The VEEP choice for John McCain will mean more for him than will Obama’s. John McCain needs to choose someone who can rally the base of the GOP, attract (or at least not scare off) Hillary voters who have been turned off by Obama, is strong where he is weak, can be President in the event McCain dies (his age is an issue), and can potentially help deliver “battle-ground” states.
His five best options are:
1. Mitt Romney. While Mitt does not accomplish all the criteria above, he covers more than any other. First, he has become popular with the GOP base, and while evangelicals don’t like him, it is unlikely, his presence results in a McCain loss in the South.
Mitt also is an economic genius, whereas McCain has readily admitted he is weak on economics. McCain could basically just make Mitt the economic Czar. Mitt also can deliver Michigan and New Hampshire (two states Bush lost in ‘04), as well as help the GOP hold onto Nevada and Colorado (due to the significant LDS population). Finally, he is the most qualified Republican for President not named John McCain (though I would personally argue that Mitt would be the best President from either party period, but I digress).
2. Sarah Palin. Who? You ask. Sarah Palin is the 44 year old knock-out, yet ridiculously competent, Governor of Alaska. Sure, Alaska is not a political powerhouse state and she has no more experience than Barack Obama, but her positives are off the chart.
First, she is a solid conservative and extremely anti-corruption. She took on the extremely corrupt and entrenched GOP leadership in Alaska and won. She is an excellent communicator and does not hurt McCain at all.
The best reason for her though is that she would capture the attention of the American, if not the World’s, media and people. She will undoubtedly attract significant swath’s of the female voters that were backing Hillary, despite her conservatism. She can help off-set Obama’s image and help McCain be “younger”.
Her down side is her lack of experience, would she be able to step in as President should McCain not serve all the way through. Also, she is among the leaders of the GOP’s future, why potentially stall her in a failed Veep run?
3. Mike Huckabee. Ugh, I personally despise Huckabee and if he is the Veep choice there is no way I am voting for McCain. nevertheless, Huckabee would not be a bad choice for McCain. He would solidify the evangelical vote in the South which may be needed if Obama chooses a moderate Southern Democrat (like Jim Webb). The South is wary of McCain and Romney wouldn’t help there either. Additionally, he is polling the best of all potential Veep options and could help deliver Iowa to McCain.
He has strong negatives though as well. He is divisive in the GOP. His economic populism is despised by fiscal and economic conservatives and he would not help in the least in delivering moderates to McCain; much of the American public views him as almost a Christian radical.
4. Bobby Jindal. Bobby is the current Governor of Louisiana and, much like Palin, is very anti-corruption and has cleaned up notoriously corrupt Louisiana. He gets a lot press right now and is very popular in the GOP. He IS the future of the GOP and a bright future that is. His only negative is his lack of experience.
He would excite the base as well and could bring in a good number of moderates and democrats. He is young and competent and would be a fine choice. Additionally, he is a minority (Indian descent) and could possibly offset that advantage for Obama (though minimally at best.
However McCain MUST NOT choose Jindal. Louisiana needs him now and for the next 4-8 years. The GOP needs him in the future. In 2012, look for a Jindal v. Palin race for the GOP nominee for the Presidency.
5. Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota. He is a great and popular governor and could deliver Minnesota for the GOP, a huge deal that would be. He also has been a staunch supporter of McCain’s, even through McCain’s collapse last year and McCain loves loyalty.
However, he does little to exite anybody and, while he has no real downside, he won’t help either. He would be a ho-hum pick. However, like Jindal and Palin, he has a potentially bright future in the GOP.
Others under consideration:
Mark Sanford, Georgia.
Meg Whitman, former CEO of Google
Charlie Crist, Florida
Kay Baily Hutchison
All in all there are some great options for McCain. Palin may be the best overall choice, due to her lack of major negatives. But Mitt Romney is what McCain and the country needs. What are your thoughts?
Originally posted at swint.instablogs.com.