While Cynthia McKinney has not locked up the Green Party nomination yet, she is well on her way to sealing the nomination.
Which leads one to wonder – who will she select as her running mate? Based on previous GP rules, the Presidential Nominee names whom they want to be their VP, and the Delegates vote it up or down (at least that is how it was told to me).
So here is a speculative list of potential Vice Presidential running mates if Cynthia McKinney gets the nomination:
Jared Ball – Jared Ball of DC was a very promising GP Presidential candidate up until he dropped out of the race in January to endorse Cynthia McKinney. Ball, a Communications Studies Professor, an independent journalist, a veteran of the first Iraq War and a hip hop activist, would bring the “Capital Resistance” component of his campaign to the McKinney campaign. He would be a tireless campaigner, and an all African-American Green Party ticket would be a very interesting aspect to the 2008 “race”. I see Ball as a real possibility.
Mike Gravel – His campaign for President as a Democrat got him a fan base but no party support (probably due to calling all the other candidates ‘losers’ and challenging the establishment). He then sought the Libertarian nomination and got shoved aside by Bob Barr. Gravel could bring to the McKinney ticket a nationally known “name” (with youtube videos) and probably pick up voters who are younger, anti-establishment, but turned off by the ‘seriousness’ of Ralph Nader. I have huge respect for what Gravel did as a Senator during the Vietnam War (had a role with ending the draft, for one), but I don’t think he would be the best choice as a running mate. He could even drag the ticket down.
Kat Swift – Kat’s youth and veteran Green Party activism would give the Green Party an all female ticket, supporting the Green Party’s value of “feminism” and potentially appealing to a broad segment of the electorate that may not be turned off by Obama, McCain, Nader, Barr, and all the other men on the ballot in November. Its too bad the Green Party won’t be on the ballot in Texas, Swift’s home state.
Rich Whitney – Rich Whitney’s major impact on the Illinois Governor’s race (10%) put the Illinois Green Party on the map. Putting Whitney on the ticket would help in Illinois, where McKinney should have a good showing already, might make sense. Whitney also has campaigning experience, fund raising experience (his 2006 campaign has already donated several thousand dollars to the McKinney campaign), and almost 350,000 votes in 2006 could add to the ticket.
Jesse Johnson – Jesse Johnson is a Third Party champion after two huge statewide campaigns for Governor and U.S. Senate with the West Virginia Mountain Party. In 2007 the Mountain Party “merged” with the Green Party and became the WV affiliate of the GPUS. Johnson has a lot of appeal among Greens, especially those whom he has met first hand, but he does not have the history of Green “Party Activism” that others do. While he would bring some color to the ticket and could influence votes in the “Obama-challenged” Appalachian region, I don’t think he is the strongest choice for Veep.
Matt Gonzalez – Unfortunately he’s taken. (Plus, per the U.S. Constitution the Prez and Veep must have different home states and now that McKinney hails from CA Matt would thus be ineligible.) Ralph Nader scored possibly the best Green running mate possible when he tagged Gonzalez to be his Veep. The former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who almost defeated Gavin Newsom to become Mayor of San Francisco is a Green Party legend and hero.
Kent Mesplay – Another veteran Green Party activist and organizer who has run for major political office several times now. Mesplay would bring to the ticket a solid environmental / ecological component, which based on the four pillars (Grassroots Democracy, Peace, Social Justice, Ecological Wisdom) is probably McKinney’s weakest position. Mesplay would fill a hole in that area and in that ticket. Oh, wait, he’s a California resident as well…
Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry (aka SKCM Curry) – While SKCM Curry is the only “declared” candidate for the Vice President slot on the Green Party ballot, I have to again point out that she is a California Resident, thus can not be McKinney’s running mate. Curry is a Green Party activist in South Central LA. A video of her in 07 can be seen here.
Cindy Sheehan – “Peace Mom” Sheehan is a “Green Leaning Independent (GLI)” who was heavily recruited to seek the Green Party Presidential nomination herself. She would greatly add to the already strong anti-war positions of McKinney, as well as creating an all-female ticket, but she is running an Independent campaign for U.S. House against Democrat Nancy Pelosi. In California. Oh, right, she can’t be the Veep.
Other (unlikely) possibilities:
Winona LaDuke – 1996 and 2000 Veep on the Nader ticket, Native American from Minnesota. Ain’t gonna happen.
Pat LaMarche – 2004 Veep on the Cobb ticket, who surpassed 10% of the vote in her 2006 bid for Governor of Maine. She has been campaigning for Jesse Johnson. Does that take her out of the picture? Maybe not, but she would be an extreme long shot pick.
Ralph Nader – the “Dream Ticket” that never happened.
Who do YOU think should be considered for the Veep slot if McKinney gets the nomination?