Big Tent Democrat is concern-trolling again. He links approvingly to a piece from The Politico where Mario Cuomo says

No matter who he picks, the question is going to be raised: Are you telling me that this person would be a better qualified vice president than Hillary Clinton?
BTD responds with this nugget.
Indeed. And the response to that query from some Obama supporters will denigrate Hillary Clinton. That will hurt Obama.
That might be true if pure qualifications were the only thing in play for the VP spot. It isn't, and in fact, it's rarely even the main consideration.

One quick thing, before I get into the other considerations. Why is the question always framed as though the candidate gets to pick someone--doesn't the person who's been picked have any say in whether or not he or she would take the job? Isn't it possible that Clinton might look at the situation and think that she has more of an opportunity to steer the nation from her position as a Senator in the majority, chairing powerful committees, perhaps even becoming Majority Leader one day? I said long ago that I thought Obama should ask her first, as long as he thought he could make it work--don't just do it for show, in other words--but there's always the real possibility that Clinton could say no, that trading her real power for the often symbolic position of VP might not be appealing.

As for the rest--Cuomo and BTD are putting a lot of weight on qualifications for the position. But there are lots of qualified people out there. More qualified than Clinton? That's tough. Much as I dislike him, I'd say that Joe Biden has at least as much experience as Clinton does, and they're similar on national security matters. Kathleen Sebelius and Janet Napolitano both have more executive experience than Clinton does, and I'm not discounting her White House time in saying that. Hell, if it comes to overall experience, it's hard to beat Bill Richardson's resumé--he has diplomatic, executive and legislative time under his belt.

But Richardson isn't even in the final list of most pundits, neither is Napolitano, and Biden is only barely there. Why? Because resumé isn't everything. Obama might want someone who's close on ideology, or who can give him a boost in a close state (though that effect is way overrated), or who he just thinks he can work with. For that matter--and this is gruesome to think about--he might be looking for life insurance, a la Dan Quayle. I hope he doesn't do that, by the way.

My point is that there's more than simple qualifications to determining a running mate, and so anyone who is offended when Obama asks someone else, assuming he does, is looking for a reason to be offended.

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