Former VP Dan Quayle made a rather rare appearance on the talking-head circuit today, discussing the process for selecting running mates and the potential changes in potential candidates in light of current events. Quayle also spoke to Matt Lauer about l’affaire Edwards, and whether the former Senator can come back after his public humiliation:
Quayle makes an interesting point about Barack Obama’s options for VP in light of the Russo-Georgian war in the Caucasus. With his weak response in the first hours of the conflict and his strange attack on McCain’s adviser afterwards, Obama looked unprepared and ill-equipped to handle an international crisis. He may now need to find someone with foreign policy credentials to bolster his standing — and that would eliminate most of the people presumed to be on the short list: Tim Kaine, Kathleen Sibelius, even Hillary Clinton.
Quayle suggests Bill Richardson, who has the best resumé but turned out to be a lousy campaigner. I think Quayle might be right, and he’s certainly right to discount Joe Biden, who’s even worse on the trail than Richardson. The crisis could also bring Wes Clark back to the fore, another lousy campaigner but at least seen to be experienced in foreign crises. Bringing on another rookie will further erode confidence among centrists and independents, and make John McCain look like the only rational option in a chaotic time.
Edwards is finished in electoral politics, Quayle notes soberly. He could make a comeback as an appointment, but may even have difficulty returning to just issue politics. Quayle understands what it’s like to get ridiculed off the stage, and in Quayle’s case, for no real reason at all. Somehow, I think Edwards will get more forgiveness for his real peccadilloes than Quayle ever got for his imagined errors.
Update: For some reason, the embedding didn’t work the first time on the video.