POLITICS
08/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ann Veneman, Obama VP? Progressives Slam Idea

The Politico reports that Barack Obama's campaign is floating Republican Ann Veneman as a potential VP:

Barack Obama's vice presidential search team has floated the name of a member of President Bush's first-term Cabinet, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, as Obama's running mate.

The search committee, now led by Caroline Kennedy and Eric Holder, raised Veneman's name -- among others -- in discussions with members of Congress, said two Democrats familiar with the conversations.

The mention of Veneman's name surprised Democratic lawmakers. The low-profile Republican was close to food and agriculture industries but clashed with farm-state Democrats and environmentalists during her tenure, which lasted from 2001 to 2004.

The Nation is a little confused:

Veneman would be a uniquely awful choice.

All of her political roots are in California -- where her father was a prominent ally of Ronald Reagan -- a state Obama will win with or without her in November.

Veneman is not trusted by farm and rural folk, so it would be ridiculous to think that adding her to the ticket would help in Midwestern and Plains states that might be in play this fall. In fact, this uniquely un-charismatic bureaucrat who has never held elective office was booed on visits to farm country when she served as Bush's Secretary of Agriculture.

And Veneman, whose background was as a corporate lawyer specializing in trade issues, was known to organized labor as one the most militant advocates for free trade in a militantly pro-free trade Bush administration.

In sum, it is hard to imagine a worse Republican to put on a Democratic ticket.

Digby hopes the Obama team is just kidding.

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