McCain to Announce VP Pick This Week?

So sayeth the Prince of Darkness:

Sources close to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign are suggesting he will reveal the name of his vice presidential selection this week while Sen. Barack Obama is getting the headlines on his foreign trip. The name of McCain's running mate has not been disclosed, but Mitt Romney has led the speculation recently.

First, caveat this with the fact that this is Novak. He's more right than wrong, but has more of a British paper's sensibility of what he prints.

Second, call me old fashioned, but I think early VP announcements are generally a bad idea. In 2004, John Kerry announced John Edwards three weeks early. This gave him a bump in the polls, but it dissipated by the convention. And the convention itself failed to provide any bump whatsoever. Is the traditional convention bump partly or mostly a VP bump for non-incumbent candidates?

Had Kerry announced Edwards right before the convention, as is custom, he probably would have gotten a bounce out of the convention, built up a head of steam in the media, and possibly helped stave off the Swift Boat attacks. The fact that the convention was a bust and he came out of Boston with nothin' set up a disastruous August that practically lost him the election.

My preference would be for McCain to announce his VP at the last possible moment, say the Tuesday of the convention, in order to gin up interest in the first two nights of the convention (which are traditionally bounce-free) and concentrate his combined VP-convention bounce in one week. With two months to go, it may be his last chance to change the psychological trajectory of the race.  

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Comments

Agree With Timing Tactics

Since I'm of the school that a VP candidate can only hurt a candidate for me the timing of the announcement is all tactical. It's going to be really hard to draw viewers to the GOP convention especially after Obama wowwing them in Invesco Field. Waiting on the announcement seems best.

But McCain needs to take a big swing and make some noise before the Olympics when people will be caring about gold medals instead of polls.

I think McCain Needs The Energy Now

I think the McCain campaign is afraid it's going to get so behind in fundraising and enthusiasm before the convention, that the race will be considered over in the next month, similar to 1996 when everyone seemed to think Dole was going to lose, and it ended up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If McCain looks more viable early on, I think he's better positioned to win towards the end.  If he picks a solid conservative, I think the momentum from the base would be helpful early on to get the grassroots network built up now.  It would also help him get a few solid months of fundraising to build his war chest up now, as opposed to so close to the general election.

I think both strategies have merit, i just think that this is a unique election where the other side has all the energy, and we seem to have none.  I live in a conservative-leaning state, and Obama signs and stickers outnumber McCain's 10 to 1.  We need some energy in this campaign now, the election is coming up sooner than we think.

I really hope he picks Sarah Palin for VP.  i think there would be an earthquake of support from the base and also women swing voters.  If he picks a dud like Pawlenty, he'll get nothing from the announcement.

Unless he's naming a woman

then he probably needs to announce his Veep first.

If McCain announces his Veep this early, he deserves to Lose

 One never, ever announces a veep pick this early when one's behind. Remember what happened in the Reagan/Ford Contest back in '76? Reagan picked Schweikert and that allowed the Ford people to stall any momentum that had been created by Reagan's Spring victories. 

Let Obama pick first. His Convention is first. Let Obama play his hand and then counterstroke on the second night of the Convention, to take some of the air out of Bambi's balloon. 

If "Team Maverick" is as galactially stupid as they appear to be, then they'll pick early, to draw press from Obama's Eurp Jaunt. 

Talk about signs of panic.

As I said on another board, why don't we just dig up Harold Stassen and run him? 

Romney

I'm of the "keep your second mover advantage" school.  BUT I can think of one scenario where sooner is better.  The main philosophy behind a Romney pick is his fundraising ability.  Since McCain is taking public funds from Sept-Nov, Romney's pocketbook is only helpful from Day of Announcement - Sept.  Getting that announcement out early is more valuable.

A distant second place reasoning would be that choosing a female VP choice now makes Obama's choice harder.  But I think there are too many unpredictable steps along that road from Choose Early to McCain Gets Bump.

I am still hoping he announces soon after Obama does.  And if Obama waits until the convention, then announce the VP on the Monday after the D convention (or even on the Friday at the end of the D convention) to grab the MSM's attention and shift from D to R coverage.

I am with you on that - fundraise NOW

I thought we all figured out by now that VP picks don't matter. If that's true, does the timing even matter?

If McCain is going for that inside-the-box Romney pick, do it now. Every day he has the articulate Romney out there fundraising and making the case for him, he helps a little. Sooner the better.

If its outsidethe box pick like Sarah Palin or Marsha Blackburn, then sure, wait and change the game post-Obama convention. But waiting on Quayle and Kemp didnt help. Bush's really "I dont care about how it helps the election" pick of Cheney was the best VP pick in a long time.

So if he's made a decision, announce it.  if he's got a non-game-changing pick - do it now and get it out of the way. In the end the real race is McCain v Obama and those VP guys wont amount to much of anything except in the margins.

Romney as a pick is like Cheney a better pick about what it means after the election than before: I like the idea of a venture capitalist, someone who knows a bit about management and how the business world works, actually being in the west wing. Romney will help in MI, but not much.

"A distant second place reasoning would be that choosing a female VP choice now makes Obama's choice harder. "

Interesting thought. A female VP pick would really box Obama on the Hillary thing.

Would he end up picking her as VP to seal the deal for the PUMAs, or is she out of the question?

 

Obama< Bubba

Bubba in '96 had a huge advantage having a) bested Dole & Gingrich on the government shutdown and b) being a candidate who had proven he could win states  in every region of the country.

Dick Morris may have had him playing "small ball" but he had hit singles for swing voters all year by the summer. The cumulative effect piled up.

Obama is like a guy at bat who has taken mighty cuts and drawn big cheers, but has yet to bring any runners home.

This game will be decided in the later innings. No need to put our stopper in yet

 

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Romney won't be VP

According to McCain campaign insiders, Romney won't be McCain's running mate.

 

"...McCain campaign insiders say that while it's true they have polled Romney on the bottom of the ticket, the data confirms that such a move would be a political disaster for the party.

'Mitt tanks the ticket,' says a McCain insider. 'We lose fiscal conservatives. We lose social conservatives. We lose Catholics. We lose evangelicals. All the groups were spending time and money on bringing into the camp would be lost. He just doesn't help us enough to do something like this, as much as Mitt might think we should. He doesn't even win us Massachusetts.'"

 

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13563

Turns out that

Novak got played for publicity to offset the Obama middle east bounce, and no VP pick was imminent.

Why do these guys want to piss off friendly press?