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The VP Problem

3:50 PM, May 18, 2008 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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The Washington Post reports:

"There's gale-force pressure for Obama to choose a Clinton loyalist as a running mate to heal the party but avoid putting her and her formidable baggage on the ticket," said one Obama ally in Washington. "You hear the names [Ohio Gov. Ted] Strickland, [Indiana Sen. Evan] Bayh, and [retired general] Wes Clark almost constantly, and it's no secret that Jim Johnson and Tom Daschle are purveyors of that wisdom."

Of the three, Strickland probably makes the most sense as Obama tries to shore up support in the key swing state of Ohio, but the Democratic wing of the Democratic party expects Obama to pursue a 50 state strategy--picking Strickland would signal that Obama plans to fight this election on the same territory as Kerry and Gore did before him. It would be a sign of weakness, but as Dick Morris writes elsewhere in the paper, Obama is a weak candidate:

A candidate who cannot get elected is being nominated by a party that cannot be defeated, while a candidate who is eminently electable is running as the nominee of a party doomed to defeat.

Unlike Obama, Morris argues that McCain doesn't need to worry about his base--that "Obama's liberalism, his pro-tax agenda and his proposed weakening of the USA Patriot Act -- as well as fears that he would appoint to office people such as Rev. Wright and William Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground -- will all assure the full mobilization of the right." Is it possible that Obama plays defense with his VP pick while McCain goes on offense by picking someone from PA (Ridge), Michigan (Romney), or Minnesota (Pawlenty)?