Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My McCain VP Prediction

I have made this prediction in conversations, but have not committed it to paper...I mean, electrons. Since it has been reported that McCain has finally decided on his running mate, I thought the time was right to put myself out on a limb. (As a side note, I predicted Obama would pick Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, which turned out to be oh, so wrong when he announced "Slow Joe" Biden at three o'clock in the morning. Thus far, I'm not doing very well in the area of prophetic utterances - subcategory: VP selections.)

There have been essentially three prominent names bouncing around the last week or so:  Mitt Romney, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Joe Lieberman, the erstwhile running mate of Al "Carbon Credit" Gore.

Although Lieberman and McCain may be good friends, I would be shocked if he got the nod. The obvious negative for Lieberman is that, aside from being a national defense hawk, he is a Liberal. That's with a capital "L". McCain cannot afford to alienate the Conservatives any more than he already has. Perhaps the less obvious problem with Lieberman is that any voters he might draw would already be inclined to support McCain.

Romney, has a lot of positives. He has been a governor in a very Liberal state, successfully salvaged the Los Angeles Olympics, has lots of his own money and, as far as we know, is scandal-free. However, given the recent so-called gaffe regarding the number of homes McCain and (primarily) his wife own, having another wealthy guy on the ticket could play right into the Dems "class envy" strategy for demonizing Republicans.

Tim Pawlenty would be a good choice for several reasons. He is young, but not too young. He is a two-term governor with plenty of political and leadership experience. (This is a nice contrast with Obama's youth and inexperience.) He has a blue-collar background, is smart and articulate, is very charming and personable (all in contrast to Joe Biden). Pawlenty is fiscally conservative, pro-Second Amendment and pro-Life. Pawlenty is a bit thin when it comes to foreign policy. Minnesota governors do a lot of foreign travel to promote trade between Minnesota and other countries, which is the main reason I used the word "thin" instead of "non-existent". In my view, this isn't a major problem since McCain has plenty of foreign policy experience. 

An area that really bothers me about Pawlenty, may actually work in his favor as VP.  A long time ago, in an Iowa far, far away John McCain very famously spoke out very firmly against farm subsidies for ethanol production. McCain has continued to repeat his opposition to ethanol subsidies as recently as this month. Pawlenty, on the other hand, has been a big advocate for ethanol fuel. Although this is what drives me nuts about Pawlenty, it might help McCain in Iowa, Minnesota and other corn producing states to have him on the ticket.

Well, on Friday John McCain will announce his running mate and I'll find out if my powers of prediction are as good as a coin toss.

Labels: , ,