Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dick Morris on McCain's VP choices

Dick Morris tries his hand at the current blogosphere game, trying to figure out who John McCain should choose as VP. This is an interesting game to play, because it's like trying to find the grey area between the absurd, the impossible, and the bizarre. McCain simply has no good options. Morris is mostly interested in why Mitt Romney would not work out. He throws out other possiblilities: Condi Rice, Colin Powell, and Joe Lieberman, with this justification:

Any of these three choices would make a "wow" statement that would make voters see McCain in a new light.

Yes, but each has serious problems. McCain has been trying to distance himself from Bush - choosing his Secretary of State, and one of his closest advisors, a woman strongly associated with his failed foreign policy, would not serve that purpose well. Colin Powell? I've heard that Powell and McCain are friends, and I don't doubt it. I'm sure Powell would be a good VP. But I think hell will freeze over and demons will carve angels out of the ice before Colin Powell campaigns against the first African American to have a serious chance at being president.

Lieberman? There's a possibility. One problem is that that's just about a guaranteed way to lose Connecticut, since people there are already upset with Joe. And who would it help with? He might swing a few Jews, which might help McCain
with Florida, but that's about it. He would presumably have to switch parties, and Democrats would have nothing to do with him, but that doesn't seem to bother Lierberman. He may go down in history as being the losing partner in two presidential campaigns, but, again, I doubt that would bother him. On foreign policy, they are obviously in sync. But on social issues, Lieberman is still very much a Democrat, and I'm not sure how happy the base would be about that. And the man is not the most charismatic politician. Against Obama, that matters. If Obama picks someone like John Edwards, it will be two fresh young guys against two old white guys. On the other hand, McCain could then claim to be bipartisan and a maverick. So I don't think I'm going to rule Lierberman out.

Morris likes Huckabee, but Huckabee, apart from his personal charm, is a good old boy from the South who would alienate suburban professionals in the rest of the country.

Morris' primary goal is to shoot down Romney. Which, of course, is not difficult. I just think Romney is one of the least worst choices McCain has.

My favorite candidate is still the dark horse that no one has mentioned in a long time: Christine Todd Whitman. She has all the advantages of Romney, with few of the negatives: she's very smart, highly accomplished, the former governor of a northeastern state. For all of those who supported Hillary but are uncomfortable with Obama, choosing Whitman would give them a reason to vote for McCain. She has some environmental credentials, having served as EPA Administrator under Bush. She didn't work well with the rest of the Bush administration, which, at this point, is a selling point for many people.

McCain-Whitman '08! Place your bets now - you'll get great odds on this one.

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