Assuming Barack Obama actually gets the nomination (we cannot rule out Clinton somehow nabbing it at the brokered convention), I think there are perhaps three politicians who could possibly add to his ticket going into the general election:
John Edwards – His populist talk and devotion to working class issues, combined with his skills as an attorney, make him an ideal vice presidential candidate. He managed to sell himself as one in 2004, and although he didn’t get enough footing to remain in contention for the nomination this year he still has a base of supporters who could help bridge the divide between Obama’s followers and Clinton’s. But this is unlikely, because Edwards is an economic populist, and corporate Democrat Obama blew it big time when he tried to finagle an endorsement only to end up angering Donna Edwards by attacking her husband’s health care plan.
Christopher Dodd – Dodd has the stones to go toe to toe with adversaries on the campaign trail, and he has shown leadership in the Senate by shaming Obama and Clinton into voting against one of the appropriations bills for the occupation of Iraq. I see no reason why he couldn’t make a strong ally on the campaign trail.
Bill Richardson – Although I don’t think he’ll add much to an Obama ticket going into November, his executive experience is desperately needed in the White House. He could be seen to help the senator make a case that he can bring in people who know the ins and outs of governing (as opposed to legislating).
Assuming Hillary Clinton manages somehow to get the nomination at convention, I see only two potential candidates who could possibly help her win in November:
Ted Strickland – Although he has only been governor of Ohio for roughly a year and a half, he has shown he can get things done. He has also demonstrated an ability to get the GOP in the Buckeye State’s legislature to play ball on things like the budget.
John Edwards – This is a somewhat unlikely pick considering the former senator from North Carolina is an economic populist and Clinton is an economic conservative whose support of NAFTA is likely to continue should she win the White House. But the two of them are closer on important issue such as health care than either of them are to Obama, and while Edwards did go after her on the campaign trail he didn’t make it personal like the Illinois senator has.
Regardless of which Prima Donna ultimately gets the Democratic nomination, the only way to add to the ticket is to pick a populist vice presidential candidate, or one with executive experience.