GOP Veeps

Click the below link for detailed musings about potential V.P. selections on the Republican side of the ledger.

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Charlie Crist

Pros: Young, healthy and telegenic governor from the fastest-growing large state in the country.

Cons: Florida in the general election won’t be in play — McCain easily will prevail in that state, regardless of who’s named Veep. Crist also is single. It’s difficult enough to get evangelical conservatives to vote in general elections — they often search for reasons not to vote — and the inevitable “rumors” that would surround Crist only would make that more of a chore.

Tim Pawlenty

Pros: Young, healthy and telegenic governor from a swing state with a material number of electoral votes. Populist viewpoints with Mid-Western charm.

Cons: None of which I’m aware.

Tom Ridge

Pros: Won two major elections in the 1990’s in what’s now become the most important swing state in the country. Would help define the key issue in this election as national security, which is a veritable nightmare for the weak-minded and reality-denying Democrat Party.

Cons: Ridge has been out of political circulation for the past several years. A bit too old for Veep — especially given McCain’s advanced age. Pro-choice viewpoints would give single-issue evangelicals a reason to stay home and not vote.

Condi Rice

Pros: A political tsunami. Would cause liberal Democrats in the media and on university campuses to go over the edge into abject lunacy. Would reduce the so-called “gender gap” (Democrat strength with female voters) without affecting the unreported but very entrenched *reverse* gender gap (extreme Democrat weakness with male voters). Once and for all would bury the long-standing media meme of the GOP being the party of old white men. Once and for all would jettison whatever remnants there are of the racist cracker blocs.

Cons: Single and never married. As alluded to above, that alone would give certain elements of the irrational right a reason to stay home.

Rudy Giuliani

Pros: Theoretically could help make New Jersey and Connecticut and perhaps even New York more competetive, forcing the Democrats to expend time and money in states long considered for them to be safe zones. Like Ridge, Giuliani would focus the ticket’s message on a winning issue — national security — and away from less-important social issues. Potentially would foster a needed re-alignment of the Republican Party — away from country club WASPs (many of whom categorically refuse to vote in general elections) towards a more urban, gritty, working-class and pragmatic base of secular Republicans, Independents and disaffected, old-school Democrats.

Cons: Too old and too unhealthy for Veep. Social conservatives would stay home in droves.

Mitt Romney

Pros: Accomplished and tenacious fundraiser. Definitely would bring in large piles of cash. Huge name recognition in Michigan might be enough to flip that state to the GOP column. Relatively young and certainly telegenic.

Cons: The Mormon issue would be anathema for millions of Christians — especially in the South and in the Mid-West.

Fred Thompson

Pros: His wife looks pretty good in an evening gown. No, seriously, one could argue Thompson might shore up McCain’s support among evangelicals.

Cons: Such weak support out in the real world — as opposed to the cocoon of conservative talk radio and blogs — he couldn’t even make it to February’s primary calendar. Out of political circulation from 2003 – 2008. Has not won an election since 1996. Never held an executive-level public office. Too old and far too unhealthy for Veep.

Mike Huckabee

Pros: Theoretically could shore up McCain’s standing with evangelicals. Multi-term governor. Relatively young and apparently healthy.

Cons: Being a Baptist preacher plays well in the South and in the Mid-West and especially in connection with low-turnout caucuses. In a general election, however, Huckabee’s loud Protestant overtones would be a major turnoff for secular voters, Northern Republicans, Catholics, and many Independents, especially in key Northern and Western swing states, e.g., Oregon, New Hampshire, Nevada, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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