Hillary on Tuesday, Tim or Jack on Wednesday?

With Hillary likely to get the prime-time slot on Tuesday night at the Democratic convention, all that remains is the identity of Wednesday night's speaker.

Published July 28, 2008 6:30PM (EDT)

The word from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe Monday morning is that he expects the New York senator to speak at the Democratic convention on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

This makes perfect sense. The nominee goes Thursday. Monday is usually slotted for former presidents and vice presidents, which means Bill Clinton, already a rock star, and Al Gore, now also a rock star in his own right. If Hillary in fact headlines Tuesday night's lineup, that means the only question left is who will be giving the big speech on Wednesday night as Barack Obama's veep choice.

If I were betting, my money would be on either Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed or Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. I am a firm believer that Obama cannot pick a non-Hillary woman or racial minority, and both Reed and Kaine are white guys. They are also solid choices and workers, which is what Obama indicated Sunday to Tom Brokaw on "Meet The Press" he valued most. If Kaine has an edge, it is that he hails from a swing state and is term limited anyway; if Reed has an edge, it is that he just got back from sharing a lot of time with Obama abroad and can smooth relations down Pennsylvania Avenue with Congress.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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