McCain needs an inspirational Veep

In a sane world, if you were looking for presidential timber, John McCain would leap out for his experience and sagacity. Granted his policy flubs, like the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, McCain is still far and away safer than a half-term Senate rookie with a hard-core leftwing cohort ready to march to power.

Unfortunately, this is not, repeat not, a sane world when it comes to electing presidents. The bobby-soxer vote is at least as big as the politically informed vote.

When conservatives get wind of who Obama really is they will vote for McCain, but that won't be enough. You need at least half of bobby soxer vote.

So McCain needs a Veep candidate with star quality. That's inherently unlikely for any president-sized ego. Nobody wants to be played off stage. But McCain will need somebody with voter sex appeal or he's going to lose. The Veep pick is going to be the first and biggest test of his personal maturity.

Condi Rice might work out, because I take seriously the possibility of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before the end of the year. The deal will be pragmatic. The strategic value for Israel will be to clear the boards to face down Iran. Syria may get back the Golan Heights, with an American buffer force to demilitarize the Heights, just like the US buffer contingent in the Sinai. The result would be to cut the Iranian supply lines to Hezbollah and Hamas. With that arrangement, the three sides, Israel, Syria, and the Palestinians (Fatah), will go for it. Hamas will be isolated in Gaza.

If Condi pulls that off --- with George W. Bush's full backing, obviously --- she might be a great Veep pick.

There may be others with star power.

But bottom line, look for a rising GOP star for Veep, or kiss the next four years goodbye.

James Lewis blogs at

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