VP Choices for McCain.  

Posted by Jessica in ,

A lot of friends and family members ask me my thoughts on who McCain and Obama will choose as VP running mates. I don't claim to be on the inside and have any special knowledge, I just claim to be a political junkie who knows a lot of the names bouncing around news articles. Of course McCain and Obama can do what many nominees do and pick someone people weren't expecting, so know that my list isn't exhaustive. I'll make this specific post about McCain VP choices and add some of my own commentary. (I'm writing this after waking up wide awake at 5am on 5 hours of sleep, so please excuse any grammar and spelling errors.)

McCain Potential Choices:

Mitt (Robomitt) Romney: He's been an option from day 1 but only because of his economic cred and the fact that the base isn't happy with McCain. Picking Romney is an attractive choice because a lot of the Repub base has come to love and miss Romney (apparently Romney flip-flopping in abortion, gay marriage, immigration and every other issue isn't a concern for Republicans). McCain needs to energize the base and appease them. Picking Romney could go far in this regard. Also, Romney would be able to beef up McCain's fundraising with both his own money and his large list of big money donors.

Rudy Giuliani: Slim chance he'll be chosen. McCain likes him, but Rudy's astronomical failure to do well in his run for the GOP nominee killed most of his chance of being chosen. He's a liar and a lot of people don't like "America's Mayor." Hell, even his own daughter wanted Obama to win. If he's chosen I'll cheer because it will assure an Obama victory.

Mike Huckabee: Small chance, slightly higher than Rudy's chances. Huck's retail politics are tremendous and he does well on the stump. Truly a decent guy who has a loyal following within the Republican base. The following would be larger except Huck is a bit of a Republican populist. Definitely more of a common man fighter than the corporate one we expect in a Republican candidate. Some of his extreme social views discount him heavily and I think Americans want a candidate who doesn't wear his religion on his sleeve as much as Huck does.

Lindsay Graham: Republican Senator from South Carolina. McCain loves his Lindsay Graham. If I had gaydar, Graham's readings would be off the charts. This guy is as gay as the day is long. Nothing wrong with that, but McCain can't choose him because he is boring as hell, from South Carolina, and has big problems with the GOP base.

Tom Ridge: Former Governor of Pennsylvania and Secretary of Homeland Security (also served in Congress). McCain would pick him in a split second if he didn't serve in the Bush Administration and if he was pro-life (Bush ties hurt him more than his pro-choice stance). He could potentially deliver Pennsylvania. He's pro-choice and highly connected with Bush, which significantly ruins his chances. But McCain can have a mind of his own and in a moment of rebellion, would choose him. He did endorse McCain before the NH Primary and McCain values his early endorsers who stuck with him during the lean times.

Gov. Bobby Jindal: Governor of Louisiana. I've seen Jindal in action and he can be a very persuasive and charismatic person. He has a great resume but he's too young and would be a risky choice. He'd help bring in some young swing voters and maybe some ethnic/racial minority voters, but I can say for sure that Obama will get huge majorities of most race and ethnic minorities.

Sarah Palin: Governor of the beautiful state of Alaska. I just don't like this one, but she's apparently seen by some as a Republican superstar. She just had a baby and is from Alaska. Small chance and a risky choice. But she is pretty popular in Alaska, so you never know.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty: Governor of Minnesota. I love this guy. I've seen him several times in person and he is a fantastic speaker. I'd love it if he were a Dem because he's so good on the stump. He'd be a decent choice because he is a good-looking, young Governor of Minnesota, which could swing to the Republicans (small small chance), and he has somewhat of a loyal following with the GOP base. Has a pretty good shot of being chosen. Endorsed McCain early and McCain likes the guy.

Gov. Charlie Crist: Governor of Florida. High approval ratings in Florida and is appealing to moderates and Independents. Tons and tons of gay rumors and then he is suddenly engaged....He found a beard in just the nick of time to be considered a strong viable VP choice. Could potentially deliver the state of Florida to McCain.

Colin Powell: Former General and Secretary of State. McCain likes Powell but Powell might endorse Obama, so he really isn't in the McCain camp yet. Too closely tied to Bush and his big asset is his military cred, which McCain already has the monopoly on. He's not much of a VP choice, but McCain would love his endorsement. Funny how his endorsement hasn't been delivered to McCain!!!

Rep. Rob Portman: Congressman in Ohio. Strong chance of being chosen because he hails from Ohio, a swing state. Has good econ cred, which McCain is severely lacking. Decent on the stump. Not a horrible choice, but pretty boring, but boring is a synonym of Republican VP choices.

John Thune: Senator of South Dakota. Repubs love them some John Thune. But he's from South Dakota and besides adding a tiny bit of excitement to the McCain candidacy, doesn't add much. A safe choice, but there are safer choices that could have bigger upsides.

Carly Fiorina: Former CEO of Hewlett Packard. Apparently she did a really shitty job as CEO, but still has the econ cred. Also a woman, which the moderates like. Decent on the stump, smart, a bit moderate, but she has no political experience.

Condoleeza Rice: Former National Security Advisor and current Secretary of State. She would maybe have a decent shot if she wasn't in love with George W. Bush and didn't serve in his Administration. Incredibly smart and African-American, but McCain will only get a small chunk of the black vote (chunk of black Republicans) and she won't really add onto that bloc.

Kay Bailey Hutchison: Senator from Texas. Woman, McCain likes her, and would ensure a Texas victory. She's a bit older and voters could be wary of another Texan in the White House. Isn't particularly charismatic. Nice lady, but I think other people have a much higher chance of being chosen.

Joe Lieberman: Senator from Connecticut. McCain would love to choose this guy. Would help get some of the Jewish vote and some Independents and moderates. But he is pro-choice and aside from the War and some other issues, leans Dem. This choice would alienate the Republican base and despite the upside of getting some moderate votes, McCain would lose just as many, if not more, of his GOP base votes. These voters would either sit out the election or vote a third-party choice.

Any other choices you'd like to add? Honorable mentions would go to: Elizabeth Dole, Fred Thompson, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, and David Petraeus.

If I were a betting woman, I'd place my money on Mitt Romney right now. Other bets I might place would be on Pawlenty, Portman, and Crist.

UPDATE 3:18pm: Check comments for a comment by Ted who really wants Gov. Sarah Palin to be the VP choice. I'm tellin ya', lots of excitement for her.



1. Which McCain Veep pick is SIMULTANEOUSLY the safest AND boldest?

ANSWER: Sarah Palin

2. How can McCain SIMULTANEOUSLY attract both Hillary AND Bob Barr voters?

ANSWER: Sarah Palin

* * *

This just in from the Conservative Voice:

“Desperately seeking Sarah
July 26, 2008 10:00 AM EST

By Stephan Andrew Brodhead

Desperately seeking Sarah
Americans need a little Palin Power

Sarah Palin the current Governor of Alaska is John McCain’s ultimate choice for VP. I do believe a woman is next in line for the presidency. All Conservatives like her. She is popular in Alaska. Hillary supporters would relish her. She would solidify a 12 or possibly 16 year Republican executive.

John McCain’s boring campaign is wearing thin. I need a little Palin Power to get me interested again. They would say ‘but she is only a half term Governor!’ And your point is?

That’s all I have to say about that!”

Thanks, Ted. Interesting perspective. Still not sure about her chances, but she would definitely generate A LOT of buzz with the GOP base and in the media, both of which are good for McCain.

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