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February 8, 2008
McCain's Veep Choice (Updated)
Now that John McCain has the nomination all but wrapped up, pundits and political junkies are turning their attention to the next order of business; who will be McCain's choice for the second spot on the ticket?
Representative Pat Toomey, now head of the Club for Growth, has some suggestions for him in an article in today's Wall Street Journal. He recommends five conservatives: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford; South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint; Indiana Representative Mike Pence; former Senator Phil Gramm; and Forbes CEO Steve Forbes. The final two are probably better suited to be Secretary of the Treasury. (And McCain floating Forbes for that slot early could help him in his efforts to convince McCain doubters that he takes seriously his pledge today to draw heavily on the advice of his "fellow conservatives.") Each of the other three -- Sanford, DeMint and Pence -- would bring conservative credentials and seriousness about policy that would surely help McCain among the Republican base.That's a nice list to start. I doubt, however, whether McCain would choose a House member. Gramm has been out of politics 6 years and Forbes longer than that. And I think tactically speaking, McCain will be looking at someone who can bring him a state or two on election day. He's already got South Carolina so that would seem to rule out Sanford and Demint.
Hayes also mentions Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota. I think he will eventually be one on McCain's very short list of 5 or so choices. And I think it more likely McCain will choose a governor than a senator because of McCain's lack of executive experience.
You can play the game too? Why not email me your choices and I'll put the best ones up in a update later today?
Many thanks to those who sent in emails. You gave some interesting choices:
1. Fred Thompson. 3 of you thought of him. Good choice. But does he want it?
2. J.C. Watts. 2 readers thought of the Former OK Congressman. Smart thinking. He's young, black, and hugely popular with the base. Again, does he want it?
3. General Petreaus. All the rest of the nominations were singles so we'll start with the most celebrated American general since Eisenhower. Boy, wouldn't choosing him make the heads explode on the left? But I don't think McCain would want him. Besides, the General has his sights set one seat higher. Watch for him in 2012.
4. Jeb Bush. I think about half the party would have voted for Jeb for President if he ran. But one compelling reason people will not be voting for Hillary is that people are sick of the Clintons and the Bushes.
5. Mitt Romney. Good choice but they hate each other. Very doubtful.
6. Colin Powell. Since Powell has already been assisting Barack Obama, I think we can safely assume he's a non starter.
7. Elizabeth Dole. Republican Grand Dame. Time has passed her by.
8. Dick Cheney. Um...no.
9. Ken Blackwell/Michael Steele. Two up and comers in the party. African American, attractive, good vote getters. Just a little too obscure. Steele may be too moderate.
10. Reader Larry K. writes: "He should choose me, That's the only way he'll get my vote." I hear ya Larry but I don't think your time has come yet.