by Adam | There's loads of speculation about the VP. The most commonly floated choices are Kathleen Sebelius, Tim Kaine, Joe Biden, and Evan Bayh. Of those four, I'd be happy with the first two, and worried about the other two (Biden because of his mouth, age, and the skeletons in his closet, and Bayh because he would cost the Democrats a spot in the Senate, barring a miracle turnaround in the Indiana governor's race). I'd also be quite happy with Bill Richardson or Brian Schweitzer, but the former seems to have dropped out of the running (presumaby, like Jim Webb, he was a bit too controversial and knew he would fail the vetting process) and the latter, unfortunately, has never really picked up steam. (Don't be shocked if Schweitzer gets the pick, though - the Obama campaign is not very leaky and has their cards close to their chest on this one.
To me, Sebelius seems like a nearly ideal choice. She's an experienced governor with a strong record of pushing forward a progressive agenda in a red state with a Republican-dominated legislature. She reinforces all the post-partisan, Washington outsider themes of Obama's campaign. She's very popular with those who know her. She's Catholic and was raised in Ohio, and she has a good relationship with Obama. Basically, she's Tim Kaine, except a more popular and effective governor, and without the lip service to being "personally pro-life". (update: I just found more grumblings about Kaine's ineffectiveness as governor and questionable progressive credentials.)
Her only downsides are that she's 68 in 2016 (i.e. we're setting up someone fairly old as the 2016 frontrunner if Obama wins) and that Obama probably loses Kansas even with her. But the home-state VP effect is overstated anyway. She's not extremely exciting, either, but being seen as stable, dependable, and unexciting is actually a good thing in a VP. All in all, she's a really solid canddiate.
Well, actually, there's one more drawback, which was sort of the point of this post. Sebelius is, of course, a woman. And something I've heard a lot in discussions about Sebelius (and Claire McCaskill, and Janet Napolitano, and every other Democratic female not named Hillary) is that "Obama can't pick a woman if it's not Hillary Clinton". While I understand the political calculation behind that statement, every time I read or hear that statement it's a bit like hearing nails across a chalkboard.
My gut reaction to this idea is that it is a fundamentally sexist way of looking at the choice. Hillary Clinton, in her efforts to break "that highest, hardest glass ceiling", was not interested in carefully patching it back together underneath her. I'm fairly sure Hillary Clinton would be absolutely disgusted by the notion that VP candidates would be screened out because they share her gender. The central point of Hillary's gender argument in the primary campaign was that she was the most qualified candidate, man or woman, and that while she was proud to carry the banner for gender equality, she wanted to be judged as a candidate, period. With that in mind, if Sebelius is, say, a stronger overall VP candidate than Kaine without considering gender, then why should her gender be considered a disadvantage?
To the Clinton supporters who read this - am I missing something? Is there something more offensive about passing Hillary over for another female VP choice, versus passing Hillary over for a male VP choice? If so, why?