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July 26, 2008
Obama Team floats name of unknown, unqualified Republican for Veep
I would give her chances of being chosen at 100-1 but the fact that Obama's vetters are even looking at Ann Veneman, former Bush Agricultural Secretary, proves that the Democrats are looking more for symbolism over substance in their choice of running mate.
The number one criterion for choosing a vice president has to be whether that individual is qualified to be president. In the case of Veneman, a lifelong bureaucrat at the Department of Agriculture and California State Agriculture department, as well as a UN bureaucrat heading up UNICEF, I can't imagine anyone less qualified. Never elected to anything, no foreign policy experience (although she spent some years in the Agricultural Department foreign service serving as a mid-level embassy official), she seems much more at home as a bureacrat than policy maker.
Besides her painfully obvious lack of experience, Veneman seems "qualified" to Obama's camp because of her political affiliations and her sex:
But Veneman, 59, has a biography that could be suited to Obama's unifying message. A Republican raised on a California peach farm, she rose to become the nation's first female agriculture secretary. In 2002 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was treated successfully. Today she serves as executive director of the United Nations children's agency, UNICEF.
The selection of a Republican could bolster Obama's unifying message, a Capitol Hill Democrat familiar with the discussion said.
"You select a strong independent woman who appeals to Republicans and independents, and so that's hard to beat," the Hill source said, explaining the logic of the possible choice. "Choosing someone like [Veneman] doesn't hurt you with the Democrats. It just doesn't hurt you. But it helps you with Independents and Republicans."
Glad to hear her selection wouldn't "hurt Democrats." What it would mean to the country never seems to have entered their heads.