Monday, June 23, 2008

McCain Veep notes

The Times states that sources close to the McCain campaign are indicating that Gov. Tim Pawlenty of MN is the odds on favorite to be McCain's Veep.

If so, this is a good sign. He is one of the few governors who is young yet experienced, reform-minded, and a loyal long-time McCain backer. He has the same kind of populist, working-class appeal that Gov. Mike Huckabee has (something McCain needs more than he does conservative ideological purity) -- but he hasn't been savaged by the Club for Growth and by folks who just don't like evangelicals very much.

Names like Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal have risen to near the top of the list, but unlike Pawlenty, and neither has served a full term (Jindal was just elected,) neither is from a swing-state.

The Club for Growth continues to cheer for Gov. Sanford of SC, who would also be an excellent choice -- but he doesn't have the long-time loyalty to McCain that many observers we can expect to see in McCain's Veep.

Gov. Crist of Florida didn't do his cause any good by some embarrassing gaffes in California recently. The guy is just trying too hard -- but then, all you have to do is look at a photo of the guy to know that about a pretty boy like him. Crist would be a hard pill to swallow in a Veep. It's great that they love him in Florida, but do we really want him to be the future face of the Republican Party?

Another name floated in the McCain camp as a dark-horse because of his purported ability to put an end to Obama's dreams of carrying the intermountain west is Utah Gov. Jim Huntsman.

The tea-leaf reading continues....


Anonymous said...

Pawlenty, a good guy, but please John McCain, we need Sarah Palin on the ticket! We want to win!

Montana Headlines said...

Pawlenty has been through the fire of two tough state-wide elections in a Democratic state.

By contrast, Palin has only been governor for a couple of years in one of the most Republican states there is. No doubt that her race for governor was a tough one, but there is no way that she has been vetted by a hostile press and opposition research the way that Pawlenty has.

And Pawlenty is well into his second term -- he simply has more executive experience than she does.

Palin would be a great choice if all worked out well -- MH would be very enthusiastic.

But we're also cautious and conservative around here, and choosing her would be taking a bit of a chance. You just can't underestimate the benefits of vetting.

Ted said...

Pawlenty is not a “safe” choice if it means he adds nothing really positive to the ticket. (He barely won election as Governor of Minnesota and it’s questionable he’d be much of a factor turning MN to McCain.)

Sarah Palin is the future of the Republican Party and McCain desparately needs her on the ticket. Therefore, PALIN IS THE “SAFE” CHOICE, not Pawlenty!

By the way, the gutsy Palin took on the old line Republican establishment in Alaska and beat em all in the election; and remains the most popular governor of all the 50 in the nation -- 80 to 90% range!

And read this from another blogger:

“The following is addressed to John McCain urging him to select Sarah Palin for a VP.

“First and foremost, Sarah Palin shares your values. She killed the bridge to nowhere. Need we say more?

As for the politics, Sarah Palin transcends geography. Her constituency, like yours, goes beyond state lines.

She will get your ticket access to voters all over the country based on who she is and what she stands for. Because she’s young, a woman, a mother with young kids, she will grab media attention more than any other potential candidate.

Gov. Palin also has a son in the active duty military. You have very wisely taken your son’s service in Iraq off the table as a campaign talking point. That is and should be respected. But others can talk about it and reflect on what it means.

A McCain-Palin administration would be the first in memory, which has family members in uniform during wartime from both the President and Vice President. That would be a powerful statement as to the importance of national service, especially in uniform.

Most importantly, any Vice President should be ready to step up and serve in the event she is needed. Frankly, who is really ever ready? Gov. Palin is as ready as anybody, she is a quick learner, and in her public career has exhibited the courage and decisiveness needed for a great leader.

Godspeed to you in your campaign and in making this important decision.”

Montana Headlines said...

Don't get me wrong -- I'm a great fan of Gov. Palin, and think that people like her and Gov. Jindal are the future of our party.

It simply isn't true that Pawlenty brings nothing to the ticket. He is articulate, has spent a lot of time with the national media, has solid working-class populist appeal, and has more executive experience than governors like Crist, Jindal, or Palin.

That said, you won't see me complaining about a McCain-Palin ticket if it happens. I just very much doubt that it will happen, and stand by my statement that it would be taking somewhat of a chance.

Anonymous said...

TPAW is great but if McCain picks a Vanilla White Male Republican, then he gets no press and no bump. The press aint gonna talk about it. The world aint gonna talk about it. It will be Obama Obama Obama everywhere in press,TV,Cable,BBC,NBC,CNN,ABC etc. Everyone likes Obamas story of how a black man has come so far.

Listen, McCain needs someone who can bring in experience and also CHANGE. He needs a woman or Jindal.

If he picks Jindal he wins. Jindal energises the conservatives and also christians. If he picks a woman, he can compete with Obama machine by picking up some women votes;especially the 40+ woman votes. If he picks a plain white male he will LOSE.Lose he will badly. Obama is weak among southern white males and he will most likely pick a Richardson or Webb.

Republicans need a vigorous Christian in the ticket.

The only white male I like is Huckabee who can energize. But what do I know anyway?

Anonymous said...

Pawlenty is a good choice. And Palin has some negatives, the ones you note. But she also has some strong positives. One positive, I hate to say, that her gender might offset to some degree Obama's race.

I don't there's any question but the national press will pull hard for Obama simply to prove to the world that they aren't racist and are enlightened. They also want to be able to tell their grandkids they played a role in an important "first" in the nation's history.

Having a woman on the GOP ticket would help negate that effect, to some degree. I wish identity politics weren't such a part of American life, but I'm afraid there's no way around it. Especially when you consider that the surveys of the politics of journalists show they are well to the left of average Americans, so they are fans of such things as affirmative action and the like.

Besides, any time anyone says anything negative about Sarah Palin, all she has to do is hold up her baby and her critics won't have any choice but to zip their lips!

(by the way, I read a story the other day that indicated Palin grew up in, or was born in, Sandpoint, Idaho.)