Re­pub­lic­an, and he has a strong mil­it­ary back­ground.”

Ed Rendell

“It has to be someone who can at­tract the Clin­ton voters, but par­tic­u­larly those in the in­dus­tri­al Mid­w­est. If not Clin­ton her­self, the most ob­vi­ous choice is Rendell. He is a gov­ernor who can de­liv­er Pennsylvania, he can get the Clin­tons to be act­ive for the tick­et, and he is Jew­ish—a group with con­cerns about Obama.”

“Pick­ing a [Hil­lary Clin­ton] loy­al­ist will help heal the party more quickly. And Rendell would help Obama con­nect with blue-col­lar voters in the Rust Belt states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.”

Demo­crat­ic Polit­ic­al In­siders Kar­en Ack­er­man, Jill Alp­er, Dav­id Axel­rod, Brad Ban­non, Dave Beat­tie, Andy Bech­hoe­fer, Cor­nell Belch­er, Mitchell W. Ber­ger, Mike Ber­man, Donna Brazile, Mark Brew­er, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Cal­la­han, Bon­nie Camp­bell, Bill Car­rick, Mar­tin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Jim Craig, Jerry Craw­ford, Stephanie Cut­ter, Jeff Daniel­son, Jim De­mers, Tad Dev­ine, Debbie Din­gell, Mon­ica Dix­on, Mi­chael Doni­lon, Tom Doni­lon, An­ita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve El­men­d­orf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Fer­son, Gor­don Fisc­her, Tina Flournoy, Don Fo­ley, Don Fowl­er, Gina Glantz, Joe Grand­mais­on, Anna Green­berg, Stan Green­berg, Pat Griffin, Mi­chael Gron­stal, Mar­cia Hale, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Mike Henry, Leo Hindery, Jr., Har­old Ickes, Mar­cus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jard­ing, Jona­thon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kauf­man, Shar Knut­son, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, Dav­id Lang, Sylvia Larsen, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Steve Marchand, Jim Mar­gol­is, Paul Maslin, Terry McAul­iffe, Car­oline Mc­Car­ley, Susan Mc­Cue, Ger­ald McEntee, Tom McMa­hon, Phil Mc­Namara, Dav­id Med­ina, Mark Mell­man, John Mer­rigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Na­pol­it­ano, Dav­id Nas­sar, Mar­cia Nich­ols, John Nor­ris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Don­nell, Scott Par­ven, Jef­frey Peck, De­bora Pig­na­telli, John Podesta, Tony Podesta, Bruce Reed, Mame Re­iley, Steve Ric­chetti, Susan Rice, Will Robin­son, Steve Rosenth­al, Dav­id Rudd, John Ry­an, Wendy Sher­man, Terry Shu­maker, Bob Slagle, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Darry Sragow, Karl Struble, Kat­rina Swett, Sarah Swish­er, Eric Tabor, Jef­frey Tram­mell, Ed Tur­l­ing­ton, Mike Ve­on, Rick Wien­er, Brid­gette Wil­li­ams, and JoDee Win­ter­hof, Jim Zo­gby.

Q: Who would make a good run­ning mate for John Mc­Cain?

Re­pub­lic­ans (81 votes)

Now 2/23/08 Ex-Mas­sachu­setts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney 32 per­cent 11 per­cent Ex-OMB Dir­ect­or Rob Port­man 14 per­cent 8 per­cent Min­nesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty 9 per­cent 15 per­cent Sen. Joe Lieber­man of Con­necti­c­ut 6 per­cent 7 per­cent Rep. Eric Can­tor of Vir­gin­ia 4 per­cent 0 per­cent Flor­ida Gov. Charlie Crist 4 per­cent 6 per­cent Ex-Sec­ret­ary of State Colin Pow­ell 4 per­cent 1 per­cent

Mitt Rom­ney

“He’s been vet­ted by the na­tion­al press, can help with swing states of Michigan and New Hamp­shire, and has the best fun­drais­ing ma­chine in the coun­try. Few oth­ers bring as much or more.”

“I would not have said this two months ago, but I think he would help Mc­Cain with con­ser­vat­ives and on the eco­nomy. He’d also be re­as­sur­ing as a po­ten­tial pres­id­ent, hav­ing passed that bar as a res­ult of the cam­paign. Fi­nally, if Mc­Cain is to suc­cess­fully ques­tion Obama’s read­i­ness to be pres­id­ent, his own run­ning mate must have bet­ter cre­den­tials than Obama. Rom­ney does.”

“Ap­pears to be the only can­did­ate who fits the bill: stature, eco­nom­ic cre­den­tials, ex­ec­ut­ive ex­per­i­ence, fully vet­ted, able to raise lots of money.”

“It ap­pears that Mc­Cain and Rom­ney have put their past is­sues be­hind them. Rom­ney has been an ar­tic­u­late spokes­per­son for Mc­Cain in re­cent months and would bring some much-needed en­ergy to the Re­pub­lic­an base.”

“Can talk eco­nomy, can talk health care: cov­ers two of the top three is­sues this fall that Mc­Cain doesn’t care about.

“Think ‘M’: Michigan and money.”

Rob Port­man

“His back­ground and ex­per­i­ence—sub­stant­ive le­gis­lat­or able to work with Demo­crats; in­ter­na­tion­al ne­go­ti­at­or; eco­nom­ics and fin­ance—would be a ma­ter­i­al ad­di­tion to the tick­et. More im­port­antly, he is a su­perb cam­paign strategist, mes­sage ar­tic­u­lat­or, and de­bater.”

“He’s tele­gen­ic, smart, has Wash­ing­ton ex­per­i­ence, and comes from Ohio.”

“Youth­ful, from Ohio, and a strong eco­nom­ic, budget, and trade back­ground. Mc­Cain does not need a South­ern­er. He needs someone from the Mid­w­est.”

“Mc­Cain needs to reach out to eco­nom­ic con­ser­vat­ives. And Port­man’s philo­soph­ic­al dir­ec­tion and in­stincts will help ease their con­cerns about the nom­in­ee.”

Tim Pawlenty

“Lots of pluses: at­tract­ive, smart, swing state, next gen­er­a­tion.”

“Smart, tal­en­ted, young, and suc­cess­ful gov­ernor from a swing state. He adds tre­mend­ous bal­ance to the tick­et.”

“Puts Min­nesota in Mac’s column—no small feat.”

Joe Lieber­man

“Every­one throws things at me when I sug­gest this, but it would define Mc­Cain as the guy who really can reach across party lines and bring the coun­try to­geth­er. And it would say the war is the de­fin­ing is­sue.”

“Fu­sion tick­et and gets bey­ond pure par­tis­an­ship. He’s been vet­ted and knows the ropes. Down side: Giv­en Mc­Cain’s age, are we ready for a Jew­ish pres­id­ent?”

Eric Can­tor

“Jew­ish money and votes are the tip of the ice­berg. He’s young, cha­ris­mat­ic, con­ser­vat­ive, strong on do­mest­ic policy, and a fa­vor­ite of the Re­li­gious Right.”

Charlie Crist

“He is a pop­u­lar Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernor from a South­ern swing state with a big Elect­or­al Col­lege vote total. This should be an ab­so­lute no-brain­er.”

“This race will be 99 per­cent about Obama and Mc­Cain. To the ex­tent that the veep mat­ters at all, we may as well go for someone to pro­tect a vul­ner­able large state.”

Colin Pow­ell

“The stand­ard polit­ic­al think­ing of a con­ser­vat­ive versus mod­er­ate or South­ern­er versus Mid­west­ern­er won’t ap­ply for Mc­Cain: This will be more of a per­son­al choice, one that re­flects who Mc­Cain truly be­lieves is pre­pared to be pres­id­ent the day his ad­min­is­tra­tion is sworn in.”

“How could any­one vote against a Mc­Cain-Pow­ell tick­et?”

GOP Polit­ic­al In­siders Dan Al­len, Stan An­der­son, Gary An­dres, Saul­i­us (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bain­wol, Gary Bauer, Dav­id Beck­with, Wayne Ber­man, Charlie Black, Kirk Bla­lock, Car­mine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bon­jean, Jeff Bu­ley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Danny Car­roll, Ron Christie, Jim Cic­coni, Cesar Conda, Jake Cor­man, Greg Crist, Di­ane Crookham-John­son, Fer­gus Cul­len, Rick Dav­is, Mike Den­nehy, Ken Duber­stein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Frank Fahren­kopf, John Fee­hery, Don Fierce, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Sam Geduldig, Ben­jamin Gins­berg, Dav­id Gir­ard-di­Carlo, Bill Green­er, Jonath­an Grella, Lanny Grif­fith, Janet Mullins Gris­som, Doug Gross, Todd Har­ris, Steve Hart, Chris­toph­er Healy, Ral­ph Hell­mann, Chris Hen­ick, Terry Holt, Dav­id Ian­nel­li, Clark Judge, Dav­id Keat­ing, Dav­id Ken­sing­er, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjel­lander, Ed Kut­ler, Chris La­civ­ita, Jim Lake, Chuck Lar­son, Steve Lom­bardo, Joel Maiola, Gary Malo­ney, Dav­id Mar­in, Mary Matal­in, Dan Mat­toon, Bill McIn­turff, Mark McKin­non, Kyle Mc­Slar­row, Ken Mehl­man, Jim Mer­rill, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nel­son, Neil Ne­w­house, Dav­id Nor­cross, Zi­ad Ojakli, Jack Oliv­er, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, Dav­id Rehr, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, Dav­id Roeder­er, Ed Ro­gers, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, An­drew Shore, Don Sipple, Robin Smith, Javi­er Soto, Fred Steep­er, Bob Steven­son, Eric Tan­en­blatt, Heath Thompson, Jay Tim­mons, War­ren Tomp­kins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Don­gen, Jan van Lo­huizen, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Tom Wilson, Dave Win­ston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

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