August 22, 2008


Waiting for Obama: Veep Announcement Builds to Frenzied Standstill (, August 22, 2008)

As the suspense built, a new name — Texas Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards — entered into the buzz of short-listers who could become Obama’s running mate. [...]

Edwards, a nine-term congressman from Corpus Christi who serves on the House Appropriations and Budget committees, is a favorite of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who went on ABC’s “This Week” and said, “I hope he will be the nominee.” [...]

One Democratic official with knowledge of the conversation said Obama told Pelosi recently that she would be pleased with the choice. Other Democratic officials said he was on the short list. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Obama’s selection process. [...]

An Edwards pick is by no means assured. House candidates are notoriously ignored for the running-mate slot. Gerald Ford was the last sitting House member to graduate to the vice presidency. And the last congressman to be directly elected to that job was House Speaker John Nance Garner, D-Texas, under President Franklin Roosevelt.

But Edwards is a survivor. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, D-Texas, tried to marginalize Edwards’ electability when he redrew the state’s congressional boundaries several years ago. DeLay infused more GOP voters into Edwards’ territory. But the congressman held on.

Bush carried Edwards’ district in 2004 with 69 percent of the vote, but Edwards still garnered 58 percent.

On Capitol Hill, Edwards is known as a “Cardinal,” one of the most powerful people in Congress. They command that designation when they chair a powerful appropriations subcommittee, because they hold such eminence over the federal purse strings.

Edwards presides over the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs panel. And from that post, he decides how much money to fork out to any given program. Right down to the nickel.

As a moderate from the South, he is seen by some Democrats as someone who could counterweight the liberal Obama.

Use of the term "weight" in connection with such a cipher is ludicrous. It would be hilarious though to see him choose the closest thing to W he can find in his party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2008 1:50 PM
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