Friday, February 29, 2008

Who Will McCain pick for VP and What Message Will it Send?


"In sum, with an ill conceived pick McCain can pour salt in the wounds of the conservative base. With a solid one he can signal a willingness to build a bridge to the GOP base, enhance his domestic policy credentials and electoral prospects and select a plausible #2 in a time when all presidents must be concerned about a successor.

Conservatives will be watching carefully -- and making their preferences clear -- as the presumptive nominee makes his first major decision."

--from How Will McCain Choose his Running Mate by Jennifer Rubin
I did a bunch of research for the radio show this week on who McCain may pick for VP and for what reasons. There are several theories and many names.

Of course, as I have mentioned, J.C. Watts is my top choice and I also named a couple others who would make good choices.

Here are some of the names that are circulating. I've split them up into 4 different categories--Great, Don't Work for Me (most of these are people who are just too old or who wouldn't add anything to the ticket), Too Moderate, Horrible.
Great Picks:
--J.C. Watts
--Senator John Thune (SD)
--Congressman Mike Pence (IN)
--Senator Jim DeMint (SC)
--Governor Haley Barbour
--Frank Keating
--Michael Steele
--Governor Mark Sanford (SC)(I've heard mixed things about him so not totally sure he belongs in the great picks)

Don't Work for Me Picks:
--Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson
--Phil Gramm
--Steve Forbes

Moderate Picks:
--Governor Charlie Crist (FL)
--Governor Tim Pawlenty
--Governor Rick Perry

Horrible Picks:
--Mike Huckabee
--Colin Powell
--Senator Olympia Snow
--Senator Susan Collins
--Senator Joe Lieberman
"On the one hand, he badly needs to fire up an apathetic conservative base that even now has not warmed up to his candidacy. For a long time, he’d been assuming that Hillary Clinton—perhaps the most reviled figure among the conservative grass roots—would win the Democratic nomination and accomplish this for him.

But if the vastly less polarizing Obama is his opponent, McCain may find his VP choice to be his best remaining means of mobilizing the G.O.P.’s base."


--from The VP Stakes: If It's Obama Vs. McCain, Who Runs With Them? by Steve Kornacki
As I was doing the research something became crystal clear to me. McCain's VP pick is important for many reasons (much more so than it normally is) but the biggest one is it will send a huge message on how he is planning on leading.

If he picks a stellar conservative he will be sending a message to conservatives that he respects us and realizes that we play an important part of the Republican party. If he picks a moderate/liberal candidate then he will basically be giving conservatives the finger and saying he doesn't care what we think and he could care less if we support him.

I will lobby for a conservative pick but I'm not holding my breath. If McCain sticks to his maverick ways he will give us the finger and pick someone just as objectionable as he is. If he chooses to go that route I will wish him luck on winning the presidency without any help from the conservative base. And as if we didn't already have enough doubts, check out McCain's own criteria (below)for picking a VP and tell me if that sounds like someone who is planning on reaching out to conservatives???

“The process will begin and the fundamental principle behind any selection of a running mate would be whether that person is fully prepared to take over and share your values, your principles, your philosophy, and your priorities. I think that's the first and only real criteria for the selection of a running mate.”--John McCain

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