Obama-Reed? Obama-Hagel?

TNR's Jonathan Cohn makes the case for Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI).

All I can add to this is that as of last week, Reed had not been asked to submit documents, and people close to him say that he worries about the effect of a vice presidential run on his young daughter. Also: note that Reed is up for re-election this year and that a Republican governor would fill the vacancy. Choosing Reed would give Obama the chance to add some Washington and national security heft to the ticket without drawing attention to Obama's lack of national security credentials. As Obama's number two, Reed would be the type of VP who is a background confidant and an adviser -- a Mondale -- not a full governing partner in charge of large areas of the government -- a Cheney. While we're at it, let's think logically about whether Obama would choose Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE). Speculation about vice presidential picks is neccessarily limited by our lack of information about what Obama wants in a pick, so we pundits tend to overemphasize the immediate and the political at the expense of the relational and the long-term. It's true that we don't know whether Obama wants a strong vice president; we don't know whether Obama expects his vice president to be a good campaigner; whether Obama expects his vice president to be a good debator; whether Obama expects his vice president to share his orientation toward government. But these are reasonable assumptions to make. All we know is that Obama and Hagel are sympatico on Iraq and about certain parts of the national security issue matrix. The same could be said about a dozen other senators with similar resumes. Now Hagel is a Republican, and selecting him would make a statement -- I'm not sure what it would say -- about the type of administration Obama intends to run.

There's a much simpler way for Obama to reap the benefits of having Hagel endorse him -- and that is to have Hagel endorse him.