Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard has the story:
Ridge is getting a long look because there are some in the McCain camp who believe choosing him as a running mate gives their candidate a realistic shot at Pennsylvania - a turn of events that would be a body blow to Obama's chances in November.
IN A WIDE-RANGING INTERVIEW aboard his campaign plane this morning, John McCain said that he is open to choosing a pro-choice running mate and named former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge as someone who merits serious consideration despite his support for abortion rights. McCain also criticized Barack Obama's presidential campaign for attempts to "politicize" the debate over Georgia and criticized President Bush for failing to recognize the true nature of Vladimir Putin.
"I think that the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party," McCain said. "And I also feel that--and I'm not trying to equivocate here--that Americans want us to work together. You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don't think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out."
But McCain is kidding himself if he thinks this won't cause a tremendous row at the convention and alienate millions of GOP voters who stick with the party largely because of its staunch pro-life stand. It threatens to reverse a trend in recent weeks of evangelicals beginning to warm to his candidacy.
This is probably just a trial balloon that McCain was using a friendly reporter to send up. My guess is that the reaction will convince McCain that it would be better not to go against thirty years of party orthodoxy by choosing a pro choice running mate.