Add Rep. Cantor to the Veep Mix

Rick Moran
Seeking to make a splash with his choice of running mate, John McCain has been looking at some "outside the box" candidates like Sarah Palin of Alaska and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. The problem, though, with such candidates is that they have poor name recognition with the country at large and McCain would open himself up to charges of pandering.

Then how about a Jewish Congressman from Virginia with impeccable conservative credentials?

Perhaps not a radical choice but tapping Rep. Eric Cantor would certainly generate a lot of excitement in some conservative circles:

A young fiscal conservative who could help keep Virginia from tipping blue, Cantor could also be an asset in such battlegrounds as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has shown appeal to the party's base as well as to independents, and would be an unconventional choice at a time when McCain is looking to add excitement to his campaign.



"McCain needs to do something different," said Chris LaCivita, a top Virginia Republican strategist. Citing his youth, ties to the business community, strong relationship with conservative activists and proven ability to raise money, LaCivita said Cantor "fits all the bills."

The commonwealth, which has been reliably Republican in presidential races, has become more Democratic, making it a top target for Obama and a huge concern for McCain.

Cantor, who lives in suburban Richmond, would bring to the ticket a photogenic family and a track record of raising prodigious amounts of money from his own national network. On weekends, he travels constantly on behalf of Republican House candidates and the national party.


Does that description sound familiar? If you think Cantor's pluses mimic some of  those of Mitt Romney, you would be correct. This is important especially since some on the religious right have recently told McCain in no uncertain terms that Romney would be unacceptable to them.

Cantor would fill the bill as far as being someone new without it seeming McCain is going off half-cocked in his search for a running mate. I don't know about Cantor helping McCain hold Virginia although it will certainly help in in that state in the already very Republican southern part of Virginia. Driving turnout in reliable GOP areas just might offset the expected bump in the Beltway counties outside of Washington that have become more Democratic recently and that Obama is sure to get a boost.

Then again, perhaps McCain feels he can take Virginia without Cantor in which case choosing him for other things he can bring to the ticket becomes more relevant. In this, he is no better than a half dozen other hopefuls that McCain is looking at.

Cantor has been mentioned as a possible Veep for months so it is not a surprise. But it raises some eyebrows that the Congressman is still in consideration at this late date.






 

Seeking to make a splash with his choice of running mate, John McCain has been looking at some "outside the box" candidates like Sarah Palin of Alaska and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. The problem, though, with such candidates is that they have poor name recognition with the country at large and McCain would open himself up to charges of pandering.

Then how about a Jewish Congressman from Virginia with impeccable conservative credentials?

Perhaps not a radical choice but tapping Rep. Eric Cantor would certainly generate a lot of excitement in some conservative circles:

A young fiscal conservative who could help keep Virginia from tipping blue, Cantor could also be an asset in such battlegrounds as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has shown appeal to the party's base as well as to independents, and would be an unconventional choice at a time when McCain is looking to add excitement to his campaign.



"McCain needs to do something different," said Chris LaCivita, a top Virginia Republican strategist. Citing his youth, ties to the business community, strong relationship with conservative activists and proven ability to raise money, LaCivita said Cantor "fits all the bills."

The commonwealth, which has been reliably Republican in presidential races, has become more Democratic, making it a top target for Obama and a huge concern for McCain.

Cantor, who lives in suburban Richmond, would bring to the ticket a photogenic family and a track record of raising prodigious amounts of money from his own national network. On weekends, he travels constantly on behalf of Republican House candidates and the national party.


Does that description sound familiar? If you think Cantor's pluses mimic some of  those of Mitt Romney, you would be correct. This is important especially since some on the religious right have recently told McCain in no uncertain terms that Romney would be unacceptable to them.

Cantor would fill the bill as far as being someone new without it seeming McCain is going off half-cocked in his search for a running mate. I don't know about Cantor helping McCain hold Virginia although it will certainly help in in that state in the already very Republican southern part of Virginia. Driving turnout in reliable GOP areas just might offset the expected bump in the Beltway counties outside of Washington that have become more Democratic recently and that Obama is sure to get a boost.

Then again, perhaps McCain feels he can take Virginia without Cantor in which case choosing him for other things he can bring to the ticket becomes more relevant. In this, he is no better than a half dozen other hopefuls that McCain is looking at.

Cantor has been mentioned as a possible Veep for months so it is not a surprise. But it raises some eyebrows that the Congressman is still in consideration at this late date.