Points By Drew Pritt


Top 7 on McCain’s Veep List
July 4, 2008, 12:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

More and more this is looking like the ticket. These two are comfortable with each other. Joe Lieberman taps into some key areas that would help the ticket, like the Jewish vote as well as making some eastern states competitive for the ticket. Recently, as McCain made his trip to Central America, Lieberman was with him. Not to mention, McCain wants someone who is experienced and prepared to take over the Presidency. Lieberman has made moves that would have been considered very treasonous in other circumstances but the Democratic Leadership in the Senate has not treated him with the same sort of way they treated say a Zell Miller. Lieberman also adds a maverick move thats characteristic of McCain.

In the House and later when McCain went over to the Senate, these two have been steady pals. The choice of this popular two-term former Governor of Pennsylvania has a maverick streak about it as well. Tom Ridge also appeals to a key base that Obama has been losing and McCain needs….white, blue collar, Reagan Democrats. Ridge, a Roman Catholic, is the son of a traveling salesman and Navy veteran who was Irish. He earned a scholarship to Harvard College, paying his way through with construction work and graduating with honors. In 1982 he successfully ran for northwestern Pennsylvania’s seat in Congress, and was re-elected six times. Ridge was notable as the first enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U.S. House. In 1994, despite being little-known outside of northwest Pennsylvania, Ridge ran for governor of Pennsylvania, winning the election as a pro-choice Republican. He was reelected in 1998 with 57 percent of the vote in a four-way race. Ridge’s share of the vote was the highest for a Republican governor in Pennsylvania (where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost 500,000) in more than half a century. From 2001-2004, he was the 1st Director of Homeland Security. He never has lost an election.

Its ridiculous to say that color is not a factor in this year’s election. Retired General Colin Powell and former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts (R-Ok.) are reportedly preparing to endorse Obama over McCain. McCain needs a way to stop the bleeding. The choice of 36-year-old Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, who is a populist conservative who is so young. But he is young with real accomplishments and a strong reformist streak. McCain spent considerable time with Jindal in New Orleans and reportedly found him, as he has before, personally engaging and intellectually impressive.

Like the Obama-Clinton ticket, there is a lot of talk about former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as a running mate for McCain. But personal chemistry is what matters and there is considerable lack of chemistry between these two personally. Still Romney could tap many of the Bush donors shying from McCain and there are Romney backers saying he could raise $50 million for the ticket. This and the fact he makes Michigan competitive, where McCain always has run strong and where Romney’s dad was a popular former Governor, as well as Massachusetts.

There are those who say he would never do it. There are those who say Florida needs to be held to win. There are those who advise McCain needs to tap into the Bush donor base to raise the money to be competitive. Also, would it hurt if McCain’s running mate was none other than the President’s brother, former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. This pic would seriously test the theory that the Bush name brand is severely worn out its welcome. Also, Bush who is married to Columba Garnica Gallo, is from Mexico. Many Latinas would love the chance to see one of their own elevated to the heights yet unachieved. Besides the Vice Presidency is the stepping stone to the White House. It worked for Jeb’s father after all.

More and more, some say this is the inspired choice that McCain will make, and some say it’s because Cindy McCain likes Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. What is there not to like? The former Mayor of Wasila ran for Lt. Governor in 2002 and was defeated. In the meantime, the candidate who won Governor, who had served in the U.S. Senate with McCain, appointed her to his administration. When she uncovered corruption, he stood by his friends, and Palin resigned. She came back and ran a reformist campaign for Governor and won, defeating the incumbent Governor in the primary and a popular former Governor in the General. She’s balanced on the issues, is a working wife and mother, and has been on Esquire. Since then, her popularity has remained in the astronomical 90% range. She seems to be a running-mate straight out of central casting. While McCain has been fighting an image he is too old, Sarah Palin is the opposite. Palin is young and very charismatic. Even though she is anti-choice, she seems to be a little more supportive of gay rights then most Republicans. This is good actually, as it taps a base of support with money and influence, that is wary of Obama currently.

The thought of a McCain ticket with Tim Pawlenty, the Governor of Minnesota, on the ticket is as exciting as watching paint dry. He is the safe choice and thats what drags him down. He’s not charismatic, not an orator, he is paler than most choices, and is not a woman, nor is he Jewish, rich, or a close friend of McCains. If anything, he’s the safe choice whom everyone can say hey, yeah he’s from a blue state (that McCain will never carry) and in the debates he will get very little press. It’s that very safety that continues to make him a contender, but exceedingly less likely a choice, for the 2nd slot.

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