tv Discussion on Vice Presidential Candidate Selection Process CSPAN April 25, 2016 8:31am-9:32am EDT
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>> on friday a panel of political campaign experts participated in a discussion on the vice presidential selection process. they also offered recommendations for the candidates during this election cycle. taking part were former campaign staff members from the obama, mccain and romney campaigns. this is just under two hours. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> okay. good morning. i direct the democracy project at the bipartisan center. welcome today, we are here with a very distinguished group of people who have been thinking about vice presidential selection. i'm just going to have a few minutes here to introduce some people, and then i'm going to turn it over to our group. we are here today with a product of the working group, bpc's working group on vice presidential selection. many of you have it in your hands, others of you can find it online. it is a group that came together over the last six months, people who have seen up close the vice presidential selection process and have some advice for the campaigns who are at it today and for the media who will be covering the selection over the next couple of months.
our day today is going to, we're going to begin with the chairs of the working group as well as the other members coming up here. the chair's saying a few words, and then we'll have a couple panels to delve more into the recommendations both with panelists and with one of the leading scholars on the vice presidency. isso begin with some introductions. we have on the panel, many of them with us today, maria sino with hewlett-packard, also the president and ceo of the 2008 republican national convention and has been involve inside other conventions as well as other campaigns. a.p -- [inaudible] a partner at -- [inaudible] former white house counsel, adviser to the 2008 mccain campaign as well as with other candidates going back to howard baker. anita dunn, the managing director of skd nicker boxer and a communications director for
the 2008 obama presidential campaign. and not only that campaign, many other presidential and other campaigns. ben ginsburg, partner at jones day and national counsel for romney for president as well as, again, other candidates. tom pearl is not with us today, but as part of the group is a partner at jenner and block and was former u.s. associate attorney general. scott reid, again, not with us today but senior political separate just at the u.s. chamber of commerce and campaign manager for the 1996 bob dole presidential campaign. matt rhodes who is with us, chairman of america rising, and campaign manager for the 2012 romney presidential campaign and manny ruveles has been involved in numerous campaigns. so a distinguished group. but let me introduce the co-chairs who will come here, say a few words about what this exercise was, give us some highlights. all the other working group members can come up here, and then we'll delve into the panels
in more detail. the chairs of our working group are bob baur, bob is a partner at perkins coo by, former white house counsel and general counsel to both the 2008 and 2012 obama presidential campaigns. and charlie black who is the chairman of the prime policy group, senior political adviser to 2008 mccain presidential campaign and involved in presidential campaigns going back at least to reagan in 1976. so a wealth of experience. so let me invite our co-chairs, bob and charlie, to come here to the podium and the other working members to come assemble, sit, and then we will move into the panels after we hear the announcement of the report, the highlights, and we'll delve more into them during the day. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> well, thank you very much for your attendance and for those
who are viewing, we hope you'll enjoy this experience. we have, the bipartisan policy center respond so or -- sponsors many, many important projects in order to try to bring our country together and to promote good government. in this case, you know, we know each other. the men and women who work in politics and presidential campaigns in both the democratic and republican parties know each oh. we have a lot in common. we have philosophical differences and sometimes get into partisan combat. but you know what? it's been my experience everybody who's a professional in either party really wants good government. they want their candidates with their viewpoint to win, but they really want the government to be effective. and that's what this project was about. we, with all our experience many both parties over -- in both parties over the last 30 to 40
years, we've seen that vice presidential selections can be done well and that sometimes they're not. and sometimes it's just a matter that there's so much going on in a nomination contest that the process of selecting a vice president is started too late or not properly planned and sometimes not properly vetted. be we thought it was important and appreciated the bpc bringing us together to meet and discuss this and to try to come up with some suggested best practices. and i think we've got some good ones. obviously, the consensus between people many both parties. so i'm going to let bob tell you a little bit about the highlights, and then we'll go to our panels. >> well, as john mentioned, we also have with us today a leading scholar on the vice presidency, and it is in many respects an unusual institution, but it's evolved dramatically. an institution about which,
obviously, some skepticism was discussed early in the public. daniel webster said something he did not propose it being suggested he become a vice president or vice presidential candidate. he didn't proposto be buried before he died. [laughter] and there were ore comments to that effect -- other comments to that effect. the circumstances have changed dramatically. the vice presidency is an extraordinary example of a high governmental, constitutional office that has e e loved. -- evolved dramatically into a very substantive and significant role for which the president of the united states is accountable. in the end, the presidential nominees also have really extraordinary authority under our system to direct the selection of the nominee. it's a highly personal choice as well as a political choice as well as a governmental choice. and so our report looks at what this entirely privatized by
highly significant policy needs. and i won't go into great detail here because the panels will explore it, we talk first and foremost about the importance of timing. it becomes essential later in the year that the process structured in a timely fashion so that there's ample time to do what is popularly called the vetting, but also time, for example, for the presidential candidate, for an office that requires so much mutual confidence and trust to be effective to get to know the vice presidential nominees among whom the choice will be made. we talk about the structure of the vetting process, about the importance of confidentiality, about rooting out potential conflicts of interest that can distort the decision making process. and we talk also about what it means to account to the public for the decision making process on the vice presidential selection. how the rollout of the vice presidential nominee might be structured and basic questions with be raised or, rather, addressed that the public will
have about the criteria that the presidential candidate weighed and ultimately decided the selection upon. and so we walk through all of this in these recommendations, and i just want to echo something as i close that charlie said which is, it's always a pleasure to be in a room of people with whom, you know, you might be in somewhat regular partisan or political combat, but across the table they're working with you as people who care about u.s. government, they care about u.s. politics in a thorough goingly nonpartisan sense. and all of us are deeply appreciative of the support we received from john forte and his team here at the bipartisan policy center. obviously, without their ongoing efforts to organize and keep the process running and tight, this exercise would not have been possible. so on behalf of the entire group assembled and on behalf of the co-chairs or, charlie and myself, we wanted to thank bpc. [inaudible conversations]
>> i think i'm here and then you just move down the road. that's fine here. so we're all here, and we heard a little from bob and charlie, but i'm going to start thinking about how this exercise came together. i do remember sitting with bob bauer and thinking and he saying, look, i've been thinking about this for a while. do you want to tell a little bit of the story why you thought this kind of exercise was necessary. what brought you to the thinking that more substantive thinking about how to select the vice president had to be done? >> well, i touched upon it at the outset which is it's really an unusual selection process. here you have the second highest constitutional officer, the individual who's going to step into the role of president should it become necessary and who increasingly is expected to have -- and, in fact, i think this is fairly settled -- a very senior role in the government, the second most important role
in the government as an adviser and as a troubleshooter and as somebody who is a full partner in a governmental administration. and yet, as we know, the person who decides who that will be is the nominee of the party. now, granted, conventions can sometimes have some role. that is to say, apparently in the past conventions have made it clear, at least in one case i can think of, something who was on the mind of -- somebody who was on the mind of a presidential candidate would not pass muster with the delegates. but that's not typically the case. it's a very privatized process. everything that's done in the selection of the vice presidential nominee is done, essentially, behind closed doors. the vetting process by which the nominee is examined and qualifications scrutinized takes place behind closed doors. some of it has to take place behind closed doors, but nonetheless, it raises fundamental questions about preparation and democratic accountability. and so i've been buttonholing
people over time with comments on this topic. i remember i wore down a guest at a wedding party -- [laughter] matt bayh, and in order to escape me, he promised to write about it. and i buttonholed you, and i buttonholed the right person. [laughter] >> turning to charlie, i have two questions for you. one is bob, come to charlie black and, charlie, you thought also this was something that needed a bipartisan look, right? not just one party. tell us why you thought it was necessary or something from your experience that made you think it was necessary. do that first, and then i'm going to get into one thing that you said very early on in our deliberations, that is one of our key recommendations about really getting to know the vice president. start with the general, and then i'll move to that. >> well, i've been involved at least on the fringes of vp selection in six or eight campaigns. i've been right in the middle of it in two or three. and i've observed what the democratic party has done over
this time. it seemed to me like we weren't always vetting properly. sometimes the nominee was making a decision without all the background information that they needed. secondly, that on occasion they're looking at a lust of people, some of whom -- list of people some of whom they've never met, and the prospect of spending eight years with this person as your chief deputy if you don't know them pretty well is not good. and also, you know, i like for both parties to perform well and have the issues debated, sort of force the press to cover the issues and not chase personal scandals and things. and so i'd like for both parties to do it well. and, in fact, bob and i talked about this. we were involved in another bipartisan mission before, and we started talking about it, and
he was right in what he said. so thanks to you again for pulling our group together under the bpc in order to discuss this and produce this report. yeah, i noticed in both parties sometimes a selection that looked good on paper, and it might be good politically at least on the surface. and present netically -- parenthetically, vice presidents don't usually decide the election, no matter who you pick. the last time it mattered in the election was 1960. because if kennedy had not picked lbj, lbj would not have sent john connolly down to south texas to steel enough votes to -- to steal enough votes to -- [laughter] i refer you to robert caro if you want more detail on that. [laughter] nevertheless, it's very important. it has an important role in the government.
and you want somebody who not only will be in sync with the president's policies, but also the president's style and method of operation and the way of doing business. so i think if you put more focus on the process of getting to know people and getting to see how much they think alike and work together, it's going to be that much better when you get into the government. i've also been around administrations when they wished they could move vice president's office over to the new executive office building or something just to keep them from butting in on things, and it's just not, that's not the way it should be. we should have a good debate, and win or lose, we ought to have a good team running the government. >> so i promised i'd follow up on a specific recommendation. we have a number of recommendations, it's sort of like picking your favorite child here. but i'd say our two biggest ones relate one to the timing and the timeline, how long it takes. it's a significant amount of time.
and, two, that the presidential nominee really has to get to know these vice presidential choices, the people in the small circle that he might pick. and you brought this up, and in a way it's a very simple point, but tell us what you mean by that, why it's so important and why this choice sometimes has been made where there hasn't been a lot of knowledge between the two people, not a lot of time spent between the two people, a lot of understanding who that other person is? >> well, you know, i can give you good examples and bad camps, but i -- bad examples, but i prefer to focus on the good. and matt can tell you how mitt romney got to know paul ryan well by campaigning with him, and he also had others that were potential running mates campaign with him so that the chemistry was there. on the other hand, you know, a couple of vice presidents had to
sort of get to know the nominee after their selection, and that's in a time when they're campaigning in different directions, and maybe they're together once a week. and so if you do win, you get to the white house, and there's sort of time to get acquainted and figure out what the role should be. you'd be better to have somebody that you know and trust from the beginning. >> yeah. and i was going to turn to matt because you, and our report even describes some of the ways in which the romney campaign really went out and tried to build some of those relationships among the top choices. so tell us, tell us what worked and what you'd recommend to others. >> first, i just want to thank bob and charlie for inviting me to be a part of this panel. it was a real honor. probably the first bipartisan thing i've of done in my life. [laughter] probably the last. [laughter] so if you look at report, i think there's three important things that go into selecting the vice presidential nominee, and i've been on both sides where i've been a part of the
team defending the pick and then i've been a part of the team trying to undermine the pick in 2004. wiz the research -- i was the research director on the bush-cheney -- >> undermine the pick of the other party. >> the other party. not my own. >> clarifying that for you. [laughter] >> turns out he was right. >> turns out i was right. thank you, charlie. but, obviously, the person has to be qualified to be president. they have to pass through the vetting process which they'll get into in the next panel. but i think chemistry is absolutely critical. and charlie's right, i was exposessed to -- exposed to it. congressman ryan ended up endorsing governor romney during our long slog primary process as we were leading into the wisconsin primary, and it was probably like march, i think, of 2012. and the two of hem had met ran -- of them had met randomly at, you know, aei events, but they didn't really have a real relationship. they had talked a few times. and i didn't have the chance to
be on the road, because i was chained to my desk in boston running the campaign. but immediately when they started campaigning together, i started getting reports back from our advance team like, oh, my god, you've got to see these guys together. you know, mitt's on stage doing town halls, and he's asking paul to come on stage and answer the question, and it was so obvious right out of the gate that there was chemistry and a partnership was already forming. and then i used to have, you know, because i was in boston, i wasn't on the road as much, i had 15 minutes at least every day set aside for governor romney and myself to talk and go over things. and during the lead-up to the wisconsin primary, it was like talking to your buddy in high school who has just met a girl he's smitten with -- [laughter] and all he was talking about was paul this, paul that, paul thinks this, paul thinks that. and it was just so obvious that that chemistry existed, and the partnership was forming.
and it's so important because not only is this going to be a political partnership at the top, it's also going to be a partnership between teams. and in the end, the ultimate goal is to form a partnership that's going to create a good government. so i think chemistry's incredibly important. and like you said, there's a lot to pull out of here, but that's one area i would highlight. >> so maybe i'm going to turn to anita. my question to you is implicit in the group here. we brought together a group of people who have been political people involved in the political campaigns at a high level. we could have had a bunch of good government people come and say, you know, eat your vegetables, pick a vice presidential candidate who'll be a good vp, and maybe it wouldn't have been as believable. obviously, you know there are political and governing considerations. so maybe you could give us a sense of presidential campaigns and how they're balancing these things or how these considerations come in and how a good process might bring in more
focus on picking someone who actually is ready to govern as a vice president, not just a political type. >> well, i -- first of all, i want to share in etch's thanks to you -- everyone's thanks to you for pulling this group together and to our two chairs. as one who was exposed to the very early rantings of bob but bauer -- [laughter] about this process, the fact that he has a platform to communicate is a very good thing. [laughter] you know, josh, it's an interest -- john, it's an interesting question because i think we all agree in a very across-the-board way that somebody who is qualified to be president is now the absolute first thing that needs to be taken into account. but it's a political process. as a political primary process is a process and some of the considerations that i think traditionally people have thought were important politically really aren't, and i think the group agreed on this.
five presidents don't bring their states with them, okay? because you're -- vice presidents don't bring their states with them. we have numerous examples. lloyd benson was reelected, senator from texas, as michael due dukakis was losing texas substantially with lloyd benson on the ticket. obviously, john edwards didn't bring north carolina with him. you can look at many of these examples. so, you know, they're not going to bring a state under very unusual circumstances. whether bob graham might have made up 532 votes in 2000 for al gore, we'll never know the answer to that. but by and large, they don't bring states with them. they can serve to address and balance out some of the concerns that may be present around a presidential candidate. so, for example, you know, in 2008 when barack obama was winning the nomination, there were concerns in -- around experience level. it was certain hi something the
republicans had been attacking senator obama on, that john mccain was signaling would be a clear argument that he would be making in the general election against obama, that he didn't have the experience particularly in world affairs. well, a vice president like joe biden who, obviously, had a huge amount of experience in foreign affairs in washington as a united states senator, as a chairman of the foreign relations committee, as one who had dealt with these issues for years helped to reassure voters. voters can be reassured around experience issues if they feel like somebody's going to be putting good people around them to advise them which is not irrelevant for a few of the candidates who are running now. so -- >> one other small thing i wanted to touch on, i know i saw a prominent pollster in our audience. we talked a little bit about polling. none of our group was overly enthusiastic that polling would provide information, maybe some bits about the help of the vp selection but not so much about
what the public thought about them in terms of governing. do you want to say a little bit more about why we were all skeptical? >> well, we're skeptical because polling is a here and now. >> yeah. >> and a campaign is a forward-leaning exercise. so the idea that a poll can really predict whether a prime e presidential candidate at the end of the day is going to hurt you is, you know, it's interesting, but it's not dispositive. i think that, you know, a lot of vice presidential nominees aren't well known. a lot of the people who are running for president right now were not well known at the beginning of this campaign. so part of the vice presidential process, of course, is that person getting known and being, and being introduced to the public. but a poll which gives you hypothetical arguments is simply not going to give, is not going to to be a good predicter and in many ways can give you a false positive. >> so we talked about one of our big recommendations, that is
that you really have to -- if you don't know the person you're going to pick, you have to spend time getting to know the group you might pick among and campaign options for getting to know them. the other big one really is the timeline. in fact, we even have in the report a useful graphic which shows that not only is it, does it take some time and it's always important, but this year for a variety of reasons -- one of them is we have earlier conventions than we've had in 20 years and another is that, at least on both sides at least, we don't have mathematically-determined nominees -- that the time is short. so i want to talk a little bit about the timeline. bob, can you tell us a little bit about what we thought the core elements of the timeline are? what you really have to reserve and why you can't just wing it at the last minute? >> well, we thought there was an absolute minimum that, you know, it would be very, very difficult to operate on a schedule of less than eight weeks. and that was tight. that was tight because you're talking about identifying an appropriate roster of
candidates, you're talking about, as you said, finding opportunities, assuming that the presidential nominee doesn't know all the candidates for the presidential nominee or the punitive nominee to get to know those vice presidential candidates, at least the ones who are close to the top of the list. the vetting process is not a predictable process. it takes a while to put it together, to make sure that the component parts and, again, it's a purely privatized process. the government doesn't lend a hand here. there have been times in the past -- 1976 was one -- where the federal bureau of investigation provided at least a name check in at least one party's vetting process, but that's not done anymore. the fbi doesn't have the authority. some campaigns wouldn't be comfortable even if the choice was offered to them. so you have a process that has to be structured to do a complete review, and you don't know whether in the course of that process issues won't develop that are going to require time beyond what you originally thought.
i can think of an example a number of years ago where a medical issue arose that needed to be run to ground. it was run to ground successfully, but it required an adjustment in the timing of the process. and so this is a weighty responsibility, and it cannot be rushed. so we basically looked at the possibility that the parties might find one or the other of themselves in a position -- obviously, there's a lot of speculation that could happen for thiess one of the parties this year -- that the nominating procedures, the nomination would be in doubt all the way through the convention, and a hurried, last minute process for selecting a nominee is fraught with the potential for disaster given the recommendations we've made for the components of a well-structured process. >> charlie, do you want to weigh in on this too? what's -- there's a core process, and the other thing out there, of course, this year might be an unusual year, we don't know. our recommendations certainly are that all the campaigns need
to get going on this soon, need to begin. maybe there needs to be some amendment depending on some of the circumstances of there being several candidates out this and the possibility of an open convention on the republican side. nonetheless, though, i think we all thought ideal to start now, and even if there's some of these problems, to get something going now. >> that's right, josh. i have recommended -- john. i have recommended through the media and today, through this presentation, that all the candidates in both parties start right now with the creation of a process of how they're going to select a running mate and then begin the process. ..
they are going to talk about betting on the next else i won't get into too much detail about that. eight weeks after develop the short week -- shortlisting gotten permission from people. so yes, i hope everybody will start now and go ahead and do it the right way so that it's fine if we nominate somebody at the last minute on a wednesday night and they pick a running mate on thursday morning, if they've all been vetted properly. >> a couple of other recommendations we have relayed to the sensitive nature of the information you're getting from these candidates, getting the most personal questions, getting personal answers. that information is floating around.
we thought about how to deal with that evan also thinking about how one rolls out the vice president made i can start with a map on the sensitive nature of the information out of there. campaigns have to think about who gets to see it and how tightly this is held and what to do with information afterwards. do you want to speak about? >> matt bauer was a man who ran our selection process and i think get a great job. it's about. need to have people with a political background, political intended to go to these materials. there is sensitive information that's included. for example, i was mitt romney's campaign manager and i recuse myself from look at that information at a relied on beth and governor romney to identify any flag that existed that would disqualify someone during the vet. it was easy to do. the reason why i did it at the time i was 38 and i thought that
there's a chance, which there probably isn't anymore, that i would probably do another presidential campaign. i didn't think it was proper for me to look through the vetting reports of all these people who inevitably would one day run for president themselves. as it turns out many of the people on our list have and will in the future. i think that's an important striking a balance and is easy to recuse yourself. i did. i don't think it impacted my ability to provide any recommendation if mitt wanted at the end of the who i thought might be the best choice. it's not about -- that's about the person at the top. >> anita, you can speak about if you like but i guess i want to focus you on our last set of recommendations which is think about the vice president announcement as the beginning of kind of the rollout of the fall campaign. how it relates to the
convention, how you do it, what sort of pitfalls to avoid if you announcing the vice presidential selection? >> in the report we described by a special selection, and i strongly believe it is the first decision of the presidency. so it is an incredibly important decision. it's a government decision as much as, much more so than a political campaign decision. it tells you something about what kind of president that nominee is going to be i who they pick and by the process by which they've chosen this person. and the rollout, the announcement of who the choice, is the opportunity for the nominee to really communicate with the american people. what were the important things he or she looked for? so what is important to me when i think about this from a couple perspective, and what was the process that they used to give
people a sense of how they're going to approach important decisions of the presidency. this is the first presidential level decision and needs to be communicated with the public in that context. there's been a lot over the years that has changed about presidential and vice presidential rollout. it has to serve the dual purpose of committing something important about the nominee and also introducing the vice presidential nominee in a very different light if they are well known, or if they are not very well known, it's the opportunity to introduce them to the american public. a few bit false. even if they were an extraordinarily experienced elected official and even if they were running for president in that cycle and had the opportunity to participated in debates against eventual nominee, they don't know if the nominees positions. they go from being a principal speaking about the record as themselves, what i believe, what i have done, what i voted for,
to having go be an effective spokesperson for the nominee. it takes a little time to get up to speed. traditionally you don't want that person to have to be out there answering a zillion questions right away simply because they need to a full-time to learn the nominees positions and get used to the idea that they are no longer just speaking about their record, their beliefs, what they've done, but speaking on behalf of the ticket. they become very high level spokespeople which is a different role that most elected officials are not used to playing. >> i think that's another reason why chemistry is on board. the partnership begins immediately and you have to have two individuals that are familiar with each other, have had done to think about each other's ideas which mitt and paul the survey did throughout wisconsin and everywhere else in the country. it matters. i do think the element of surprise is important and i
think we are able to pull that off in 2012. i know it is incredibly important, scott reid couldn't be about for senator bob dole, senator gold gloves surprises. and we need the secretary camp he was eligible because he was eligible because history of the abl's practices guide that new everybody. involved in politics of the could successfully pull that off and have a surprise because he had built in chemistry. even though at times it wasn't always a given. >> in fact dole and kemp knew each other very well but they were on opposite sides and issues like taxes. they didn't particularly like each other. body in a series of meetings that scott was able to manage to have kemp and dole savannah meet and talk at length, for hours without getting out to the
press, jack was able to say look, i know who is in charge if we get elected, and i will be loyal to your agenda. i hope you'll be open-minded to consider some of my ideas. dole rejected the gold standard in italy by the way. [laughter] -- immediately by the way. just kidding. not only do they develop a way to work together, jack was a tremendous asset to the ticket. it turned out the economy being so good and bill clinton in such a great candidate that were -- there was no way dole would win that you. most people that you ask any the party would've said he was capable of governing had he gotten to be president. there's more than one way to get the chemistry. the other thing, they probably never had gotten together for dinner in their history before jack was on the ticket after the election all the way up until the time of jack's death.
they got together as friends very frequently. >> the next panel will go in depth into the issue of vetting which are going to has mentioned it is critically important, but in addition to the private vetting process, which is the extreme personal information that maps as campaign manager did wonders and that political consultant should also messy because they get in and in races against these people some point and they should know these negative things. but there's a public vetting process is will worry public research process that goes on in a parallel track of the campaign can do and that the research and communications officers will undertake, which is to go to the public record. indicates a joe biden that was a public record that became what he was elected to the senate in the early '70s. that's a lot of votes. to start looking at those
differences and issue positions, start thinking about how the campaign is going to answer those questions at identifying some common themes and common things. there's a public research process that goes on at the same time this intensely personal private vetting process is taking place. >> i'm going to give a warning to the microphone and will open up to audience questions or but i want to give bob and chart a chance to say one last important thing you would like to see whatever you would about the report and then we will turn to the audience for questions. when did you please identify yourself. >> i want to stress again, other than the part about my ranting, about the governing decisions. it cannot be stressed enough. one of the other points to be made about partnership between the president and vice president that has gotten consequences is the message it sends to the staff. that is to say, reduces the likelihood you're going to have friction within the west wing and the old executive office
building fine for visibility or for control over access to policy because the principles that made it very clear what the role of the vice president is and that the president and vice president are unified in their vision. i think it's extraordinary import. i would also underscore finally got a lot of the attention that is being paid understand it because sned said it is a political process, a lot of the attention that is going to be paid to the political significance of the. no, the message we are communicating is this is an extraordinarily privatize highly personal behind closed doors of choice that has massive governmental consequences are in many respects the process by which those consequences are prepared for and addressed have been outpaced by an evolution in the office. our hope would be to help campaigns think constructively and thoroughly about how this can be done in a way that is equal to the task.
>> last point i would emphasize is the privacy point about the information that is gained in the betting is critically important, but also the more private you can keep this process, so you do not embarrass the people when they get it. everybody went to develop a short list it's only good way to make a decision with more private you can be and fewer embarrassments you get to the people who don't get it, the better. >> we have a mic you on one side of the room and we're going to call on you in the audience and you should identify yourselves. why don't we start right here? >> dawn with the bpc. i think you all agree it doesn't matter that much was to the vice presidential candidate is from in terms of making a difference with voters but what about other factors like religion, socioeconomic background, things that maybe will resonate more
with voters? does that make any difference in this election? >> it is not a choice about political dimensions. it does commit to something not just about the candidates of governing choice but about what they think is politically important. you can think of circumstances, for example, like and mondale's choice of geraldine from our in 1984 where there is a statement he made about what kind of a candidate he wants to be. and then, of course, that's an example where questions were raised about how the entire vetting process worked and whether yielded the best possible result. that became a controversy. i don't think anyone is suggesting there isn't some political element to the communication, to the choice, and you put your finger on a f few. >> i wouldn't put two billionaires on the ticket.
[laughter] i'm against putting one on there. [laughter] but the fact is there's lots of appeal to the people who are self-made people. joe biden whose blue-collar background and fact he's never been a person who sought wealth or became wealthy. that does allow him to relate very well to a lot of average americans and i think that's been an asset to the president. you take that into consideration what is the total psalm of a man or woman -- total psalm -- that matters the most. >> i would just add that yes, of course it is important i think the religion peace begin if you're trying to make a statement but what is important the end of the day, what are you saying to people with the joint ticket? for instance, in 1992 bill clinton picked a very
unconventional choice and al gore. they were from the same region of the country, for example. they were both pretty much from the same part of the party, the more centrist part of the democratic party, but it was a very generational message, the two been together, and the chemistry was quite good and al gore was qualified ended monday for which i regard as a huge asset for anybody entering this process. when john mccain picked sarah palin and 2008, she had a reputation certainly in alaska as being a reformer, of being a maverick. similar to mccain's profile. i think from and messaging perspective was probably part of that consideration was that she was someone who stood up to special interests and have taken on some really tough issues interstate. there are other issues that you think about what are you communicating. i think that is as much a part
of the. what are they going to be saying about this ticket, about where we want to govern. it's a political process, too. >> bob is right there's a political dimension to every choice you make on a camping but i think recent history shows that candidates don't look at qualifications, passing the vet and chemistry, selected individuals that were the most successful vice presidential running mate. >> why don't we go back here in the blue striped tie. >> on a first year law student interested in election law. i guess my question is rather than talking about the individual impact of a person on the process, made easy to talk about like, for example, like how technology could play a role of the process of selecting a vice president. i know in the 2008 election cycle the idea was to announce the vp candidate by text
message. may be looking at process is what maximizing electoral interest like to a different process might have an impact on the election. >> i will start, in 2008 the obama campaign announced were going to let our supporters here as a vice presidential nominee was rather than giving it to the press first which was consistent with an approach went into a camping of connecting directly with our supporters and the building a basic community of grassroots supporters out there. didn't quite work because a network based on a faulty airline report went ahead and reported it. part of this was organizational. which is what we want to get to cell phones and community with them on an ongoing basis in the campaign. i think that clearly the are two things that campaigns will continue to do, the santos campaign particular digest and
absorb their job of it, and a one is to a strong community using technology to allow them to communicate very directly with voters and whether just to be done by of the parties at the grassroots level in a very specific way with local leaders communicating things. i think technology will continue to play that role. i also think that technology can be used as we've seen certainly in congress to bring pressure on nominees, a huge online effort to petition to take this person online pressure. so the wha one in 1984 was a lof very public pressure from women's groups that the democratic party needed to have a woman as the vice presidential nominee to signify the women had really rise and the political process. that moves in a very powerful way so i think it plays a huge role. role. >> you want to say hello but about, we have some
recommendations about social media not being anything that we have to look at. >> we talked about technology is only going to impact the vet. and right now there's some young man or woman that is leaving social media footprint as we speak that 20, 30 or so not they will probably regret spent although one could say we have a front running candidate for president in one political party who has let this socially footprint that is something speeded that is raising the bar for those young men and women but there will definitely regrets. people have to be cognizant of that and it will certainly play into the vetting and how the rollout is proceed because of this footprint that is left behind. >> even right now for the children of potential candidates that the vetting process, how can we include it in weight in a much more comprehensive way simply because anybody was under
the age of 30 has been living in a social media world that their parents didn't go up in or inhabit, and have a footprint that you don't necessarily want coming out, or at lease you want to know about before the poor kid is under the lights as the top of a vice president of nominee having to answer for everything they've ever done on social media. >> we have a question in the back with the bowtie. the mic is right there. >> i'm with the peace group are following up on this line of question and answer, given that eagleton event from years ago, what procedures are in place and now to avoid having that type of event occur? >> and for our younger audience members, explain the eagleton. >> bob, i let you take that. >> i will not be abl able to ges timeline but the gist of it was, eagleton was a very
well-received vice presidential choice of george mcgovern, a senator from missouri your that's a very good point. highly articulate and very well-received, well-liked in the senate. then it turned out that post-selection it was discovered that he had undergone shock treatment and other therapy for depression. and we are in a different world now, arguably. where then this was the trigger for an immediate outcry that he couldn't be a suitable candidate for the vice presidency and certainly couldn't be one heartbeat away from the presidency and eventually eagleton had to resign. that is, resign his spot on the ticket and he was replaced by sargent shriver, a cousin by marriage of president john kennedy, selected by i guess the democratic national committee at the recommendation of the nominee george mcgovern. what had apparently happened, just to finish this often is given as the all-inclusive is
anything else you want to tell us question. he chose not to disclose this. spin now just to get everybody's medical record. >> i mentioned earlier thorough comments or questions, they have to be run down. right now as pointed out to a lot of people don't remember this episode terribly well but it's just built into the process, that you would never say to a candidate, candidates will always be asked the prospect will always be asked the open-ended question is anything you want details that we have a thought to ask you? but to the extent that there is a path that the campaign can travel to if you will trust but verify and look for the areas like medical histories on own initiative with your own due diligence, that's what they are compelled to do. >> i think for the political junkies in the room from the 1972 convention at which senator
eagleton was nominated for vice president actually help define chaotic convention, it was one where the nominee of our party didn't get to make his acceptance speech into 2:00 in the morning. this is probably one of the examples one could use as why don't want to rush these things. it was a contested nomination all the way into the convention. and probably not as much time spent on this in retrospect as they would have wished. >> we can hear the history of the vice presidency but this is the timeframe where the vetting becomes much more serious starting in 1976. the other point you passed over all of it but consider that can be cases where the party has to come back and pick some of in this case they didn't reconvene at the convention of the party leadership -- >> once again the candidate
drove the selection process. they look to mcgovern to say second time around who would you like to run with? by the way, you can also imagine that was later in the process of the number of people who work racing fans offering to be slaughter in the general election was diminishing. [laughter] >> the importance of the decision cannot be overstressed. this reflected very badly on mcgovern as a leader. he wasn't going to win the election anyhow but he did need this destruction. you want to pick a good vice presidential nominee and then he don't want distractions. i used to say and i still say that after about two days after the rollout of the vp, if you see the vice presidential candidate on national news, it's bad news. >> okay. why don't we go here? >> i'm a retard department of labor employee.
do you think the electorate would be ready for an all female ticket? >> it ends on who it is. -- depends on who it is but i absolutely don't think that there are very many voters who would vote based on the gender of the ticket. but if you put somebody on the is otherwise not popular or doesn't vet what a becomes a distraction, it would be a problem. in the end these voters, 98% of them, vote for the top of the ticket. the vp doesn't make that much difference. if they become a distraction or negative, yeah, it makes a difference. >> i think any challenges secretary clinton is having right now in her primary are not because she's a woman. it's because people find are dishonest and untrustworthy.
that's a whole other problem but will it impact who she picks as a vp at it will not disqualify anybody on the female side. i think on the shortlist i think there will be quite a few women. i think senator elizabeth warren will be on the secretary clinton's shortlist as she gets pulled more and more to the left. and i think there will be other people including senator jeanne shaheen up in new hampshire. >> i would just say it is actually, from just a woman's perspective, a great election year in which the one candidate who in both parties is seen as the most qualified and experienced candidate, the one most prepared to actually, who has the best credentials to be the president is the woman of the five of them. i think public polling has been very clear about this, and focus groups as well that who's qualified and who's got the right experience, it's the woman this time. it suggests again that it would depend if people thought it was
a choice that was because it was a qualified person ready to be president, that i think people would be happy to accept that choice. if it was seen as a political ploy, people would probably be skeptical like anybody else. >> we have done for maybe one more question. right here. >> you brought up, if a vice presidential nominee is not well-known, that it's on the campaign to really lay the groundwork to introducing this person to the nation. i'm young, i've only had six elections. i think in my life the person who is the market example is sarah palin. how much do you think media played a role in introducing sarah palin to the country? i ask that because i feel that a
lot of people's first impressions of sarah palin was tina fey on "saturday night live." and if they look at sarah palin the rest of the election as more of a comical, unfit, or unintelligent person as was played by tina fey, that could affect people's perception of the ticket and mccain as a whole. so how much do you think media plays a role in shaping the view of the vice president? >> they play a huge role is which is one of the reasons why you want to get these things correct. you can go back and look at public polling and coverage. this was a very well received nomination initially, and if you look at the coverage of for the two weeks after the republican convention, the race was never closer than during that period. i can only tell you the obama communications director us getting all these about your going to lose the woman's vote, you arin trouble, the polls are so close, which we didn't do it because we thought underlying
that it was actually a weak choice. tina fey did not invent those problems, okay? [laughter] >> i mean, the vice presidential nominee, sarah palin, in her images and public appearances said things that gave tina fey the material to create an extraordinary impression of her. but i will only refer to her interview with katie couric because the all came right out of her mouth, okay? what newspapers do you read? it's a gotcha question, okay? i think the media doesn't invent these things. candidates given the material to do it, and it's why this public piece of it in addition to the private setting, the public piece of is a critically important as well. you don't want to put some out there who was not prepared, or this will happen. in 1988, editing the report touches on this, dan quayle, the
same thing with very little time to get prepared and he was a united states senator. pretty well-liked by his colleagues. and have been around for a while but was totally unprepared for the different level of attention that you get when you're suddenly a candidate for national office. >> part of this leadtime were suggesting is, if you get people on the shortlist you spend time with and not just the candidate but the staff to drill them and debate him and make sure they're willing to take advice. and the governor hails defense, she was picked and probably had two hours of the kind of briefing before she pulled out -- governor palin. later in the election should a very good debate against joe biden, which is not easy to do. that's because the staff spent a week with her actress in a drilling and training and she had a great debate. it then it was too late to recover from the tina fey stuff.
on sunday night september 14, the mccain campaign tracking poll had us three points ahead. in other words, in the margin of error with senator obama. the next day lehman brothers went under to the great financial crisis torn and two weeks later we would help points down which had nothing to do with mccain -- we were 12 points down. luck of the draw. >> i the draw. >> inode are more questionable were going to wrap this panel and then take to not break the room, take a quick change of the people on stage and move to the next i want to thank all of you here and all of the task force people for a great report, so thank you. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations] >> all right.