On the Record

Next Step: Choosing a Running Mate

David Brooks, E.J. Dionne and Robert Siegel

E.J. Dionne joins David Brooks of The New York Times to discuss the possible Vice President choices for the Democratic and Republican Party on NPR’s All Things Considered with Robert Siegel.

Robert Siegel, host: This is All Things Considered from NPR News, I’m Robert Siegel. We start with politics, what happened this week and what happens next. Tomorrow, Hillary Clintons is expected to announce her support for Barack Obama. Senator Clinton is holding what is billed as an event for her supporters at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C., thousands are expected to show up. Just last night, Clinton and Obama held a face to face meeting at the home of Clinton supporter, Senator Diane Feinstein. The candidates talked for an hour, just the two of them. Feinstein did not seat in the meeting, but she said it ended in laughter. Going back to Tuesday night, many expected Clinton to announce her support for Obama then. Speaking in New York, she didn’t praise Obama as a competitor, friend and an inspiration to many voters. As for just what Obama has accomplished, Clinton didn’t say. Later that evening, he did. And as such, Senator Obama could turn his attention to the task of picking a running mate. And to talk about running mates, Democratic and Republican, we assembled a fusion ticket of E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. Welcome back.

E.J Dionne, David Brooks: Hi there.

Siegel: Well first E.J., a running mate for Obama, who makes sense and who especially doesn’t.

Dionne: Well obviously there’s the whole Clinton issue every single day. And from the campaign is that they don’t want Mrs. Clinton, I think she may have talked herself out of that job with that speech on Tuesday night, suggesting how complicated this could get. I think the case for her was getting stronger as she was doing so well in the primaries, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. So you’re looking at I think, Joe Biden, who will add a whole lot in both his experience and foreign policy, he’s Catholic, he grew up in Pennsylvania, a key state, so I think there’s the kind of national security choice. Then there are the choices that would help you win a state, Ted Strickland, the Governor of Ohio is on everyone’s list. There’s a threesome in Virginia, Jim Webb Senator, Mark Warner former Governor running for the Senate so he’s probably out of it, and Governor Tim Kaine. Webb would be very intriguing. He would be very good at trying to get those Scot-Irish votes in Appalachia because he’s written a lot and thought a lot about the Scot-Irish, although, he does not seem the sort of person who would like to play a supporting role to anyone. And then he could go for a woman, the problem there is that most of the obvious women, Governor Sebelius of Kansas, Governor Napolitano of Arizona, supported him and so he wouldn’t necessarily make any of the Clinton folks feel very good.

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