When the weak act strong…

by the squid

http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/images/big/45.jpgCongratulations to Senator Obama on sealing the Democratic nomination, he can finally exhale. However, he now needs to make the most important decision of his entire campaign – selecting a Vice President.

Sun Tzu implored strategists: When you are weak, act strong, when you are strong, act weak.

Senator Obama is now strong, but he has a very, very soft underbelly: experience. This is not said to undermine his historic win, as Obama has just beaten his most difficult rival.

However, it is important to remember what happened when Obama ran for his Senate seat in Illinois.

As a state legislator, he ran against Republican incumbent Jack Ryan, who at the time was married to Jerry Ryan of Star Trek fame. During the campaign, the Ryans went through a horrible divorce where allegations of sex club infidelity torpedoed his campaign.

After Ryan ended his campaign, Alan Keyes was asked to run against Obama. Keyes, the only notable Black Republican, lived in Washington DC at the time but rented an apartment in Illinois, to comply with the residency requirement, with the vow to move to Illinois if he won. The Republicans tossed that seat into the bonfire. They gave up and Obama won easily.

Fast forward four years, and Obama beats Clinton. This victory is genuinely huge and shows the Obama can run an effective campaign, but he still has a weakness in the area of leadership experience.

So at this point, to shore up that side of his credentials as a candidate, he needs to have a Vice President who needs no introduction, one who can easily harden Obama’s soft under belly. To broaden his appeal and to possibly unify the country, Senator Obama ought to consider looking across the aisle to select a fiscal or military hawk, a person who is fiscally prudent and has real foreign policy clout.

I believe Senator Obama needs to have former Secretary of State Colin Powell on his short list of possible candidates for Vice President. Powell is more patriot than politician and he needs no introduction to the American people. Foreign leaders know Mr. Powell and his capabilities. He knows government inside and out. He is “Republican” in a limited sense and he even believes in affirmative action. With Mr. Powell, no one speaks of his race but rather of his integrity.

Another reason Colin Powell would be a great choice is because Senator McCain can not use him. A McCain/Powell ticket would be a weak ticket because both men have too much military experience and this would help alienate those who have not served. Similarly, if Senator Obama selects a liberal as his running mate, it will be a disaster and Obama will lose the South, the Mid-West and the general election.

Then there is Hillary Clinton, who is too divisive a person to have an a running mate and beyond that, she comes with angry meddling Bill. Senator Obama would have to spend much of his time defending Bill’s angry ramblings much like he had to defend, then repudiate, his former pastor’s rantings.

If the Hillary supporters actually do vote for McCain out of anger, which I believe they will, this is another reason to select a solid candidate for Vice President that can broaden Senator Obama’s base.

So, congratulations to Senator Obama; Don’t mess it up!

One Response to When the weak act strong…

  1. It does look like Powell is definitely not interested in becoming McCain’s veep, because according to this report, when given the opportunity to express his support for McCain, this is what happened instead:

    “Colin Powell, the former Republican secretary of state, says he is not ruling out a vote for Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee for president.

    While Mr. Powell served in the administrations of two Republican presidents, he suggested yesterday his support for presumed Republican nominee John McCain is not a forgone conclusion.

    He noted that although both he and Mr. Obama are black, he would not cast a vote for the Illinois senator on the basis of race.

    “I will vote for the individual I think that brings the best set of tools to the problems of 21st-century America and the 21st-century world regardless of party, regardless of anything else other than the most qualified candidate,” Mr. Powell said at a news conference before delivering a speech to about 800 people attending a leadership forum at the Vancouver Convention Centre.”

    “Both of them certainly have the qualifications to be the president of the United States , but both of them cannot be,” he said.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080613.BCPOWELL13/TPStory/National

    (emphasis added) It is always nice to hear a prominent military leader say that Obama is qualified to be the president.

    [via drudge]

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