Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ridge for VP?

CNN reports that former Pennsylvania Governor and head of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge would consider being a VP if asked by the McCain campaign. The article focuses on Ridge's pro-choice stance as the primary stumbling block with GOP voters. But my thoughts more run along the lines of: "wasn't he a catastrophe as head of the DHS?" Now, this could be mistaken. I could be confusing him with other Bush administration appointees (incompetence is a pretty widely shared character trait, so it's a solid bet). I could be over-estimating the degree to which incompetence is a bar to GOP voters (likely). But still, it strikes me as not the wisest choice available to McCain (personally, I think Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the best choice -- I'm not even sure what his downside is supposed to be).


Unknown said...

In fairness, wasn't DHS almost by its very nature a disastrous boondoggle waiting to happen?

McCain makes the best vp choice by selecting a woman (*before* Obama does so-- otherwise he just looks like a copycat). It probably helps him with female voters a little, and the media will gladly enable him by constantly chattering about how Obama must have alienated women for all time by virtue of winning a primary against.

Lieberman would presumably help McCain in Florida (where he doesn't really need the help--or if he does then its pretty much all over in other battlegrounds), but largely, no one will really care. (I think it would take very, very high-level defections to the other side's ticket to really make a difference in most cases. So if Clinton got lured over that would be huge (just as it would have been had Kerry successfully recruited McCain in '04), but people like Hagel or Lieberman switch over, it's basically a wash in terms of votes between party unity lovers and disaffected partisans.

Pablo Kenney said...

McCain simply cannot appoint a VP more moderate than himself. Barack Obama has a movement, a movement where he has his supporters locked in. If McCain tries to play the "non-republican" role he would only be vieing for those independents who aren't already convinced about Obama, more. Numerically, I don't think that's going to work for him. He needs a strategy where he convinces conservatives to vote for him and where he convinces those independents who are currently "apathetic." He already has "security" voters locked in. Now he needs to convince voters who care about social issues, and economic issues. Because of that Lieberman would not help McCain, Lieberman can support McCain best simply by being a surragate (as he has been). Tom Ridge wouldn't help much either, for much the same reason.

Of course the vice-president candidate would also have to be someone who could claim a distance from President Bush. Rob Portman would have been a great candidate because of his economic and social prowess, but he is too closely tied to President Bush (as his director of the Office of Management and Budget).

McCain may choose a woman, but this would do little to attract the female vote. Much like the Hispanic vote, the female vote does not necessarily follow female candidates (as Hillary Clinton showed). Unless he wanted to structure his entire campaign to pursue the female vote then including gender balance on his ticket would not be worth that much.

Pablo Kenney said...

As far a Pawlenty goes, I would say that he wouldn't be an awful candidate. He is conservative, he is young, but not too young, he is moderately popular. But there are many problems with his name being considered for VP, check my blog later today for the full argument.

If you really want to look at a good candidate. Sarah Palin from Alaska would be a great choice. She is an extremely popular candidate, is conservative but not rigidly ideological. Check out her wikipedia page. She could really add to the ticket.

And yes...she's a woman.

Anonymous said...

Pawlenty is simply not gonna cut it. To win, McCain needs Sarah Palin as his veep-mate.

I do believe that Palin will get the nod.

McCain/Palin '08