According to the press, Senator Obama has started to look for a possible Vice-President, one of the top names that has been thrown around from the beginning of the Obama campaign is the current Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius. Kathleen Sebelius became the 44th Governor of Kansas in 2003 and was re-elected to a second term in 2006. She is fairly popular in Kansas and according to a SurveyUSA Poll released on April 24th, she has a 61% approval rating. That being said, many people criticize her overall impact for Obama campaign if she is chosen because she would not even be able to guarantee her home state in the general election. So who is the Governor and what can we expect if she is the VP? From the Office Of The Governor:
Kathleen Sebelius was born May 15, 1948 and was raised in a Catholic family in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended the Summit Country Day School, a Roman Catholic secondary school, followed by Trinity Washington University, a Roman Catholic university in Washington, D.C., and later earned a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She moved to Kansas in 1974 at the age of 26, where she served for eight years as a representative in the Kansas Legislature and eight years as Insurance Commissioner before being elected governor.
Governor Sebelius is married to husband, Gary, a federal magistrate judge, for 33 years, they have two sons: Ned and John. Both Sebelius boys are products of the Topeka public school system, pre-kindergarten through high school. Ned is a law student, and John is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. At the heart of Governor Sebelius’ administration is a commitment to growing the Kansas economy and creating jobs; ensuring every Kansas child receives a quality education; protecting Kansas families and communities; improving access to quality, affordable health care; and taking advantage of the state’s renewable energy assets.
Governor Sebelius has not been with out her share of problems though as she recently vetoed three bills that would have allowed the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Western Kansas. Some critics cite these vetoes as detrimental to Kansas at the expense of the Governor improving herself on the national stage with the Democratic Party. I disagree with these critics because no matter how clean a Coal Power Plant professes to be, it is still damaging the environment. There are better alternative sources of energy out there which the governor fully intends to explore for the people of Kansas.
Beyond these minor issues, most Democrats see Sebelius as generally positive for Senator Obama even though according to Rasmussen Reports, she is only likely to increase Senator Obama’s chance of winning Kansas by 28% percent. Given that Kansas is a historically red state, I am willing to assume that as a VP; Sebelius would appeal to woman and older folk which is a segment of the population where Senator Obama does not have a strong base of support. This is all conjecture at this point but I think it would be reasonable to assume given that Senator Clinton could also appeal to the same segments and is more well known but given the last few months, she is not exactly on the short list.
Governor Sebelius would be a good choice beyond her being able to pull in some additional support for an Obama presidency because she agree’s with Senator Obama on most issues. The Kansas City Business Journal has a good write up on some the bills that she passed and vetoed for the states budget of 2009. Governor Sebelius and Senator Obama may see eye to eye but one of the biggest issues facing Americans as indicated by most polls is the economy which is not an area Senator Obama is short in, but maybe a potential VP would need to be strong in these areas? Do VP’s actually matter? Some people argue these points but I think it all comes down to the perception of the typical citizen. Other people argue that someone with national security experience is needed like former retired general Wesley Clarke or Senator Chuck Hagel.
These are all important factors to consider and they wll be explored in future posts of potential VP candidates for Senator Obama. Now a picture of the Governor from the State website:
May 25 2008 12:08 pm | American Politics