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McCain's V.P. Selection

Click the below link for an updated compendium of prospective running mates for McCain.

MS Gov. Haley Barbour

Pros: Proven conservative governor.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
MO Gov. Matt Blunt

Pros: Young conservative governor from a key bellweather state.

Cons: Arguably a bit too young to be taken seriously (Blunt only is 37). Plus he might not have been re-elected this year had he remained in the gubernatorial race.

Grade: B.

* * *
TX U.S. Sen. John Cornyn

Pros: Proven conservative. Possesses executive, legislative and judicial branch experience.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
SEC Chairman and former CA U.S. Rep. Chris Cox

Pros: Proven conservative with executive and legislative experience. Relatively young.

Cons: Presence or absence from the ticket won't affect the results in his home state.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist

Pros: Young governor from a large and fast-growing state.

Cons: Florida this year is not actually in play (McCain easily will prevail there). Crist is single and the inevitable "rumors" about homosexuality along with press reports of prior marijuana usage would be a distraction and inevitably would dupe various (additional) segments of the right wing into not voting.

Grade: B-minus/C-plus.

* * *
NV U.S. Sen. John Ensign

Pros: Young conservative from a potential battleground state.

Cons: No executive experience.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
Former VA Gov. Jim Gilmore

Pros: Conservative former governor of a potential battleground state.

Cons: Last won an election in 1997. Ties to Bear Stearns would be a media-driven distraction, although truth be told by November the general public won't remember Bear Stearns from Huggy Bear. Gilmore would have been an excellent Veep choice in 2000, but in political terms that was eons ago.

Grade: C.

* * *
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Pros: It's a national security election and he's a national security candidate. Proven fundraiser. Could boost McCain in the Northeast.

Cons: Liberal social positions would be anathema to various segments of the single-issue and evangelical right. Too old and too unhealthy to be Veep.

Grade: C.

* * *
S.C. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham

Pros: None.

Cons: No executive experience. Struggles to see the big picture. Prone to episodes of idiocy. Creepy personality.

Grade: F.

* * *
N.H. U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg

Pros: Would all but guarantee New Hampshire flipping back into the GOP fold. Has executive experience (state governor) in addition to experience overseeing a key U.S. Senate committee. Would add geographic balance to the ticket and potentially boost McCain in other areas of the Northeast.

Cons: Slightly too old to be ideal. Would open up a U.S. Senate seat the party ill can afford to lose. Not quite conservative enough for certain elements of the self-defeating right.

Grade: C-plus.

* * *
N.D. Gov. John Hoeven

Pros: Young conservative governor. Would add geographic balance to the ticket.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Catholic religion would be an issue for certain elements of the extreme Protestant right.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
Former AR Gov. Mike Huckabee

Pros: Multi-term governor.

Cons: Too overtly sectarian for a national general election. Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Can't raise money.

Grade: C-minus.

* * *
UT Gov. Jon Huntsman

Pros: Young and telegenic conservative governor.

Cons: Mormonism would be an issue for various segments of the Protestant electorate. Doesn't hail from a battleground state.

Grade: B-minus.

* * *
TX U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

Pros: Female conservative.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Too old to be ideal. No executive experience.

Grade: C.

* * *
AK Gov. Sarah Palin

Pros: Young and telegenic female governor.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Remoteness of Alaska undercuts legitimacy

Grade: B-minus.

* * *
MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Pros: Young and telegenic conservative governor from a battleground state with a track record of pragmatism.

Cons: No drawbacks of any substance

Grade: A-plus.

* * *
TX Gov. Rick Perry

Pros: Conservative and telegenic big-state governor.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state.

Grade: A-minus.

* * *
OMB Dir. and Former OH U.S. Rep. Rob Portman

Pros: Proven conservative. Young and telegenic. Has executive and legislative experience. Has won multiple elections in a large and electorally-important state.

Cons: Not strong enough politically to have attempted a statewide run in the past. This year Ohio might not even be in play.

Grade: B-plus/A-minus.

* * *
Sec. of State Condi Rice

Pros: Would destroy every liberal meme about the GOP being the party of old white men. A demographic nightmare for the media/Democrats.

Cons: Being single and never married inevitably would create issues for certain segments of the evangelical right wing. Not strongly affiliated with a particular state, much less a battleground state. Experience is derived from appointed posts as opposed to having won elections.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
Former PA Gov. and DHS Sec. Tom Ridge

Pros: Political icon from a large "purple" state. It's a national security election and he's a national security candidate.

Cons: Pro-choice viewpoints would be a major issue for segments of the single-issue right. Too old to be ideal. Pennsylvania is not really in play this year (since pre-election media polls show McCain winning the state just imagine what the actual numbers must look like).

Grade: A-minus.

* * *
MI U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers

Pros: Proven conservative. Young and telegenic. Possesses law enforcement experience (FBI Special Agent) in addition to stints in the state senate and the U.S. House. Has won multiple elections in a large and electorally-important state. It's a national security election and he's a national security candidate.

Cons: Executive experience limited to the private sector. Not strong enough politically to have attempted a statewide run in the past.

Grade: A-minus.

* * *
Former MA Gov. Mitt Romney

Pros: Tenacious and proven fundraiser. Telegenic. Would add geographic balance to the ticket. Potentially would boost McCain in the Northeast.

Cons: Mormonism would be an issue for various segments of the Protestant electorate. Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Too old to be ideal.

Grade: C.

* * *
S.D. Gov. Mike Rounds

Pros: Young and telegenic conservative governor. Would add geographic balance to the ticket.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Might not be the best choice from South Dakota (see Thune, John). Catholic religion would be an issue for certain elements of the Protestant right.

Grade: B-plus.

* * *
S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford

Pros: Young and telegenic conservative governor. Would add geographic balance to the ticket.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state.

Grade: A-minus.

* * *
Former MD Lt. Gov. Michael Steele

Pros: Young conservative with executive experience. Would add demographic and geographic balance to the ticket.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Lost his most recent bid for office by a wide margin. Probably would not affect the black vote in Nov.

Grade: C-plus.

* * *
S.D. U.S. Sen. John Thune

Pros: Young and telegenic conservative. Would add geographic balance to the ticket.

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Limited executive experience. Might not be the best choice from South Dakota (see Rounds, Mike).

Grade: B-plus.


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Comments (25)

Nice list Jayson.I... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Nice list Jayson.

I can absolutely see McCain rewarding Lindsey Graham for his loyalty. In addition this would be another stick in the eye of conservatives.

Mark Sanford has some serio... (Below threshold)

Mark Sanford has some serious financial issues that will eventually remove him from any list. I don't know how damning they are, if they are intentional or incompetent. He talks a good game but is extremely incompetent. He was the last GOP leader in SC to endorse McCain, waiting until everything was over to do so.

Lindsey did an interview with one of the local SC political columnists the other day, and basically said anyone from SC is not in the running. Lindsey would be my choice. His personality is not creepy, your prejudice is showing. He is a single-minded pit-pull when it comes to something. His work is his life, with the exception of golf.

I suggest following Sanford's woes over on The Palmetto Scoop.

SJR
The Pink Flamingo

Jayson,Does Kay Ba... (Below threshold)

Jayson,

Does Kay Bailey Hutchinson really have no executive experience while Rob Portman does? Yes Portman is at OMB, but you're forgetting Hutchinson was TX state treasurer(Same job Ann Richards held) before becoming Senator.

I think that qualifies if Portman does. Hutchinson had more time in the job too.

Bill

PS- Hutchinson isn't going to be picked in any case.

K.B.Hutchinson has an unple... (Below threshold)
maggie:

K.B.Hutchinson has an unpleasant surprise
waiting for her if she decides that the
Texas governor is her next political stop.
Big signs with the word FENCE when she does
run. She'll know why.
She personally gutted the financing for a
security fence along the borders. Another
politico in it for the power and money, not
as a representative for the people who elected
her to office as their voice

Maggie,When talk o... (Below threshold)

Maggie,

When talk of the border fence(which is virtual in places. Can't interfere with those golfers) comes up, I'm reminded of a famous quote of General Patton-

'Fixed fortifications are a monument to man's stupidity.'

Prof. Taylor at Poliblog concurs when he states a fence without a patrol behind it isn't going to work.

Bill

Huckabee's not from a battl... (Below threshold)

Huckabee's not from a battleground state? It has a Democratic Governor, 2 Democratic Senators, and 4 Democratic Congressmen and polls show Hillary leading in a Clinton-McCain race.

There is no "scandal" aroun... (Below threshold)

There is no "scandal" around Sanford; his problem is he has been at war with the state Republican leadership in the legislature over their lavish wasteful spending. He's about the last "fiscal conservative" left in the state.

Palmetto Scoop is a good blog, but their rap on Sanford is for not endorsing McCain early (BEFORE SC primary) and getting on the VP short list. As SC is as close to a locked-down safe state the GOP has in national elections, all that would have been worth was a little extra publicity, anyway. This also eliminates Graham, who McCain wouldn't pick anyway because the VP candidate travels separately, and then who would shine McCain's shoes and clean the spittoons?

Romney is a serious contender for one reason: his fundraising network and personal wealth (which could be spent on a McCain-Romney ticket). He would be a hedge against a Democratic money advantage in the fall, since Obama lied when he promised to accept public financing.

Fortunately, Hillary and Obama are showing they waste campaign money nearly as fast as they would waste tax money if elected, so the edge may not be fatal to McCain's hopes.

Pawlenty is left. Young, conservative enough to make the right happy, endorsed McCain early, administrative experience, battleground state.

When it comes down to it, it will be either Pawlenty or Romney. Anyone else would be a huge shock.

SJ -- Lindsey Graham called... (Below threshold)

SJ -- Lindsey Graham called a large portion of the electorate "bigots" over the immigration issue.

A McCain/Graham ticket would all-but guarantee the pro-enforcement conservatives sit out the presidential vote. That's almost the only scenario I can reasonably envision causing me to vote third party.

After the huge groundswell we caused over the amnesty bill, I think it's clear we're a big enough set of people who actually vote and take interest in politics. McCain would be insane to stick his thumb in our eye at this point.

Jim writes-As S... (Below threshold)

Jim writes-

As SC is as close to a locked-down safe state the GOP has in national elections,

Funny the writers of The West Wing had SC going democratic for Santo. I always thought that was nutty.

Then a show that has the Press Secretary or WH communications dept handling about half the show's episodes, is out of touch with reality.

Being a Catholic is a probl... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Being a Catholic is a problem? A religion that has not threatened to behead the entire world, like the Islamic terrorists, but Islam is accepted? People spread the 'Catholic/Jewish bad' myth all the time, why? I've known a lot of both and never met one worse than some Baptist I've met. Fact is Israel would never fire a shot at the idiots across the border if they didn't fire first trying to kill women and children, well anyone they can kill. Maybe Hussein O and the Revrund Wright's religion of racism can come up with a pill to kill only Islamist. Hey, it fits his rants and image.

BillI don't think ... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Bill

I don't think I posted about the
fences physical description, or how
it should be implemented or operated.
As to that, I think the Israelis have
the right idea.
My post is about Hutchinsons disregard,
and arrogance in assuming she's going to
get a pass for her dishonesty to those
whom she "represents".

AK Gov. Sarah P... (Below threshold)
AK Gov. Sarah Palin

Cons: Doesn't hail from a battleground state. Remoteness of Alaska undercuts legitimacy

Even if asked she would decline, which I think is the biggest "con" that could ever apply: she isn't going to embark on a nationwide campaign having just recently given birth to a baby.
Former MD Lt. G... (Below threshold)
Former MD Lt. Gov. Michael Steele

Cons: ... Probably would not affect the black vote in Nov.

If as seems most likely at this point the Democrats nominate Obama, this is undoubtedly true.

If Hillary or some compromise, non-black third-choice gets the nomination, I think having Steele on the GOP ticket could make inroads.

The question then would be significance of those inroads, which is anyone's guess.

J.C. Watts.... (Below threshold)
KobeClan:

J.C. Watts.

this shows you how bad the ... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

this shows you how bad the Republican party has become. No one of the list has demonstrate any leadership, any ability, or any original thinking. It is a list of second rate hacks.

"this shows you how bad the... (Below threshold)
JB:

"this shows you how bad the Republican party has become. No one of the list has demonstrate any leadership, any ability, or any original thinking. It is a list of second rate hacks."

Tad harsh aren't we?

Jayson, are you suggesting this is basically a battle to flip Minnesota and Pawlenty's the guy?

I like Romney despite the Mormonism because he neutralizes the "McCain doesn't know economics" meme. Powerfully complements McCain on expertise.

Maybe the evangelicals could live with a Mormon VP?

Superdestroyer, you show pr... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Superdestroyer, you show profound ignorance if you think being elected twice in a liberal state and holding to a no new taxes pledge while fighting against a Dem-dominated legislature somehow equals no leadership or ability (Pawlenty). Projection on your part does not equal reality in real life. Enjoy getting steamrolled in November.

KobeClan, While I ... (Below threshold)

KobeClan,

While I love the idea of JC Watts running, he won't. He left political life to be with his family.

Forget Perry (TX). <... (Below threshold)
newton:

Forget Perry (TX).

Any remote suggestion of him as VP and one word is going to come to the minds of too many Texans: Gardisil.

Forget Perry (TX). <p... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Forget Perry (TX).

Any remote suggestion of him as VP and one word is going to come to the minds of too many Texans: Gardisil.
------------------------------------
Sounds silly. Maybe liberals thinks economic and population growth is bad.

Four fastest growing metropolitans in Texas

Pawlenty is the kind of hac... (Below threshold)
superdestroyer:

Pawlenty is the kind of hack Republicans who wants big government while trying to hide the costs. He does not want taxes increases but supports public funded stadiums pork barrel education programs, and other goodies. If a bioresearch center is important, then cut out other portions of the government.

Pawlenty is the kind of inept republicans who spends most of his time running around with his tail between his legs after being spanked by the Republicans.

A good rule of thumb is that any Republicans who was in the House or Senate from 2001 to 2006 is unqualified to be VP. Adding trillions to the national debt should be an automatic exclusion criteria.

A good rule of ... (Below threshold)
A good rule of thumb is that any Republicans who was in the House or Senate from 2001 to 2006 is unqualified to be VP.
Including the ones who were more interested in border security than in passing Bush's amnesty plan? House Republicans fought Bush from the right on that one, and they deserve better for it than blanket condemnation.
Anyone else form MI willing... (Below threshold)
epador:

Anyone else form MI willing to give Rogers an F?????

He'd make Spiro Agnew a saint. The man, seen talking live, is a master of backhanded compliments trying to look tolerant.

McCain picks former Reagan ... (Below threshold)
John K:

McCain picks former Reagan official to head VP search according to The Hill

It looks like McCain may ha... (Below threshold)
john cook:

It looks like McCain may have made a mistake. He only talked with her one time and that was last week about being VP. There appears to be several major issues. I'm not a Rep. But he am shocked about a rash decision. He was close in the polls. This just

Now the talking heads are starting to talk about McCain's 2 serious runs with cancer. And that the cancer could set i again. The last one needed a 5 hr operation. Is she really ready for the President. She not a very worldly.




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