Why shouldn't Ray Mabus, ex-Mississippi governor, be Obama's VP?

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Is there anything bad about this man, Ray Mabus?  I know I have a VP thread already but I want to zoom in on this. 

He has been advising the Obama campaign on Middle-East issues since May, 2007:

Let’s visit some autobiographical details from our favorite source, Wikipedia:

·   Fourth generation Mississippian, son of a hardware store owner and went to public schools
·   Served in the U.S. Navy
·   First found work post-college working as a law clerk for the Court of Appeals and for the US Agriculture Committee
·   In 1983 he was elected state auditor (served until 1988) “during which time he recovered millions in misspent or stolen public funds and participated in a large FBI sting operation. By the time it was finished, "Operation Pretense" ensnared 57 county supervisors in 25 counties, and all but two supervisors served time in prison. By raising the profile of the State Auditor's office, Mabus fundamentally changed how county government functioned in the state.”
·   In 1987 he became the Mississippi counterpart to Bill Clinton, as a new generation of youthful, Democratic Southern Governors.  Featured on the cover of a 1988 New York Times Magazine cover story.
·   Pushed through “one of the most comprehensive education reform programs in America: gave teachers the largest pay raise in the nation”
·   Named one of Fortune Magazine’s top ten education governors.
·   Mississippi also had record growth in new jobs, investment, tourism, and exports.  [Probably due to nation-wide growth but voters never think about such things]
·   Mississippi, for the first time ever, allowed governors to serve two terms instead of one while he was governor, but he narrowly lost reelection to Kirk Fordice, a governor who had a number of controversies (affairs, wearing clothes featuring confederate flags to conferences against affirmative action, fights against teachers unions, etc)
·   A poll had him rated best Mississippi governor of the Millennium.  I’m sure poll-subjects have a rather short memory and aren’t thinking back more than 20ish years, but still it means SOMETHING
·   Mabus was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be the United States ambassador to Saudi Arabia and served from 1994 to 1996. During his tenure, a 1994 border crisis involving Yemen was diffused, a 1994 crisis with Iraq was deterred, a 1995 terrorist attack was weathered, child custody disputes were addressed, and contracts worth more than $16 billion were signed between Saudi Arabian and American companies such as Boeing, AT&T and others. Also, Saudi Arabia officially abandoned the boycott of United States businesses that trade with Israel, and more than $8 million of proposed expenditures for the American mission were cut.
·   While living in Riyadh, Mabus made no secret of his roots, as an American and as a Mississippian. Visitors to his embassy office and his residence were welcomed by a cavalcade of items of interest from back home -- including the Ackerman phone book on his office coffee table and the Mississippi flag, next to the American flag -- as well as a story or two about Mississippi geography, history or current events.
·   He is a member of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy and the Council on Foreign Relations, and is the Distinguished Lecturer on the Middle East at the University of Mississippi.
·   He has appeared on many television programs as an expert on the Middle East, including “60 Minutes” and “Nightline.”
·   Since 1996, Mabus serves on various corporate and charitable boards, and is involved in international business.
·   From 2006-April 2007, he was Chairman and CEO of Foamex International and helped lead it out of bankruptcy. Less than nine months after his appointment, Foamex emerged from Chapter 11, paid every qualified creditor 100 cents on the dollar, plus interest, and preserved equity.
·   He has been awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award from the King Center in Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, the King Abdul Aziz Award from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Mississippi Association of Educators’ Friend of Education Award.
·   He is active in many community activities, primarily focusing on education. Following Hurricane Katrina, he founded the Help and Hope Foundation, which works to meet the needs of children affected by the storm.

So, to recap:
-Military experience + awards
-The MLK Social Responsibility Award probably means he won’t upset African-Americans (not too likely anyway, but why not)
-Economic experience by 1) Being a successful anti-corruption state-auditor 2) Having economic growth as governor 3) Two years ago getting a company he was CEO of out of bankruptcy and paying back investors completely
-Massive education experience, probably more than any other VP candidate.
-EXTENSIVE foreign policy experience.  A large track record of results as ambassador to Saudi Arabia during a semi-turbulent time, lectures on Middle East foreign policy, and has been an early adviser to the Obama campaign on such issues.
-Executive experience as governor
-Is one of the few Washington Outsiders who used to hold office that are not currently lobbyists (unlike Daschle & Gephardt, I believe)
-Popular white Southern Christian male
-59 years old, I think the perfect age for an Obama VP.

In my opinion, it’s bad to be “too good” at something as a vice president because it reminds the public and the pundits what deficiencies you are attempting to cover up yourself.  Similarly, anyone that is “too bad” at something similar to yourself will cause you two to be grouped together, causing you and your VP to be linked as “two liberals” “two people who know nothing about the economy” “two inexperienced candidates,” etcetera.  So, the ideal candidate has more experience than Obama on every front (military, economy, foreign policy, experience) but not too much, is older than Obama but not a dinosaur, and so on.

Ok I’m starting to blush now.   I'm sure that wikipedia page was written by a fan, possibly an ex-lover.  But, he should be on the shortlist, right?

Some bad things:
-Mississippi isn't a swing state.  But on the other hand, it could make Obama look less political in his decision.
-He might not want it.  I doubt it, but it's possible. 
-Only 4 years of governor and lost reelection, but this is not THAT bad considering that his career sort of took off after he lost that election.
-His name might sound a little hick-ish, depending on your inclinations and might be a little TOO much the antithesis of an African-American Chicago politician

'cos he's a washed up old crank

Quote from: The Ecchoing Green on May 16, 2008, 08:41:14 pm

'cos he's a washed up old crank

and he lost to kirk f'ing fordice.

look, lunar, if you want a former southern governor, jim hunt is the answer.

id even rank jim hodges and roy barnes ahead of this mabus character.

Quote from: WalterMitty on May 17, 2008, 08:03:38 am

look, lunar, if you want a former southern governor, jim hunt is the answer.

id even rank jim hodges and roy barnes ahead of this mabus character.

Why is Hunt so great?  He doesn't have the trio of successful military/economic/foreign policy experience and he's basically as old as McCain is.

Hodges isn't horrible but he'd be a horrible pick if McCain chose Sanford (arguably one of the most likely Republican VPs) since Sanford beat Hodges recently.  Barnes isn't great either but he didn't really do much and isn't THAT popular.

Why are these other two guys better than Mabus?  They are all one-term governors but Mabus has a military, business, and extensive foreign policy career in addition to his term as governor.  You haven't said what makes them better or why Mabus would be a poor choice.


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