Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

GOP Vice Presidential Choice - Update

With the Republican nomination secured, John McCain can take his time to select the right running mate. In my opinion, McCain's running mate choice will be more closely scrutinized than most. If elected McCain would be the oldest man elected to serve as president. Obviously, his running mate needs to be someone able to convey the ability to seamlessly ascend to the presidency if McCain is incapacitated. Another problem is McCain has gone out of his way to take positions certain to irritate his base in order to ingratiate himself with the liberal media. The right running mate could placate some of us on the right who will have a hard time bringing themselves to vote for the candidate who showed up on all the Sunday talk shows mocking them for the past few years. Here is a quick run down of potential VP picks and my guess as to their chance of being selected. Age listed is as of November.

Dr. Ron Paul - Texas Congressman (73). Positives: Actually more conservative than McCain on some issues. Negatives: Naive on foreign policy and even older than McCain. 0% chance.

Michael Steele - Former Lt Gov. of Maryland (50). Positives: Gave a great speech at the 2004 GOP convention, he's smart, well-respected. Negatives: Lost race for U.S. Senator in 2006. Odd note: Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson used to be his brother-in-law. 2% chance.

Rudy Giuliani - former mayor of New York city (64). Positives: Has administrative experience that McCain lacks. Negatives: Socially he is as liberal as most Dems. His personal life has been a mess at times. 5% chance.

Rob Portman - Former Ohio congressman, former U.S. Trade Representative and current WH Budget Director (52). Positives. Reliable conservative with good reputation, may deliver votes in key swing state of Ohio. Negatives: Limited name recognition. May be too closely tied to the Bush Administration. 10% chance.

Kay Bailey Hutchison - Texas Senator (65). Positives: Friendly demeanor to offset McCain's temper. Negatives: Age and McCain should already have Texas in the bag. 5% chance.

Fred Thompson - Former Senator and actor (66). Positives: Smart, reliable conservative. Negatives: Age. 7% chance.

Joe Lieberman Senator (66). Positives: Staunch supporter of military action since the 9/11 attacks. Negatives: Age. He is a Democrat turned Independent. 15% chance.

The remaining potential picks are all current or former governors. I believe because of his decades in the legislative branch of government, McCain will be very likely to pick a VP with executive experience.

Sarah Palin - Alaskan Governor (44). Positives: She compliments McCain's weaknesses nicely. She has been a reform minded leader cleaning up a very corrupt state government. Her youthfulness and reliable conservativism stand in stark contrast to McCain's age and maverick tendencies. Negatives: Fairly inexperienced. Very limited name recognition. Gave her kids goofy names (Bristol, Piper, Track, and Willow) bringing her judgment into question. 8% chance.

Mark Sanford - South Carolina Governor (48). Positives: Solid conservative to placate those leery of McCain occasional liberal silliness. Negatives: Limited name recognition. 30% chance.

Charlie Crist
- Florida Governor (52). Positive: Timely endorsement of McCain very helpful in winning Florida. Negatives: Relatively inexperienced - only been a governor for two years. 15% chance.

Haley Barbour - Mississippi Governor (61). Positive: Strong performance in wake of Katrina disaster stood in stark contrast to Louisiana governor's ineptitude. Negatives: Ties to lobby industry. 25% chance.

Jeb Bush - Former Florida Governor (55). Positives: Very successful and popular two term governor of a key swing state. Negatives: Last name is same as his older brother. Also, two of his three kids have criminal history the family would likely not want to see drug through a national campaign. 0% chance.

Mike Huckabee - Former Arkansas Governor (53). Positives: Charismatic speaker. Helps reach out to the social conservatives. Negatives: He is from Hope Arkansas. The voters he can deliver would likely end up going for McCain anyways. 42% chance.

Mitt Romney - Former Massachusetts Governor (61). Positives: Successful businessman and politician. Bowed out of race when it became apparent McCain would be the nominee showing he placed the country's future over his own ambitions. Negatives: Has a label of flip-flopper and many feel he took more conservative positions in recent years more out of political opportunism than principal. Residual animosity from primary campaign. 35% chance.

Tim Pawlenty - Minnesota Governor (47). Positives: Backed McCain early in the primary process. Negatives: Unable to deliver his own state to McCain in the primaries. 35% chance.

I'm sure there are many other potential VP's I overlooked. Please leave suggestions in the comments section.


Here are some additional names being floated for consideration:

Bobby Jindal - Louisiani Governor (37). Positives: Youth offsets McCain's ancientness. Very intelligent (Rhodes scholar), reliable conservative. Negatives: At 37 may be too young. Limited name recognition. Lack of experience (more experienced than Obama or Clinton, but who isn't). 17% chance.

Carly Fiorina - Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) (54). Positives: ??? Negatives: Never ran for elective office. 1% chance.

Duncan Hunter - California Congressman (60). Positives: Ready now. Best of the original group running for the GOP nomination. Long time member of the House Armed Services Committee including service as chairman when GOP held the majority. Has a strong stance on illegal immigration offsetting McCain's weakness. Decorated soldier from Vietnam War. Negatives: Limited name recognition. Not likely to even put home state of California in the winning column. 15% chance.

Paul Ryan - Wisconsin Congressman (38). Positives: Youthful contrast to McCain. Good speaker who has won his district by comfortable margin each time. Could be McCain's Dan Quayle. Negatives: Very limited name recognition. Five term congressman with no notable legislative accomplishment. Like McCain all his experience is in the legislative branch. 20% chance.

Condoleeza Rice - Secretary of State and former academic (53). Positives: Very intelligent. If Clinton gets the Dem nomination and bipasses Obama for VP then Rice's addition to the McCain ticket gives angry voters a place to go. Negatives: Outside of foreign policy, her positions on key issues are largely unknown. She bring the baggage of the current administration and has no natural constituency. Has never run for elective office. 1% chance.



Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Paul Ryan from Wisconsin's 1st Congressional district.

March 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Blogger bob said...

Bill, Why not Duncan Hunter your the one who turned me on to him early in the primary season

March 8, 2008 at 3:31 AM

Blogger Ben said...

JIndal would be a nice pick . Pallin is out - she is preganant. And Michael Steele seriously could not be on the ticket due to the Tyson connection.

March 11, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Blogger Julie said...

I wonder how many from your list made it on their's

April 2, 2008 at 10:32 AM


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