Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has been circulating around the blogosphere as a possible Obama Veep.
This makes sense on many levels. Murray was a Clintonette, but her support was never as loud as Ted Strickland’s or as a race baity as Ed Rendell’s. She immediately switched her support to Obama once Clinton dropped out. Better yet, unlike most if not all other Clintonians being floated for Veep, Murray was one of the 22 Senators to vote against AUMF. Her reasoning was prescient:
“Mr. President, if we do take action in Iraq, there is no doubt that our armed forces will prevail. We will win a war with Iraq decisively, and, God willing, we will win it quickly. But what happens after the war? That will have as big an impact on our future peace and security. Will we be obligated to rebuild Iraq? If so, how? Our economy is reeling, our budget is in deficit, and we have no estimate of the cost of rebuilding.”
Part of Murray’s lore is that she started her career in politics when, working as a community organizer (sound familiar?), she was told that she was “just a mom in tennis shoes” who could not make a difference. She decided to run for Senate in 1992 in response to stories that the incumbent Democrat, Brock Adams, had sexually assaulted several women; Adams dropped out and she won by a large margin. In 1994 Murray was sexually harassed by the ancient racist creep Strom “Inappropriate Touching” Thurmond, but managed to handle the fiasco with aplomb (She demanded and received an apology, but never made a public statement). She has gone on to win two convincing re-election victories.
These anecdotes are important because they appear to provide an ideal salve to the Clntonettes who feel that HRC was denied the nomination through inchoate societal misogyny. VP Murray would also immediately elevate another woman to national prominence, providing hope to those that felt that HRC was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a woman to become President. Agree or disagree, these opinions are real and a Democrat cannot win without the women that hold them.
Because there are now substantially more Democrats than Republicans, all that Obama needs to do to secure victory is to win the same percentage of Democrats, Republicans and Independents that Kerry won in 2004. I do not know if Senator Murray has the right style for a national campaign and she doesn’t quite cover Obama’s “national security” flank (although she does serve on the Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committees), but her experience, her story, and her gusty vote to be on the right side of history regarding AUMF make her an intriguing choice to cement the necessary support from Democrats to elect Obama in 2008.