DealBreaker Policy Forum

No American parent has ever looked at their son or daughter and said, “You know, I hope you one day end up being Vice President”. And yet, for all the lack of glamour the vice presidency has in the public mind, speculation over who will be chosen by a presidential candidate to be a running mate is the Olympic decathlon of talking heads, political pundits, and guys posting on blogs from their basements at 2am.
But how does this process even happen? Why do people like Katherine Sebelius or Tim Pawlenty get their names mentioned as potential running mates but people like Steve Rothman or Dave Heineman get passed over like yesterday’s lunchmeat? And does any of it give us an idea of how the candidate on the top of the ticket will govern?
To get some answers, we sent asked Dan Gerstein, someone who has a lot of familiarity with a vice presidential campaign. Gerstein worked with Senator Joe Lieberman for a decade and was Lieberman’s national spokesman for the 2000 VP campaign. He was also the brains behind Lieberman’s successful re-election in the heated 2006 Senate race in Connecticut. Gerstein was written several op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal (including this one on Wednesday) and appears on MSNBC, Fox News, and NY1. Gerstein now supports Barack Obama for President though Lieberman was considered to be one of the top contenders as John McCain’s running mate.

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[Warning: This is the second half of a two-part series and it’s just as long as the first part. Again, if you’re not into reading, this isn’t for you].
In the first part of this forum, I asked three regional experts — Alex Grigore’ev-Roinishvili, Julie Roginsky, and Daria Vaisman — their opinions on what caused the current conflict between Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia. Next, I asked them what the world will do about it, if anything at all.

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[Warning: This is the first of a two-part series and they’re both REALLY long. If you have little patience, intelligence, interest in what’s going on in the Russian/Georgian conflict, or think that Russia took over Atlanta, this isn’t for you. If, however, you’ve been paying attention to this, are trading energy futures and/or are loaded up on BRIC countries — and Russia is the ‘R’ in BRIC — you’re going to want to read this.]
If you’ve been following the news this past weekend, the real story wasn’t Michael Phelps or even jillion-dollar extravaganza opening ceremonies in Beijing. Rather, it was the flare-up between Russia and Georgia. If you haven’t heard, there’s a lot of oil and natural gas in that area and the Russians bombed (though missed) a major pipeline. Nonetheless, oil prices continued to drop today, but the question is: What’s going on there? Are the markets overreacting or under-reacting?
To get a handle on it, I asked three experts on the region for their input in a Q&A format. Each has a different approach to the situation but, surprisingly, they have similar conclusions. This broken up into two parts: first, ‘Who Started It?’ and, second, ‘What’s The World Going to Do About It?’.
After the jump, the forum begins.

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