Thursday, June 19, 2008

Speculating on the Republican Vice Presidential Selection

Since we had the Democratic Veep speculations, only fair to do the Republicans. Who will McCain pick as his Vice President?

In this case, recent trends seem to be the opposite for McCain as they are for Obama. As McCain's numbers slowly sink, he needs someone on the ticket that can deliver key states. He's got plenty of advisers: what he needs is a politician that will deliver the White House.

Trending Up:
Charlie Crist
Mel Martinez
Matt Blunt
Mitch Daniels
Debora Pryce
Rob Portman
Tim Pawlenty

Trending Down:
Colin Powell
Condoleezza Rice
Lindsey Graham
Bobby Jindal
Kay Bailey Hutchinson
Rudy Giuliani
Joe Lieberman
Haley Barbour

Treading Water:
Mitt Romney
Mark Sanford
Mike Huckabee
Michael Bloomberg

Tied for #1. This week's events puts Charlie Christ up there as front-runner along with Mitt Romney, who's had the #1 spot for months. But in recent days, Florida may be starting to trend Obama. That's bad news for McCain, who needs to lock up those 27 electoral votes that he was counting on. Christ is the go-to guy if you want to put Florida in your pocket. Only problem, right-wing conservatives suspect the single Christ may be secretly gay, or possibly flamboyant. Not that there's anything wrong with that.... But McCain hasn't shown much stomach for crossing the cross-bearers, who pretty much have veto power over this pick.

So that leaves the other #1, Romney. Romney's economic credentials and cash still look like the best thing out there. But can Romney deliver any of the states that McCain doesn't already have in the bag? Better still - could McCain stand having him hang around the White House? And those right-wing Christians aren't all too thrilled about him either.

That brings us to #3: Mel Martinez. If you can't get a Governor, get a Senator. Actually, he's perfect: delivers Florida. Appeals to Hispanics. Makes history on the ticket. Wait a second. Wait a second. He was born in Cuba? Damn..... Guess this was a fake-out.

Ok, so the alternate #3: Matt Blunt. The telegenic young Missourian would do a lot for the McCain campaign - not the least of which would be to get it out of the senior citizen's ward. The 11 electoral votes of Missouri aren't nearly as important as being anointed by this bellwether state, which has voted for the winner in every Presidential election in the last 100 years, save one. Blunt's naval background and fiscal conservative credentials would also give team McCain the "junior McCain" he'd no doubt love to have around in case the old ticker goes on the second term. Only problem: Blunt suddenly announced he wasn't running for re-election this January when the odds started to look like they were against him. With the odds starting to go against McCain, can he afford a pessimist on his team?

#4: So maybe go for the preternatural optimist: Mark Sanford. The South Carolina governor has been auditioning for the VP spot for a few weeks now. McCain might decide he's been making a better case for McCain than team McCain has. South Carolina may be in McCain's camp, but he could use a local boy to bring NC back into the fold. If the right nixes Christ and Romney, the chances for Sanford look better and better. The problem: unlike Christ, Sanford didn't throw his weight behind McCain with an endorsement before the S. Carolina his hard campaigning for the spot now might seem to some a little AWK-ward. And while he passes the religious-right sniff test, this conservative, eco-friendly "new south" good-old-boy may not be the favorite of the Neo-cons in McCain's inner circle.

#5. In which case, McCain may decide to look north, to Tim Pawlenty and Minnesota - another state that may be swinging into reach as Florida swings out. Pawlenty could be the inside man: he's already friends with McCain, has been smartly playing down his prospects (which is the right way to play them up), and McCain could easily decide that the best way to balance his southwest charm is with some gee-wizikers Midwestern friendliness. Problem with Pawlenty: seems he recently made an awkward semi-sexual joke about his wife. Golly Jeez, those Republican's is sure sensitive about sex. (And letting a major bridge collapse in your state sure doesn't help.)

#6: Colin Powell. OK. Seems unlikely. But desperate times call for desperate measures. IF McCain wakes up to the deep unpopularity of the war, a pick from left field like Powell could be a bet to shake up the board. It could do just that: negate the historic race issue and nuance McCain's positions on Iraq. The next day could see an entirely different electoral map in play. The problem: it would send his inner circle of neo-cons into a tizzy. And Powell has no ground organization or money, two things McCain could use more of. So this is definitely a whistle in the wind.

#7: Brings us to Rob Portman. What does he have going for him? He's from Ohio. McCain needs Ohio. What doesn't he have going for him? He worked for W. Bush. McCain doesn't need Bush.

#8. Or perhaps Deborah Pryce. What does she have going for her? She's from Ohio. She's a woman. What doesn't she have going for her? Nothing. Literally: there's nothing else. If being a woman from Ohio was enough, my mother would be on the ticket (hey, she's the same age as McCain - why not?)

#9. Too bad we don't have more politicians from Ohio, huh? Wait...there's Mitch Daniels. He's from that state next door: Indiana. What's the story with him? Same as Rob Portman. B-U-S-H.

#10. So that brings us to Mike Huckabee. Darling of the conservatives. A true politician, a real campaigner. Could deliver...Arkansas. Yeah, like that's useful. Let's face it, at this point, where are the Evangelicals going to go, Bob Barr? I think the Huckster scares McCain a he should.

#10b. Lindsey Graham. So what has happened to the good old mainstays of the Republican party? Well, when you're a 72-year-old going against Obama, you need to shake up the ticket with the young exciting bloods and new faces, the Crists, Pawlenty's and Sanfords. Picking one of your old Senate buddies just doesn't seem...exciting...enough. But if any of these guys can hang on to the Top 10, it's probably Lindsey. I know, I know, technically he's 11. But he deserves to be on the list, so I put him here.

So who didn't make it into the Top 10?

Condoleezza Rice - would be nice...if only she didn't have that little problem with her resume: B-u-s-h.

Bobby Jindal - could be the next Blunt or Pawlenty. But Louisiana isn't really in play...and Blunt and Pawlenty are the current Blunt and Pawlenty.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson - she gets mentioned a lot, but I don't see it. I think McCain would rather put Clinton on the ticket. ( that I mention it....maybe I should have her on here.....)

Rudy Giuliani. Oh, come on.

Joe Lieberman. Wasn't there talk of this same ticket last time, only in reverse? I wouldn't put it past traitor-Joe, but it was a fever dream last time, seems like one this time too.

Haley Barbour. A party favorite. But McCain doesn't need his baggage. Would probably be the best thing he could do to quickly sink the ticket.

Michael Bloomberg. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Wait. Do you think? No....ha ha ha ha ha ha.


Anonymous said...

Can’t realistically imagine McCain selecting anyone other than Palin as his Veep!

Anonymous said...

Mac Pick Palin Veep BEFORE Hil Campaigns w/Obama!

In addition to her overwhelming attraction on the oil/energy issue and the female/disaffected Hillary voters, her human interest story will generate millions and millions of dollars worth of publicity and media coverage — essentially free to the McCain campaign — more than offsetting Obama’s reported money advantage.