(Host) Congressman Peter Welch says Senator Hillary Clinton would make a strong running mate for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
But Welch says there are several other people who would be strong candidates and he thinks Obama needs to take his time with a decision.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) Now that Senator Barack Obama has won the Democratic presidential nomination, there’s a lot of speculation concerning who Obama will choose to be his running mate.
Supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton are strongly urging the Obama campaign to select Clinton to fill out the Democratic ticket.
Congressman Peter Welch is a super delegate who’s been a long time Obama supporter.
He says Clinton deserves to be considered.
(Welch) “Here’s what you know: Number one, Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, so obviously she’s qualified to be vice president. Number two, she demonstrated in the primaries a very substantial electoral strength, including with constituencies that Obama was weaker with. So Obama does need to get access to that constituency and connect."
(Kinzel) But Welch says it’s important for the Obama campaign to also consider a number of other candidates.
(Welch) “I think there’s probably a lot of people out there who would be good…and they’re going to have to make very careful evaluations of how to make the Obama ticket stronger."
(Kinzel) Welch says the deciding factor could end up being the chemistry or lack of chemistry between Obama and Clinton.
(Welch) “They’re both professional politicians. They’re both adults. They both suffered wins and losses in their life. And one of the major questions that only the two of them really can answer is, what kind of chemistry they’d have if in fact she were going to be on the ticket."
(Kinzel) While there’s been a lot of speculation about Obama’s potential running mate, Welch says history shows that this selection doesn’t usually make a big difference in most cases.
(Welch) “In my experience, just as an observer from a distance, is that the choice can hurt you. If you make a bad choice that’s perceived by the public to have been unwise, that can hurt you. But if you make a really good case, it’s kind of neutral and the focus then turns to where it belongs, frankly, and that’s on the top of the ticket."
(Kinzel) It’s expected that the Obama campaign will take several weeks to complete its evaluation process.
For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier
AP Photo/Toby Talbot