Saturday, July 26, 2008

Does Obama have a Republican in the oven?

by Joe Sims
Back when many nurkletoids thought Senator Obama's candidancy improbable at best, I mused with some friends over possible running mates. My favorite potential vice-presidential nominee for both Mr. Obama and Mrs Clinton was former secretary of state, Colin Powell. “What!?”, many replied “a Republican? Have you lost your mind?”

Maybe, but I wasn't then and still am not aware that Mr. Powell was a declared Republican, even though his long years of service to the Dark Side, certainly qualify him. Still, I reasoned even if he is, the military man is of a more pragmatic centrist-to-moderate bent, as compared to the neo-conservative extremists who call themselves the “Vulcans” who sit astride Bush's neck.

Powell, who like Gerald Ford, is a supporter of affirmative action and seems an ardent trilateralist and bona fide of the Rockerfeller club, has been giving unofficial advice to Obama and has spoken favorably of him, if with some restraint. The general is also well regarded in Republican circles, among independents and fractions of the center. Having left the State Department after being hemmed in by Cheney, he appears to be ill disposed to Republican extremism.

Based on this criteria his stock rises as potential potential partner on a Democratic ticket. Consider further that the question of questions in the election is the defeat of ultra-right politics. A candidate who could garner support among Republicans, moderates and independents, would then be a valuable asset in the election.

However, be that as it may, everyone knows speculation about Powell himself is complete nonsense. Still, the issues involved remain relevant. I thought of this today, when reading news reports that Ann M. Veneman, former secretary of agriculture in Bush's first term is on Caroline Kennedy's list as a potential VP. Veneman, known as a big friend of argribusiness and the meat lobby, clashed with Democrats on a number issues according to today's story by By Amie Parnes and Ben Smith of

Will this be thought of as another move to the center or even a lurch to the right by uneasy adherents of the movement for unity, hope and change, or will it be seen as pragmatic realpolitic neccesary for the historic task of delivering the country from the brink of economic and enviornmental catastrophe and enormous political peril? I can hear the deafening din even now.