Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Obama's VP Needs to be a 4-Star General

It's an obvious problem facing Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as both head to the November presidential election. While a majority of Americans are against the Iraq war and believe the Bush administration took its eye off terror organizations like al Qaeda, they see Sen. John McCain, the GOP's presumptive nominee, as being stronger on foreign affairs and national security. Despite thhis clear disadvantage, the odds-on favorites to be selected as Obama's vice presidential running mate are little known state Governors --Evan Bayh (Ind) and Tim Kaine (VA)-- who have no real foreign policy or national security experience. We are a nation at war, targeted by Islamic terrorists, and now back in a potential Cold War with a militaristically invigorated Russia, which has just invaded the Republic of Georgia.

So, why are two neophytes on the world stage, Bayh and Kaine, at the top of the list when Obama himself has zero foreign policy or national security chops? With McCain perceived by voters as the more capable commander-in-chief, leading in the polls by about 25 points on this issue, Obama's gonna need more than Bayh or Kaine if he expects to occupy the White House in January. Which is why he and the party must put the offensive block on the GOP by choosing a retired 4-star general as his running mate. Someone like Colin Powell, Eric Shinseki, Anthony Zinni or Wesley Clark. A move like this would totally disarm the McCain campaign and take away one of it's biggest attack points: that an Obama presidency would be woefully ill-equipped to defend America. Who better than to be at Obama's side helping to protect the United States than his 4-star general vice-president? In an age where, thanks to Dick Cheney, VP's are viewed as having much more influence and power than ever, this could prove to be a critical strategic maneuver on the part of Democrats. It would allow Obama to point to Iraq, Russia, Iran and the battle against terrorism and project strength, experience and voters a sense of confidence that his administration, contrary to the relentless GOP talking points, is highly capable, more capable that McCain, of defending America both at home and abroad. Think of the image of Obama standing beside a uniformed 4-star general. Think of what that image projects to these voters, amny of whom are independants still on the fence.

Conventional wisdom argues that one's choice of VP means little or nothing come November. There's no real guarantee they'll "deliver" their home states and, virtually everyone simply votes for the top of the ticket anyway, no matter how bad the VP choices appear to be. Case in point Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew. These clowns didn't stop Richard Nixon or Pappi Bush from winning. But, given the global stage these days, and the edge McCain has on foreign affairs, coupled with how the GOP has successfully defined Democrats as weak on national security, the selection of a 4-star general could very well, against 2008's treacherous international landscape, have major impact on the outcome of this election in particular.

Some notable choices for Obama would be retired Army generals Clark, Shinseki and Powell, along with the Marine Corps' Zinni. Clark's a Democrat who's already tried his hand at the presidency in 2004, and failed. But he'd make for a terrific Veep. Given the crisis in Georgia, with his track-record in Bosnia, he'd be a great running mate, as would the others, all of whom have a bone to pick with the Busheviks. Shinseki was fired after arguing that at least 300,000 post-invasion troops would be necessary in Iraq to properly stabilize the country. We now know he was dead-right. Zinni, former chief of the Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East, knows more about what's needed in Iraq than perhaps anyone, and he's been at odds with President Bush over this handling of the war. And Powell, for obvious bi-partisan and celebrity-cache reasons, would be a coup.

No matter how you slice it, this is the image Obama must project for his administration. As with 2004, what will award the White House to Republicans is fear, plain and simple; Americans' desire to feel safe and secure and protected here at home. On this front, McCain wins hands down. Unfortunately, guys like Bayh and Kaine, or any other generally unexciting, inexperienced, relatively unknown potential running mate, doesn't even make a dent. It's time Democrats once and for all trump the GOP on matters of national security.


John Callender said...

I have to believe you just haven't noticed this, since you're not all over it:

Vigilante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vigilante said...

Yes! Clark for Veep! Exactly what I have been saying, here and here and here and here and here and here! It's not rocket science or neurosurgery. It's smart, tough politics.

Anonymous said...


Evan Bayh is not a Governor anymore. He hasn't been one since 1997 and was elected a United States Senator in November of 1998.

He left office with the highest popularity ratings of any Indiana governor ever, I believe. He was credited with turning around the Indiana economy while cutting taxes. In both of his races for the Senate, he won with over 60% of the vote.

I'm not necessarily advocating picking Bayh, but it must be considered attractive in that he would likely help Obama win a traditionally deep red state like Indiana and its 11 electoral votes.

BTW, most Dems over the age of 50 remember Evan's Daddy - Birch Bayh. Among other notable accomplishments, he was the principle Senate sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment and was instrumental in getting passed Title XI which gives women equal rights in sports and academics at public schools.

Anonymous said...

Of course that should have been Title IX... sorry.

Anonymous said...

First we are not at war. We are occupying two countries. Stop using the GOP's language. Second the last thing America needs is a VP in uniform. Hitler wore a uniform.

Don’t be such a chicken shit. If the American people elect, or if enough of them vote for McCain that the Repug’s can steal the election they get what they deserve. I don’t think they will.

Anonymous said...

Because of the tragedy of Cheney running the country because the President is inadequate, I shudder that we have to once again think of having a president who is inadequate and who must turn the country over to someone who was not eledted to be the leader of the world. We need a president who is sufficient to run the country by himself. What if his v.p. and "brain" died?

Clark has his own scandal problems and I feared he would be our candidate last time and we would lose;

Powell is a Republican. Remember? Remember how he caved in the Iraq WMDs and didn't resign in protest?
We Dems don't need a Repbublican VP and a President who has already gone "right."

Anonymous said...

Powell was a Bush man. He followed him and lied to the UN about WMD. He had to know what was going on. We don't need or want him back. And we don't need a Republican v.p. if Obama is elected. It's bad enough that he's swinging toward the right.

Biden's personality will ruin it for the Dems during the campaign, if he's the vp candidate.

I remember something, too, about Clark's misdeeds -- forget the details.

Anonymous said...

reminder: Clark ignored direct commands from his superiors

Anonymous said...

Editings suggested:
"one of its~~no apostrophe~~ biggest attack points"
"standing beside a uniformed 4-star general"...No! A retired general would not be in uniform!
"amny~~many~~typo~~ of"
"independents~~sp.!~~ still on the fence".
"tried his hand at the Presidency"~~proper noun (constitutional branch of government)
"protected here at home?" rhetorical question, therefore interrogation mark needed to end sentence


I urge you to get this blog entry into David Axelrod's hands ASAP! Barack's campaign manager.

William C. Myers


Anonymous said...

Obama can't even stand up to Hillary! She gets a nomination at the convention even though we already know Obama has won ? Can the Democrats be any more phony ?

Oh, I forgot that they can be more phony. They are supposed to have a 'green' convention yet there is a shortage of limousines for the convention. Haven't the elitist Democrats heard of car pooling or public transportation ? Will the limousine liberals properly inflate their tires before the convention ?

Anonymous said...

The VP doesn't matter. Obama will never be POTUS. The pipe dream that anyone really wants him as POTUS is exactly that, a dream or nightmare depending on your grasp of reality.

Anonymous said...

Obama as the nominee should never have happened. No matter who he picks, we are screwed.

Anonymous said...

So, who knew Cindy Hensley McCain had a half-sister who their father, and Cindy, have not exactly embraced with "family values"...

Anonymous said...

"We" are only screwed if John McCain takes residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The only way that happens is if Democrats decide to destroy themselves from within.

Thankfully Senators Clinton and Obama understand this, have moved past the acrimony and are working together to focus our attention on the real enemy within - the GOP.

Anonymous said...

8:41 PM,
Fuck You. You are the problem with America. A difference in political ideology doesn't make us enemies.

Anonymous said...


I wonder if the language police are going to intervene and call you out for your vulgarity?

Yes, the GOP is my political enemy. For but one example: When its presumptive leader de facto calls the presumptive leader of my party a traitor, what am I to think he thinks of me since I agree with Senator Obama's position on Iraq? We're pals?

Unlike my relatively benign comments, for over 20 years the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and others have saturated the radio waves with language that not only seeks to divide along political lines but actually draw a distinction from those lines as to who is truly American and who is not as well as occasionally advocating violence against those who do not agree with them.

I suggest you clean your own house.

Vigilante said...

The problem with this blog continues to be allowing anonymous comment.

The problem with David Axelrod is that he's encouraging Barack Obama act like a Barakis-Dukakis.

Anonymous said...


I agree with both of your assessments.

Now that he's back from vacation, expect to see more sharp and direct attacks/rebuttals from Obama such as we saw yesterday in New Mexico and today at the VFW meeting.

If Biden is the VP selection, I'll give him one plus - he's not hesitant in any way to blast Bush and McCain for their foreign or domestic blunders.

Vigilante said...

Yeah, Biden would be acceptable, Michael. Good point.

Anonymous said...

I agree with vigilante,
Biden the plagiarist and racist would be a good choice for the Democrats.

"you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent." -- Joe Biden

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man." -- Joe Biden

I'd search for more racist Biden quotes but googling "biden racist" results in 400,000 links.

Anonymous said...

Plagiarist? Still trying to pin the Dukakis "Nile Kinnock" smear on him, huh?

Google searches:

McCain racist = 3.2 million links
Romney racist = nearly 1 million links
Lieberman racist = 600,000+ links
Ridge racist = 145,000 links
Pawlenty racist = 70,000+ links for a small-state governor with less than 10% minority status.

Here's my favorite:

Mother Theresa racist = almost 200,000 links, so she's only half the racist Joe Biden is but a bigger one than Tom Ridge or Tim Pawlenty.

Anonymous said...

4:10 How many racist hits for Obama or his church?

I heard Michelle nixed Biden because she wanted hubby to choose someone he will be more comfortable with.

Just as well -- Biden will steal the show with his long harangues and his neurotic episodes. But he would supply passion and drama that have been missing from Obama.

Anonymous said...

The democrats dwarf your this:

Pelosi + racist --> 991,000 links

Reid + racist --> 1,000,000+ links

"Hillary Clinton" + racist --> 4,500,000

"Bill Clinton" + racist --> 3,500,000

"John Edwards" + racist --> 1,980,000

"John Kerry" + racist --> 1,870,000

Anonymous said...

I'm sure neither of you accessed the "racist" links They may be links reporting instances when The Reverend wright called all those on the two lists racists. The only key word is "racist" and could have any context.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for being a voice of reason (and recognizing sarcasm) among the throng of GOP stupidity infesting Ostroyland.

Vigilante said...

I'll rejoin this thread when anonymous comments are deleted by the Administrator.

Anonymous said...

Oh, vigilante, we are so sorry you're leaving this blog just we were getting to know you. And how do we know -- because "vigilante" is so much more revealing than "anonymous" Of course we don't know where you live, what you do for a living, how many inyour family, your interests, your hobbies, your policial connections, etc. but we do know you call yourself "vigilante" and that just puts the little reveals by "anonymous" to shame.

Goodbye, dear friend.

Anonymous said...


What is it about Ostroy's blog that prompts so many individuals to claim the ability to speak for others in a collective?

Who are the "we" you claim to speak for?

Anonymous said...

12:42 Are you as illiterate as you appear to be?

When one uses "we" he is talking about a group of which he is a member. I child may say "We have recess every day at 11a.m. The child does not mean a vast, unknown collective; the child means the "we" of his group.

The "we" in the commentary means all of those who feel the same way. Or, it could have been sarcasm and there is one or none involved.

Surely that is a basic understanding to one who speaks English. Is English your second language? Go take a course somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Here Here 10:37 PM,
I'm with you so can officially use the word 'we' without the liberals getting their panties in a bunch.

And to address Vigilante's post. Didn't you "leave" this blog once already ? Keep trying to censor opinions that you disagree with, it illustrates the mentality of the 'classic lib'.

Anonymous said...

He or she is not illiterate at all.

What group are you speaking for and/or a member of or represent? It's not clear to me, either.

Anonymous said...

oh y'all it's going to be Hillary. Maybe she can get commissioned as a general!!!