Friday, August 08, 2008

Meet Eric Cantor

Bruce Walkier at The American Thinker has a profile on Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, whose name has come up as a potential VP for the McCain campaign. While not noteworthy outside his home state, Cantor does bring a sizable number of advantages to the table, the first being his conservatism - he had a 100% rating by the ACU (American Conservative Union) for 2007 and has the second highest lifetime rating for any House member from his state's eleven member delegation. Selecting Cantor would greatly cheer the base for McCain and put to rest conservative fears about McCain's moderate approach on many issues.

Secondly, Cantor's is young, handsome, energetic and articulate, all things that people generally do not ascribe to Mac but do ascribe to Obama. Cantor could thus negate some of the advantage that the younger, more visually appealing Obama has with those voters that base their decision on looks alone. Thirdly, he is Jewish, and a serious one who keeps kosher. This fact again aids McCain with the social conservative wing of the Republican base. Cantor could also help the McCain with Jewish voters in more blue leaning states, negating a key Democratic constituency.

"Many Jews feel a bit uneasy about Obama and his anti-Semitic friends. These Jews are also disturbed at the summary dismissal or a serious Jewish liberal Democrat like Joe Lieberman, the Democrat's vice presidential candidate eight years ago. Lieberman is a strong McCain supporter, and that support will provide a strong push for ambivalent Jewish voters to tilt towards McCain. Placing a religiously serious Jew on the Republican ticket with McCain will provide an even stronger push. In a close election, and this looks to be a close election, a swing of Jewish voters to McCain could translate into victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and other states that McCain could either win or lose. Those battleground states are the keys to victory for McCain."

Fourth, Cantor represents Virginia, which is trending purple after years of being solidly red. Obama has targeted Virginia for a takeaway from the Republican column and might even go so far as to select Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as his running mate to do so. Cantor could mitigate the effectiveness of a Kaine selection and help keep the state blue. Another factor to consider is that McCain might only seek a single term, leaving Cantor as the heir apparent for the 2012 elecdtion. Walker suggests the idea of a handsome young conservative Orthodox Jew running for the Presidency (maybe with an Indian-American former Governor of Louisiana as his running mate) would greatly complicate the electoral math for the Democrats in the next election, and I can't see any negatives to the idea myself.

Not sure if there are any better selections, but I can see several who wouldn't be nearly the help to the ticket that Cantor would be for McCain.

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