The McCain Veepstakes Rules

Please Consult This List Before Touting Your Favorite Choice

By Dan McLaughlin Posted in | | | | | | Comments (297) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The hottest topic in Republican circles, ever since John McCain iced the nomination, is who he should pick as his running mate. There are many interesting names floated, and McCain will have good reason to make a show of talking to a bunch of candidates for the job, as a way of courting different groups and party leaders and feeling out people who might end up with other jobs in his Administration.

But realistically, there are a number of constraints on what kind of candidate McCain can or should pick. The Vice Presidency isn't like other appointments, since he or she is independently elected and can't be fired. And McCain's choice will be of particular significance for a few reasons. First, because of his age, voters will want more assurance than usual that his running mate is ready to step into the job at a moment's notice. Second, also because of McCain's age, he's seen as less likely to serve two terms; his running mate, win or lose in 2008, will have a leg up to be the heir apparent in 2012. And third, many conservatives are unhappy with McCain as the party leader, and want to see that the moderates have not taken permanent control of the party.

Let's start with the Don'ts, which will be especially important in this process. I'm not saying that McCain will necessarily follow these rules, but he should and I suspect he will. And I'm not saying that it's impossible that he will take someone who breaks them, but it will be a very heavy burden to overcome, and probably fatal for anyone who violates more than one of them. (This list is not necessarily presented in any particular order of importance).

More below the fold...

1. No Senators: In every presidential election year, many Senators don the red shirt and run for the White House, but only two sitting Senators have been elected President, Harding and Kennedy, for a variety of reasons - Senators aren't executives, they vote too much and govern too little, and they tend to speak their own arcane language ("I voted for it before I voted against it"). With approval ratings for Congress at or near all-time lows (Congress, with a 13% approval rating, is less popular even than President Bush, at 34%), putting a Senator on the national ticket would be a bad idea. It's too late, of course, to avoid the fact that both parties will nonetheless be nominating sitting Senators in 2008, but at least McCain can take someone who isn't yet another Senator to balance out the ticket. Also, with the Senate's partisan balance so delicate, taking an incumbent out of the Senate - even one who can be replaced by an appointed Republican - will force the GOP to work still harder to maintain its foothold in the upper chamber.

Could McCain choose someone from the House? Possibly, but it still means the downsides of a Senator's association with the current Beltway conditions, and without the gravitas and name recognition the Senate enjoys.

2. No Bushies: After 8 years of any president, the public wants a new team in place; with Bush's approval ratings in the dumps, and particularly given that those low approval ratings are driven so heavily by unhappiness with Bush's executive management during his second term, especially Hurricane Katrina, the management of the Iraq War and lower-level screwups such as former Attorney General Gonzales' mishandling of what should have been a routine decision to remove a number of U.S. Attorneys, McCain needs a clean break from anyone seen as being part of Bush's management team. That means no Condi Rice, whatever her other virtues as a candidate - McCain's been arguing for five years against parts of the Administration's approach in Iraq, and regardless of the merits of those arguments he couldn't well turn around and pick Bush's single closest foreign policy advisor. It also means no Chris Cox, even if he'd be a fine pick for many of the reasons Quin Hillyer identified in early March; with the collapse of Bear Stearns, Cox has also had a recent education in why being the SEC Chairman is a better way to become a scapegoat than to advance to higher office. And it probably means no Rob Portman, either; while the former six-term Congressman's popularity back home in Ohio will earn him a serious consideration, and while his tenure as Bush's Trade Representative and then Budget Director hasn't made him a high-profile Administration figure, and while most of the grievances with Bush's spending policies predate Portman's tenure at OMB, the simple fact of haling from the Bush White House probably counsels against taking Portman.

3. No Old Retired Guys: McCain's age is a double-edged sword, as it does help him connect with older voters, while alienating young voters who are more interested in "cool" and "change" than understanding the actual requirements of the job. Either way, it would be folly to exacerbate the old-graybeard image by adding a candidate who is old, bald and recently pulled out of mothballs like Fred Thompson or Phil Gramm. An active governor like 66-year-old Don Carcieri might not have the same problem, but I'd still bet on someone with some non-white hair left.

4. No Rookies: On the other end of the spectrum, a large part of McCain's argument, especially against Obama, will be that McCain is experienced, battle-tested, and ready to take the now-proverbial 3 a.m. phone call. But as I noted above, given his age, he'll be undercutting that argument if his running mate doesn't also clearly pass that 3 a.m. test - and that means no first-term Governors or Senators, no Lieutenant Governors or state legislators, no business people without government experience. It has to be someone who has more experience and credibility than the Democrats' presidential nominee.

5. No Novice Politicians: This is a similar but related issue, and trips up people like Rice and Colin Powell who might pass the test for foreign policy credibility: the Obama campaign of late has been yet another illustration of why and how inexperienced politicians get in trouble trying to run national campaigns - there's too much new stuff to come out, they don't do damage control well, they react badly when people throw rotten fruit and the kitchen sink at them. McCain will need someone who knows how to stand in and take it in the closing months of a tense campaign.

6. No Pro-Choicers: McCain, unlike Rudy Giuliani, has been able to pass all the minimal-acceptability thresholds for social conservatives, particularly pro-lifers. But social conservatives remain uneasy with him, and he can't afford significant defections from his base if he is going into a difficult fight in the fall. The one thing that's certain to set off a huge and ugly battle within the party is taking someone who supports legal abortion.

Rudy, had he won the nomination, would have needed an especially vigorous pro-lifer as his running mate; McCain doesn't have to go that far, but he does need a running mate who is at least meets the same minimal standards of trust with pro-lifers. That rules out open pro-choicers; it also rules out people whose views on this crucial issue are simply unknown or not fully formed.

7. No Iraq War Opponents: McCain's signature issue in this campaign has been his steadfast support for the Iraq War. McCain can and possibly should take someone who has criticized aspects of the war-fighting strategy and tactics employed over the past 5 years, as he has; but it would create an impossible muddling of McCain's message to have a running mate who opposed or came to oppose the war.

8. No Democrats: I like Joe Lieberman as much as the next guy, and would trust him to be the next Commander-in-Chief...but the presidency isn't only about foreign policy. McCain still needs Republican votes to win, and - again with the age factor - while many Republicans would be happy to see a Democrat like Lieberman in the right job in a McCain Administration (i.e., in a job whose responsibilities are limited to his areas of agreement with McCain), the Vice Presidency has to go to someone Republicans could get behind as a president.

9. No Closeted Gays: There's not a real good way to say this, but...well, if you look at the publicly floated lists of potential running mates on both the Republican and Democratic sides you see some people who have long been rumored to be gay. I have no inside insight or information about any such people; I can only know the rumors, but I assume the people vetting the candidates are better suited to get at the truth. I do know this: whether or not you believe America is ready for an openly gay candidate on the national ticket, it would be a complete political catastrophe for either party (albeit for different reasons) to pick a closeted candidate who then gets forcibly 'outed' during the stretch run of a national campaign - and you'd be a fool to bet against that happening (I discussed a similar issue here). For the GOP in particular, after the Larry Craig and Mark Foley fiascoes, this would be the equivalent of sticking your face on a land mine and hoping nothing bad happens.

10. No Lobbyists: As a general rule, "lobbyists" is one of those words that when you hear a politician use it, you can be sure that the entire sentence containing the word is utter baloney. That said, this campaign season has seen more than the usual blather about lobbyists, and McCain and his more likely opponent, Obama, both like to posture about separating themselves from the whole DC lobbying scene ... I just can't see McCain choosing a running mate who has actually worked as a lobbyist at any point, like Fred Thompson or Haley Barbour.

11. No 2006 Losers: You sometimes see people throw around names of various Republicans who got voted out of office in 2006. To be blunt: give it up. When you start trying to figure out how to turn around the GOP's setbacks in the last election and how potential running mates could help McCain, you're not going to choose anybody who lost their last election, especially not just two years ago.

12. No Perennial Short-Listers: This might be called the Jack Kemp category - there are certain people in Republican politics (mainly former House members like Cox, John Kasich, and JC Watts) who have been mentioned continually for years and years for higher posts: Senate, Governor, Vice President, federal judge, high Cabinet posts - and somehow never end up in the race. There's usually a reason for that. Sometimes, it means the guy has skeletons in the closet, sometimes it means he lacks the "fire in the belly," ... whatever the reason, discount rumors about people who have been passed over many times before.

13. No New Mothers: OK, this is a one-candidate category, but Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth less than a month ago, and her fifth child has Down's Syndrome - even leaving aside her relatively short resume in office, no way you take a new mother, let alone one with that family situation, and put her on the national campaign trail a thousand miles from home. She'll have to wait for the next cycle.

14. No Dynasties: No Jeb Bush, no Liddy Dole. The American people are just ready to move on, at least for now; McCain needs a second different name on his ticket, after the GOP running a Bush or Dole on the national ticket in every election since 1976.

15. No Affirmative Action Candidates: With Obama or possibly Hillary as the opponent, there will be a lot of sentiment for McCain picking a female or minority-group running mate. All things being equal, that would be a great idea, and indeed the GOP has a number of candidates who at first blush would seem to meet one or another of the job requirements - but when you start ticking off the list above, most of the possible candidates fall by the wayside, at least for this election cycle until the next generation of candidates is ready.

If voters vote on identity politics instead of qualifications, McCain loses. His argument has to be that you don't vote for groups, you vote for people who can do the job. I'd love to see him with a non-white-male running mate, but if it's someone who doesn't seem to be qualified for the job, he'll just look like he's desperate to mimic the other side. And that's always a losing strategy.

Now, the Do's - none of these are as litmus-test critical as the Don'ts, but they are also important considerations:

1. Executive Experience: Successful presidential candidates almost always have it - but McCain doesn't. It will help greatly if he has a running mate who can demonstrate the ability to run something larger than a Senate Committee.

2. Outside the Beltway: Like #1, this points to a Governor: Washington's unpopular right now, moreso even than usual; bringing in someone untainted by the current mess in DC will help, even if it's someone like Mark Sanford who was once a Congressman years ago.

3. Swing Stater: Historically, it's hard to measure the impact of a VP choice, but it's generally thought that a candidate who is popular in his or her home state can help deliver that state, and in a closely divided election, swinging a single mid-size state can be a big plus. That argues in favor of Portman (Ohio) or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and against Sanford or against candidates from deep blue states like California or Rhode Island. On the other hand, while I'm in the camp that thinks the GOP has had trouble with the perception outside the South that the party has become too Southern, I think McCain is sufficiently non-Southern himself that he doesn't need to avoid a Southerner (and might even benefit from one).

4. Yes, It's The Economy: Historically, McCain hasn't been at his best addressing economic issues; it would help a lot to have a running mate who can talk about bread-and-butter issues with credibility and persuasiveness, rather than taking another national security professional.

One odder consideration that has focused attention on Mitt Romney in particular is the issue of money, of which McCain has far less than Obama. But as Brad Smith has explained, with public financing McCain should actually be in good shape for the general election campaign after the conventions, so the money issue is more time-sensitive - he needs cash now.

I'll get back another day to who this leaves as alternatives, but if you are guessing that I think Sanford and Pawlenty remain the logical frontrunners, the only two guys who really sweep through all the check boxes unscathed, you are right - but while I wasn't ready to back Romney as a presidential candidate, he also should not be ruled out of the veepstakes, as there's no one consideration that really knocks him out, either.

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The McCain Veepstakes Rules 297 Comments (0 topical, 297 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Sanford and Pawlenty are probably two of the best choices. Personally, I favor Sanford because I feel his conservative credentials are more solid, and he has a very strong background as an earmark opponent and as a government reformer.

I've also thought of Haley Barbour, although he might be disqualified because of his lobbying days, and I also liked Bob Ehrlich, but he is a 2006 loser and he might be pro-choice too. Rob Portman would be good, but I don't think he has any executive experience in government.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

Well, being budget director is something; it's not the top job but it does involve him to some extent in supervising basically the entire federal government.

If it was my pick, I think I'd take Sanford, but he's not the only acceptable candidate, is my main point. And I'm certainly not a fan of taking Romney, I just think he's one of the people you have to consider. The average voter may believe Romney's more qualified than Sanford just because they've heard of him.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

shocking that if you follow all your rules you come up with ONE guy:

Tim Pawlenty

Seeing as how Romney would have lost in 2006 if he had run again, and his ties to lobbyists/Bain Capitol and his religious beliefs being back under the microscope in going up against Obama. Romney brings many negatives which would be exploited by the media. If he was simply an Episcopal businessman of a company he would be a great choice, but the media will make him into Jeremiah Wright and take away our strongest card.

Pawlenty

"Small town folks get bitter after which they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment."

I think you're right. I wouldn't mind Romney as veep, myself (it might actually be pretty awesome), but I'm afraid that he'll alienate the socialcons the same way that a pro-lifer would.

I assume you are referring to [name edited out]?
Where did those rumors start?

that will send us to a bad place.

Suffice to say that between the two parties' fields I'm talking about more than two people. And that I'm doing so solely on the basis of rumors that may have no basis in fact. But people closer to the process will have better facts, and that may end up influencing the process.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

if you can't apply it to anyone.

"If all men were just, there would be no need of valor."
- Agesilaus

Idle speculation about a person's character is uncalled for.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

unless we have un-closeted gays in contention for VP, idle speculation is all that can be brought.

"If all men were just, there would be no need of valor."
- Agesilaus

Stranded in a blue section of a red state.

Pawlenty is a good pick, but, quite frankly, given McCain vulnerability on the economy - and this is an economy election, period - I think the best and obvious choice would be Gov. Mitt Romney. He matches the dos and avoids most don'ts.

Romney certainly brings much more to the ticket than he takes away. For example, all if his misstatements and skeletons have already come out during the primary process. He shores up the conservative base to some extent as he became the late choice for most conservatives. And he is good in debates and an eloquent speaker. He is a good campaigner and looks good on TV.

TraunerWatch.com
Wyoming people deserve the truth!
Just another Bitter white-boy clinging to guns and God!

I disagree. This is a war election and a change election, it's a global terror election and an idealogical election. It's not "an economy election, period." I see that as a major overstatement.

"The AP points out that their recent poll, while indicating a huge increase in the relative importance of the economy as a campaign issue, does not seem to indicate any effect on who people are deciding to vote for. In fact, among those who have recently become extremely concerned about the economy there is no significant voting preference difference from other voters. Also, among those who show the most concern about the economy, the poll reports they are slightly more likely to vote for John McCain now than they were to favor a Republican at all in November's poll." from my post here

absentee
Also now available at Political Machine.

Iraq didn't help the GOP in '06 and I don't see it helping in '08. If things go well, the MSM ignores it, and if it doesn't, then the MSM will play it up with everything they got.

In large part, the emphasis on Iraq and led many in the GOP to abandon their Conservative principle's over "unity" for Iraq.

The economy (at least people's perception thereof) will probably be a domination factor, along with the need to change from the Bush/GOP status quo.

If the GOP doesn't embrace change from their past, the Dems will sweep.

Sigh...

to be an all-economy election, since facts on the ground make the GOP winners in any discussion about war, terrorism, the borders, and ideology. And for that matter, most fiscal matters like pork (thanks to McCain and not the general GOP establishment) favor us too.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

If Obama is the Dem nominee (or even if he's Hillary's running mate), then you do NOT want a gazillionaire CEO like Romney anywhere near the GOP ticket.

The GOP is getting a lot of mileage out of the charge that Obama (and maybe Hillary too) is just too "elitist"--culturally and sociologically out of the mainstream of blue-collar "Reagan Democrats." But Romney comes off as just as much of an elitist.

Romney won't be seen as an "average Joe" that the "Reagan Democrats" can identify with.
He's too wealthy, he's a corporate CEO (which in today's economic climate means the guy who has blue-collar workers by the throat), and he's a Mormon.

Huckabee's line still makes sense: Don't nominate someone who reminds voters of the CEO who laid them off.

Ronald Reagan was never an "average Joe." Reagan Democrats just trusted him to handle the economy and national security. That's what we are looking for. Romney fits that bill.

TraunerWatch.com
Wyoming people deserve the truth!
Just another Bitter white-boy clinging to guns and God!

I'm not sure that is Romney's selling point.

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They need to trust McCain on the economy and national security - not Romney. Romney would be someone McCain could point to and say, "This is the type of guy who will help America's economy turn around." Given his personal success and his knowledge on economic issues and his eloquence, Romney is a net plus on helping McCain sell his economic credentials.

That's the selling point.

TraunerWatch.com
Wyoming people deserve the truth!
Just another Bitter white-boy clinging to guns and God!

You said: "Reagan Democrats just trusted him to handle the economy and national security. That's what we are looking for. Romney fits that bill."

I thought you meant Romney should be VP because Reagan Ds could trust him on economy and national security. What did you mean?

As I said upthread, in the primary voters concerned about the economy voted more for McCain than Romney. And in general election polls, McCain already does better in the "who do you trust on the economy" question.

I don't see what Romney adds in this regard.

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He came up from humble origins, the son of an alcoholic Midwestern shoe salesman. He always had the regular-guy touch.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

He was a staunchly conservative, pro-American, movie star who knew what he believed and who believed in the greatness of the American people. He was not an "Average Joe." He appealed to the average Joe becaue the average Joe shares many of the same belief as Reagan - still does. Reagan was never considered an average Joe.

TraunerWatch.com
Wyoming people deserve the truth!
Just another Bitter white-boy clinging to guns and God!

What I meant by "average Joe," was that Reagan came from humble beginnings. (Not that Reagan had average talents.)

Reagan knew what it was like to live in poverty. And that helped him relate to the working-class "Reagan Democrats."

Romney is a gazillionaire corporate CEO, whose corporate restructurings at Bain caused a lot of layoffs. During Romney's campaign for the Massachusetts Senate against Ted Kennedy, Kennedy trotted out worker after worker to tell the news media that "I got laid off by Romney's corporate restructurings." The ploy worked, and Romney lost.

Republicans like to defend corporate restructurings as a good thing for the economy as a whole. But then don't expect the workers who get laid off in those restructurings to vote Republican. All they care about is that THEY are unemployed now.

If Romney is on the ticket, the Democrats are going to be using that same charge of "Romney laid off American workers" all through the campaign, and McCain will be constantly on the defensive having to explain it.

One more thing: I've already seen posts from Leftists that say "If only Romney had been the GOP nominee. We could have gone after his Mormonism just like the Republicans are going after Wright."

They have a point. Romney's Mormonism was a non-starter with a lot of socially conservative Americans.

Romney is not acceptable: Too elitist; too many corporate restructurings; too Mormon.

Michigan's last Republican candidate for governor--DuVos.

Very pro-business and knowledgeable about the economy.

His opponent kept talking about his moving jobs to China, and he never recovered. Even though the Chinese jobs were limited to serving the Chinese market, his campaign hit the skids.

But we all know how bad DeVos's opponent turned out to be... this may actually be a positive comparison to make.

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

being an uber-lib. We need people who have actually ran successful private businesses to become national leaders. They usually don't want to because of the paycut.
Tim Schieferecke

DeVos also couldn't really defend himself. He proved himself to be an awful debater, and got picked apart by the eloquent (yet insipidly vapid) Granholm.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

Personally I like Romney. But this is an ELECTION and the fact that Mitt turned off a LOT of diehard Republicans despite his 100 million dollar campaign says it all.

He in truth is not an elitist- but he will be painted as one. And he is not a bigot, but the media will portray him as one. He simply brings huge negatives without delivering any states at all. He would bring a weakness against Obama's weakness when we should be picking a strength against the opponents weakness.

Pawlenty is the man- or I am starting to really like Don Carcieri of Rhode Island as well!

"Small town folks get bitter after which they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment."

That's kind of important in an election..

Now, if our elections were replaced by 50 state caucuses, then I could see how Romney would be a good pick =D

and looks good on TV.

I laughed out loud at that comment. I sure am glad that wasn't one of the requirements to run for president in the US Constitution. Have you seen the pictures of some of our former presidents? Contrary to what some have reported; not all women base electability on looks. Some of us research before voting.

The "looks good on TV" part is covered by the 4th Amendment.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Uhh, almost every "rule" you lay down is wrong.

That said, I agree with your overall assessment of who are the most likely candidates at this point.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

Socialism doesn't work. It looks nice on paper, but it's been tried and it's failed miserably every time (usually accompanied by widespread death and suffering).
Proud member of the V.R.W.C.

I generally agree with almost all the points made.

The top of my list is the same as it has been since McCain won the nomination: GOV Sanford, GOV Pawlenty are 1, 2. I put Cox at #3 and I think his tie to Bush is lessened b/c he isn't tied to the foreign policy side of things which is what kills Rice's chance.

I want to challenge one bit of received wisdom here. For reasons that I don't understand, McCain polls very well on economic issues. Questions like "who do you trust more on the economy" have McCain beating Obama and, usually, Clinton. In the primary, a plurality of R voters who put the economy as their #1 priority always went to McCain. It seemed odd at the time, but it is strong evidence that people want someone they can trust on economic issues and the trust is the emphasis, not the economic issues.

Thus, while I think there are reasons Romney should be on any list, I don't see him helping with "economic issues" in a political sense. When given a choice between McCain and Romney, economics voters choose McCain. Throw in the white working class Dem segment of the population (that McCain will try to win over if he's against Obama), and I'm not sure how putting a rich CEO-type helps win votes.

I think Romney is very good on economic policy and I'd love to see him have his hands on Sec Treas or some similar policy wonk position. But as far as winning votes on economic issues, I don't see any evidence that Romney will do so.

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For reasons that I don't understand, McCain polls very well on economic issues. Questions like "who do you trust more on the economy" have McCain beating Obama and, usually, Clinton. In the primary, a plurality of R voters who put the economy as their #1 priority always went to McCain. It seemed odd at the time, but it is strong evidence that people want someone they can trust on economic issues and the trust is the emphasis, not the economic issues.

I think this is because of McCain's record on spending. Bush is strong on lowering taxes, but not on cutting spending. Liberals are quick to blame the Bush tax cuts for the past eight years of minimal economic growth, but conservatives are more willing to believe that spending is the problem. McCain's record of voting against the Prescription Drug Benefit and the Bridge to Nowhere, as well as not accepting earmarks, makes him a perfect fit.

My guess is that it's also due to the more general logic of choosing the lesser evil playing itself out.

We need to remember that one of the consequences of the Republican primary was a demonstration to Republicans of the deficiencies of the entire field of candidates, which forced them to switch their logic to "who is the lesser evil."

So the economics question became not so much "who do we trust the most on the economy?" but "who do we distrust the least?"

Economic libertarians blew Huckabee out of the water. Romney was overwhelmed by his image as a slick corporate type. Which left... McCain.

In addition to explaining the "trust" in McCain, this perspective change from "greatest good" to "least evil" caused by the heated Republican primary also shows why there are still many Republicans who are refusing to vote at all. They understand that if they are to vote, it must be on the logic of the lesser evil, but they reject that logic on principle. So they will not vote.

If many people are doing this (we should take polls), Republicans might find that they will have to persuade the abstainers instead of dismissing them. This, of course, is something that will be hard to do.

It's clear that the Democrats do not suffer this problem. For them, the mentality is still "the greatest good" so you hear very few Democrats saying they're going to sit out the election (even if they threaten to in order to support their chosen candidate).

This is a significant advantage that Republicans will probably need to nullify either by making the Democrat primary be about the lesser evil and causing the purists/betrayed to stay home, or by persuading Republicans to vote rather than sit it out.

You know, I was playing a game the other day and came up with an interesting possibility.

I was thinking: Everybody REALLY wants Jindal or Palin, but they haven't been in their respective offices long enough. So what we REALLY want is someone who can serve for 4 years, do some good, and then be dropped off the ticket for Jindal or Palin.

Then, I figured out who might fit that mold based on the following criteria.

1. Had to be likely willing to be a 4-year VP.
2. Needed to have no future political ambitions.
3. Needed to have ties to various swing states/groups.
4. Needed serious economic cred.

And I came up with: Sec. of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez!

He doesn't seem to have any political ambitions, would probably be willing to be VP for 4 years, has ties to Florida, Michigan, AND hispanics (particularly Cubans), and is instantly credible on economic issues! He's perfect!

Except for one minor detail:

He's born in Cuba. Didn't get here till he was 7.

Oh well.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

Those qualifications, which I agree with, really narrows down the field of contenders.

It seems like that the only ones I can think of that fit the majority of the rules are Pawlenty, Romney, Sanford, and (can I say this without being shouted down?) Huckabee. I think the first two have a much stronger shot at the nod than the last two. And I know that there is great disdain for Huckabee amongst certain circles...I supported the guy during the primaries, but I'd rather not see him as McCain's running mate. I'd rather see Huck do what he is currently doing and push conservative candidates for state and Congressional offices.

Sanford would probably be my favorite choice, but I would be satisfied with Pawlenty or Romney, though I do think that Romney, for better or worse, has the "elitist" air about him that might damage him a bit.

The best picks don't compliment a candidate, they reinforce him. See Al Gore 1992 (We're not Northeastern liberals) and Joe Lieberman 2000 (I won't bonk interns). I think McCain's basic message this time needs to be "the grownups are going to run government in my administration, and a Carcieri (or Powell/Lieberman/Ridge) could help reinforce that message.

I disagree with 6 as well, in that I don't think that McCain needs to worry about the conservative base for the same reason that Hillary doesn't need to worry about African Americans should she defeat Obama.

Along those lines, Romney is a terrible, terrible pick. He's generic Republican, and generic Republican isn't faring too well. McCain needs something different for his veep, which is why Pawlenty isn't such a bad choice.

... Yes, Fred Thompson!

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right.

I guess that eliminates [Names removed. We're not speculating on that here, sorry. – Neil Stevens]

He should pick Crist or Pawlenty.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

" Got to love the Lord for making things like that."
Morally Compromised

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

and already peeing in the pool.

Have you added to the population of the McCain 2008 minicity yet today?

After considering the rules above you realistically have only three possibilities:

1) Romney
2) Huckabee
3) Ridge

If McCain is smart he will take Ridge. Even though Ridge is pro-choice he is a governor from a big state who is well respected amongst all conservatives. Plus the added benefit of putting a large and crucial state into play. This race could really come down to OH and PA again.

Romney would be okay, but for reasons stated above he is too slick and corporate and plus the GOP won't win MA anyway in the general election.

Huckabee is a good choice except for the fact of how many skeletons will the dems bring out of his closet? And the fact that AR is not a big state.

Pawlenty in my opinion is not worth the effort it would take to sell him to true red conservatives. Frankly I never understood what he brings to the table? Being young? He is a mediocre governor at best and is too moderate to help with the base.

...since I voted for him on Super-Tuesday (Fred was already gone).

People don't vote for Veep (generally), but Romney could help shore up the appearance of economic credibility for McCain.

On the Mormon issue, I actually think this is a BIG plus in favor of Romney. Most voters will not vote against McCain because Romney is Mormon. However, you can bet that Mormons will turno out HUGE if Romney is the VP. This is a big plus in close western states of New Mexico, Nevada, maybe others. Note: This effect worked for Gore with Lieberman. Jewish vote went big for them and almost won them Florida.

Overall, I think Romney is a solid KNOWN choice.

Are there enough Mormons to make Romney worth while? (that is a serious question I really don't know) I've read comments from some conservative blacks that if Romney is on the ticket they can't vote for it; because of the Mormon religion's history of bigotry toward blacks. If Hillary wins; there will be a lot of disgruntled blacks. If Obama wins; we need someone that appeals to more conservative blacks.

Mormons are 2% of the population, and are overwhelmingly present only in safe red states anyway, i.e. Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, etc.

The only swing state they have a serious presence in is Nevada.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

If Obama is the nominee, there's a very good chance Colorado goes blue. If Romney were on the ticket with McCain, it would definitely go red. He has that much influence here.

And I'm against Romney as the choice (for reasons stated elsewhere in the comments).

"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Dalton Thompson

Strangely, Mike Huckabee seems to fit every criteria you mentioned.

The entire time I was reading this post I was thinking you were talking about Huckabee and I am surprised no one has mentioned him.

The don't list:

1. He is not a Senator
2. He is not a Bushie (in fact I believe he endorsed McCain in 2000)
3. He is not old and retired (52 years old I believe)
4. He is not a rookie (he has gotten his share of whipping in the media, plus he's been in gov't for 10+ years)
5. He has been a politician for over a decade.
6. He is definitely pro-life AND pro-lifers have no doubts about believing him
7. He is not an Iraq war opponent
8. He is not a Democrat
9. He definitely is not gay
10. He is not a lobbyist
11. He did not lose in 2006
12. He is not a perennial short lister
13. He is not a new mother (or father)
14. He belongs to no dynasty
15. He is not an AA candidate as he is a white male

Then for the DO's list

1. He has 10 years of experience as governor (more executive gov't experience than anyone else who ran)
2. He is definitely outside the beltway
3. Arkansas may be a tossup this election especially if Hillary wins. Also a lot of the south may be competitive because McCain isn't that popular there (Huckabee on the other hand has PROVEN that he can deliver the south by winning many of the key primaries there).
4. Huckabee has good economic sense. He talks in a way to appeal to voters and has some good ideas (like the fair tax).

So Huckabee basically meets every single criteria mentioned.

Huckabee certainly fits the criteria, but I don't think he is ideal.

What else will his opponents in AR dig up and release to the media? I feel that it would be like the death of a thousand cuts. Every week some other little detail will be revealed to the distraction of the bigger campaign issues.

I still think Ridge would be better. He has the experience, the vetting and puts a LARGE state into play. What more could you ask for?

The DHS is universally reviled all across America as a bloated, toothless bureaucracy whose sole purpose it to cause airport delays. And Tom Ridge's name is inseparable from it.

No way in hell.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

and I had the same thought. Huck's problem is basically sui generis - he's deeply mistrusted by two factions of the party (the economic conservatives/tax cutters and the national security hawks) who collectively make up a very large segment of the base.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

He was axed for many conservatives before Huckabee could win them over. Now he has to spend his time undoing all the damage and getting out of the pigeon-hole, which, to be fair, he could have done more to keep himself out of.

Huckabee won't and shouldn't be picked.

was his 10 years as Governor and his economic record. It will be hard for him to "undo" that damage without running for something other than President. But since he passed up the chance to run for AR SEN and acquire a fiscally conservative record at a national level, he made his "undoing" effort harder.

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Huckabee would turn Mormon's into democrats. Huckabee's anti-mormon actions makes him impossible to be a VP pick.

On the don't list #8 (ok, so he's not a democrat, but he's certainly a populist which carries many of their characteristics).

On the do list...you're kidding about number 4, right?

"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Dalton Thompson

I understand the sentiment on rule 9 and even agree with it but couldn't that have been phrased more delicately ?

Our party has an unfair and undeserved reputation, why do things that give the enemy ammunition.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

but it's political reality and it's been the elephant in the room in a few of these discussions.

It's not the gay part, it's the closet.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I came to this conclusion quite some time ago. Doesn't fit every criteria (indeed, no one person actually does) but possibly the best. Most notably (in my opinion)

--Successful executive experience, and a DC outsider
--decent national name recognition (not super, but then very few guvs have all that big a name)
--young, star is rising
--his conservative bona fides would quiet the notably skittish base
--very articulate and aggressive, need not run around holding McCain's briefcase all the time but can campaign actively and cover twice the territory. Additionally, he's able to hold his own in VP debates with Dem VP candidate Bill Richardson.
--neither bald nor gray

On the downside:
--SC was always in the bag - indeed, the only state he'll help us with in terms of regional pull is FL.
--there are rumors regarding temperament and harshness.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

Remember McCain only needs to shore up the base not baby them.

Sanford would be a small minus in the general. Plus what you have already mentioned, SC is pretty reliably GOP.

who you want working, supporting, and voting for you?

That would seem an odd way to run an election campaign.

Honestly, you are not pulling my leg, are you?

McCain is a worthy candidate, but he is BADLY in need of balancing in a number of ways: his age, his 24 years in the Beltway, and :pay attention to this one: his notable propensity to cause members of the Republican base engage in primal screams.

Barry Goldwater would not have been too conservative to balance this ticket.

And I'd sure like to know the downside of a guy who could take Bill Richardson, pull his pants down (rhetorically) and give him a good public spanking (rhetorically) in VP debates.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

This election will not be won by how many die hard conservative turn out. It will be won by who turns out the Reagan democrats and soccer moms.

You only need to bring someone onto to the ticket who is a good conservative not a raw meat conservative! That will only push the general electorate away from McCain. He has their attention now, because of his personality and record. The last thing he needs is to make them suspicious of his motives, by putting a ultra-conservative on the ticket.

It is a fine balancing point between not pissing you base off and appealing to majority of voters. Hillary knows this, but Obama does not. I would rather McCain not make the same mistake as Obama does and will do.

On paper this 'appeal to the mushy middle' thing looks alright. But if groundwork, advertising, campaign posters plastered all over America, phone banks, well-managed and well-attended rallies make any difference at all - then these 'die hard conservatives' matter a great deal more than their individual votes.

Squishy moderates and feel-good voters contribute not one little bit to the hard work that is needed. You pick Sanford or Palin, these hard-working base people show up in armies ready to work. You pick a squish like Pawlenty, they don't. The work won't get done, McCain won't win.

I'm not sure why you think Sanford would drive the middle away from McCain. McCain is the middle's rock star.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

will continue to do so regardless of VP pick. Sure the VP pick could help assuage worries, but if someone is refusing to help McCain beat Obama now then the VP choice isn't changing that.

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but I think if you have activists & donors who are voting for McCain but not working, and you get a VP pick who excites them, some will come off the fence. Doubly so if it's a young candidate who then becomes the heir apparent.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

The Republican fence-sitters are sitting on their hands for a specific reason - that being McCain's perceived lack of fealty to the Republican (not even wholly 'conservative') base.

A VP candidate which excites them will, IMHO, bring them off the fence. In droves. In large droves.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

I suspect he will choose a conservative like Sanford/Pawlenty not a Crist/Lieberman moderate. So hopefully we'll see.

My prediction is a couple days of diaries that say "YAY!!!! MCCAIN DID SOMETHING GOOD!!!!" And then when he and Pawlenty announce their Plan to Fight Global Warming, we're right back with the whiny "MCCAIN DID BAD, I WONT WORK FOR HIM!!!" diaries.

I really doubt it will change people's willingness to work and their attitude toward the race. McCain's embrace of Enforcement First hasn't changed the attitude. His anti-tax platform hasn't done it. His small government views haven't done it. His pro-2nd amendment rights stance hasn't done it. So I really doubt the VP choice will actually change things permanently. It will bring short term excitement but that will fade within days.

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isn't really a rock-ribbed conservative anyway. He's more conservative than McCain, but I would not lump him with Sanford.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

For myself, a conservative, I still find it hard to trust McCain on those issues. He has changed his attitude, but we still haven't seen proof of that change. I believe that if a conservative gets the nod for VP that will be a sort of proof of concept, as far as the attitude change goes. The VP pick is a choice that can't be changed, unlike an attitude. A conservative pick will help conservatives trust that McCain's attitude change is for real, and with that conservatives will start to work for McCain. Or McCain can test RandomGuy's theory about how us crazy fringe conservatives aren't really the base of the party and aren't needed. Either way I am gonna vote for McCain...but a spoonful of sugar sure does help the medicine go down.

"Land of the Free and Home of da Whopper" Peter Griffin...Family Guy

conform and celebrate diversity....or else!!!

I consider myself an Ultra-Conservative right wing nut job and proud of it. I won't be holding my nose when I vote for McCain in the fall, I will be in a haz-mat suit; but it sure would be nice if I didn't have to. If he picks a conservative I trust like Thompson, Gingrich(who no one talks about, and who could run in 2012 if McCain doesn't), or Sanford, I could just hold my nose and it wouldn't be that bad. I certainly would get more fired up about McCain if he picked a conservative. If he picks a moderate I will be voting against Obama/Hillary not for McCain, if he gets a serious VP then maybe I can vote FOR McCain.

Gingrich for President 2012

Quite frankly, I never considered him any more conservative than McCain.

In any case, the commercial with Pelosi re: AGW is enough to turn my stomach and never want to see him in politics again.

"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Dalton Thompson

I think he feels that conservatives need to actually be in the debate (I happen to disagree). If you follow what Newt proposes, it's absolutely nothing like what Pelosi/Obama/Gore want to do. He doesn't call for energy taxes, ethanol, wind farms and the like.

“.....women and minorities hardest hit”

He's taken up the "Glow-bull warming" voodoo science. He's becoming a druid.

I heard it on the X......

True.

He could pick Ronald Reagan's clone and they'd still sit on their hands.

They are utopian idealists, not people interested in politics.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

I've heard Huckabee refer to "Arkansas' yellow dog Democrats." Have you thought about adding "I'm a red dog Republican" before your "signature line" quote?

No, I just wanna keep it as is. It's what Clarance Thomas's mom said after watching the Democratic Senators savage her son. She had previously been a lifelong Democrat, as most blacks in the south had been, and, unfortunately, still are.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

are sitting on their hands just hoping McCain will throw something their way to move them toward him. He isn't doing it. How many percantage points will he lose because he is not conservative enough? I don't know, but in a tight race it will matter. Can he win enough independents to make up the difference? Maybe, maybe not.

Selecting a conservative VP may be enough of a nudge to help those conservatives who think the party has left them to rethink supporting and working for McCain. Conservatives feel they voted for a quasi-conservative when they voted for Bush. McCain is worse.

For many conservatives who have been in the fight for a long time, they are losing hope that our government will ever get it right and disengaging from politics. I see this disengagement happening on the local level already.

Every time I think I can hold my nose and vote for McCain he says something that completly turns my stomach. If he picks Pawlenty or any other moderate I will write in my canidate, and if McCain loses he can chalk it up to throwing conservatives under the bus. I don't trust McCain at all. He has proven that he loves to be a maverick against conservatives and loves to work with democrats. He believes in the Global Warming Hoax. The way I figure it is any one the 3 that are still standing will bring down the country. McCain will just take a few months longer. I also happen to live in "Racist North Carolina.

"Where I stand does not depend on where I'm standing." Fred D. Thompson

From my limited ground game participation, it would appear that pro-life activists make up about 75% of the volunteers.

The pro-free market economics/pro-choice ground don't tend to volunteer in large numbers.

I seriously doubt it's that high.

That said, I agree that there are a lot of pro-life volunteers, it is extremely risky, and bad for the party long-term, for him to pick someone who's not pro-life.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

...but the pro-market people tend to be pretty occupied with their jobs.

Seriously, though, ground games are seemingly becoming less and less important in politics.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

"shoring up." How could one tell the difference?

Can we count on any southern state staying GOP if Obama wins? Has anyone researched the turnout among black voters in the south?

We're not losing the south.

They can crow about increased black turnout, but it would have to be an EXTREMELY dramatic increase to matter. They aren't going to get that big of one.

The ONLY states that are really heavy enough black to matter would be Mississippi and SC, and they'd have to make up over 20pts in each state to matter.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

most as democrat till 2001

NEVER FORGET

NEVER CONFUSE DEM PRIMARIES FOR THE AMERICA ELECTORATE

NEVER

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
http://thehinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
www.race42008.com
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

Virginia ain't going D. Too many vets/navy folk. McCain is going to get an even more crushing majority of those folks then we normally do, and will get a higher turnout.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

People don't vote based on VP.

The VP should be picked based on:

1. Who you'd like the president to be in case Mccain croaks.

2. Who you'd like the next republican nominee to be.

Santorum on both counts.

He's the best conservative in America, in my opinion.

Nominate the guy who lost in a major swing state as an incumbent by a 19 point margin. Oh, and he spent the first couple weeks of the post-McCain win period trashing the nominee.

Not happening.

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Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

The best conservatives can actually stay in office to fight for conservative change.

He cut his own throat witht he flap over the cyber schooling of his kids at his home district's expense.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I don't think he'd be a strong pick, but liking each other doesn't always have to be part of the formula. Kennedy and Johnson HATED each other, but they got together because Kennedy thought Johnson gave him the strongest chance to win and Johnson was willing to jump on for power.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

I'm not a big Romney fan, but I'd certainly vote for him as the 45th President in waiting. I think McCain's a one and done.

The prospect of the Democrats trying to use his religion against him is like a promise that we'll get a steady diet of hanging curveballs in the ninth inning of Game 7.

And he brings Michigan, at least.

--
Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

"And he brings Michigan, at least."

In general, people don't vote for VPs. Except for his dad being GOV, he doesn't have a political tie to the state. I don't see Romney helping "win" any state. There are decent reasons for him to be VP, but they don't derive from winning voters or states.

1) Fundraising

2) Attack dog

Romney could do those well but his $ per vote record is pretty poor.

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The Dems that voted for Romney in the primary election because they only had one candidate on their no delegate ballot; won't be voting for him in Nov. According to the postings on the Detroit Free Press website before the primaries; they were just trying to keep the GOP battle going on. They knew Michigan was do or die for Romney and didn't want him to drop out yet. Google "Democrats for Mitt Romney" + Michigan. Michigan has way too many labor unions to be able to change it to a red state.

Michigan might go red even without Romney. We have gotten closer in Michigan in every election since 1992. Last time we lost it by only 3%.

Furthermore, Michigan is the home of "Reagan Democrats" that absolutely do not like Obama. It also doesn't help that he's fighting them from being seated at the convention.

Michigan is our #1 pickup state.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

failed dem lib policies and the past 6 years

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
http://thehinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
www.race42008.com
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

a tossup against Obama (Obama is up 1.0 pts average there against McCain)
and a likely Red state against Clinton (McCain is beating her there by 6 pts)
similar pattern exists for Iowa, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

will let facts get in the way of what they want to believe.

I heard it on the X......

Jindal or Palin, period.

It's a change year, and GOP brand has been seriously damaged. McCain will have ZERO chance in Nov facing even Obama if he's still trying to pick the coventional '15-item laundry list' V.P.

He has to use a fresh face with fresh ideas, and solid record. Jindal or Palin have skyrocket high approval ratings, and they are reformers, and they represent the future of Republican party and they are the clear break from the current damaged GOP brand.

The reward of picking them has outweighed risks.

Go Jindal and Palin.

Who? and Who?

This illustrates why you pick a well known candidate.

The last time a republican president picked an unknown (remember Quayle?) it was a disaster.

It has to be someone that joe average has heard of, otherwise you spend too much time explaining who he is, what he stands for and God-forbid what he did bad in his life. At least if you pick someone who has been on the national stage long enough, most if not all of their secrets are out.

I remember Quayle. Bush picked him and then a few months later won 426 EVs and around 40 states. A real disaster.

In fact, Bush/Quayle '88 was the most successful GOP ticket in 20 years.

Yes, they lost in 92, but I don't think you can blame Bush's defeat on Quayle. There are reports thta just about everyone in the party wanted Bush to dump Quayle in 92 for Colin Powell and Quayle even acquiesced but Bush felt it would be disloyal and so went down with the ship. Bush/Powell probably would have won.

Even so, if McCain/Palin or McCain/Jindal were to win in November and then McCain lost in 2012 because they were a disaster, that's still better than losing now and having 2 terms possibly of a dem president with heavy majorities in Congress.

If McCain got to replace Stevens and Ginsurg in the next 4 years, I could care less about 2012.

...was despite Dan Quayle, not because of him.

Now, I don't for a minute believe that either Jindal or Palin is a Dan Quayle. But for now, each is better serving the country by remaining as governor of their respective states and building steam for a Jindal/Palin ticket (or Palin/Jindal - but I like Bobby better) in 2012 or 2016.

----

I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years.

- Barack Obama, 11/04/04

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Palin maybe. Certainly not Jindal. Jindal would have been a plausible VP, even if not a great pick, even BEFORE he was elected Governor.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

And I futher agree it would be best to have him complete at least one term as Governor.

I just objected to him being called an "unproven fad", because unlike Obama, that's just not accurate. His resume is as impressive as anybody who's likely to get the nod. It's not his fault that he just happened to accidentally accomplish more by the time he's 35 then most people will in their entire lives.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

because he has to run for re-election in 2011. But he'll be VP ready by then and POTUS ready by 2016, which is probably the right moment for him.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

I've never gotten the excitement over Palin. Maybe later, but right now she is a fad.

Jindal would be great, but it would be unfair to Louisiana to take him now.

He's had a great start in Louisiana, but he hasn't yet shown he can withstand the enduring pressure of, say, serving a full term and then winning re-election.

That was of course one of the knocks on Mitt Romney, too. One and done isn't what we want at the top of the ticket.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Huge difference between "Unproven Fad" and "Not Fully Tested."

I think you could make a fair argument that he's "not fully tested," although I think you could make that clam about...pretty much everybody who's ever been elected President with the possible exception of Eisenhower and Washington.

But saying he's an "unproven fad" is also very inaccurate. He's been a successful Secretary of Heath and Hospitals of Louisiana, successful head of the University of Louisiana system, a successful Assistent Secretary of Health and Human services, a successful Congressman and, briefly, a successful Governor. That's not an "unproven fad."

That is a resume at least equal to many previous VP selections.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Then what exactly would be your standard?

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

both of these two have proved they're reformers in their own states, and voters trust them and give them high marks.

People do not vote for president based on V.P. However, if McCain continues to use the same old, same old, he will have ZERO chance to win in November.

I'm surprised that many Redstaters still believe McCain can win this thing without signaling to voters the GOP under his leadership will be a clear break from Bush and will become a reform party which values women, minority candidates with high potential and decent achievements.

This WILL be a change election. People are ready to throw out the GOP because of the disaster the party had been in Congress, as well as the unpopularity of Bush to boot.

McCain needs a GOPer with a proven record of going against the status quo even in their own party.

The only two that fit are Sanford and Palin. (Jindal hasn't had enough time to establish his credentials as Governor yet).

He's vetoed the heavily Republican legislature repeatedly, especially on spending issues. He brought two pigs into the legislature (named, pork and barrel) to protest the rampant soft corruption of earmarking local projects. He's exactly the kind of reformer, anti-status quo guy you're looking for. I agree Jindal and Palin are expected to do that as well, but Sanford's done it for 6 years and been re-elected doing it.

Experience. Reform. Willingness to take on own Party. Sanford for VP.

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Why would we give that away by nominating someone with even less time in offices of national significance? (yes, governors count)

"If all men were just, there would be no need of valor."
- Agesilaus

and inability to utilize good judgement when sizing up friends or enemies.

Anyone on McCain's veep list woudl win that face off with Obama hands down.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just a typical, small town, white girl...

himself in 4 or 8 years after he's turned Louisiana into a business destination and other states start wondering what they can do to emulate LA success. He needs to be allowed to take care of his state right now.
Tim Schieferecke

Agreed.

Louisiana first! He'll fix America later.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

..comes down to who the POTUS candidate feels can best work with him(or her). Someone whom he can trust to go out and support the policies he's putting forth. The VP can disagree all he wants in meetings but in the end the POTUS IS the 'decider' and what he says must be the official line that everyone outside the meetings get. What's said in PUBLIC must conform to the POTUS's view everytime, if he disagrees strongly enough he can resign. Sen. McCain must be able to trust his VP pick implicitly everytime!!
Do we have anybody that meets that criterium??


Si vis pacem para bellum

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

But I think the "swing state" thing pretty much eliminates Sanford (will a Dem get within 10% there, even if Obama is the nominee?), and it does little for Pawlenty, whom I don't think is enough to turn his own state red, let alone nearby Rust Belt states like WI, MI, OH, or IA.

These points, to me, seem to indicate a bit of a tendency towards Portman (except for the "No Bushies" rule), Mitt Romney (although MA isn't a swing state, his close ties to MI are important), and possibly former MI governor John Engler (although, as head of the National Association of Manufacturers, he might violate the "No Lobbyists" rule, and his name being bandied about in 2000 as a veep candidate might violate the "No Perennial Short-Listers" rule).

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

I hadn't thought of Engler. If recent polling shows MI in play that might not be bad either.

How old is he?

And how popular was he in MI when he was governor?

Did the UAW respect him at least? Or were they unafraid of him and willing to fight him at every turn?

The UAW could be key if a MI politician is selected.

Engler is 59, and was considered relatively popular in the state, winning his second and third terms in office by large margins. However, he isn't considered especially popular with the UAW (his association with NAM doesn't help his cause any there), and he was able to get Democrats to become mischief makers a la Operation Chaos back in 2000 when he promised to deliver Michigan for Bush, resulting in a large number of people registering for Michigan's open primary that year to cast votes for John McCain. He didn't seem to attract huge amounts of union opposition, however, which allowed him to cruise to rather huge statewide margins over Howard Wolpe in 1994 and Geoffrey Feiger in 1998.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

I'm not against Engler, but he doesn't seem to have any fire in the belly. I haven't even heard a peep out of him since he left in 2002.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

these names are same old, same old... Romney won't win MI, period. He's worse than Obama in appealing to white working class voters. He did not score well in MA.

I'm very surprised that many people believe Romney is a plausible V.P. candidate.

Huckabee, I can see his potential appeal in OH/PA/FL.

First off, you don't want your VP upstaging the person at the top of the ticket, something bound to happen with the charismatic Huckabee.

Secondly, Huckabee's stances on economic issues and personal freedom are anathema to the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. I myself would sooner vote for Hillary than Huckabee due to some of these issues, and I'm not alone. This could cost the GOP dearly in otherwise close states like OR, NH, NV, NM, VA, and NJ.

Third, Huckabee says a lot of things that get the media buzzing, and not in a good way, whether it is his religious pronouncements or his talk about the FairTax, which is, for all its potential merits, easy to demagogue. The last thing McCain needs is negative stories about his campaign topping every major news outlet every single day from the convention onward.

Fourth, Huckabee's positions on foreign policy are rather hard to pin down, and would possibly undermine some of McCain's strength on the issue. Not a good issue.

Fifth, there's few, if any, states that Huckabee could really deliver for McCain. FL is pretty safe, PA I think Huckabee hurts McCain except in the center part of the state (where he'll do well anyway), and OH is very, very difficult to pin down, mainly because the areas that Huckabee might be able to help McCain in are very historically Democrat (hard to undo inertia), while at the same time hurting him around Cincinnati and Columbus.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

You mean the same thing that eliminated Cheney (WY) last time?

It's been a long time since people choose VPs based on swinging a state. Maybe it's a plus for someone, but it isn't a veto anymore.

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This eliminates Sanford.

The knock on Obama (at least what my Democrat friends tell me), is that now that he will be the nominee, they have to live with his awkward moments (Wright, Ayers, etc), that hurt him in key swing states.

With Sanford, it is the Confederate flag, and a short 8 week sprint from convention to election day. He also would have to answer the embarrasing question of why he couldn't even vote in his own re-election race (probably not a deal killer for most voters, but it does show a lack of detail in a man many already consider to be "eccentric" for a pol.). Sanford brings too many distractions.

In regards to first term governors - it is time to be honest, and stop the bs. Two reasons why the Dem's wont make an issue of experience with a first term Gov.: 1) With Obama, they dearly wish to avoid a discussion of experience; 2) Questioning a sitting Gov.s qualifications to be an executive is tantamount to questioning the judgement of the voters of the state that elected them to an executive position in the first place - and the Dem's will not want to risk any state.

The real reason why RedState'rs put forward this arguement is that they are concerned that a first term Gov. might not be conservative enough (the proverbial wolf in sheeps clothing).

Right now we do not have a lot of depth at the statehouse level. If the best talent are the freshmen, put them in the game - let's win this thing!

Strongly agree.

Redstaters will reevaluate the situation after poll closes in Louisiana on Saturday. A current poll is showing the D candidate has a 9-point lead.

It's going to be a bloodbath if we lose MS-1 as well.

Of all the names on the "shortlist", Romney would make the best President. This is the #1 reason why he should be picked (esp. considering McCain's age) and the only reason that should matter. Making the decision based on political considerations (i.e. "Ticket-balancing ") is bad for the country. This is an opportunity to show that McCain isn't playing politics as usual. Presence of a candidate on a ticket is no guarantee of winning that state. Gore (at the top of the ticket) lost Tennessee in 2000; the real reason he lost in 2000).

Mitt for VP,

Outside Lansing commentary:
McCain-Romney: Good for Michigan, Romney for VP

In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.
-Attributed to Yogi Berra

Outside Lansing
Oakland Politics

Romney is the best choice for the reason you stated. It also happens, though, that he does, to some extent, balance the ticket. Spending 4-8 as #2 will make Romney, I think, the all-out best contender for POTUS when the time comes.

And this, from a Fredhead. ;)

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

1) Sanford. Hey look, I hate the Confederate flag and all it stands for but I'm still putting him at the top of my list.

2) Cox. Sorry to defy the rule about "Bushies" but the man is simply just too brilliant and well-qualified not to be among my top three.

3) Crist. Pretty good all around although I will admit to questions about him.

4) Pawlenty. Nice guy from a swing state but he just seems too much of a lightweight in terms of demeanor to be higher.

No offense, but Cox's disability would reinforce the "creaky old guy" myth about McCain, even if he's nearly two decades McCain's junior. It would also raise questions about his ability to take over for McCain, for good or for bad.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

McCain's main strength is that, love him or hate him, he sticks to his guns. You really want him to throw all that away for someone who sticks only to his political ambitions?

www.republicansenate.org

McCain and Pawlenty are a match made in moderate heaven. Pawlenty very recently had a $6BILLION tax increase veto overridden. He is busy now playing kissy with the DFL, by dangling another "light-rail to nowhere" boondoggle. He is also all on-board with the whole climate change farce.

On the upside, Carol Molnau, our lt. governor, is one tough lady. She would deadlock the legislature and save us for a year or two from anything getting done in St. Paul

Oh good grief, you're angry because he had his veto overriden?

What was he suppose to do? Mug the legislators?

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

because he whined and sniffed about the DFL lacking a bi-partisan spirit instead of demanding an off-setting $6billion cut in the income tax. The tax increase was billed as fixing a transit problem. The only transit "problem" the money will be used for is the Minneapolis/St.Paul dream of a San Francisco-style rail system.

The people of Minnesota were mad as hornets, but had no leadship from Governor Mullet to give the DFL a good spanking.

** Has been pro-life for longer than my eight-year-old daughter.

There is a lot to love about Romney but how can we elevate him to that level when the earliest possible point he became a conservative was January 2003 when he was sworn in as governor? I'm not accusing him of lying about his transformation (a HUGE transformation!!) and I'm glad he has changed in the right direction. But it isn't unreasonable for us to demand that he prove his change of heart first in lower office.

He switched just prior to being named VP.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

That's not exactly true. He didn't favor the human life amendment, he was never in favor of Roe.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

...that could be conflated (sadly) by some as being pro-choice. I mean, I know I'm somewhat libertarian, but I consider myself personally pro-life, and opposed to Roe as a matter of legal precedent... I just don't think we should criminalize abortions, either.

And yet I'm sometimes referred to as being pro-choice.

Personally, I'd welcome anyone over to our side who seems to have a genuine reason for being where they are on things, especially considering the genetic cleansing the Democrats advocate.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

Well, that is pro-choice any way you cut it. You can be opposed to Roe and still be pro-choice.

Anyhow, I'm pro-life and I'd favor a human life amendment (honestly, I'm sympathetic, although not totally in tune, with the idea that due process would make an amendment unnecessary), but I'm a pragmatist and favor anybody who's likely to move us in a more pro-life direction then we currently are, which is pretty much any Republican against almost any Democrat.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

Romney would be my choice, but the Huckabee supporters stay home if he's chosen. It's unfortunate, but true.

No Huckabee either, for the same reason. You don't want Romney supporters staying home for this one. From what I know of them I believe many of them would do just that.

"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Dalton Thompson

I supported Huck and was in deep in the online communities that bolstered a lot of his fundraising and support. Many would not support McCain if Romney were on the ticket, and the same goes for the hard-core Romney supporters I have encountered. I'm not that rigid in my Huckabee support, but many are.

I don't really think that McCain will go with any of his former competitors. I think he will pick someone who didn't run this time. If both Romney and Huck want to run again, they might not want to roll the dice of joining McCain and losing in November. Losing VPs don't generally come back and capture nominations. If either one of them still have presidential ambitions, they'd be better served to support McCain and work on building infastructure for 2012 or 2016 while working on their own problem areas. (Romney on his consistency and Huck on his economic/foreign policy cred)

He is an old guy, he is a one-term governor, and had he tried for re-election in 2006 he would have lost hands-down.

Namely that I think you are suppossing an AWFUL lot in them.

McCain has given only 2 rules that I know of:

1) No Pro-Choicer

2) Must be able to carry on the war on terror

#1) would eliminate Ridge, Powell, Bloomberg, Rudy and "maybe" Rice (she has identified herself as "mildly pro-choice" but never really elaborated. For all we know this could mean an exception for rape and incest).

#2) This to me would elminiate your newbies

I don't think it would be Jeb. That would make no sense.

I do think it could be Rice, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Leibermann, Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty, Crist, Sanford.

I think ROMNEY and PAWLENTY makes the most sense.

are all pro-choice. If that's one of your standards, they are out. Even Rice would have to explain either 1) why she changed or 2) why she used the term "mildly pro-choice." Since the point of having a pro-life VP is to reassure social conservatives, neither of those seems helpful.

So we're down to the standard list of Romney, Huck, Sanford, Pawlenty and Crist.

I guess we've got our thumb on the standard "short list."

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"By mildly pro-choice, I meant that I was pro-life but with an exception for rape or incest."

End of problem.

to it. I mean, most people who are pro-life with exceptions for rape and incest would say they're pro-life with exceptions for rape and incest. So as to avoid confusion. Especially since such circumstances make up such a low percentage of actual abortions.

I'm not going to comment on the inanity of that position here, since I don't wanna threadjack.

But back to the point... you wouldn't happen to have a cite for that, would you? I trust she said it; I'd just like to see the conversation with some context.

(Sorry to butt in, Adam... but this was a concern for me, as well)

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

I know he breaks the no senator rule, but how come he's never brought up as a potential veep?

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

Lugar is in the club of Republicans that make a living hitting the Sunday talk shows, trashing the party, and generally giving the media an excuse to refer to any and all things leftist as having "bi-partisan support", or genuine conservative, good-fo-America policies [see tax cuts] as "controversial".

Lugar is no friend of the party.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

---
Finrod's First Law of Bandwidth:
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it takes the bandwidth of ten thousand.

I'm trying to be a good soldier.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

Lugar is such a moderate squish he makes John McCain look more conservative than Barry Goldwater. I know; he was my senator for years and years. Remember people complaining about John McCain's 2006 ACU rating of 65 with a lifetime rating of 82? Lugar's 2006 ACU rating was 64 with a lifetime rating of 78.

---
Finrod's First Law of Bandwidth:
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it takes the bandwidth of ten thousand.

Paul Ryan would be great...but I just don't see it happening.

Although he's one of the few people that would make Jindal look old.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

He's a 37 year old Rep. from Wisconsin who was elected when he was like 28-29 or something.

Anyhow, I don't think his unknown quality to be that big of a deal. Anybody other then Mitt Romney will effectively be unknown to most of America. He's not significantly less known then Sanford or Pawlenty.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

he's a total unknown.

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

But how is he less well known then any of McCain's likely picks?

I admit, he's less well known then Romney, Huckabee, Ridge, or a few others that have been speculated about, but he's not really much different then Pawlenty, Sanford, etc.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

if McCain will make his choice soon, the unknown factor probably won't matter at all. He would just need to start campaigning.

Dunno... gonna have to research the guy a little more.

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

He is worth some research.
Maybe he could make a few Sunday rounds for McCain over the summer and get his name recognition at least on the radar.
At first glance, he looks very good.

My personal preference would be Rudy because of his smash mouth politics. And I consider myself a so-con to a large degree. But I know that he isn't the right image for now.
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Just a typical, small town, white girl...

I would like Rudy just because the left would absolutely crap in it's pants. He'd be out there tearing them a new one every day.

But it won't happen. I just hope he winds up as Sec. of State in a McCain administration.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

but a biggy is that it simply won't supply McCain with the trust and credibility he needs to have right now with the base. I know I'd have a really hard time swallowing Rudy as Veep -- esp. since he scored somewhere BELOW McCain for me on my list of prospective POTUS

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

I have to take serious issue that her having the "family situation" of having a child with Down's Syndrome is such a deal breaker.

As one who has a sister with Down's Syndrome, I fail to see how this is necessarily such a burden for her if she ran as Veep.

If anything, it'll help. Having and raising a child with Down's Syndrome would lock up the pro-life vote and blunt the pro-choice movement big time. Honestly, the only thin that would have been better is if she were pregnant with that child during the campaign...who the heck is going to push "pro-choice" positions like during a debate?

that she has a brand-new baby; the fact that she's got an additional adjustment to make in her life with having a Down's baby is just an added factor. I agree that it makes her more sympathetic, but give the woman some time.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Have you looked at exit polls from OH, PA, FL and other states.

White women have gone for Hillary at a 60%+ clip. Their her strongest bloc of support. They're also the biggest demographic in the general, making up 41% in 2004 and probably higher this year.

White women have shown that they will vote for another white woman and that they don't like Obama, and resent him for beating Hillary. They're going to be even more upset and aggrieved in June when Obama secures the nomination. They'll be uniquely vulnerable to be targeted by the GOP via their groundbreaking, historic and unexpected choice of a woman VP. It would also preempt Obama from picking a woman VP as if McCain strikes first it would be seen aas copying. Also, Obama will need a VP to help on foreign policy/nat'l security and "the white racist" vote and the women mentioned(Sebelius, Napolitano, McCaskill, etc.. don't really help there. jim Webb is pretty much tailor made for Obama's VP.)

A white woman on the ticket, even if she swings only 2-3% of white women, and based on polls, she'd probably swing a much larger amount, virtually ensures McCain wins.

If not Palin, McCain and his people should be looking far and wide. A woman VP would be the best electoral move he could make.

There are thousands of women who will have babies this year (a good number of them disabled or born with special challenges) who will go back to work shortly after delivery.

Who speaks for them?

And how will we ever be able to swing those voters if we make excuses for why someone in that position "can't" be vice president?

Winning apresidential election requires addition on your side, and subtraction on the other guy's side. The freshmen are the only one's I seriously see being able to help with the addition (McCain, I think, will not tolerate a running mate who does too much of the negative).

McCain's statment that choosing someone who on a moment's notice can become C-in-C and lead a wartime effort is his most important criterion. And capacity for wartime leadership narrows the list quickly and in a markedly different fashion.

That emphasis knocks Palin off the list, but it also undercuts Pawlenty, Crist, and probably Sanford too.
Most of your other rules are really negative influences rather than qualifiers/disqualifiers.

It's why a Phil Gramm or Portman or Giuliani probably are going to get a very close look, while a Crist or a Huckabee will be an easy pass.

Perhaps Heather Wilson would fit the bill, though some would find her to be too liberal on many issues...

It's going to have to be an "economics" guy. Portman's Ohio connections may give him a slight edge. Guarantee me Ohio and I guarantee you we win the White House in 2008. Come November, we will still be reeling from the summer $4.00 gas prices, thousands of new foreclosures and a still stammering economy, i.e. the economy will be the issue for swing and "independent" voters. Details may not matter as much as perceived competence and understanding of the issue(s) economic.

I am a social conservative whose #1 issue is SCOTUS nominees who will not find a dormant homosexual marriage clause emanating from the penumbra; I boldly speak for other social conservatives when I say that if I/we don't know the difference between a potential Obama/Clinton SCOTUS nominee (at BEST a Ginsburg) vs. a McCain nominee (at WORST a Kennedy), then we are as stupid as some of our fellow Republicans claim us to be.

Tom McClintock, currently running to replace Dolittle in CA-4.

He's come very close to winning statewide in California despite being vastly outspent and being sabotaged by the squishes in the Republican party.

He is articulate and has an excellent fund raising base of small donors. Definitely the best advocate of liberty and freedom out there today.

If by "vastly outspent" you mean "only slightly outspent" last time, and if by "sabotaged" you mean "fully supported", and by "very close to winning" you mean "has lost 4 times statewide", then yes.

McClintock had the unanimous support of the entire establishment in 2006, a weak opponent, and a more then respectable bankroll, and STILL lost.

I still can't figure out why people like this guy so much. He's right on the issues, fine, but he's terrible at politics, and there are people that are just as good on the issues that aren't as self-destructive as he is.

I hope he'll make a good Congressman, I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

is what hurt McClintock. He's done much better then most other GOP statewide candidates, and done it with less. He's also consistently done well statewide considereing...and if you can came consistantly that close in California, then you can sweep much of the rest of the country easily.

The establishment in '06 did not support McClintock or any of the other downticket races that year.

He's good on the issues and far more articulate then virtually any other GOPEr.

He WILL make a darn good Congressman. And with two solid terms under his belt, he'll be sure to be on the short list in '12.

One key job of the VP is to be a national campaigner. McClintock, thanks to California being what it is, hasn't proven that he can win big elections.

So I like him but I can't support him for VP. Let him mop up the floor with Charlie Brown. Also, let him keep Ose from returning to Washington, heh.

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linked and at the top right now.
He's floating a dark horse from Rhode Island.
I still wish it could be Rudy.
http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/

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Just a typical, small town, white girl...

I like Carcieri as well, he'd be in my top 5 based on what I know about him, maybe even my top 2 with Sanford, just ahead of or behind Pawlenty, I'm not sure. Here's Leon's Carcieri-for-VP piece in case you missed it.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Personally, I think he is a little old.
My first pick would be Sanford, but I'm definitely interested in learning more about Paul Ryan. He may be too young, but it sounds like he is an up and coming with star possibilities.
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Just a typical, small town, white girl...

Could you add a "NO person currently holding a political office" to your list? We can't afford to give up any more seats to the Dems in federal, state, or local government offices. IF you did that couldn't you eliminate the sexist new mother disqualification?

You forgot a possible VP choice. Mike Huckabee could bring a lot of voters to the GOP. He has the grassroots support that could help with the fundraising advantage the Dems have. Didn't Huckabee and McCain get the most votes and delegates per dollar spent? Huckabee could be the “Icing on the Cake for a 2008 McCain Win.” http://tinyurl.com/43kflh

just realistic. I have 3 kids, I know well that you can't go on a national campaign with a brand-new baby.

Palin definitely could be a coming national star (although I'm a little fuzzy on her economic record). But not this time.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

I think it's just that so many of us are trying to...

Huck still has a lot of baggage that FisCons and others need to have clarified. We just don't trust him.

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

I'm hoping Huckabee has enough communication skills to get McCain to support the Fair Tax. (He has been successful in getting McCain on board of some of his other issues.) Think of all the increased revenue we could get if cash and businesses were moved back to the US because people were no longer punished for working harder. The Fair Tax could also save Social Security.

Many of the improvements Huckabee's administration accomplished were done more fiscally than anyone else could have done working with a Democrat majority. The small extra tax to improve parks and the infrastructure improved tourism. The largest of tax increases were due to judges finding the previous funding unconstitutional. You probably remember the out of context video advertisements where Huckabee was pleading with them to choose which tax they could use to fund the schools and run with it. (Tax hike Mike realized that public school funding is a government responsibility even if the Club for Growth didn't)

fairtax is all but a pipedream. The Dems will NEVER go for it, and not enough Republicans agree with it. What would be better by far is to concentrate on making our current tax system work better -- and -then- concentrate on all-out overhaul.

Club for Growth agrees with a lot of conservatives where taxation for public schools is concerned. Or vice versa. In any event, saying you raised taxes to give more money to public schools is hardly a selling point with Conservatives.

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

He took on the FairTax to cover up his record (why else did he see the light on it during the campaign instead of the 10 years he was GOV). If you think "public school funding" accounts for the doubly in expenditures then I don't want to see how you will explain away another 8 years of Bush-like expansion of government. --> "we have to have a military" or "health care is important" etc.

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in Iowa. He said he read it twice after it was given to him. I don't understand the "doubling" of spending. According to everything I've read taxes stayed very close to the same. The "Tax Freedom Day" was the same when he left office 10 1/2 years later. The tax cuts offset the tax increases. I saw a lot more information on an article after I had researched all of my previous statements. Here is a link to the rebuttal to some of the negative things in Huckabee's "record."
http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/004053.html

I think Romney fails on a couple of points.

One is his singing of the Mass "universal health care". That would be an anathema to fiscal conservatives.

Second is his executive order for the state to issue marriage licenses to gays. This would turn off the conservatives on two fronts. For the social conservatives, his name is now on an order that established gay marriage, and one that will likely get used along with the 'full faith and credit' clause to institute gay marriage nationwide. Second is that as the chier executive, he caved to the court which had issued an order outside its authority (they issued an 'order' to the legislature). Romney's signing the order basically meant he abandoned a fight in a crucial 'separation of powers' issue. So this will turn off the conservatives who strongly oppose judicial activism.

And let's not forget that Romney is a 'johnny come lately' to the pro-life ranks. He ran for governor of MA as a pro-choice candidate. So the mantle of 'flip-flopper' would pass from Kerry to Mitt in an election. Must be something in the water in Beantown.............

I heard it on the X......

No way, Romney was pro-choice! Romney has done more to defend traditional marriage than anybody else being considered. All those rumors and exaggerations started from a couple of dubious, bigoted sources like Mass Resistance, but repeating a lie will not make it true.

I for one would support Romney as veep because he is articulate and qualifies and I hope it would drive all the idiot fundementalists away and make our party stronger in the short run and the long run and I'm a social conservative.

Umm, there is this little body called the Supreme Judicial Court. Learn to read:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2003/11/18/sjc_g...

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

There's this group of nutjobs who insist that since the court gave time for the legislature and Romney a chance to come up with their own proposal to undo the supposed "unconstitutional" practice in their own way, that Romney didn't actually have to follow the court, and he just could have ignored it.

It's against virtually every principle of law known to man at least since Marbury v. Madison, but there were a lot of people who argued it when Romney was starting out. Came mostly from the Roy Moore type people who don't think you have to do anything the court says if you don't feel like it.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

You and I and most people grounded in truth and reality know this. What's so dangerous about these people is that they actually vindicate the Air America, Daily Kos crowd and scare independents and conservative Democrats from the Republican brand. They will just lie and lie and lie and lie about Romney. It's sad for me when I have to witness such pathetic and dreadful tactics by fellow "social" conservatives.

Yah, I know.

The funny thing is, I'm not even a Mitt fan and I found this argument laughable, although infuriating, because facts or logic was pretty much off the table in discussing it.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

As a South Carolinian I think there needs to be another "must" added to the list: If a sitting Governor, must get along with the Republican members of his Legislature. That right there pretty much eliminates Sanford from the running. He has had a two term fight with his own party mostly ending up on the losing end. Forget any "reaching across the aisle." As far as Sanford goes there's a ceiling height wall across the aisle and he doesn't even see the Democrats.

Pity--he had a good reputation coming out of Congress that just didn't translate to the Governor's chair.

"As a South Carolinian I think there needs to be another "must" added to the list: If a sitting Governor, must get along with the Republican members of his Legislature."

Heh, that's one the reasons he's on the top of my list. I think we need more Rs who will fight pork-barrels. Bush did a great job of "getting along" with R members of the legislature and they spent more than Ds ever did and porked up the budget. We could use some more independence from that.

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5. by rstreu

no question on that.

-streu-
Insert relevant witticism here

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

And quite true - that's what I LIKE about Sanford.

In regards to our current (and possibly favorite EVER) Veep, what is the moment in time for which we remember best, and most fondly?

That's right, you got it - 'Leahy, you can go F yourself'. We need a VP with a little hot Pace Picante Sauce in him.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

who said the Soviet Union couldn't be defeated. He called the bear the appropriate term; EVIL. They questioned his sanity, he said, "well, there you go again." With a twinkle in his eye, he fought for what was right, and the Iron Curtain melted away. What you're saying about Sanford makes me like him that much more.
Tim Schieferecke

Imagine if Bobby Jindal had just about completed his first term as governor, but had less to clean up?

You'd have Gov Jon Huntsman, Jr., Utah.

He's a 3E governor - eduction, environment and economy. He cut state income taxes (largest cuts in state history), reformed the tax structure and watched the state's economy boom, provided more money for education (largest increase in state history, paid for by expanding the economy) and supported vouchers. He has led trade missions (for Utah) to Canada, Mexico and China with a trip planned for India. He's a global warming guy, but I temper that with his economic record (he's not likely to destroy the economy).

His political experience:
- White House staff assistant in the Reagan Administration
- Deputy assistant of commerce for trade development, Deputy assistant secretary of commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and U.S. ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush
- Deputy United States trade representative and U.S. trade ambassador under George W. Bush
- Governor of Utah

Other:
Mormon
Fluent in Mandarin
7 kids, 2 are adopted from India and China

He matches all/most of the criteria listed. I think he helps the McCain ticket in the west (Nevada, Colorado and Oregon). He'd be my #1 pick for the VP, followed by Sanford and Pawlenty with Romney behind.

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I like Huntsman, and think he'd make a great Chief of Staff or Secretary of Commerce or something of that nature, but I just don't see him having enough electoral appeal to help the ticket.

That said, I wouldn't complain if he ever got the job.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

He also endorsed McCain early on (i.e. didn't endorse Romney). I talked with his wife (briefly) when I rode along with the McCain campaign in NH.

I think he'd be a pedestrian choice but not a bad one, which puts him in the top 5 or 10.

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I just don't see how he gets past an entire wing of an Ivy League school named after him.

I don't think it should matter, but I think it does.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

after Huntsman's dad, Jon Huntsman Sr.. I do not know why Huntsman's name is not thrown out more, he has most of Romney's advantages (the one he lacks is MI family ties).

McCain '08

It's named after his family. It was his family that put down the money for it.

One way or another, it'll be easy to paint him as an elitist. I mean, having a wing of an Ivy League school named after your family is just a little much to explain to farmers in New Mexico.

It shouldn't be that way. But it is.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

the earth. I would go so far as to call him a living saint. I think Huntsman would be a perfect pick for Veep and don't think the elitist label would stick to him very well.
Tim Schieferecke

I agree both he and his father are good men. But I still think the elitist label would stick to him. A really rich white guy who's got his name on a building at University of Pennsylvania, also a Mormon big businessman, just wouldn't sell.

If for some reason McCain decides to pick him, I'd just hope I'm wrong and enjoy the fact that we've got a really good man as VP.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

is point to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Elite won't stick.



Now also found at The Minority Report

Tim Schieferecke

videos like this





Now also found at The Minority Report

That would go a long way to helping. I'm still concerned about the word "Billionaire" in there, however.

That said, that is pretty impressive.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

Huntsman definitely fits the bill on all counts. Not my top choice but a plausible one.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

this is the Republican version of the liberal blogs where everyone gushes about Obama, and they can't acknowledge any flaws or drawbacks. Then they go ballistic about Sam Nunn as a VP prospect because he wasn't "progressive" enough.

Just make some substitutions on some nouns and adverbs, and this could be Kos.

Look, the people want change, and they want good people in charge. They are tired of the litmus tests, and the baloney.

Lets be honest: being Gov. of Alaska, or Louisiana (or any other state) has more executive responsiblity in the first week of office than the Vice President has for four years. Instead of saying that they do not have the credentials for VP, be honest with us and say that you are afraid that they may not be conservative enough, and that you really need the assurance of an old white guy (assuming we are still operating under the assumption the VP pick must be from outside DC).

Not exactly the message of change that the voters are looking for.

Let's put the kids in the game!!

BTW: Who has more experience with energy policy than the Governor of Alaska?

You know, accusing half of redstate of sexism and racism isn't really a way to have a long life.

If you see a racist or sexist statement, by all means, attack it. But merely saying you want someone to season up first isn't racist or sexist.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

GHW Bush and Cheney had, combined. They also have more than Gore, Mondale, LBJ, and Nixon. Again - combined!

Seasoning for what? Or did you sleep through that part of US History?

In recent history (a relative term, I know), the two men who had to step up were Truman and LBJ.

Truman was considered a phenomenal president (and the better of the two), and he was known primarily as the Senator from Pendergast prior to becoming FDR's running mate.

LBJ was (in my opinion), a very principaled man with strong convictions on the plight of the less fortunate, but the wrong solutions to fix those ills. He also was unlucky in that he governed in the time he did, during a war that was fought differently than he knew how to manage.

In either case, Jindal and Palin have more executive experience than Truman and LBJ, combined.

So what is this "seasoning" thing if not a canard for "I am not sure if they are really conservative enough - this would be too much change for me"?

but I have a very long post in the works on that score and won't start in on it here. It's enough for me to say that experience mattered to me the in 2000 & 2008 primaries; it's not a pretext. Look, I want Jindal and Palin on national tickets, but not before they are ready. The Democrats do that. We don't.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

Dan, by cdm

See post on: GHW Bush, Cheney, Truman, Nixon, etc, etc.

I think a better reading of the post would be the the poster is trying to read between the lines, and to say that what people say is not what they mean. That's a big bloggy error.

It would have been better phrased as a question, as you did.

"Get the kids in the game" is great, if it's just a game and your team has been a perpetual cellar-dwellar. When the "game" is the most powerful job in the world and your team is way ahead, and has been for 100 years, it lacks a certain wisdom.

--
Gone 2500 years, still not PC.

don't know what they mean by change. What I know from experience is that when given a choice between a leftist and a conservative, they choose the conservative.

and to use the terms

they see leftists as bad, not good
leftism, even if a "change" is repellant

and

guess who wins elections?

not the gender gap or soccer mom champs

its who wins the white male vote

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
http://thehinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
www.race42008.com
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

GC, by cdm

This year is different - have you noticed what is happening in the congressional races?

Historically, what you say is true - but in this cycle, if you truly believe that - you are out of touch with the electorate.

and it's Hillary making the best inroads there. Think about that - they are willing to give Hillary a serious look!!

That's how crazy this cycle is!

As Lee Atwater once said "Politics are about addition". In other words, you want to add, while keeping the other guy from adding.

Look at the polls now, and how many people identify as Republican right now.

This is a fact - let me repeat that - THIS IS A FACT: If we hold onto our base in November, and the Democrats hold onto theirs, we will loose by such epic proportions that 1984 will look closely contested by comparison.

Again, this is the comparison to the liberal blogs: people here have a tough time grasping that the electoral picture has changed, and seeing the challenges represented by those changes (the liberals have their challenges as well). They think if we run out the same type of candidates we have in the past - solid, dependable, conservatives - we will win like we always have. and that is just not so in this cycle.

The people want change, and they want people who can identify with them (see: Obama, Barack - challenges of the last fortnight). They also do not want someone with the Lucy problem ("some splainin' to do"), this knocks out a guy like Sanford - the Confederate flag will be too much.

Who in our bullpen can capture the mantle of change, and relate to every day people?

Chris Cox - are we really in that much trouble with the CFO vote? Portman - ditto. Romney - ditto again. The problem with Pawlenty is that he has been around long enough that his home state may very well like to change him (he isn't tremendously popular there, and in this cycle and climate he may hurt more than he helps).

Who in our bullpen is left that can generate excitement, and add to key demographics? Palin definately helps us with working class families "Hockey moms", and will definatly help with the football dads of PA, OH, WV, VA, NC, and Michigan (she hunts, flies, and lets her husband compete in snowmobile races - does she have a sister!?!).

Jindal brings confidence, and a great story to the table.

divide. He will get a huge dem cross-over vote. If he is not enough change, accepting your premise, then no vp could compensate.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
http://thehinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
www.race42008.com
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

We lost Hastert's district. We may lose "safe" districts in Mississippi, and elsewhere.

GC, you sound like you are out of touch with the challenges of this cycle. You want to fight 2000, or 1988, again, and the conditions are different this time.

We will need every ADDITIONAL vote we can get.

And remember, McCain is not going to let his running mate attack too much, so they better be able to add.

advantage as a dem (change plus bill's econ legacy), esp if the economy tanks much worse. But both dems have extreme flaws. Obama's are fatal. He will not be president.

But cdm, mccain is a HUGE vote adder. Dems love him. He will get a lot of crossovers due to the extreme flaws of hill and bama.

He is the change.

Now, I would also like to have a vp to add votes. I think the best choices are Watts or maybe Pawlenty.

But I admit I am a bit at a loss on the vp except that i continue to think that it would be great to have Watts.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
http://thehinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
www.race42008.com
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

The Republican brand is so weak right now (some of it deservedly so), that he has to show with his actions that he will be leading a different Republican party. His first course of action will be his choice of VP.

Black Republican can fill you in on Watts.

Pawlenty, in my opinion, will not add votes. He certainly would have trouble outside the upper midwest, and even in his home territory he is not that popular (he won re election by one or two points?). Ask yourself this: If he was up for re-election this year, do you honestly think he would win by a strong margin? Also, he just doesn't convey a change in Republican brand that we need.

Too many voters think that the Republican party is the good old boys club. My wife is from a working class, blue collar town in Michigan, and to her, Republicans are the guys who laid off her Dad, and his neighbors.

We need someone who breaks from that mold.

"This is a fact - let me repeat that - THIS IS A FACT: If we hold onto our base in November, and the Democrats hold onto theirs, we will loose by such epic proportions that 1984 will look closely contested by comparison."

I agree with this and have been trying to make this point again and again.

But the point you miss is that people don't vote for VPs. VPs almost always don't add any votes (they can lose you votes if he's a nut, see Perot's VP nominee). Palin will not "bring in hockey moms" because they will be choosing between McCain and Obama.

I think Jindal and Palin are great and I'd be very happy with them, I also think both would say no. But regardless, if you're looking to the VP to bring in votes, you're looking in the wrong place.

We're lucky to have McCain because he will bring in a lot of votes that other Rs couldn't have gotten.

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Adam, by cdm

This year is different. The voters want to see if McCain is willing to change the good old boys club.

Voters look primarily at the top of the ticket, and then brand (part affiliation).

We need a VP choice who symbolizes a change in the brand. Huck had it right, guys like Romney, Cox, et. al. remind the voters of the guy who fired them.

I think Palin gives the ability to reassure working class families who are thinking of voting McCain, but are worried that a career naval oficer and politician doesn't understand them or relate to them. A guy like Cox would reassure the country club that it's still ok.

with my good blackrepublican friend on Watts.

Wouldn't Huckabee fit your bill in spades?

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
http://thehinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
www.race42008.com
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

on the ticket - he just wants the top spot too much. I just can't see him being a number two.

I don't understand what further reservations you would have about Palin. It can't be experience, because there is no historical basis for that claim for VP's, whether on our side or the Democrats.

I know several people on this site who would abandon the ticket if Huck were the VP. And I can't blame them.

"Many of us are quite disposed to barter [freedom] away for what we call energy, coercion, and some other terms we use as vaguely as that of liberty - There is often as great a rage for change and novelty in politics, as in amusements and fashions." ~ Federal Farmer

I don't think that means they care who the VP is. I think how McCain chooses will matter but because it will say things about him. For example, if he picks a non-politician (Fiorina) or a Democrat (Lieberman) it would say "CHANGE" but not because people are going to vote for Fiorina or Lieberman. It would be because McCain has made a statement about what he will be like as President.

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There is one more definite rule for McCain. That is, he should choose his VP AFTER THE DEMS CHOOSE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, as he may want to take advantage of their choice. (And there is no reason for him not to wait.)

But overall, this is a great column.

If Obama wins the nomination, and McCain chooses a minority, everyone will say it was to balance that issue. Same thing if Clinton wins and he picks a woman.

Better to make his choice first and reduce those type of arguments.

"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Dalton Thompson

up Tommy Engler, and meant it!

If that is the case, why not Pete Wilson? Former Marine, Yale law (I believe), tough on immigration - and he won California - twice!!

off the shelf.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

And did you have that ready and available, or did you check with Elias?

although I had had a recent reminder while doing a post on the hitting records of lefthanded pitchers.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

If you would like to see an impressive line, look at Don Newcombe in 1955(although a RHP, he batted left). I belive the SB was a straight steal of home. And that is with 20 wins.

I'd agree with you that our major league roster is pretty thin. But I swear, we got some SERIOUS talent at the AAA club. Gvie it a little time. Jindal, Palin, Pawlenty, this Huntsman guy in Utah.

AA ain't looking bad either. George P Bush, Eric Cantor, I'd put Duncan Hunter here actually. Ran too soon.

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

His son could be in A ball right now. I haven't really heard much about him.



Now also found at The Minority Report

but his campaign ended poorly and without a lot of dignity. Also, he's not really a good fit with McCain.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

You seem to have a few facts confused. No offense or anything, but here's the scoop:

Someone brought up John Engler, 3 term Gov. of Michigan, not Tommy Engler, whoever that is. You must be confusing him with Tommy Thompson, former Gov. of Wisconsin. Anyhow, don't see why bringing up someone who won 3 times in a major swing state would be a joke, although I agree that he's probably not the best candidate.

Anyhow, Pete Wilson went to UC Berkley Law, and didn't win twice in California, he won 4 times, twice for Senate, twice for Governor.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

My mom threw out the Engler, Thompson, and Wilson baseball cards long ago, so I couldn't look on the back to get the stats;)

It sounds like Dan might have the full set (with rookie cards!), but I'm a little worried he might still have the petrified gum they ship with.

I see what you are saying, but Engler is only 59, while Pete Wilson is 76. I don't think Engler would be great because he's kept such a low profile, but who knows? If he polls well in Michigan, I'd certainly consider him.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

You sure opened a topic that a few people have an opinion on. Good job, and good analysis, friend!

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

I think this may be my most-viewed, most-commented piece ever at RS.

We'll probably have a Contributors Roundtable on the VP pick in the near future.

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

There are a few people that don't get down in the muck with us who I would be interested in seeing their logic on who McCain will pick.



Now also found at The Minority Report

"Many of us are quite disposed to barter [freedom] away for what we call energy, coercion, and some other terms we use as vaguely as that of liberty - There is often as great a rage for change and novelty in politics, as in amusements and fashions." ~ Federal Farmer

Just a thought.

BTW, Haley Barbour has already ruled himself out, saying he'd be a drag on the ticket with his lobbyist background and because he's "too conservative." His honesty about this makes me wish he'd be the pick that much more, but he won't be. Love that guy.

------------
~ Beth ~
John McCain

one item he is pushing which I like is

http://cantor.house.gov/011608.htm

Freedom of Religion not Freedom from Religion

up until his recent announcement that he is not going to run for reelection in MO.

That whole thing is still a mystery to me.

Plus his support of the stem cell initiative would probably turn off many pro-lifers.



Now also found at The Minority Report

First, precious few in the country are deserving or capable of either the top or the 2nd spot. Second, the very long list of Don'ts, which I agree with, is due in good part to all of McCain's drawbacks. There is fear and loathing in both parties due to all 3 candidates (for me, being a senator should automatically disqualify anyone from running for Pres. for life) and our choice of McCain severely limits and curtails our veep possibilities. We need someone great to counterbalance all his negatives. That is some tall order.

I just wish Jindal were in his 2nd term as gov., though I guess some would stick him under #15 (I would not) or #4.

My guess, being the cynic I am: McCain will violate some important rule(s). He never fails to disappoint.

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

Interesting analysis but IMO you're way over-complicating the matter. With 19 rules you're bound to contradict yourself. In a close election pattern, the overwhelming consideration is your "swing state" category. A veep pick who doesn't either shore up an otherwise jeopardized red state or else turn a blue state red makes no sense, regardless of anything else.

It's the Rule of Al Gore, actually. You don't pick a ticket (as in 2000) where the top guy can't deliver his own state and the veep choice's home state doesn't need to be delivered.

Sanford and Romney would be wasted picks for opposite reasons here (Romney also violates several other rules). Jindal and Palin would also be useless. Pawlenty's age (48) is ideal for 2016, too.

The question is whether there are any other viable choices from places such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Iowa. Virginia has a multitude of GOP possibilities - but if even VA needs shoring up that badly, then a win probably isn't in the cards for McCain.

"No matter how much lipstick you put on the taxation pig, it's still a pig... and it's currently snout-down in your wallet." - Michael Fisk

Cheney's help to the ticket -- to the extent he did - was in securing the deep loyalty of the milcons, who may not have been solidly behind Bush at that time (if we'd only known then what we know now, the milcons would have already been there).

Kill the terrorists
Protect the borders
Punch the hippies
-- Frank J

MO Gov. Blunt(R)to the McCain campaign. They might even vote for McCain to help him on his way to DC.

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people."
A. Lincoln

By not running for reelection (when he has a tough opponent) he is dooming himself if politics continues to be his career.



Now also found at The Minority Report

I disagree. Unless the corruption allegations prove to be true later, he could easily make a comeback. Lots of people have served one term as Governor and went on to have careers in the Senate and such. See: Bob Kerrey, Milward Simpson (Alan Simpson's dad).

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

What a Fixed Game.

You create rules to come up with your two favorites, Pawlenty and Romney (pretty much knowing that Sanford is out of the race given the fact that SC is in the bag for us and has been ever since Reagan was alive).

What a crock. Please start over.

"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it"-Winston Churchill

And I'll show you a guy who never appeared on color television.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

Uhh, I think Gore helped Clinton carry Tenn. in '92. I mean, he only won 4 Southern states, and this was one of them. Not a sure thing, bug seems more then likely.

"I ain't never votin' fo another Democrat so long as I can draw breath! I'll vote for a dog first!" - Leola Thomas

Clinton/Gore won Tennessee. Gore/Lieberman didn't.

Hmm.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

and explain to me the basis for your conclusion that Romney is one of my "favorites".

"No compromise with the main purpose, no peace till victory, no pact with unrepentant wrong." - Winston Churchill

 
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