What Obama needs is to wipe away the East Coast Harvard, wet behind-the-ears image he has on the world stage. He could do that with some deeds that speak louder than even his considerable oratory does. For a potential running mate of his own, Obama could choose former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, who provides Obama more "beef" in the area of foreign policy than a one-week "tour of duty" ever could.
At the same time, he should be working to assure America that having Caroline Kennedy running the vice-presidential selection committee isn't just another reaffirmation of the northeastern wing of the Democratic Party's endless efforts to dominate its party.
Nunn is older. He's a little staid, maybe. Definitely an intellectual. His years in the Senate gave him leadership expertise beyond compare on foreign policy. And he's spent the last years chasing down rogue nuclear weapons, the very foreign policy effort Obama claims as his most important project.
Nunn would deliver to Obama a soothing dose of Southern middle-of-the-road credentials. That could help in potential new swing states like North Carolina and Virginia. It would all but seal the deal for Obama in Nunn's home state of Georgia. Why? Because the largest growth of the GOP in that state comes from parts of middle Georgia, where Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue calls home, as Nunn does. That's where Sam Nunn is still known and revered by otherwise GOP voters. Those Republican voters might be persuaded.
The race is already close in Georgia, with its high black voting age population and younger voter profile. Obama could have a shot at winning the electoral votes in one of the 10 biggest states in the nation.
Nunn has little sizzle to offer. But he is the solid steak that Obama needs.
As for McCain, letting him wander aimlessly around a stage with a microphone in his hand taking potshots from a crowd is not my idea of great strategy.
One town-hall participant did make a good point, though. He told McCain that the McCain volunteers were working harder than the paid staff was.
Put that guy in charge.
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