Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Crazy McCain VP prediction

Now that McCain has locked up the GOP nomination, it's time to start thinking about his running mate. Must be nice for him! I have a crazy, crazy, CRAZY idea:

Christine Todd Whitman.

It's a completely ridiculous idea. Totally insane. She's a moderate Republican, which would infuriate conservatives. She's from New Jersey.

But consider: She has no foreign policy experience, but McCain is not exactly lacking in that respect. She's from the Northeast, which used to have a solid block of Republicans, i.e. Establishment WASPS, but no longer does. So she would be a throwback, of sorts. Going retro in the East might be good for the GOP.

If Hillary is the nominee, McCain almost has to choose a woman to be competitive, because a lot of moderate women Republicans and independents will vote for Hillary, or at least consider it. If Obama is the nominee but he chooses a male running mate (highly likely), choosing a woman makes McCain look slightly progressive. It would send a strong signal to moderates that he's not beholden to the right wing of the party. Which, of course, is one of the reasons that choosing her would piss off those right wingers. But it's also - supposedly - exactly the kind of thing that John "Maverick" McCain would do.

I lived in New Jersey under Whitman, and one thing that impressed me, despite my disagreements with her, is that she is really smart, and really, really competent. She's actually qualified for the job.

And then there's this little tidbit: "The Governor of New Jersey is considered one of the most powerful governorships in the nation". She's comfortable with power. And good at exercising it.

She also has environmentalist credentials. Odd credentials, to be sure, but she has them: she served as EPA Administrator under George W. Which wouldn't do well to sell her to independents, except that she was not entirely in agreement with Bush & Cheney on environmental issues. So some people will hate her for being in the Bush Admin, but others might like her willingness to fight the good fight, at least insofar as she did.

There are a few skeletons in her closet, notably apparently lying about the health hazards at Ground Zero post-9/11. And she's taller than McCain, which would make photo ops interesting. But it would be a very gutsy choice, and it would certainly have an interesting effect on the dynamics of the race.

You heard it hear first.

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