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Thursday, May 15, 2008

John McCain Veepstakes (Part 2)

Here is the conclusion to the John McCain Veepstakes. If you missed it, Part 1 was yesterday.

5. Charlie Crist (Governor, Florida)When looking at electoral math, this guy jumps out. Like his predecessor, Jeb Bush, he's extraordinarily popular in Florida, and if Republicans want to hold onto the White House, they must hold onto Florida. His endorsement of McCain before the Florida Primary might have been the difference when McCain delivered the late round knockdown blow to Mitt Romney. However, Crist's executive experience is limited, as he's been governor for only two years. Moreover, while he would keep Florida red, his popularity will not extend to any other state or region.

4. John Thune (Senator, South Dakota)
He's young (47), extremely conservative (100% in 2006), and is a quasi-hero in the party after knocking off Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle in 2004. Moreover, he's fervently supporting the McCain campaign, which will help with skeptical conservatives. Unfortunately, two senators on a ticket have no executive experience, and fiscal management experience is crucial in this election. Moreover, South Dakota is hardly an advantageous state for a Republican ticket, as its three electoral votes are not in danger, nor is South Dakota a bellwether state for its surrounding region.

3. Mitt Romney (Former Governor, Massachusetts)Back in early February, Romney dropped out of the race for the same reason Huckabee stayed in it. They both want to be considered for the VP nomination by the guy who beat them. Huckabee's strategy was that if he won enough states, McCain would just want to end the primary as soon as possible by offering the #2 spot to Huckabee. However, McCain's easy disposal of Huckabee means that McCain has no reason to invite Huckabee, aside from a couple reasons mentioned in yesterday's Part 1.

This leaves Romney, whose breathtakingly conservative withdrawal speech was a verbal audition for the VP nod. He said everyone needed to get out of the way for McCain (while Huckabee and Paul were still in the race, by the way). He talked about the importance of the war on terror, implying McCain was the right guy for the job. He also mentioned the importance of the future of the Republican Party remaining the conservative party.

In the closing weeks of Romney's campaign, the conservative base, media included, was pushing his campaign. It was probably more anti-McCain than pro-Romney, but regardless, if the two joined up, it could galvanize the Republican Party. Romney brings a geographical balance, executive experience, a handsome family, personal and public economic success, and millions of his own dollars into the campaign war chest.

2. Mark Sanford (Governor, South Carolina)
He's similar to DeMint (see yesterday), except as a governor, there is executive experience. Sanford could very well be the future of the party. He's young (turns 48 this month), good-looking (so I'm told by women), has an excellent conservative fiscal record, and the Republican base loves him. A McCain-Sanford victory in November could very well mean 12-16 years of Mark Sanford on the ballot. He's almost tailor made for the #2 spot. However, South Carolina and its geographical region are in no danger of being flipped to the blue column.

1. Tim Pawlenty (Governor, Minnesota)
Pawlenty has a check next to his name in all categories, and must be on McCain's short list. He's young and has a future in the party. He has executive experience. He's as conservative of a northern governor that you'll ever find. He was strongly behind the McCain campaign for President. He's a popular governor of the only state to vote Democratic in every election since McGovern's disastrous 1972 bid against President Nixon. He flips Minnesota's 9 electoral votes and could even do some stumping in nearby Michigan, which is now in play thanks to the DNC fracas.

If you have to wager on McCain's VP, go with Tim Pawlenty to win, Mark Sanford to place, and Mitt Romney to show. Take John Thune in your superfecta and you'll go home rich. If you want a long shot that could pay out big, I suggest Sarah Palin.


I'm back tomorrow with some Democratic Primary news and some VP possibilities for Barack Obama. See you then.

1 comment:

The Dude said...

What happens if Mark Sanford's legs break at the finish line?



too soon?...

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