Archive for Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vice presidential hopefuls face increased scrutiny

May 19, 2012


Various political pundits predict the 2012 United States presidential campaign will be the most costly in the nation’s history and probably the meanest and dirtiest.

Republicans will say it will be the longest campaign by a single candidate because they claim President Obama started his nonstop re-election effort on Nov. 5, the day after he won the 2008 election.

The race for the White House is expected to be tight, and every means will be used to try to motivate those in every possible demographic group to vote on Nov. 6, only six months away.

The candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are well known, but, at this time, there is no guarantee Joe Biden will be Obama’s running mate. The field seems wide open for the GOP vice presidential candidate.

This raises the question of just how important the veep candidate is in securing votes for either the GOP or Democratic tickets. Granted, the vice president becomes terribly important if a president is unable to continue in office, but how many voters take this into consideration when trying to decide which candidate to support.

The next question is: What type of person wants to seek the vice presidency?

Earlier this week, A.B. Culvahouse wrote an interesting and timely story for the Wall Street Journal, in which he told about his experiences as a member of a small group of individuals that had the task of vetting potential Republican vice presidential candidates. He helped vet potential nominees in four elections starting in 1976 and served as a lawyer doing the vetting to find the running mate for Sen. John McCain in 2008.

Just to get one question answered right off, he writes that he told McCain and senior GOP strategists that the selection of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a “high risk, high reward” decision. And today, he stands by that advice and assessment.

Culvahouse details the exhaustive investigation that goes into the vetting process. He writes he would “never dream” of asking his best friends the questions asked of those being considered as vice presidential nominees. He said those who survive the “winnowing from a long list to short were rewarded with the most intimate examination known to politics.”

In the case of Palin, the only detail missed in her vetting was her husband’s membership in the Alaska Independence Party.

Culvahouse said that, if good manners were followed in the vetting process, many questions that should have been asked but were not surely would be brought up by someone else on the other political side who had the job of trying to find out everything bad about possible nominees.

Culvahouse said it is likely a short list of five to 15 leading Americans soon will be notified Romney believes they are qualified to be serious contenders to become his running mate. If they agree to be considered, the examinations will begin.

He notes the examination of each of those who agrees to the exercise is far more intrusive in every respect than the examination of those seeking the presidency.

Again, what kind of person seeks the vice presidency? Do candidates do it with the idea it eventually might lead to the top job in the White House? Is it an ego trip? Do they believe that, if they are in the vice president’s office, they could make a major difference or contribution to this country? Or do they think they can help the president be a better president?

Who knows?

Culvahouse writes that, in all interviews, he asks why the individual would want to be vice president. He notes, “after the scripted answer was finished, every potential nominee began to speak from the heart about honor, service and obligation, on occasion with moist eyes. Their successors on the short list this election cycle deserve our respect in the same measure as they will receive our scrutiny.”

Who will be on Romney’s “short list” of five to 15 possible running mates? Maybe they already have been notified. We’ll probably never know, but it would be interesting to learn whether any choose to turn down the offer.

This writer knows one extremely well-known individual who agreed to such an invitation, and he and his family endured an exhaustive investigation. It reached the point that he apparently had the job. He and his wife were told where they would sit at the convention, what would be the proper attire and what would be expected, only to have the presidential candidate, or his senior advisers, decide to make a last-minute switch to another individual.

In each presidential election, the investigation gets deeper. According to Culvahouse, the starting questionnaire for Ford’s campaign had 16 questions, which later were expanded. For the 2008 election, the similar starting questionnaire had almost 80 questions or topics, with multiple subparts.

Once more, who are the individuals currently under investigation as potential running mates for Romney and is the same exercise under way for a running mate for Obama? What are the odds Biden will be replaced?


cato_the_elder 5 years, 11 months ago

Replacing Biden would be an admission by Obama that Biden is the cretinous buffoon that he is. Obama is far too narcissistic and egotistical to admit that, so a short leash and a muzzle will be employed instead. As soon as Romney announces his choice for VP, Biden's job will be limited to smearing that person in the dirtiest, filthiest manner possible, with of course, the willing assistance of most of the televised media.

Scott Drummond 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, another ripe one from Dolph. One hardly knows where to begin pointing out the errors and bias. Strange isn't it, though, that this is the message to be delivered the Saturday after the Vice President tore in to the right wing stooge running for President. Whistling past the graveyard may make you feel good at the moment, but your destiny remains unchanged.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Interesting that most all of the current stories about John Edwards omit the fact that he was the VP nominee of the Democratic party in 2004.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Kerry's vast wealth was not harped on then like Romney's wealth is now."

Of course it was-- $millions were spent harping on every aspect of Kerry's life, even ones that didn't actually have any basis is reality. (Swift boat propaganda.)

"But hey, who's paying attention."

Not you, apparently.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Kerry is a creep in a lot of ways, not the least of which was his transforming himself from high-profile war protestor to cheerleader for the military.

But facts are facts, and the "swift boating" contained almost none.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"We saw a textbook example of political strangeness in 2008."

I agree-- how did Sarah Palin ever get nominated (or elected) to anything?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

The trouble with elected officials they go to the CEO"s of any industry, Chamber of Commerce or local executive developers for advice!!!! too often!!!! Then the elected officials walk away still uninformed.

Developer Executives,Chamber of Commerce and CEO's = foxes in the chicken coop!

One answer to our political problems : CUT OFF special interest financing of elections! YES even at the local level.

Our government is always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote on these issues in 2012:

The voting process can work. Do as Ralph Nader has been suggesting for years. Replace 90% of incumbents each voting cycle. Perhaps Occupy could get this off the ground.

I say replace all republicans with green party thinkers and 90% of democrats with new democrats each voting cycle.

Think this way.... Why do we americans vote in the rich 1% which are supported by the rich 1% to make decisions for the entire middle class and low income?

The rich 1% want to destroy the middle class so they have sent tens of millions of middle class jobs abroad with no job replacement in sight. Isn't their something wrong with this picture?

Ask yourself why do we voters tend to vote for the largest spending candidates? That kiss the butts of the 1%. What good has this choice been for the USA and our local government?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America :

Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue.

Demand a change on the next ballot.

Bribery of elected officials and bribed officials = the most stinky of all bribery!

Day in and day out our elected officials spend hours each day begging for campaign dollars. Citizens do NOT elect officials to chase special interest campaign dollars or to take campaign dollars from lobbyists!!!

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

The republican party has been voting NO on new economic growth and new jobs and new industry since Obama took office aka 24/7. Plus 24/7 character assassination. That is how 24/7 republican campaigning operates.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

In the meantime breaking news:

Published on Sunday, May 13, 2012 by Common Dreams

War Tribunal Finds Bush, Cheney Guilty of War Crimes

Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal orders reparations be given to torture victims

A member of the prosecution team, Professor Francis Boyle of Illinois University’s College of Law, said he was hopeful that Bush and his colleagues could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world.

The eight accused are Bush; former US Vice President Richard Cheney; former US Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld; former Counsel to Bush, Alberto Gonzales; former General Counsel to the Vice President, David Addington; former General Counsel to the Defense Secretary, William Haynes II; former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo.

Tribunal president judge Tan Sri Lamin Mohd Yunus said the eight accused were also individually and jointly liable for crimes of torture in accordance with Article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter. "The US is subject to customary international law and to the principles of the Nuremberg Charter and exceptional circumstances such as war, instability and public emergency cannot excuse torture."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"In the case of Palin, the only detail missed in her vetting was her husband’s membership in the Alaska Independence Party."

Huh? They also missed that she's a poorly educated, self-promoting buffoon.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Actually, Obama's past is pretty much as you describe, even if the black helicopters flying around your head obscure your view. But his past, and his statements during the 2008 campaign, certainly didn't indicate that he'd govern from a perspective that would have been seen as center-right Republican twenty years ago.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 11 months ago

You are just fascinated with gay topics, aren't you? Go ahead, experiment. Pretend you're in college. Then, when you've figured it out, c'mon back & we'll talk about some real issues.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Newsweek is kinda fascinated by the same topic.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

But Newsweek at least exhibits some grasp of grammar, semantics, punctuation and syntax.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 11 months ago

I like Bulldog Joe. He tells it like it is & doesn't try to put a shine on a cat's behind.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes leave it to Joe to keep things alive....

Then there was:

  • Nixon who who loved Watergate aka ilegal spying on democrats

  • Agnew - was indicted

  • Quale - had spelling problems

  • George H W Bush - famous for home loan scams and Iran-Contra (selling weapons through the back door )

Cheney - lied lied lied about WMD's and brought back home loan scams

Flap Doodle 5 years, 11 months ago

Where have all seen all this hundreds and hundreds of time before? Oh, of course, this has been comment spammed here on the award-winning website ever since the Earth's crust cooled.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Having two or three sources of income is not a bad idea. Why? There are at least 7 tools that blossomed under Reagan/Bush to keep in mind.

  1. Mergers
  2. Hostile Takeovers
  3. Leveraged Buyouts
  4. Free Trade Agreements
  5. Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan home loan scandal which killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs.
  6. Bush/Cheney Home Loan scandal killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs
  7. Sam Brownback

All of above ultimately translate into millions upon millions upon millions of USA job losses. Big time layoffs are the end result. These jobs go abroad with tax codes that prevent taxation on profits made abroad from USA big name corporations.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone.

Americans employed and being able to sustain themselves is a huge republican fear. The Republican imposters that took over the GOP prefer broke and dumbed down Americans.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

"Republicans will say it will be the longest campaign by a single candidate because they claim President Obama started his nonstop re-election effort on Nov. 5, the day after he won the 2008 election." === Perhaps you are right, Mr. Simons, but this is hardly worth mentioning. This is standard practice for either party in this media/Internet age. Relax. Even if the President gets reelected, your family fortune is safe.

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