Monday, February 11, 2008

McCain's Running Mate

Jennifer Rubin at Human Events and Club for Growth President Pat Toomey (at the Wall St Journal) start the McCain Vice Presidential watch, along with a host of others at various blog spots. Among the possible candidates, there are four very general groupings:

One of the other Presidential candidates, such as Fred!, Rudy, Mitt or Mike, or even past Presidential candidate Steve Forbes - possible but thought to be unlikely. I'd have to agree, although I could see one or more being asked to serve on a McCain cabinet, particularly the first two or Forbes.

Another current or former Senator or Congressman - names being bandied about include SC Senator Jim DeMint, former TX Senator Phil Gramm, IN Rep. Mike Pence, former CA Rep (and SEC commiteeman) Chris Cox or even OH Rep. Jay Boehner. Again, I see maybe Gramm in cabinet position, while the others currently in Congress remaining in the legislative branch where they can better influence policy.

Then there are the Governors - MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty, SC Gov. Mark Sanford, MS Gov. Haley Barbour, FL Gov Sharlie Christ, and former Govs Bill Owens of CO and Frank Keating of OK. This might be the place the pick originates from, giving the ticket access to some executive level experience, with Pawlenty and the two southerners having the inside track in both placating conservatives and provide some regional balance and putting Blue/Purple states (MN, IA, WI if it's Pawlenty) into possible play. Christ is more of a dark horse possibility, and the two former politicos are fairly unlikely as well. Pawlenty is the co-chair of McCain's campaign, so he may have the inside track, but Barbour or Sanford would also be very attractive in the slot as well.

Then there is the diversity group - former MD Lt Gov. Michael Steele, former OH Lt Gov Ken Blackwell, AK Gov. Sarah Palin, LA Gov Bobby Jindal, former OK Rep JC Watts, TX Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson or Sec of State Condi Rice. Unless Obama wins the Democratic nomination, any of these appear more likely to be cabinet or agency level appointments. Jindal and Plain are unlikely due to being relativley inexperienced, Hutchinson would only be attractive if Hillary gets the nomination, and the former Lt Govs and Watts probably only make sense if the opponent is Obama, although I think highly of all of the gentlemen, particularly Steele. Condi is quite unlikely, but gives the double whammy of black and female.

It should be interesting to see what happens at convention time.

1 comment:

Tom Boots said...

Indiana's Mike Pence would be a great choice. His conservative "creds" are solid, his relative youth would help to balance McCain's advancing age, and Pence's telegenic qualities would serve him well in terms of television coverage. He would be a very articulate spokesman for conservative principles which would help McCain solidfy the Republican base.

Sarah Palin would be an intriguing choice. She is relatively conservative (with some libertarian leanings), has experience at the local and state level (having served on the city council, as mayor and as Alaska's governor since 2006) and is a rather attractive lady. But her relative inexperience at the state level is probably going to cancel her out. If she was in her second term rather than her first, she'd certainly be one of my favorite options for McCain's running mate. Regardless, I think she has a VERY bright future in electoral politics.

I also like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. But, like Palin, he's too "green" in terms of his relative youth and level of government experience. He needs a little bit of seasoning before he's ready to "go national."

It'll likely be a governor or U.S. Senator from a swing state (with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty being the most likely option) and/or southern state (e.g., Mark Sanford, Charlie Crist, Mel Martinez, etc).

Let the vetting begin.

Tom Boots
Lafayette, IN