The DNCC announced the speakers for the prime-time slot on Wednesday night of the convention, and the list is intriguing. Wednesday night is when the VP nominee addresses the convention, and CNN scrutinizes the list for a hint on Barack Obama’s choice Former president Bill Clinton will address the delegates, as will Harry Reid, Ken Salazar, and Jay Rockefeller. Alexander Mooney focuses on two other speakers, but misses an obvious third choice:
The two senators widely believed to be at the top of Barack Obama’s shortlist for VP have been given prime-time speaking slots at the Democratic convention Wednesday night — the very same night the vice presidential candidate is slated to speak.
According to the Democratic National Convention Committee, both Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden will deliver speeches on national security during the marquee night — the same evening former President Bill Clinton is also scheduled to speak.
Evan Bayh makes some sense as a choice, although he’s not a very inspired candidate. Bayh has executive experience and time in Washington as a governor and Senator, respectively. He can help swing Indiana, a state the Republicans would dearly like to hold in November, and he can speak to the working-class voters that Obama has mostly lost over the last five months. Unfortunately, Bayh’s also an underachiever on the national stage; he’s supposedly been a presidential prospect for the last three cycles and has never achieved any lift at all.
Joe Biden has to be someone’s idea of a joke. If anyone represents inside-the-Beltway politics, it’s Biden. Biden, with his hairplugs and history of plagiarism, has a well-established reputation as a phony, and his grinning performances through judicial confirmation hearings showed him easily outclassed in debates. He can carry Delaware, but if Obama’s worried about Delaware, then he’s already lost the election.
Mooney misses one name which may be better than either Bayh or Biden, and that’s Bill Richardson. Unlike either Bay or Biden, Richardson has actually campaigned as a high-profile surrogate for Obama. He burned a few bridges with the Clintons by endorsing Obama early in the primary cycle. Like Bayh, Richardson has both executive and Congressional experience, but more importantly, he has solid foreign-policy experience — and as this week proved, Obama needs someone to rescue him on that front.
Obama’s choice may not even yet be on the list. However, if he is on the Wednesday night agenda, it’s Richardson, and not Bayh or Biden.