Political pundits, local Dems weigh in on possible VP candidates

One thing for sure, exemplified by the number of different names being suggested by the media, political blogs and local Democrats, the selection of a running mate won’t be an easy task.

With Sen. Barack Obama only 61 delegates away from clinching the Democratic presidential nomination, political blogs and national media are speculating who might be considered as Obama’s running mate.

Some of the possible VP candidates being bantered about by political pundits include Sen. Hillary Clinton; Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; former presidential candidates Sen. Chris Dodd of Delaware and Sen. Joe Biden from Connecticut; and other U.S. Senators, Claire McCaskill from Missouri and Jim Webb from Virginia.

Last weekend during the Colorado Democratic Party’s state convention, some Obama delegates weighed on their picks for VP candidates. Their suggestions added up to a shorter list.

Although choosing a vice-presidential running mate will be hard, according to Gay Moore, an Obama supporter from Glenwood Springs, she thought Obama should consider New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson or former U.S. Senator John Edwards, both past Democratic presidential candidates. "In regards to Richardson, who is Latino, I don’t think having two minorities on the ticket would ostracize voters. In fact, it may make the Democratic ticket stronger." She believed Edwards’ strength might be attracting blue-collar workers to the ticket.

"Sen. John Warner from Virginia would be a strong vice-presidential candidate for Obama," said Aspen Mayor Mick Ireland. "Obama needs someone from the South on the ticket."

Ted Barros, a delegate from Pueblo said his first presidential candidate choice was Richardson, but now he is an Obama supporter. "I think Edwards needs to be on the Obama ticket," he said, adding that Richardson would make an excellent Secretary of State. His reasoning for supporting Edwards on the ticket was similar to Irelands: "Obama has to reach out to Southern voters."

Although Tom Allen was a Sen. Hillary Clinton supporter from Greeley, he felt no matter who won the Democratic nomination, a VP candidate should reside west of the Rockies. "We need a Westerner in the White House like Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer."

His wife Barbara, also a Clinton supporter, suggested a Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton ticket, depending on the outcome of the presidential nomination. "I’d like to see Edwards become the next U.S. Attorney General so he can go after the corrupt corporations that have been given a pass under the Bush Administration."

Obama supporters Barbara Colgan from Greeley and Dee Lockwood from Ft. Collins said it would be a tough decision to select a vice-presidential candidate. They settled on Sen. Jim Webb from Virginia, who recently spoke at the state party’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner in February. "I think Edwards would kick ass as AG," Lockwood added.

Several other Democrats informally surveyed put Edwards’ and Richardson’s names to the top of the list for Obama. "I’d take either one," Rick Turner from Greeley said. "I just want to get this Democratic presidential ticket settled so we can go out and start campaigning."

Presumed Republican presidential candidate John McCain also talking to potential VPs

This weekend, McCain is reported to be meeting with several potential VP running mates, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Other guests to McCain’s ranch in Arizona, according to the New York Times, include Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham from South Carolina.