VP: Who's Up, Who's Down?

I'm curious to get a sense of where the community thinks the VP race is headed.

For John McCain, is there anyone other than Tim Pawlenty right now? He has to be considered a favorite as prohibitive as John Edwards was in 2004 for the Dems. Key swing state. Young. Working class. Articulate. McCain loyalist. No scandals. And conservative objections to him are relatively low-grade, and not in the same orb as Charlie Crist or Tom Ridge. He can also package his deviations from conservatism as a having a compelling narrative about the future of the party (e.g. Sam's Club Republicanism).

For Obama, I was right up there in thinking that Wesley Clark was the natural choice: military experience + Clintonista. But now that that's been scrambled, who's left? My top names are Evan Bayh and Kathleen Sebelius, with maybe Tim Kaine or Brian Schweitzer as outliers.

I don't think Obama will pick Clinton -- that would be a sign of weakness and that he "needs" her. The polls right now don't bear that out. But to avoid grumbling from the less than helpful Clinton camp, I think he has to at least pick a Clinton supporter.

Evan Bayh is problematic because he's not that liberal, and he'd cause grumbling with the netroots. Bayh would be a choice patterned after Al Gore: next state over, reinforces rather than "balances" the ticket, long-term player in the party.

Sebelius was neutral in the primary, but would satisfy the Clintonian impetus to have a woman on the ticket. She's red state and telegenic, reinforcing the narrative that Obama expands the map. 

Tim Kaine is a straight play for Virginia, though I think it's pretty unlikely: early Obama supporter and the wandering eyebrow would be Quayle Potatoe for the next four years of Stewart and Colbert.

Brian Schweitzer reinforces that play for red states and the desire for a different kind of Democrat. But Montana is pretty remote in most Americans' minds, and Sebelius reinforces that same message with "Kansas values."

Your rating: None


Might Chuck Hagel bolt for Obama?

There's buzz on some other boards. Granted Hagel agrees with Obama only on Iraq, but that might be all they want to run on anyway

Doubting Pawlenty

Pawlenty had a hard time in Minnesota's last election. He's no asset at this point. He can barely swing the state, being a RINO; I don't see how he would influence the national picture. Two RINO's on an R ticket sounds like a losing one to me.

I have my doubts as well.........

I haven't been exposed to Pawlenty that much, but I'm not impressed with what I've seen.

I saw him on one of the Sunday shows recently alongside Rhamn Emmanual. His debating skills were simply horrible. Emanual "owned" him in this discussion. Pawlenty just sat there on his hands and let him say whatever he wanted without rebuttal.

Pawlenty is a RINO? ..

then why does CfG love him so?

The Problem with Tim...

McCain has to spend all of September trying to sell him to the Country as #45 while the Obamedia is going after his record hammer and tongs. The country doesn't know who this guy is. It's like trying to introduce the country to a sane version of Alan Keyes: the Movement Conservatives are behind you, but noone  else is. 

Sometimes, the "Movement Conservatives" parody themselves. 


Pawlenty is a no-go.  Jindal, no-go.  A lot of other names, like Portman or Romney, are driven by staff and consultants - not by the Senator.  It's his opinion that matters. 

McCain's 'maverick' streak may lead him to pull in someone scandal-free but with access to their own national network to augment his own.  The elephant missing in the GOP primary was George Allen, who famously macaca-d himself out of re-election & a presidential bid.  However, Cantor could easily tap into the national network Allen was building from 1993-2006.  Allen had strong ties into Orange County, CA money that fell to Romney by default.  Not just conservative cash - but Bush Pioneers that have yet to pony up. Think "movement" + Pioneers + New Majority + Lincoln Club. 

In previous cycles, the GOP nominee raised one in four dollars in California.  McCain has Schwarzenegger and his fundraising machine, but in a donor state like CA - there is more than one set of Top Tier folks in the 'underwriter' class.  By underwriter, I mean Billionaires that routinely Co-Chair inaugural committees and Host Committees.  These are folks who don't talk to staff, because they don't have to. 

If McCain chooses someone like Cantor - it please multiple classes of politicos.  Top flight donors, potential Cabinet members, and national-grade consultants who have earned the spot as presidential campaign advisers. Cantor has a stable of folks around him, both current and former consultants he remains close to, that could make a McCain-Cantor ticket very formidable. 

And that's just the metrics.  Cantor is in his 40s, attractive, great wife, wonderful kids.  He's a prolific fundraiser for his colleagues in the House.  He has earned a spot on the national stage - and the chances of being Speaker aren't so hot right now. 

It would be a bold move - and McCain needs to make one.

Cantor Is The Best Choice

Mitt Romney?

 No mention of Mitt Romney? I, like Ann Coulter, say the only way I'd vote for McCain is if Mitt Romney is his VP.


McCain is a real joke to the conservative movement.

Republican VP

It's no surprise there's no mention of Romney here. This is a moderate blog hoping to define the next right for conservatives.  But that's OK. Let's mention him.

Romney is obviously the answer to McCain's devastating economic ignorance. He's isn't going to go out like Gramm and say we're a nation of whiners. That said, I sincerely doubt McCain will choose Romney.

This may come as a shock but most of the country knows nothing at all of Pawlenty. He even lacks name recognition as does Eric Cantor. An unknown white male brings no excitement to this extremely dull presidential campaign.

It really makes no sense for McCain to choose a complete unknown unless that unknown brings something that is immediately understood. So, for my unknown suggestion, I offer Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. She obviously has appeal to disheartened female voters and the voter concerned about energy policy. She's also very attractive so she can pick up an element of the male vote, as well. She's very intelligent and that will appeal to the minority of voters who actually care about issues. She has 5 children and chose not to abort the newest addition who is a special needs child. She has appeal for family values voters. If we want someone to unite the party Palin may be the correct choice.

My choices are Romney first, Palin second, and Jindal a distant third based on the buzz about him and his conservative credentials.

Now, do I really think McCain is smart enough to pick an interesting or exciting VP? 

Absolutely not.

Being Unkown Was a Huge Assest For Obama

And the right "unknown" is the only chance McCain has to inject excitement into his ticket.

Romney proved that with all the money he raised he could not attract enthusiasm among Republican voters. His often liberal record in office sunk his candidacy and will haunt the McCain ticket which already has the problem of being  on the wrong side of the ideological divide. Romney also showed his political instincts are questionable when he came up with statist solutions to Michigan's economic problems during the primary. Do you remember that as President he promised to save the auto industry?

I have no brief against Palin but I do think that you fail to see all that Cantor could bring to the ticket: He is a young, conservative, dynamic, Jewish Representative of a real Southern and Christian district. He is excellent on radio and television and he is innovative when it comes to the internet McCain needs the South and he could use some Jewish votes in Florida. Cantor helps on both counts. He is also good on illegal immigration, where McCain is a disaster.

He will shine when the national media trains its lights on him. In recent weeks he has done a stellar job exposing Obama on Iraq.


I wouldn't have any problem

I wouldn't have any problem with Pawlenty--but I wouldn't get real excited either. And I think the McCain campaign needs all the excitement it can get.

Another way of asking the question

Perhaps McCain cares most about who he'd work well with.  Who are McCain's best friends in the Senate?  I'll put some money on Lindsey Graham no matter what it does to the map.


Yep, Graham is just the guy to put PA, OH and MI in our columm

Yep, a white guy from the Deep South comparing opponents of illegal immigration to anti-Catholic bigots. Considering that suburban blue collar Catholics are rather far from the WSJ/Open Borders crowd, this is a blindingly stupid remark on a variety of levels---worse than Phil Gramm's "whiners" remark.

Blaming the electorate is not the way to win an election. http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/18/video-the-nauseating-lindsey-graham/


Palin is the only one who all

Palin is the only one who all by herself would inject "excitement" into the race, but you'd have to know her a heckuva lot better than I do (i.e., at all) to predict how much morning after remorse there'd be.  Still, if team McCain believes that a boost in the female demographic + DrillDrillDrill is a winning formula, and that Palin can pass muster, the only downside is experience/foreign policy, and I just don't see how in any real world scenario not involving sudden tragedy McCain doesn't preserve a huge advantage over Obama on that. 

Otherwise, Kasich to go after Reagan Dems and their children, Kantor for reasons stated above... and someone like Gen James Jones if Israel strikes and Iran doesn't just roll over.


McCain/Palin and the Hillary vote

If Obama goes white-male And McCain picks Palin, I suspect many Hillary voters would jump ship. Many PUMAs feel burnt by the process, dont care for Obama and this would be a nudge that the McCain/Palin ticket could also be historic.

There are some good Governors to pick from: Barbour, Romney, Sanford.

Palin has less experience, but she has the right reforming credentials.

I like John Kasich as well.


Too Much Experience is Bad

Obama also has an interesting problem in that he can't have a VP with too much experience.  If he picks someone super-accomplished, Obama's relative inexperience will be more obvious in comparison.

Cantor is viable

Media Lizzy makes great points sbout Eric Cantor....he'd be a great pick on many levels...I've never thought Pawlenty was even in the realm of consideration.....

Draft Michael Steele for Vice President-Mccain Steel 08'

Mccain Steel 08'

Look unles Mccain picks a minorty or a women its the "good ole boys" as usal thats the simple relaity..My personal opinion is if Obama why not the fomer Lt. Governor or Maryland Michaal  Steele..for heaven sakes!..He is young, articulate,, bright, media savy, and is loved by the base. He could evenbring over some black voters who may not be ready for Obama but may be okay with Steele.

Sen.John McCain should if he wants to conjour up a picture of experince & Change then Steele is his man. Mccain should pick Michael S. Steele who at present is the chairman of GOPAC and a former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland,to the VP position. Having been elected on the same ticket as Governor Robert L. Ehrlich in 2002.

He is the first African American to serve in a Maryland state-wide office and the first Republican lieutenant governor in the state since the position was created in 1970.

Steele was born on October 19, 1958, at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County. He spent his childhood in the Petworth neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. which Steele has described as a small, stable and racially integrated community that insulated him from some of the problems elsewhere in the city.[1] He was one of two children raised by mother Maebell Turner and stepfather John Turner. Steele’s sister Monica later married and divorced former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Steele attended Archbishop Carroll Roman Catholic High School in Northeast Washington, D.C. While at Carroll, Steele participated in the Glee Club, the National Honor Society and many of the school’s drama productions. During his senior year, 1976-1977, he won the election for student council president.

Steele won a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In his first year there, Steele was elected class president and was a member of the fencing team. He struggled academically, however, and was nearly kicked out of the university at the end of the year. After garnering A's in summer classes at George Washington University, Steele was able to continue at Johns Hopkins, and he earned a bachelor's degree in international relations in 1981.

After college, Steele spent three years as a seminarian in the Order of St. Augustine in preparation for the priesthood. He entered the Augustinian Friars Seminary at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. As a seminarian, he taught freshman world history and senior economics for one year at Malvern Prep School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, but ultimately decided on a career in law and he left the Seminary prior to taking the vows.

Steele listens during Vice President Dick Cheney's address at the Second Annual African American Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, April 28, 2004.Steele then entered the Georgetown University Law Center and in 1991, he received his Juris Doctor degree. He worked as a corporate securities associate attorney at the Washington, D.C. office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. From 1991 to 1997, Steele specialized in financial investments for Wall Street underwriters, working at Cleary’s Tokyo, Japan office focusing on major product liability litigation and at its London office on corporate matters. Steele left the law firm and founded the Steele Group, a business and legal consulting firm.

Steele and his wife Andrea have two sons, Michael and Drew.

Mccain Steel 08'


Mccain Steel 08'

And before Steele is attacked for his expereince..rJust remember  that Barack Obama was the head community activist in charge..and look where he is now..come on people.

McCain Would Win With Palin

I know the usual strategy with VP picks is "Do no harm" but I think McCain needs to take a risk with his VP pick. 

Governor Palin would be a bolt of lightning for the McCain campaign.  She excites conservatives, and she would pull in a lot of women that have unfortunately been drifting away from the Republican Party.  I really don't see a downside to her, except her lack of foreign policy, which McCain more than balances.  I think the election would be McCain's to lose with Palin on the ticket.

Pawlenty wouldn't hurt the ticket, but he wouldn't help it either.  McCain needs something to excite conservatives.  The campaign would also have to put up with annoying reports of how their VP pick is losing his home state, as McCain is down considerably in Minnesota.  A home state VP pick is good for about 5 points max, IMO.  McCain is down by about 10-15 in Minnesota, so I don't see Pawlenty winning the state for him, but it could happen as theses numbers will no doubt tighten.  I'm also, however,  thoroughly unimpressed with Pawlenty, both in terms of policy and charisma.  I just don't see much upside to Pawlenty.

There is only one choice for McCain, and he is a governor.

Mark Sanford of South Carolina. As a Congressman, Sanford backed the 2000 McCain  effort, and as governor, was neutral in the primaries. Nonetheless, Sanford offers credibility to the McCain campaign among conservatives.