Why Hasn't Obama Announced His VP Pick?

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," August 21, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome to "Hannity & Colmes." We get right to our "Top Story" tonight.

Where is the veep? That's what everybody is talking about. But take a look at what Senator Obama said late today.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can say that I've -- made the selection and that's all you're going to get. All right?


COLMES: Senator Obama also told "USA Today" this afternoon that he has chosen someone who's independent and would challenge him in the White House but who is, at the same time, prepared to be president and would help him strengthen the economy.

But lots of people were expecting the announcement to have come by now. So what's the hold up?

Joining us tonight, himself, a former vice presidential nominee, is Jack Kemp.

Mr. Kemp, good to have you with us.


Video: Watch Sean and Alan's interview

COLMES: Thanks for being with us.

What do you think.

KEMP: Nice.

COLMES: What's going on with the timing of this, do you think?

KEMP: I have no idea. How can anybody predict when either John McCain or Obama are going to pick their running mates? But I'm like you. I thought it would be done today. Maybe it will be done tomorrow. Who knows?

COLMES: When -- should we read anything into the comment I alluded to when we introduced you that he wants somebody independent? He also said someone who will challenge him, someone who will -- he can have a robust discussion with.

Do we read anything into that?

KEMP: You know, it's tough to read statements that are made maybe 24 hours prior to a choice. I think he's being very careful, playing it very close to his chest. But clearly, he needs someone who can bolster his lacking national security credentials.

He has no foreign policy experience. No national security credentials. So, in my opinion, he should have picked Sam Nunn or General Tony Zinni or Jack Reed.

COLMES: What about the current contenders? At least the ones that everybody's talking about whether it's Joe Biden or Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine of Virginia? Any of those.

KEMP: Well, they're all.

COLMES: Go ahead.

KEMP: They're nice guys. They're all nice guys. And I'm not going to pick on anybody right now. But he really has to bolster his biggest problem, which John McCain., clearly, is ready to be commander in chief immediately on day one. And he is not. So, in my opinion, he's got to pick somebody who will bolster those credentials.

COLMES: Would Joe Biden be that person? Could Evan Bayh be that person? Do you see that among those contenders for V.P. that that fills that void in your view?

KEMP: Well, I personally am a Sam Nunn fan. All those names you mentioned are good guys. I've got nothing against them. But I think he's really got a problem and he's got to do something to overcome it. And -- so we'll just have to wait and see, Alan.

COLMES: Everybody's looking for hints. I mean he met with Tim Kaine's staff in Virginia earlier today, meeting with the staff -- oh does that mean they're just getting to know each other or is it just a thank you for good work done during the campaign?

Everyone is looking for every little cue.

KEMP: You know -- yes. It is a mystery. There's no smoke coming out of the Vatican. These are all just -- these are all just, you know, flags. Seeing how they grow.


KEMP: And I'm sure he's just playing this, as I said earlier, very close to his chest 24 hours before the announcement.

COLMES: You've been in that position. You've gotten that call. What's that moment like and how does the information arrive to the vice presidential nominee apparent?

KEMP: Well.

COLMES: What was it like for you?

KEMP: I don't think Jack Kemp was very typical. Bob called me on my car phone. I was driving down to my son-in-law's farm in Virginia. And I got a call, hey, Jack, come on back. I got to talk to you.

And I went back and talked with Bob and Elizabeth and it was about 24 hours before the announcement was made. So, I doubt very much whether they're going to do it the way that Bob Dole picked Jack Kemp

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Jack Kemp, welcome back to the program. Your good friend, Sean Hannity, here. And.

KEMP: Sean.

HANNITY: . welcome aboard sir. I'm on this -- I'm leading the.

KEMP: Thank you, my friend.

HANNITY: . stop the Obama express, so I just want you to be happy about that, considering at one point I think you were close to excoriating me, so it's good to be on the same team.

KEMP: Sean, how could I do that?

HANNITY: You can.

All right, first of all, do you think there's any chance he's -- he is equivocating because of the weakness he's showing in the polls. Zogby has him down by five. Do you think now he's considering Hillary? And if he does that show that he -- he's recognizing how weak he is as a candidate?

KEMP: Well, it is as you say very close. Zogby, who is a very fine pollster, has John up by five. Clearly it's tight. And here is a time when Dukakis was 14 or 15 points ahead of George Bush -- President H.W. Bush back in `41.

So I don't know why he is doing it. I'm sure he will come up with what he thinks is a good pick. I'm willing to wait and see who it is. As I said to Alan, I think he needs to bolster his national security credentials.


KEMP: . because he really doesn't have much to go on.

HANNITY: All right, one thing -- I would argue that one of the reasons that I think that Senator McCain is doing so well, beyond, you know, Barack Obama, citizens of the world, playing the race card, saying he doesn't look like others on the currency, I think Tony Rezko -- he has now brought that into the forefront, his sweetheart deal, a guy -- a slum lord that he got $14 million to.

We're going to get into that and show the ads later when we have time in the program. But with all that said, I think there's one big mistake that John McCain can make. He's been running now as a conservative. If he picks Joe Lieberman, I think it's a huge mistake.

Your thoughts?

KEMP: Look it, Sean, I -- you're picking on Joe Lieberman every night. Joe Lieberman crossed the aisle.

HANNITY: I love Joe Lieberman. Not for V.P.

KEMP: . to defend John McCain. Let's not pick a fight with Joe Lieberman. He is a great guy.

HANNITY: Hang on a second.

KEMP: He's a.

HANNITY: That's not my question though.

KEMP: . Scoop Jackson Democrat. And he supported John McCain. Why pick on Joe Lieberman? He is a great patriot.

HANNITY: Whoa -- I -- Jack, I consider Joe a personal friend. I love Joe Lieberman. I interview him all the time. But not -- but I'm saying that he voted against Clarence Thomas. He voted against Sam Alito. He voted for partial birth abortion.

KEMP: He supports -- wait, wait, wait, wait.

HANNITY: Wait -- I'm asking this -- let me get to my question. If he picks Joe, it's a mistake.

COLMES: You're treating him like he's a Democrat.

KEMP: Oh boy, you are tough. You do this every night, Sean.

COLMES: You see what I deal with, Jack?

KEMP: He supported capital gain tax cuts. He supported eliminating the capital gains in enterprise zones. He supports free trade with Columbia. He's been a -- he's a Scoop Jackson Democrat. He is willing to cross the aisle to support John McCain in foreign policy, national security and on tax policy.

HANNITY: Are you saying he's a good choice?

KEMP: He's a great American and I don't think.

HANNITY: I agree.

KEMP: . you should be beating up when the choice hasn't been made.

HANNITY: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Jack, beat him up? I haven't said anything except he is my friend.

KEMP: Every night, Sean.

HANNITY: And I -- no, no, no.

KEMP: Every night you pick on Joe Lieberman.

HANNITY: No. No. I think he'd be a great secretary of state. I think he'd be a great secretary of defense. I love him personally.

KEMP: So do I.

HANNITY: I like his family. I'm -- but I don't think a Democrat as a V.P. for McCain is a good idea. That's not beating him up.

KEMP: He's a -- well, you're -- I have heard you almost every night. I watched you with Newt Gingrich. My buddy Newt Gingrich said, no, no, this will ruin the party.

Nonsense, Joe Lieberman is a patriot. He's a McCain Democrat.

HANNITY: I -- of course. Bad choice for VP.

KEMP: And I think you should wait until the choice is made.

HANNITY: I -- you know, you misinterpreted what I said.

KEMP: Well, we're not talking VP tonight.

HANNITY: You're saying you watch me every night. Every night I said I like Joe Lieberman. He'd be a great secretary of state but not a good V.P. choice and now you want to excoriate me. I don't get that.

KEMP: I don't.

COLMES: This is -- hey, Jack, will you fill in for me? Next time I go on vacation, will you sit in for me?

KEMP: No one can excoriate you, Sean. I'm just saying let's wait until John makes his choice. I'm going to support the man or woman that John McCain picks.

HANNITY: All right. I got to run.

KEMP: It will be a pick and a great defense and great on national security.

HANNITY: I predict, if he picked Joe Lieberman, conservatives will be furious. And I'm looking at it politically as well as everybody else.

KEMP: John McCain -- John McCain is a 20-year -- 30-year conservative. He's going to win the election and we're going to have a great ticket going in November against a weak ticket of Barack Obama and whomever.

HANNITY: Jack Kemp, it's always a pleasure to do battle with you. You ought to be thinking, when Alan Colmes is supporting you, there's trouble there. But thanks for being with us.

And coming up.

KEMP: Thanks.

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