Sunday, August 03, 2008

Veepstakes- Volume 7

The Republican National Convention gavels into session in less than a month now. By the end of this month, most expect that John McCain will have selected his runningmate and all of the speculation will be moot. But since this appears the latest that any Presidential election in modern memory has gone without a Vice Presidential candidate of either party being selected, the speculation is as high as ever. If McCain has not formally picked a runningmate by the beginning of September, he likely has a dramatic convention week rollout in mind.

The short lists are undoubtedly getting shorter, but once again, I provide my list of the best options for McCain at this point. Reports on what McCain might be thinking are somewhat factored in these rankings:

1. Mitt Romney- former Massachusetts Governor and 2008 Presidential candidate (1)- still has more rank and file GOP support than anyone else, has great fundraising abilities and politician connections, is seen as being able to help greatly in Michigan, Nevada, and some other states, and is probably still leading the gambling books but he is acting, at least publicly, as if he does not expect the nod. The former Olympic Games honcho is headed to China this week and if he is recalled to the States by John McCain, it will be a pretty dramatic scene.

2. Tim Pawlenty- Minnesota Governor (4)- this selection would not excite Republicans as much as many other potential picks, but it might in many ways be the safest pick for McCain. He also seems to feel most comfortable personally with Pawlenty. If a couple recent polls that show that Minnesota is indeed very close, a Pawlenty VP pick may indeed make a lot of sense.

3. Rob Portman- Former OMB Director and former Ohio Congressman (2)-still gets many favorable mentions by establishment Republicans, especially those on the Hill. Would be seen as helping in the key state of Ohio.

4. Eric Cantor- Virginia Congressman (5)- speculation about Cantor has really ramped up in recent days. Such a selection could be seen bold in appealing to non-traditional Republicans, while also helping shore up conservatives.

5. Christopher Cox- SEC Chairman and former California Congressman (3)- gets very little mention these days

6. John Thune- South Dakota Senator (6)- would perhaps be the ultimate compromise candidate

7. Bob Riley- Alabama Governor (7)- at this point, probably a very longshot

8. Tom Ridge- former Homeland Security Secretary and former Pennsylvania Governor (new)- back on the list because McCain seems like he would really like to pick him, but is leery of a Pro-Life backlash. Pennsylvania would be awfully important though

9. Fred Smith- CEO and President of Federal Express (8)- this option gets very little mention and it would certainly take a lot of people by surprise

10. John Kasich- former Ohio Congressman (9)- would definitely be seen as bold, but a longshot

Fans of Governors Jindal and Palin, I expect you to be quite dissapointed, but rest assured, their days for national leadership will come..... when the time is right.


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