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The Rep Veep Sweepstakes
Posted by: mcq on Friday, February 08, 2008

On the McCain side, er, Republican side, and beside the obvious picks of Huckabee and Giuliani, and the others he ran against, who else might be the VP pick? Well Jon, at Exurban League has applied a little science of his own to sort through the possibilities:
That leaves governors and movement conservatives. Since this is still a big group, I’ll briefly list their strengths based on the Key Qualities mentioned in the last post:

P = Presidential
S = Standard-bearer
I = Ideological balance
G = Geographic advantage
E = Experiential diversity
D = Diversity (Ethnic/Gender)

Let's see how it shakes out...

* Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.): P, S, I, G, E; Supported RomneyMcCain, yet couldn’t deliver in the primary.
* Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.): P, S, G, E; Many say Crist won Florida for McCain. However, Crist is unmarried and is the victim of a few ugly rumors on that front (it’s sad that this matters, but the Clintons won’t play softball).
* Gov. Haley Barbour (Miss.): P, S, I, E; A very shrewd political operator and successful executive
* Gov. Bobby Jindal (Louisiana): S, I, G, E, D; This guy’s a rising rock star who would provide both regional and ethic diversity. However, he is very new to the job. Look for him on a short list in ’12 or ’16.
* Gov. Mark Sanford (S.C.): P, S, E; Also unmarried.
* Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska): S, I, D; Very successful, very popular and very fine, but she too is a bit of a newbie.
* Fmr. Gov. Bill Owens (Colo.): P, S, I, E
* Fmr. Gov. Frank Keating (Okla.): P, S, I, E
* Fmr. Rep. John Kasich (Ohio): P, S, I, G
* Steve Forbes: P, I, E
* Fmr. Secy. Bill Bennett: P, I, E
* Fmr. Spkr. Newt Gingrich: P, S, I
* Fmr. Lt. Gov. Ken Blackwell (Ohio): S, I, G, D
* Fmr. Rep. Chris Cox (Calif.): P, S, I
* Fmr. Rep. J.C. Watts (Okla.): S, I, D
* Fmr. Sen. Phil Gramm (Texas): P, I
* Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson: P, D
* Fmr. Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (Md.): D
And that leads him to this short list:
Based on all the discussion above, here are who I believe are the Top Seven early picks in the GOP Veepstakes:

1. Pawlenty
2. Crist
3. Giuliani
4. Barbour
5. Blackwell
6. Cox
7. Romney
Yeesh, about as inspiring as McCain.

Who would be your pick?

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Previous Comments to this Post 

Gov. Sanford of SC is happily married to a wife who has been successful in her own right; they are the parents of 3 boys.
Written By: Agricola
I’m kind of shocked you don’t accept the fact that Huckabee’s already bought himself the VP slot by acting to keep ROmney from gaining ground on McCain...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Sarah Palin. I know there is a tendency to over-hype the attractiveness of women who are famous for other things (see Natalie Gulbis), but I’ve watched her give speeches, and she really, really floats my boat. So to speak.

So, four years of her would be ok. I don’t know how good a VP she’d be, but it ain’t like I’m crazy about McCain.

I do question why Crist and Jindal are given a G for geographical advantage but Haley Barbour isn’t. Florida and Louisiana are "the South" and Mississippi isn’t?
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
Why doesn’t McCain prove his loyalty to the Republican Party by picking a young conservative with a future. One of the major errors of the Republican Party in the last 8 to 10 years has been a failure to develop party leaders. Denny Hastert became Speaker of the House only after Gingrich and Livingston were run out of office. He was picked because he was a non-entity who wouldn’t attract attention from the media. Bush picked Cheney who was a reluctant politician at this stage in his life. Even if he hadn’t been designated public enemy number one by the media, he would never have run for President.

It is absolutely mandatory for the Republicans to establish new leadership for the party. The current void doesn’t bode well for the party’s future.
Written By: jt007
URL: http://
Take Crist off the list, he’s single... hard to sell family values when you don’t have one... the divorce wouldn’t hurt if he had a new improved Republican family, but all he has is a six month marriage in college, and single ever since(this translates to gay for Evangelicals).

Google "charlie crist gay" and you get 820,000 hits.

Jim DeMint from South Carolina is my prediction for the VP candidate.
The senator and his wife, Debbie, reside in Greenville, South Carolina and are the proud parents of four children.
He gets almost 100% from all the right groups. Anti-tax, pro-life, pro-war, pro-Jesus - all the bases within the Republican party covered.

Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
mmmmmmmm, Steve Forbes PIE

Written By: abw
John Bolton. Would likely upstage the Mav on the Mav scale however. Would have been a great choice and nice fit for either Romney or Guiliani.

I think as big a question is who will willingly sign on as McCain’s VP without promises from the Mav himself not to renege on campaign pledges. Any conservative worth his/her weight will want assurances that a McCain Presidency will not compromise on issues they have championed. Imagine a scene where an ardent opponent of, say the fairness doctrine, is asked to support his President’s reinstatement of said law.

This is the problem McCain himself has created. He has a long history of sacrificing those with whom he should agree, to gain favor with those with whom he should oppose. Kinda hard to recruit someone to ‘balance’ the ticket given McCain’s long history of excoriating his friends…

Sadly, I think McCain will be forced to pick someone like Lindsey Graham, just because that’s all he can get.
Written By: bains
URL: http://
This is a pathetic list. Most of them are far too liberal to generate any conservative support. I really don’t think any of these will be the choice. Romney could be a smart choice, but I don’t think McCain likes him at all. I think George Allen would be a great choice for McCain (though not sure if Allen likes him).
Written By: Richie Rich
Why doesn’t McCain prove his loyalty to the Republican Party by picking a young conservative with a future.
I believe the answer to that question would be "Be cause he has no loyalties towards the Republican Party"...

Next question.
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I do question why Crist and Jindal are given a G for geographical advantage but Haley Barbour isn’t. Florida and Louisiana are "the South" and Mississippi isn’t?
Louisiana = Blue state, Florida = Swing state. Mississippi = red state no matter what.
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
I contest that Louisiana goes blue this cycle. If Obama is depending on the black vote in and around New Orleans, their population is still at half-strength from back when George Bush caused Hurricane Katrina and tried to drown them all by blowing up the levees and slashing the tires of buses they could have used to escape.
Written By: Jeff
Thompson. Because he could help bring some kind of healing to the party.
Written By: Reader
Romney. He’s proven he can get a certain segment of the voting public to actually vote.
Written By: Mike M
URL: http://
JC Watts would be an excellent choice. He’s young and conservative. He would probably get the evangelical vote to show up.

Obviously he’s black, which would probably lead the media to label his selection as "pandering." But if Obama loses a "brokered" convention and is not the VP selection, then there will be a lot of angry people looking for a new party affiliation. Watts could be the person to connect to them.
Written By: mprell
URL: http://
Fred Thompson
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Despite my comment that it will be Huckabee, I really find it unlikely that anyone who’s ever been critical of McCain at all, in any ways shape or form (even if it’s just not shaking his hand right) will be picked.

He seems the HIGHLY vindictive type...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
McCain does have the advantage of having the Democratic convention go first. So if he waits to choose a running mate, he gets to game the scenarios with more complete information.
Written By: mprell
URL: http://
As a Pennsylvanian, I’d love to see Tom Ridge in the Vice-President slot. His career as a governor was marked fiscal conservatism and broad bipartisan support, two things that would greatly aid the Republican cause. If only Tom Ridge hadn’t taken that position at the DHS, his public image wouldn’t have suffered the blows it took. As it is, he’s already been advising McCain, so I can’t fully count him out.

Considering that McCain is pushing 80 and is probably unlikely to live out two full terms, I’d say Fred Thompson would be a fine running mate.
Written By: InebriatedArsonist
URL: http://
I think McCain needs to pick a young healthy conservative, because of his age.
Written By: bill-tb
URL: http://
I liked Giuliani for president and I’d like him for veep. Who knows, maybe that’s why Giuliani endorsed McCain so quickly.

As mayor of NYC, Giuliani has the experience of running a big entity that McCain lacks. Giuliani has strong ideas for energy independence — I’d love to see McCain set Giuliani loose on that area while McCain does his job as Commander-in-Chief (McCain’s strength). Plus they are compatible on the war on terror. Giuliani also provides geographical balance to the ticket, however much that is worth.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
How about Mark Steyn, or Michael Medved. I’d love to see either locked in debate with Obama the Washington Outsider!

Written By: eliXelx
URL: http://
Crist. Please. Because then he won’t be governor of Florida any more. Put him in the veep slot where he can’t do any more damage.
Written By: DSmith
URL: http://
Jeb Bush.....just to see certain people’s heads explode

McCain can’t pick too young, the contrast with his own running mate will actually hurt him. You and I are calculating the possibility of his dying in office in this, but the average voter probably isn’t......yet
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Is Jack Nicklaus a Republican? At least they’d get Ohio, which we know is critical. Heh.
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
Announce Condi Rice as soon as possible.

African American vote and woman vote

And someone more qualified than Hillary or Obama together especially in foreign policy.

THe dems would explode.

Written By: retired military
URL: http://
That’s what I was thinking too, RM. Rice would help trounce both Hilary and Obama on the minority list. What’s more, she’s even MORE of a minority because she’s a republican.

However, coming out of an unpopular Bush Administration, I don’t know how that would work.
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Actually, Crist has been a fairly good governor so far—good enough that, as a Floridian, I hope for purely selfish reasons that he doesn’t get picked.

His one big drawback (apart from the gay rumors) is that he isn’t a social conservative like Jeb Bush was, so he won’t draw in the conservatives on that front. He’s more of a populist style—Huckabee without the Gospel. And he has some political muscle now, not just because he backed McCain in the Florida primary, but because he led the fight that led to the passage of the overcomplicated (state constitutiona) amendment which will (we hope) lead to property tax cuts here.
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
I think that McCain should go in two directions at once with the VP choice: outside of the political box and with someone he is reasonably comfortable with.

Depending on his economic, social, and cultural views, David Petraeus, who I think McCain would be comfortable with, could be an outstanding choice.

If McCain wants to thrill conservatives he might consider Clarence Thomas. And I’ve never heard of anyone (other than Anita Hill) who didn’t feel comfortable working with Thomas. He is an elegant man.

Another bold move would be Janice Rogers Brown, but I’m not familiar with what sort of experience she has had outside the judiciary. From what I’ve seen of her, she’s got a Thatcheresque way about her. Bold, upfront, unafraid. With life experience to back it up.

What you get with any of these three is someone with spine. I don’t see anyone around in the usual spots (senators, governors) with real spine.

Plus, something that McCain has to be conscious of, if he is elected, is having someone who looks like a potential successor. Bush left the GOP in the lurch in that respect, with Cheney declaring no interest in running for president.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
I see lots of hopeful picks. I still think that facing Hillary McCain picks Giuliani... Giuliani is a press darling, fit the not conservative Republican model that the party thinks it needs this election, has great name recognition and plays to the defense against terrorism arguments.

Of course anything could happen, so I’ll note a few people that won’t get the nomination - Huckaby, too evangelical; Thompson, too old (with McCain); Petraeus (active duty military); Clarence Thomas too much baggage; Jeb Bush, too Bush; Romney, too Mormon, too much of a primary opponent; Ron Paul, too damn crazy :-)

Giuliani is well known on the East Coast and has ties into those orgs that McCain even with all his years in DC won’t have. He brings the NE and the Hillary haters. Of course if the nominee is Obama, I agree the stock of both Rice and Watts increases but not prohibitively so. If both nominees run a black then there is less motivation for the bigots (don’t think the party won’t account for it as a set of voters who might be motivated.) In an Obama scenario the stock of the southern governors (and I saw a couple mentioned) does rise potentially prohibitively to Giuliani.
Written By: BillS
Michael Steele of Maryland
Written By: fiona
URL: http://
J.C. Watts is black?
Written By: Cargosquid
Announce Condi Rice as soon as possible.

African American vote and woman vote

And someone more qualified than Hillary or Obama together especially in foreign policy.
Hey, "retired," we agree on something. Heck, that might even get my vote, despite McCain’s view on the war.
Written By: Scott Erb
Who would be your pick?
Barack Obama
It’d never happen, but it does hit P, S, I (to the left of McCain), E, D - and who really needs conservatives anyway.
Written By: unaha-closp
My pick would be Condi Rice, and the reasons SHOULD be obvious. She has both superb credentials, and intelect. She’s Black, and of course a woman. Talk about someone who could trump an Obama/ Clinton ticket.
Written By: Harvey Levesque
URL: http://

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