Potential Obama veeps get turn on stage

August 27, 2008 2:32:24 PM PDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't the only also-ran on the loose in Denver. Four officials who were mentioned as possible running mates for Barack Obama but didn't make it onto the ticket were getting a chance to address the Democratic convention Wednesday night. Cue the music for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and Texas Rep. Chet Edwards: -Bayh, a former Indiana governor who now represents his state in the Senate, was in the running to the end, when Senate colleague Joe Biden of Delaware emerged as Obama's choice. Bayh originally supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primaries. and was selected as part of the effort to unify the party behind Obama. Bayh is a member of both the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, and was an early supporter of the Iraq war.

-Reed's name was among those circulating as possible vice presidential choices largely because his resume has what Obama's doesn't: a background in defense and foreign affairs. Reed is a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger who serves on the Armed Services Committee.

He traveled with Obama late last month to Iraq and Afghanistan, which fueled speculation that he could be considered as a running mate. He told reporters later that the trip showed Obama can navigate international affairs with competence. "It wasn't just a photo op and social chitchat," he said of the trip.

-Richardson, a Hispanic who sought the presidential nomination himself, brought one of the richest resumes to the race. He has congressional, executive and foreign affairs experience. But he ended up among the first Democrats to drop out of the race after poor showings in the first two contests.

He endorsed Obama in March, describing the Illinois senator as a "once-in-a-lifetime" leader. That drew the ire of some Hillary Clinton supporters, who faulted the nation's only Hispanic governor for not remaining loyal to the Clintons.

Richardson is a former congressman, and was energy secretary and U.N. ambassador for President Clinton.

-Edwards, who happens to be President Bush's congressman, representing central Texas, was thought to be in the running for vice president. His star began to rise weeks ago when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California began promoting him. During a televised interview, she said: "I hope he will be the nominee."

Edwards chairs a House Appropriations subcommittee on military construction, voted to give Bush authority to send troops to Iraq, and has championed funding for military veterans.

While Chet Edwards got tapped to speak, another Edwards - John - did not.

John Edwards made his second unsuccessful bid for the presidential nomination this year and was the vice presidential candidate four years ago. The former North Carolina senator isn't even in Denver this week. Earlier this month, he acknowledged having had an extramarital affair with a filmmaker hired by his political action committee.

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