Friday, February 8, 2008

Is it too Early to be Thinking of Running Mates?

With Mitt Romney dropping out of the race today, it is obvious to everyone that John McCain will be the Republican nominee. His VP pick is very, very important.

1. Due to his age, he needs to pick someone young enough to handle the rigors of office (in effect, McCain's VP is going to be the ceremonial head of state in many ways, the one doing all the traveling and visiting)

2. Because of his age, McCain also needs someone who can credibly step into the office on no notice.

3. McCain needs to make various different conservative constituencies happy

4. McCain needs someone who has not spent too much time in Washington

This rules out Mike Huckabee, who only makes certain social conservatives happy and has no foreign policy experience. It also rules out people like Colin Powell and Joe Lieberman, who appeal to the same voter demographic as McCain.

Based on these criteria, I think that South Carolina governor Mark Sanford should be top of his list. Why? Going back to my criteria

1. Sanford is 47 and charismatic

2. He can point to his time in the House and as governor to show he has experience and can run a government.

3. South Carolina has a lot of social conservatives, but Sanford has also made a name for himself as a pro-business fiscal conservative.

4. He only spent 6 years in Washington. He also has excellent private sector experience.

At the McCain rally last week I attended last week, I do not think McCain mentioned Sanford by name, but he did note that South Carolina has an energetic economy, thanks to good government that lets the private sector take off. (He was making a comparison with Michigan, and its poor business environment.)

I would also include governors Crist and Pawlenty, especially as Florida is a key state and Minnesota is possibly a swing state (though Pawlenty was twice only narrowly elected).

I also would consider Alaska governor Sarah Palin but she is a first term governor of a remote state.

So Sanford should be the first choice


Rodak said...

I don't know about McCain, but I run with Jesus.

Anthony said...

Rodak, I have been trying to come up with a smart aleck response, but I am just stumped.

You win this round.

William R. Barker said...

Agreed. Huckabee would be a BAD choice.

Romney (assuming McCain would consider him and assuming Romney would consider accepting) would also be a bad choice.

Giuliani? Bad choice.

I've always thought both Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback would be on McCain's short list... but of course with scant executive experience of his own McCain really should - and hopefully would - pick a running mate with executive experience... someone with executive experience who is ALSO seen as a "red meat" conservative (unlike a Giuliani or a Romney).

Even if he wanted to (which he wouldn't!) McCain couldn't pick Jeb Bush. While such a pick would appeal to the GOP base, having yet ANOTHER Bush within a stone's throw of the Oval Office would be too much for the American People.

A fusion ticket? "Stealing" Jim Webb from the Dems? Nah. Wouldn't work. (BTW... if HRC or Obama is smart enough to put Webb on THEIR ticket... then the GOP ticket is definitely toast come November.)

Kemp? Nope. Too old. Doubt he'd accept anyway.

NEWT...??? An intriguing idea which would work on SEVERAL levels... BUT... first of all would McCain offer and would Newt accept? Doubtful. Second... could Newt rise above his successful demonization by the Dems back during and after the government shutdown when he was Speaker?

Perot? (*GRIN*) Just kidding! (*GRIN*)

I have no opinion on Sanford. I'll take your word, Anthony, that he is (or should be) on McCain's short list.


Anthony said...

About a year ago, I would lliked a McCain - Romney ticket. Not now. Romney just did not not impress me.

Giuliani does nothing in shoring up McCain's conservative credentials. Though he has lots of great executive experience, it also brings back the problem of Giuliani's campaign -- "Noun, verb, 9/11"

No one has a clue who Duncan Hunter is. Brownback is not much better. Gingrich would be demonized.

As for Jeb Bush -- DEAR GOD NO!! No more Bushes for a long while. Not until one of the grandkids goes against Chelsea Clinton in 30 years.

I think Jim Webb is a bit of a nut. I think he has served our country well, but I think he needs to be kept on a leash. I worry that he would be another Cheney.

But I agree that Obama or HRC would do well to pick him for VP.