Don’t Pick Romney
I’m not sure McCain has much of a chance in November, but what little chance he does have depends largely on who he picks as his running mate. This is definitely an election where the running mate will make a big difference.
On that note, I hope hope hope that the rumors swirling about Mitt Romney being a leading VP contender are untrue. Senator McCain: please do not pick Romney. This would be a big mistake. With Romney on your team you might get Ann Coulter’s vote, but is that really something you want?
Mitt Romney is the Al Gore of the Republican party. He’s totally faux, robotic, waffling, and insincere. He’s an opportunist and political scavenger, which means he’s likely chomping at the bit to get on the McCain ticket. He would be a liability for McCain in the way Dan Quayle was for George Bush Sr.
So, if not Romney, then who should McCain choose? Well, if I was on his advisory team, I’d suggest the following options:
- Joe Lieberman: Okay, so this choice wouldn’t exactly build McCain’s already unenthusiastic conservative base. But if Obama wants to play “unity politics,” what better way for McCain to respond than to do it himself—picking a Democrat for a running mate? Let Obama have Mitt Romney.
- Matt Blunt: The governor of Missouri, Blunt comes from a strong political pedigree and has appealing military credentials that would nicely compliment McCain’s (Blunt graduated from the Naval Academy and was called to active duty after 9/11). Also, at 37 (roughly half of McCain’s age), Blunt would bring some much-needed young blood into the fray.
- Condaleeza Rice: She’s one of the most intelligent Republicans ever to exist, and would intellectualize anyone’s presidential ticket. It’s just too bad she’ll forever be associated with the failures of Iraq under the Bush regime. But who knows? Maybe she can redeem herself in a different political capacity?
- JC Watts: He’s a former college football quarterback (for the University of Oklahoma), a four-term congressman, and a well-spoken conservative thinker. He’s also black, which makes him all the more unique (black republican?!) and potentially valuable in what will surely be a racially charged election.
- Tim Pawlenty: This would be a bit on the boring and safe side, but definitely a smart pick. Pawlenty is the two-term governor of Minnesota, a swing state that McCain could win with the help of a popular governor. Pawlenty is also more conservative than McCain on several issues (immigration, for one), which could help pull in the skeptical holdouts within the Republican party.