This despite the arguments advanced by party strategists struggling to work with the limited options in the Orange party.
Catholic University political science lecturer Maurice Amutabi has previously argued her role as a Kanu regime insider, her lack of political clout in Rift Valley, and the presence of stronger alternatives work against her.
Analyst and lawyer Moses Chelanga says choosing the Aldai MP will likely trigger discontent among supporters of Cabinet ministers Henry Kosgei and Franklin Bett, who have publicly campaigned to be considered for the position.
“The Tinderet MP commands much more support in the North Rift among ODM supporters (than Kosgei). The party risks offending this constituency,” argues Chelanga.
“Likewise Bett represents the populous Kipsigis. Any attempt to forego the two could cost the party support in the region.” Adams Oloo, a University of Nairobi lecturer, also has doubts Dr Kosgei will end up as the ODM leader’s running mate, even though it may serve some interests to float her name at this stage.
“The PM already has (better) international networks than any other aspirant and even the president himself,” he said. “He will not be looking for someone with the same credentials.”
Oloo predicts the actual choice will be someone who can bring votes on board. There had been talk of Water minister Charity Ngilu as second-in-command, but her entry last month into the race to State House has raised doubts about this.
Some ODM supporters in the North Rift have suggested Assistant minister Margaret Wanjiru’s as a running mate for the party leader, but this is considered an even longer shot. Coast leaders have also demanded that Raila name a returning mate from the region.
The ODM team tasked to consider the matter argues that Dr Kosgei enriches the party ticket with a strong foreign affairs background.
The Stanford-educated politician spent years serving Kenya as an ambassador, most prominently to the United Kingdom, before later working as Head of the Public Service. “She is the most appealing at the moment because she comes with a number of advantages to the PM’s candidature,” says our source in the think tank, pointing to her wide range of international contacts.
The minister’s career on foreign affairs, which spurns two decades, has also seen her serve as Head, Africa and Organisation of African Union Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Counsellor at Kenya High Commission, Harare, Zimbabwe, the United Nations Environmental Programme Permanent Representative for the Kenya Mission in Nairobi, High Commissioner, Kenya High Commission in the United Kingdom, and Ambassador in Ireland and Switzerland before she later became the Head of the Public Service Office and Secretary to the Cabinet. She is the first woman to hold the position.