Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The veepstakes name game
What's in a presidential name combo? Sure it's important that a candidate pick a veep who could govern with him (or her) and who could step into the POTUS job if called on. But let's face it, during the campaign, there's more to it than that. The team has got to look good together (think Clinton-Gore) and tell a story (think McCain-Romney; old guy, younger, more economically literate guy) and shore up each other's deficiency (repeat McCain-Romney.) But as far as I'm concerned, the names have also got to fit together in a way that doesn't sound funny. Especially for the Democrats. With the GOP holding their convention in the land of the Wide Stance, with bathroom stall jokes just waiting to be unleashed for an entire week, why take chances with a funny sounding apellido mix?

Take, for instance, Evan Bayh, whom Howard Fineman claims is among the top three survivors of the Obama list (the others are Kaine and Joe Biden). Together, he and Barack would be "Obahmabye" ... which sounds really screwy. Obama and Joe Biden would be "Obahma-biden" ... which actually works well, because it naturally lends itself to a pause in the middle. Obama-Kaine would come out sounding way too much like "Obamakin" for my liking, but it could remind disgruntled Republicans why they're considering switching sides...

Obama could also make a surprise pick, like retired Air Force Gen. Scott Gration, who traveled to Europe with the Senator, and who is from the solid Illinois Obama pack. Gration has great bona fides that would add a lot to the ticket:
A command pilot with more than 5,000 flight hours, Gration has had extensive combat experience in the Middle East and served as the Commander of Task Force West during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His aerial combat experience included 274 combat missions over Iraq.
And he's got other biographical pluses that would make him an interesting pick:

Raised in Africa, Gration joined the U.S. Air Force ROTC program at Rutgers University and went on to serve as a White House fellow, operations group commander, and as the Director of Regional Affairs in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs.

"I met Obama when he toured Africa last year," Gration recalled, "and we visited Robins Island, the prison that was home to Nelson Mandela for 27 years. I couldn't help noticing that both men had the same leadership qualities and the same ability to motivate and inspire others."

"I also realized that both men had a strong understanding of history," he relayed. "You gotta know where you've come from if you want to lead the country towards any sort of future."

And yet, together, Obama and the general would make "Obahmagration" -- kind of like "conflagration," but with Obama in front. My favorite is still "Obama-Hagel," though I think he's getting to be less likely a pick.

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posted by JReid @ 8:29 AM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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