There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Could Obama Pick a Republican?

Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Source: Barack Obama on Flickr

It’s rumored that Barack Obama will announce his running mate within the week. According to the Intrade Prediction Market, the leading contender is Joe Biden, the senior Senator from Delaware. A contract for Joe Biden as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee is currently trading at 30.90 (for those not familiar with prediction markets, that number is essentially the probability in percentage terms, set by the market, that Joe Biden will be the nominee). But I don’t actually like Biden for the job. According to the National Journal 2007 Vote Ratings, he is the third-most liberal Senator in the country. Barack Obama tops the list as the most liberal Senator. I think by choosing Biden as his running mate, Obama will reinforce his liberal voting record, which will make it hard for him to run as a centrist and capture a substantial portion of independent voters.

If Obama really wants to change the politics in Washington, he should seriously consider picking a Republican as his running mate. I believe that the most compelling case can be made for Chuck Hagel, the senior Senator from Nebraska (an Intrade contract for Hagel is currently trading at 5.10). Hagel is apparently a good friend of Obama, and he has been mentioned as a likely cabinet member in an Obama administration. Hagel worked on Ronald Reagan’s campaign for California governor, and served in the Reagan administration as the Deputy Administrator of Veteran Affairs. He is a Vietnam War Veteran, Purple Heart receipient, and a very successful businessman. He has served on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. He has been highly critical of the Bush administration and its handling of the Iraq war, and he supports a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal. He is also known for working with Democrats in the Senate, as he did with Ted Kennedy on the Immigration Reform Act of 2007. Of course, Hagel is a conservative and has large differences with Obama when it comes to social litmus test issues such as abortion, affirmative action, and the death penalty. Maybe it’s a long shot, but if Barack Obama wants to solve some of our country’s real problems over the next four years or more, he needs to look past those issues. Choosing a Republican as his running mate, especially Chuck Hagel, will signify to Americans that he is not your typical liberal Democratic candidate, and that he is truly serious about reaching across the aisle to get things done.


1 Lapidary { 08.18.08 at 10:17 pm }

Colin Powell perhaps???

2 msg { 08.18.08 at 10:58 pm }

I’d be down with that. But I haven’t heard him mentioned as a contender by anyone in the media. Would he even want the job? Since he retired from the role of Secretary of State, he’s pretty much been out of the public life.

3 Janeth { 09.14.15 at 2:47 pm }

BMay – i woke up so early, and thought “s’wonderful, s’marvelous” and then i went & bugoht a new american flag to fly at our house took the last one down the day the neocons invaded iraq love the beautiful portrait, matches the beautiful new day that has dawned for america, & the world. Yes yes yes.

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