Hutchison as McCain's veep pick?
Another name is floated.
By Mark Kilmer Posted in 2008 | Hutchison | McCain | ticket | vice president — Comments (98) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Vice President Kay Bailey Hutchison. The possibility of John McCain selecting the Texas Senator as his running mate is floating out there somewhere.
When I studied political science in school, we were taught the veep candidates were chosen because they could balance a ticket ideologically or geographically, or because they could carry a prized State. Those are old-school rules, but I assume they are still in vogue (if we add a gravitas balance rule). Other factors like age, sex, race, rural v. urban, experience with Congress, issue strengths, criminal record, etc., are also factors.
The ideological balance rule might be important here, if John McCain wants to convince those who believe he is not conservative enough by choosing someone whom they believe is conservative enough, but it seems that a candidate's conservatism is now a matter of gut feeling and opinion than anything objective. The American Conservative Union has a popular rating system in which they measure a candidates "conservatism" by how often the Senator (for our purposes) agrees with the ACU on specific issues legislation chosen by the ACU. In his career, John McCain has agreed with the ACU on ACU-selected issues 82.3% of the time. Kay Bailey Hutchison has agreed with the ACU on ACU-selected issues 90.4% of the time. (For sake of reference, Arlen Specter has voted with the ACU on their selected issues only 44.7% of the time in his career. Hillary, just nine-percent.) So by the ACU's criteria, Hutchison does not balance McCain ideologically, with both leaning heavily conservative.
It gets more fun. Read On…
David Hill writes in The Hill newspaper:
Hutchison is one of the few potential running mates who could ensure home-state success. To the surprise of pundits not paying attention to Texas, this is saying something. The Lone Star State is no longer the automatic red state it once was. As the Hispanic population grows, and as some misguided Republicans drive Latinos into the beckoning arms of the Democrats again, Texas Republicans can no longer necessarily count on getting 40 percent of that vote, as was doable in the Bush era. One longtime poll taker in the state recorded a Democratic plurality in voter identification last year. Texas Republicans are going to have to earn their statewide victories once again.
Sen. Hutchison has proven she can handle this challenge. In 2000, she captured the most votes in Texas history, tallying more than 4 million ballots. Hutchison knows how to win even when the Democrats are surging. After all, she was the first-ever Republican woman elected to the state legislature and the first female elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas. If Hillary Clinton’s bid fails, Hutchison will be ideally positioned to gain votes from voters wanting symbolic gains for women.
As a bonus, Hutchison would burnish John McCain’s conservative credentials in Texas and elsewhere. The American Conservative Union confers a lifetime rating of 90.4 percent on the Dallas senator, higher than a conservative stalwart like Mitch McConnell (89.7 percent) or McCain himself (82.3 percent). The National Rifle Association awards Hutchison its highest rating. The pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce assigns the Texan a rating of 92 percent. And Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform gives her a 95 percent rating. In the school of conservative politics, Kay Bailey Hutchison is the super-smart girl who sits in the first row, an all-A’s student whom John McCain should want in his study group
Now, my conservative gut reaction rules her out. Granted, my recovery from cancer treatment has done a number on my conservative gut, but it had earlier objected to John McCain as the Republican nominee and has been overridden by my conservative noggin's reaction. I'm willing to think about Hutchison, and since I have access to the smartest political minds on the internet, I ask you to have at it.
A CAVEAT. Neither Tim Russert nor George Stephanopoulos has demanded a "Shermanesque" statement from her, but Senator Hutchison has ruled out such a run as McCain's veep.
"It's not something I want," Ms. Hutchison said of the vice presidency. "I'd so much more like to keep helping Texas. I hope I'm not in a position where I'm considered."
Ms. Hutchison added that she had not talked to Mr. McCain, who is all but assured the GOP presidential nomination, about running with him, nor have they discussed any of his prospective running mates.
Oh, that's not Shermanesque. If she's asked, sounds like, she just might do it. She'd guarantee McCain Texas, but running against Obama or Hillary, that one is a no-brainer anyway. The geographical balance is nil. Then again, Club for Growth rated her at 53% on Pork for 2007. I guess she balances John McCain, who rated a perfect 100%.