August 28, 2008

McCain Veepstakes

I've gotta say, as a Democrat, none of the alleged finalists really scare me. Mitt Romney is a transparent fraud who not only adds to McCain's how-many-houses problem and has dozens of anti-McCain quotes on the record, but the Mormon thing will likely do something to depress base turnout. Lieberman has that handicap of not actually being a Republican, not to mention a surprisingly liberal voting record; I'd just love to see the party torn apart by a pro-choice pick of him or Tom Ridge who- if memory serves me- was generally considered a failure at running homeland security. As for Kay Bailey Hutchison, wouldn't her and McCain side by side look like somebody's grandparents?

Tim Pawlenty, even though he'd be crushed Bentsen/Quayle-style in a debate with Biden, is clearly the best choice, and McCain would be nuts to pick any of the above clowns instead of him.

Chris Orr has a good point on this:

For the moment, McCain has to some degree the best of both worlds: a strong pro-life record to peddle to conservatives, and the widespread sense among liberals and moderates--vividly demonstrated by clueless Clintonite-turned- McCainiac Debra Bartoshevich--that he's kinda sorta pro-choice, or at least ambivalent on the subject. (George W. Bush rode a similar strategy of courting conservatives through targeted appeals and surrogates, while maintaining a broader image of moderation, straight to the White House in 2000). What McCain presumably wants, then, is for the subject of abortion to come up as little as possible: The more he's forced to talk about it, the more he'll inevitably upset this delicate balance.

If he picks a pro-choice running mate, however, he'll have to talk about abortion a lot. There will be protests by pro-lifers and demands that he declare, loudly and repeatedly, his commitment to the pro-life cause in general and to placing anti-Roe justices on the Supreme Court in particular. He will have to make abundantly, emphatically clear that he, and not his pro-choice veep, will be making any and all executive decisions regarding abortion. He will be forced, in short, to dynamite his calculated ambivalence.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 28, 2008 12:37 PM
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