Thursday, March 13, 2008

McCain's best choices for VP

Everyone's buzzing at the possible choices for VP--the list is almost limitless, but several figures stand out and could provide a good contrast to McCain either in age, gender, race, or ideologically. Here are some of our top picks:

#1: Michael Steele

Pros: the African-American, former lieutenant governor of Maryland and current GOPAC chairman is a rising star in the party, articulate, and charismatic. Plus, as a dedicated social and fiscal conservative, he would please McCain's critics and doubters on the right

Cons: None that we can see

#2: Condoleezza Rice

Pros: the current U.S. Secretary of State has a great life story to tell and her foreign policy credentials, along with McCain's experience, would make the ticket an unstoppable force. Plus, she's African American and a woman. Whether it's Hillary or Obama, the Dems won't be able to top that historic double-grand slam

Cons: Little is known about Rice's positions on domestic and economic policy--basically most issues other than foreign policy. Her ties to the Bush administration would also prove problematic.

#3: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Pros: this relatively young (for congress) workaholic congresswoman serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee. She's intelligent, bright, and solidly conservative

Cons: very few. She's made a few controversial statements, but which congressional representative hasn't?

#4: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

Pros: only Republican to win an open seat in 2006, Bachmann is solidly conservative on all accounts and hails from a critical swing state McCain needs to win in '08

Cons: a few controversial past statements and associations, but nothing glaring.

#5: Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)

Pros: commonsense, conservative Republican governor of critical state of Minnesota, site of August GOP convention. Well-liked and popular governor
Cons: some positions on climate change and taxes have irked conservatives

#6: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA)

Pros: the young, 36-year old made history by becoming the first Indian-American to be elected governor in 2007 in Louisiana. He's conservative, charismatic, and described as the next Ronald Reagan

Cons: None, except Jindal was just elected to governor and hasn't served out his first term; may be too focused on state politics to consider a run for VP

#7: Sarah Palin (R-AK)

Pros: Young, attractive, beautiful, and savvy Alaska governor ran on ethics reform and has helped clean up the corruption of former GOP Governor Frank Murkowski. She was also the most popular governor in the nation--last summer, her approval rating hovered in the low 90s.

Cons: She's not from a state that would be in play, but otherwise she's an attractive choice (in more ways than one)

#8: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

Pros: experienced, long-time senator who adds gender balance and exertise on wide range of domestic policy issues

Cons: tolerated and even liked, but not loved by some social conservatives. Doesn't herald from a critical state McCain needs to win; having another senator on the ballot wouldn't be a plus--having a governor would be better

#9: Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)

Pros: former Mass. governor would put a solidly blue state into play and help bring conservatives on board with McCain's campaign

Cons: Romney is loathed by some on the right and accused of switching positions on many issues. Wouldn't necessarily solidify support from the conservative base

#10: Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-CT)
Pros: former Democrat, now turned Independent, Liebermann is conservative on national security and defense and a staunch McCain backer. Could make CT a swing state and turn it red for the first time in decades. Lots of opportunity for crossover Democratic support possible if Liebermann is chosen

Cons: Not a conservative and would not engender conservative base to McCain


Anonymous said...

Bachmann has emotional stability issues that WOULD NOT remain under the radar as a VP candidate with 24x7 press details. Her detractors here in MN call her "crazy". That's an inaccurate characterization, but she does have some personal/emotional/psychological challenges that likely would be hi-lighted by the bright media lights and pressure experienced by a VP candidate.

Anonymous said...

Bachmann rose to fame as an abortion clinic protestor and is erratic at best and has an even hotter temper than McCain. She is not an option.

section9 said...

Everyone loves Michael Steele, and he ran one of the best campaigns in a Democratic state. However, he lost. Condi, otoh, remains the only one on that list that could actually be President. Steele needs to be Governor someday, and perhaps Jindal.

I don't know where people are getting the idea that Bachmann could be eligible for anything.

Anonymous said...

Most of these Representatives and Senators don't bring much extra to the ticket as far as administrative experience or ability to energize/help carry a key state or turn a key state. I believe a younger conservative governor would be a better pick to offset McCain. Addresses both the age and conservative aspects. Also need someone from areas that McCain did not do as well. But the person also has to be well enough respected to believe they would not just be there as a figurehead.

My choices would be:

Governor Charlie Christ - Florida
Governor Haley Barbour - Mississippi
Governor Mark Sanford - South Carolina
Mitt Romney
Condeleesa Rice
Mike Huckabee

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican from MN. On Bachmann -

Oh. My. God. NO-O-O-O-O-O!

She is just strange. Way out there on several issues and believes that she has divine inspiration for some of her positions. While some may agree with this (?!) it ain't gonna fly on national level.

As mentioned before, many Republicans in this state think she is nuts.