The Hill had the excellent idea of asking 97 Senators: “If you were asked, would you accept an offer to be the VP nominee?”
Here I commented on my favorites.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
“I know already who it will be: the man in charge of the search. There’s no need for me to respond. That’s how you get to be vice president.”
Fact: The man in charge of the VP search for Obama is Tom Daschle. Although, I'm pretty sure if he selected himself, David Axelrod would begin laughing and say "No, seriously...who is it? Sebelius?"
Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.)
“You got your answer — a laugh. The president’s going to make that choice. You can see how much I’ve thought about it.”
Do you think Bush was reading this and thought: "Oh man, I get to pick the Vice President!"
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
“We already have a vice president from Wyoming. So we’ll have to see if Sen. McCain asks me to chair his selection committee. That seems to work well. It certainly seemed to work well for the last guy from Wyoming.”
Quick joketelling tip John Barrasso (if that is your real name), after three sentences this was a witty, sarcastic, friendly dig at Cheney. The fourth sentence ruined it. It made the whole thing seem too needy, like when you repeat a joke a second time, thinking people didn't hear you.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
“No. I love my job. I’ve got the best job in the world, representing Montana in the U.S. Senate. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
As Victor Lazlo said, "You sound like a man trying to convince himself of something he doesn't really believe. "
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)
“It’s presumptuous to even speculate about that kind of thing. But I suspect that’s not the sort of thing you say no to.”
I suspect thats not the sort of thing you would say no to, Evan Bayh....
Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah)
“Of course. Big house, big car, not much to do. Why not?”
Sadly this was actually George Bush's rationale for running for President.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.)
“I’m happy being called ‘Mr. Chairman.’ ”
Well played, Biden....well played.
Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.)
“Obviously, anybody who’s asked would consider it very seriously, but I’m not worried about it. I had the pleasure of being on Gerald Ford’s short list in ’76, but a lot of things have changed since then.”
Yes, that's right, in 1976, when Barack Obama was 15 and attending the Punahou School in Hawaii, Missouri Governor Kit Bond was on Gerald Ford's shortlist for Vice President. Kit Bond is old.
But do you know who is almost 3 years older than Kit Bond? You guessed it....John McCain.
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)
“I would be honored to be asked. I’ve got to appraise the position in considering it. But I haven’t gone to the step of saying whether I would or wouldn’t at this point … I’d probably take away from the ticket, too. There’s always pros and cons. I’m strong pro-life, pro-marriage, and some people would say, ‘Well, I don’t like that.’ But really, people vote for president. Not vice president. I think vice president can hurt you more than it can help you. I can’t remember any time in my lifetime where I voted for a president because of the vice presidential nominee.”
If Joe Morgan ever became a Senator, this is what he would sound like.
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)
“No, I can already preside over the Senate, and I do not enjoy spending a lot of time at ‘undisclosed locations.’ ”
Uh oh, you know someone's getting senile when they start breaking out jokes from 2002.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)
“Does that include any sports picks or anything like that? … I would certainly consider it.”
In Sen. Cantwell's defense, she made a bet that she could out-drink Ted Kennedy and had just polished off her 9th vodka tonic when she answered this question.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)
“Yes. Sign me up. I’ve been kidding people for years: The hours are better, the wages are just as good — whoever heard of a vice president getting shot at? — and it’s a great opportunity to travel. And actually since time has gone by, the job is robust … So sure. Anybody here would, if they’re going to be honest. The chances are slim to none. But I promise you, I would deliver all three of Delaware’s electoral votes.”
I like Tom! Enthusiasm! A sense of humor! And why not Tom Carper? He is a 6 term Congressman, two term Governor, and in his second term as a Senator. He is a Vietnam veteran (rising to the rank of captain), an economist, a former Eugene McCarthy supporter, and a reformer by reputation. I want Tom!
Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.)
“I think the Democratic Party is full of strong candidates for vice president. But I don’t think I’ll be on that list.”
Uh oh, I really think we should keep sharp objects away from Sen. Casey. You're a good candidate too, Bob! Pennsylvania is a swing state! It could be you!
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)
“When I was much younger I would have probably said, ‘Sure, I’ll be glad to accept it,’ but I’m 70 years [old] and they need a younger person for the job. I would probably tell them, ‘Look for somebody else.’ ”
People older than Thad Cochran: John McCain.
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)
“I would say ‘No, Hillary.’ ”
Oh Larry, you are quite the card. Now I know why you get all the guys.
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
“No. I like serving in the Senate and I have no aspirations to be vice president. Hasn’t crossed my mind. Never really thought about it.”
I mean seriously.....McCain/Crapo?
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.)
“Never say no. You always have to give it some thought. It depends who asks you, too.”
When did Chris Dodd turn into a Hollywood agent from the the 40s?
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.)
“No. I’m too old.”
Come on! You're only 4 years older than....oh forget it...
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)
“Are you kidding? Every senator would accept that offer. My guess is that almost every senator looks at themselves in the mirror in the morning and sees either a future president or vice president.”
Cut to Byron Dorgan giving the State of the Union address in his bathrobe.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
“I have said that John needs to pick someone that he feels comfortable with and will help him win in the fall. I like him and I feel comfortable with him. But I think there are other portfolios that help more than I do. There are people that would bring a different portfolio to the table than I would and that would help us win in the fall.”
Lindsey sounds like he is trying to talk himself down.
"Don't get yourself too excited, Lindsey!" he says after McCain invites him out for dinner shortly after clinching the nomination.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
“I’m too old to be vice president. But I am young enough to be reelected to the Senate.”
Charles Ernest "Chuck" Grassley, born September 17, 1933
John Sidney McCain III, born August 29, 1936
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)
“I’m not here to talk about that.”
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
“No, I’d have Jon Stewart stand in for me. Jon Stewart. That’s my guy.”
Someone please check if Tom Harkin is actually a 22 year old undergrad at the University of Iowa.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)
“No. I enjoy life too much.”
Ohh come on....talk to Tom Carper! He thinks it'll be fun!
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
“If I were asked, I would say, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ ”
The sad part is that Robert Byrd asks him to be his Vice President every week.
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
“I would not be so presumptuous as to think I’d even thought about that. And I’d have to talk to my wife. Hey, that’s an honest answer.”
As in, "Hey, that's an honest answer..for once!"
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
“I plan to stick with my current job until I get the hang of it.”
he said, with just a touch of bitterness. With that, those familiar regrets drifted into his mind: "If only I were younger. If only there hadn't been that terrible night so long ago." Then, in an exercise developed long ago to bear the pain of lost dreams, he caused the tormenting thoughts to dissolve, like a fog on a summer day, and he returned to work.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
“I don’t get into hypotheticals. No, I haven’t considered it. I don’t have a clue, honestly.”
Aww, John thinks he has a chance...isn't that cute?
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
“I’ve been waiting for someone to come up and propose it. I already told my wife to get ready to move. It has a beautiful living facility. But I like what I do. Frankly, it’s a more important job. You’re asked to respond to things in a more basic way than defending bad policy. I don’t like defending bad policy.”
"I don't like defending bad policy"? Way to show some confidence in your nominee there, Senator.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
“No. I’d like to see somebody from a large, diverse state.”
I think Vermont is going to make Leahy sleep on the couch tonight.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
“Once is enough. I already have the T-shirt and I’m proud of it. I yield to my colleagues.”
Oh God, what do you think that shirt says? "I Received 51 Million Votes and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt"? "I'm With Sleepy"?
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.)
“I’d say, ‘Please read the Constitution.’ I wasn’t born in America; I can’t be VP.”
Ahem... most constitutional scholars don't think this is a problem, but you know who also wasn't born in America? I think you can guess...to quote Wikipedia:
"McCain was born at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in Panama to Navy officer John S. McCain, Jr. (1911–1981) and Roberta (Wright) McCain (b. 1912)."
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
“If I were asked, I would ask some mental health professionals to visit Barack Obama. I just think Sen. Obama is way too smart to pick me. I’m not a good pick, and he’s smarter than that. That’s why he’s going to make such a good president.”
If Jonathan's PAC gives McCaskill a 1% rating this year, you'll know how she earned the 1%.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
“Absolutely. Absolutely. I think I would be great. First of all, I know how to behave at weddings and funerals. And I know how to be commander in chief. I’d bring a lot of fun to the job. We would rock the Naval Observatory.”
I am inviting Barbara Mikulski to my next party, along with Tom Carper.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
“My name has been discussed partly because I’m a female and it’s always nice to balance things in gender … I’ve discussed it with my kids. My 16-year-old thinks it’s a fabulous idea because he thinks we probably couldn’t find any better residence in Washington, D.C., than the Naval Observatory. That’s the fun part of the question, but I think anybody, if you were seriously asked, I think you have to give it very real and genuine consideration. I don’t expect to be asked, but if I were I would give it real and genuine consideration.”
Blah blah blah, ok yappy, we didn't really want a novel.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
“Any American citizen, large or small, would be honored to be asked. But I totally expect any of our candidates to have a tremendous list of people. I don’t expect to be asked.
Yes "large or small" from the tiniest Kucinich to the biggest Bill Bradley.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
“They can do a lot better than me. I just don’t see it happening. I don’t know what I’d bring to the ticket. I’d have to think about it. I don’t see how I would add much to the ticket. To give you an honest answer, I don’t know what I’d do.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
“No. I’m too deeply ingrained in the culture of the people of West Virginia. It wouldn’t even be a choice for me. I want to stay where I am and do what I do. That’s non-debatable.”
Too ingrained in the culture of West Virginia? I'm sure they'll allow you a banjo and the occasional hootenanny, Senator.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
“I have not yet been asked. Furthermore, I expect I will not be asked.”
Unfortunately for Bernie, I believe Obama has already wrapped up the hippie, socialist vote.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
“I like where I am in the United States Senate. Obviously, you would always consider something like that, but I’m happy where I am.”
Ooh Olympia would like to be VP...it wouldn't be the worst choice for McCain...
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.)
"I have much more important matters to attend to, like finding out who is responsible for Spy Gate!"
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
“No. I’ve got too many things that I still want to do as a senator. And I don’t like the idea of a job where you sit around and wait for someone to die.”
1.) What's the over/under on how many felonies those "too many things" involve?
2.) How creepy would Ted Stevens be as VP, when he thinks his job is to "wait for someone to die"?
Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.)
“I am focused on my election. And frankly, I don’t think John McCain should pick any member of Congress or the United States Senate.”
Ahem...don't start spouting off this pearl of wisdom in front of Voinovich...
Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio)
“Honestly, if John McCain came to me and said, ‘George, I think that you would help me and should be part of my team,’ I’d have to say, ‘Yes, I’d be glad to help.’ The fact of the matter is, I’m worried about our country. I’m really worried. And I want to run again for only one reason, that things are so screwed up, I’m just worried about my kids. So if somebody came to me and said, ‘We really think you could help us do this,’ I couldn’t say no because maybe it’s another way of serving my country and it’s maybe even more important than being a senator. The first question I’d ask is, ‘What role would you want me to play? If you want me to give a bunch of speeches, I’m not the guy. Get somebody else. If you want me to roll up the shirtsleeves, get up early in the morning, dot the I’s and cross the T’s, do substantive stuff? OK.’ ”
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.)
“I’m not really interested. That’s all I want to say.”
Not "really" interested eh?
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
“The chances of that are so remote that I’m more likely to be hit by an asteroid.”
Great, Wicker, we don't have enough problems without you jinxing us into getting hit by an asteroid.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
“I have a unique perspective on this. I am the only senator to have announced I am not running for president because there should be someone here to serve as the Senate’s designated driver. I intend to stay in that position. The Senate needs a designated driver to stay behind and work on healthcare.”
Do you think before that last sentence he thought "oh shit, I really should not be sharing that inside tidbit of information"?