Veneman for VP? Not a Chance

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson

[AP Photo]

I’ll go out on a limb here, and say there’s not a chance Barack Obama will name Ann Veneman, former Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush Administration, as his vice-presidential running mate. I can’t guess why the campaign would have floated this trial balloon to Politico. It seems more like an April Fool’s Day prank, but that didn’t keep a bunch of folks from getting excited over the prospect.

Veneman, who was sworn in soon after George W. Bush’s inauguration in in January, 2001, resigned, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell and others, ten days after Bush’s reelection in November, 2004.

I’ll give you three reasons why it’s impossible that she will be tapped to run with Obama:

  • She got cross-threaded repeatedly with small farmers in states Obama needs to win. Naming her would be a poke in the eye of rural voters; that’s not Obama’s style.
  • The Democratic National Convention gets to vote on the presidential candidate’s choice for a VP. Which delegate is going to approve of putting a Republican a heartbeat away from moving into the White House? Which Clinton delegate is going to look with favor upon the nomination of a woman whose initials are not HRC?
  • Speaking of which, if Barack nominates another woman, Billary will perform the surgery that Jesse Jackson could only dream of – and they wouldn’t feel it necessary to apologize.
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3 Responses to “Veneman for VP? Not a Chance”

  1. I’ll preface this by saying that I’m rooting for Sebelius, so this might just be wishful thinking.

    I really don’t think the third point is a big deal. I have heard this argument from a few people, mostly disaffected Clinton supporters, but I don’t think it will hold water among most voters, and I don’t think Billary would attack Obama this late in the game.

    To suggest that Obama would be betraying Hillary by picking any other female candidate is to suggest that no woman could be picked for her own merits. This should be anathema to any real liberal. Clinton disappointed me a lot in her campaign, and turned her back on a lot of values central to the Democratic agenda. But even after months of being disappointed by the Clintons, I would be very surprised to see them make such a profoundly antifeminist argument as this one. Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I don’t think see this as a real concern.

  2. I second the comment by Jonah.  How rediculous is it that some people feel an entire gender should be taken out of the VP search simply because Billary’s feelings will be hurt?  Mabye we should disqualify all women from positions of public office until it is run by Hillary Clinton.  Who knows, it may have been a position she wanted.  As the former president’s wife isn’t she entitled to any fame, fortune, or firsts that come to the female gender?

  3. What Jonah and Kevin said.

    Besides, Billary’s just too damned BIG for the vice-presidency.  Neither one of these people is accustomed to playing second fiddle, and in this case the veep’s <i>spouse</i> would be able to get as much press coverage as he wanted, anytime he wanted it, since he used to be President and all.  But since he wouldn’t be responsible to the President, that looks like a recipe for trouble.
    Hillary just ought not to be veep.  But that fact shouldn’t exclude Govs. Sibelius and Napolitano (or any other qualified women) from consideration.

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