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Why Jim DeMint should be McCain's running mate.

There's been a lot of chatter about who John McCain will choose to be his running mate. Most worrying is the speculation about Joe Lieberman taking the veep spot.

That would be a bad, bad idea. Already conservatives are angry with John McCain. And while McCain is showing that he can win crossover Democrats, he hasn't shown that he can reach out to conservatives. When he does try to, it comes across as fake, forced. For McCain to win, he needs to be genuine. He isn't a conservative, and he shouldn't try to pretend that he is. He should just be himself, be honest and up front about where he stands, and find another way to reach out to conservatives without coming across as condescending. And the best way to do that is to choose a conservative running mate.

Choosing the person to be your running mate needs to be a strategic move, not about who you've been good buddies with in the Senate. A good politician will choose someone who can balance them out -- someone who is strong where you are weak, who can be tough on the points where maybe you're a little squishy.

And that's why South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint would be a fantastic choice for John McCain's running mate. Let's take a look at his bio for starters:

Elected as South Carolina's 55th senator in 2004 after serving six years in the U.S House of Representatives, Jim DeMint has quickly established himself as one of the most effective conservative leaders in Washington. He was recently ranked as the Senate's most conservative member by National Journal and as the number one senator voting for responsible tax and spending policies by the National Taxpayer Union.

Even as a freshman, Jim has shown that he has no interest in sitting on the sidelines in the Senate. Instead, he has leveraged his expertise in placing products and ideas in a crowded marketplace, gained as the owner of a small market research firm. He has become an effective national voice in Washington's fight to regain the trust of the American people, most recently on the issues of immigration and wasteful spending.

In late 2006, he was elected by his colleagues as Chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, which is comprised of the majority of Republican senators and works to shape and advance conservative legislation. He also serves on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Energy and Natural Resources; Foreign Relations and Joint Economic Committees.

Senator DeMint is a conservative through and through. He's got experience, and he'd be able to assuage the bruised egos that many conservatives are still nursing. He's a fiscal conservative, and a leader of conservatives in the Senate. The National Journal has named Senator DeMint the most conservative senator. He's been on the front lines of the fight for earmark reform. He has a life ACU rating of 98. The issues he focuses on are earmark reform, illegal immigration, and family values -- which is a good complement for McCain. Conservatives would be happy to know that there is someone in the White House who would fight for their values, and McCain would still have his moderate appeal to capture crossover Democrats.

One of Senator DeMint's strongest positions is on illegal immigration -- which is one of McCain's weakest areas for Republicans and conservatives. McCain has stood for amnesty and open borders, and many people are understandably horrified at the thought of what will happen to our borders and immigration with President John McCain. This is where Vice President Jim DeMint would be the most beneficial. McCain is now claiming that he has changed his mind on illegal immigration and open borders (to an extent), but who can actually believe that? With Senator DeMint as his running mate, there would be a lot more credibility to that claim. Consider how he fought to defeat the shamnesty disaster last year:

After the cloture vote failure at noon on Thursday, Harry Reid could not get unanimous consent to call up amendments to the bill because Jim DeMint refused to give his consent. This was extremely problematic for Reid because he wanted to get in votes on 6 more amendments before the last try at a cloture vote.

At that point, all the senators who were participants in the "Grand Compromise" AKA the "Masters of the Universe" by the opponents of the bill, leaned on DeMint to try to get him to give consent for the bill to move forward. Unfortunately for them, DeMint wouldn't budge. This essentially killed the entire afternoon that the pro-amnesty side hoped to use to shore up support for the bill.

While DeMint was gumming up the works, the opponents of the bill, including most prominently Jim DeMint, Jeff Sessions, and Tom Coburn, huddled and came up with a list of conservative amendments they wanted considered.

The "Grand Compromise" crowd didn't want a lot of these amendments to be voted on because either some of the amendments would have been accepted and it would have killed the bill or alternately, they would have had to vote against common sense enforcement measures and made themselves look bad.

Senator DeMint would be, in my opinion, the best choice for John McCain's running mate. Because, let's face it -- McCain is not now, nor will he ever be, a conservative. We can whine, bith, and gripe all day long about that fact. But it won't change anything -- he'll still be our nominee, and he won't be any more conservative. The solution for McCain and for conservatives would be to get a true conservative in as Vice President -- and Jim DeMint would easily be the best choice.


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Comments (15)

Are you certain that Joe Li... (Below threshold)

Are you certain that Joe Lieberman would be such a turnoff to Conservatives, Cassie? I get a lot of what you are saying, but I would counter that a lot of Conservative Republicans remember that Lieberman has been a good friend to the President, especially in his support for the War on Terror. I think that, in the long run, Conservatives are more scared by the idea of an Obama or Clinton presidency than they are pissed off at McCain and/or Lieberman.

Personally, I prefer Condi for V.P., but I understand she wants nothing to do with the role.

McCain can dig-up and stuff... (Below threshold)
Increase Mather:

McCain can dig-up and stuff RR and run him. Still won't vote for McCain. I will vote third party so I can live with myself.

I don't like the idea of ru... (Below threshold)

I don't like the idea of running two sitting senators and I think that the number of conservatives who will not - in the end - support the GOP ticket is being greatly exagerrated among the blogosphere.

You know, I'm getting prett... (Below threshold)

You know, I'm getting pretty damn tired of being considered a mindless, reflexive sheep - whether I'm voting Republican or Democrat.

Angry because it's McCain? Why should I be angry?

I'll most likely vote for McCain - not because I think he's the best candidate the Republicans could have come up with, but because he beats the stuffings out of the "Promise Everything and Expect The Voters To Forget" garbage that's coming from the Democrats. I'm not 'angry' McCain's the candidate, I wouldn't be 'angry' if he gets Lieberman, DeMint, or whoever he wants as VP - as long as the person comes across as half-assed responsible and competent. (Neither of the two Democratic candidates do, in my book.)

What AM I angry about? Idiot politicians who seem to think hearings can take the place of action on the energy problems facing us today. Idiot politicians who think the way to improve the economy is to tax it - like old-time doctors bleeding a patient to make them better. Idiot politicians who can't understand that the garbage they spout WILL be kept for posterity AND NEVER FORGOTTEN thanks to Youtube and teh Intarwebs - and the same garbage from their 'friends' isn't going to be hidden, either.

We've evolved a political class that is pretty much incompetent at anything EXCEPT getting elected. That's what I'm angry about.

Obama is coming across as a... (Below threshold)

Obama is coming across as a member of the far Left. His implied fascade of being a Moderate from his 'unity' stump speaches is fading.

I hate to say this. From a pragmatic point of view, McCain is poised to pick up many moderates including those just left of center. McCain's best tact is to appeal to the more moderate Democrat voter instead of chasing them away.

Considering McCain's VP will probably be a bench warming position, I don't really care either way.

Here's an odd suggestion. Conservatives and Disillusioned Democrats would be more comfortable voting for McCain if he was a one-term President.

Lieberman would be okay. H... (Below threshold)

Lieberman would be okay. He is a lot of conversatives favorite Democrat and would set a tone of getting away from politics as usual.

If Jim DeMint is so friggin' fantastic, why don't we have him run for president and let McCain be his VP?

My choice would be someone ... (Below threshold)

My choice would be someone to counter Obama-wamma-slamma...

J.C. Watts. Obama would gag on his waffles, again, if he had another black American on the opposite ticket.

But it's not race alone driving my choice, he's famous for not kissing the ass of the Congressional Black Caucus when he became the first black member of Congress not to join that race-bating glee club.

During the 1996 the Republican national convention he said, "You see character does count. For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking."

Go ahead, someone tell me that's not the anti-Obama?

He's also called some black Democrats and civil rights leaders "race-hustling poverty pimps", whose careers were more dependent on keeping blacks dependent on the government then doing what's right for the country and their race.

Screw Condi (a ticket to ride the losers train) and screw Demint also, too young, too inexperienced.

McCain needs the Anti-bama.

If there's any reason whats... (Below threshold)

If there's any reason whatsoever for me to pay attention to who is John McCain's running mate, it'll be after he's named by McCain himself. If the choice knocks my socks off then, I'll care.

Realistically though, I expect my socks to stay on with barely a twitch. The things that matter to John McCain all but guarantee it.

McCain needs a fiscally-exp... (Below threshold)

McCain needs a fiscally-experienced conservative, like Rob Portman or Mitt Romney. Someone to bitchslap Obama in the campaign and the MSM in the WH.

Jim DeMint would be an abje... (Below threshold)

Jim DeMint would be an abject disaster. He is a symbol of the very ills that plague the GOP currently. I think Sarah Palin or Michael Steel would be the best choices. It is time for the GOP to think outside of the box and fact the fact that there are other people besides white males.

The Pink Flamingo

There's only one choice, an... (Below threshold)
The Exposer:

There's only one choice, and he comes from South Carolina. Governor Mark Sanford.

DeMint sounds great, but at... (Below threshold)

DeMint sounds great, but at this point wouldn't it be better to keep him in the Senate where he has already shown he can be effective?

I love Jim DeMint. It's ni... (Below threshold)

I love Jim DeMint. It's nice to have at least one Senator up there. But he lacks an executive background, and SC isn't up for grabs in the fall.

I love Mark Sanford. He's even more of a spending hawk than McCain, and a "maverick" as well - albeit a far more conservative "maverick." But while he brings youth and conservatism to the table, he also has made enemies of the big-spending Republicans in the legislature, and SC is already on the table.

I recommend Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota. Conservative, executive who succeeds even with Democratic legislatures, brings some strength to MN (close losses for the GOP the last 2 cycles) and possibly to neighboring states, relatively young, early McCain endorser.

Why not Olympia Snowe?... (Below threshold)

Why not Olympia Snowe?

Hillary should be McCain's ... (Below threshold)
Voice of Reason:

Hillary should be McCain's running mate.






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