Saturday, July 26, 2008


I don't know what the hell the Obama people are doing sending out hints that Ann Veneman, the former Bush agriculture secretary, is being considered for VP -- as the story at the link notes, she was a lousy regulator of the food industry, which would seem to be a glaringly obvious dealbreaker in an era of multiple food safety scares. All I can imagine is that they're planning to announce a pick soon and it's a male, so they're trying to damp down criticism from Clintonites -- as if this would help -- or they think McCain's going to beat them to an announcement and his pick is going to be Carly Fiorina or Sarah Palin.

When I saw a teaser for the linked story at another site, it said Obama was considering a female former Bush cabinet secretary, and I thought, "Oh, he's floating Christie Whitman's name -- that's not a bad move." Yes, Whitman deserves a lot of the blame for health problems of Ground Zero workers, but she's an old-school moderate Republican, and pro-choice to boot, not to mention a critic of her own party's ideologues, so a float of her name would send the signal that Obama intends to appeal to the left and center and that he thinks McCain is crouching in the far right corner.

Did Team Obama want to float Whitman's name, but she refused to let her name be floated? I really don't know how these things work. If that's the case, they would have done better just to drop the whole idea. This comes off as a bit desperate.


UPDATE: I'm reminded in comments that I'm being awfully nice to Christie Whitman and forgetting this appalling incident. My apologies.

No comments: