Dr. Larry Sabato points to a significant flaw in an Obama-Kaine ticket:
Other than the possibility of racial leakage at the polls–the chance that many white voters who would otherwise vote Democratic this year will be unable to cast a ballot for an African-American–there is no greater threat to Obama’s victory than his inexperience. With fewer than four years in Washington as a senator, most of which has been spent running for president, plus a stint in the Illinois State Senate, Obama’s public office resume is undeniably thin. His recent successful Magical Mystery Tour of eight European and Middle Eastern countries notwithstanding, Obama has little or no foreign policy, military, and national security experience.
Unless one counts foreign trade missions, Kaine has even less knowledge of these areas than Obama. Survey after survey has shown that Americans have a hard time, at least so far, seeing Obama in the role of commander-in-chief. A VP pick with solid background in the military or international arena would be reassuring. Kaine provides no comfort there, and it may cost Obama. Overall, Kaine has executive experience as a mayor and governor that perhaps balances Obama’s purely legislative resume. Yet this would be a team whose elective resume is rather skimpy, beginning only in the mid-1990s, with just one truly consequential office each–and not a full term in it for either.
The experience gap is a trap for Obama any way you look at it. If he were to choose a significantly more experienced running mate he’d just be forced to tell us why the less experienced guy is leading the ticket. The voter’s focus still lands on an incredibly light resume.