Monday, June 9, 2008

The Small-Town Mayor Test, Pt. 2

Since I'm trying not to do my homework (and succeeding famously), I figured I'd go about applying the Small-Town Mayor Test to the 32 candidates listed here. At least a "maybe" is necessary to continue.

Could they be a mid-western small town mayor?

Clinton? Maybe
Casey? Yes
Kerry? No
Vilsack? Yes. In fact, he was.
Rendell? Maybe
Gephardt? Yes
Zinni? Yes. His hometown is tiny.
Strickland? Yes
Edwards? Maybe
Ford, Jr.? Maybe
Schweitzer? Maybe
Bredesen? Yes
Dodd? No
Bayh? Maybe
McCaskill? Yes
Clark? Maybe
Sebelius? Yes
Daschle? Maybe
Kaine? Yes
Hagel? Yes
Lincoln? Yes
Cleland? Yes
Roemer? Maybe
Biden? Maybe
Richardson? Maybe
Bloomberg? No
Napolitano? No
Webb? Yes
Nunn? Maybe
Powell? Maybe
Bradley? No
Gore? Yes

OK, so that knocks out Kerry, Dodd, Sebelius, Bloomberg, Napolitano, and Bradley, a few likely short listers, and a couple of names you'll never see anywhere near the short list. Now, I knock off other names that are simply implausible for one reason or another: Clinton (obvio), Edwards (said no), Ford, Jr. (black and conservative), Hagel (Republican), Nunn (dude'll be 70 by election day), Powell (black and conservative), Gore (obvio).

OK, that leaves us with Sens. Bayh, Biden, Casey, Cleland, Daschle, Lincoln, McCaskill and Webb; Govs. Bredesen, Kaine, Rendell, Richardson, Schweitzer, Sebelius, Strickland, Vilsack; Reps. Gephardt and Roemer; and Gens. Clark and Zinni.

For the next elimination round, they've got to be convincing as potential commanders-in-chief.


Bayh? Yes
Biden? Yes
Casey? No
Cleland? Yes
Daschle? Yes
Lincoln? No
McCaskill? No
Webb? Yes
Bredesen? Maybe
Kaine? Maybe
Rendell? Maybe
Richardson? Yes
Schweitzer? Maybe
Sebelius? Maybe
Strickland? Maybe
Vilsack? Maybe
Gephardt? Yes
Roemer? Yes
Clark? Yes
Zinni? Yes

All 17 who got at least maybes are viable running mates. But to get to the top tier, one needs to have something extra. A state or a region where they help enough to add EVs. A characteristic like foreign policy experience that rounds out the ticket. Something big.

Who's got that something extra? Biden (foreign policy, national security), Cleland (fp-ns), Webb (fp-ns, post-partisanship, maybe VA), Kaine (outsider, maybe VA), Rendell (PA), Richardson (fp-ns, NM), Schweitzer (outsider, maybe helps in NV and CO), Sebelius (woman, outsider), Strickland (OH), Roemer (fp-ns), Clark (fp-ns), Zinni (fp-ns). There's my top 12.

Of the governors who only get in by virtue of being outsiders, I prefer Kaine over Schweitzer, who I'm not sure has any real effect in the West. Of the generals, I prefer Clark over Zinni, for having actually been a candidate before and spending quite a bit of time stumping for Democrats all over the country. Of the former members of Congress who get in for national security, I prefer Roemer over Cleland for his relative youth and progressivism and his 9/11 Commission membership. I'm also knocking off Ed Rendell because his machine politics would conflict with Obama's message and the dude's already gonna do everything he can to win us PA, because he gets off on bragging about it.

So, my 8-member short list would be: Sens. Joe Biden and Jim Webb; Govs. Tim Kaine, Bill Richardson, Kathleen Sebelius, and Ted Strickland; Rep. Tim Roemer, and Gen. Wesley Clark.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

That's an interesting analysis. Your short list all look like they would be a good fit for Senator Obama.