John McCain’ s Dilemma

Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for President, now faces a major dilemma regarding his choice for a Vice Presidential running mate.

McCain, it seems to me, MUST pick a nominee with the ability and knowledge of economic and domestic affairs that the Arizona senator lacks by his own admission.  He must also balance the issue of trying to keep the backing of the right wing conservatives while appealing to moderate Democrats and independents.  He also, by every indication, wants someone he feels personally comfortable with and yet also a person who could be President of the United States were McCain unable to finish his term, a possibility accentuated by McCain becoming 72 on August 29, the day he will announce his choice of his running mate.

The names bandied about include some that seem presposterous.  I see no advantage to Sarah Pallin, the governor of Alaska; Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas; Rob Portman, former congressman from Ohio and budget director under Bush; and Joe Lieberman, the independent Democratic senator from Connecticut who ran with Al Gore in 2000.

Others make more sense including Charlie Crist, governor of Florida; Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and Homeland Security Secretary under Bush in the first term; Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota ( a totally new face on the national level); and Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and the strongest competitor of John McCain in the primaries.  All of the above are close personally to McCain, except Romney.  But each has his disadvantages too:  Crist is a moderate who could help guarantee Florida for McCain, but his personal life could become a problem theoretically;  Ridge is pro choice on abortion; Pawlenty is mostly unknown and while making a nice appearance only won re-election in Minnesota by a small margin and probably cannot carry his home state for McCain; and Romney, acknowledged as understanding economics, really denounced McCain in the primaries and his attacks on McCain could be used by the Democrats in the fall campaign, to a much greater effect than Biden’s statements that Obama was not ready to be President.

Therefore, I propose someone else who I think could be a greater asset to McCain and would fill the needs of a running mate who could also be President if called upon.  That is Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, who is close to McCain and liked by McCain; has great experience in state government and in the Senate and understands economics better than McCain does; would be acceptable on the abortion issue and other issues that the right wing conservatives see as crucial to their supporting McCain; a person who moderate Democrats and independents might find acceptable if they are unhappy with Obama; and being a woman would certainly draw many women to consideration of supporting McCain.  It must also be pointed out that Hutchison is certainly better qualified than Geraldine Ferraro who ran with Walter Mondale in 1984, and also more experienced than Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who were both thought of as possible female running mates with Obama as alternatives to Hillary Clinton.  I am not personally endorsing Hutchison as I want the Democrats to win, but I do believe that IF she ran for VP with McCain, she would offer McCain the best hope possible to win the White House.

One comment on “John McCain’ s Dilemma

  1. Michael Brian August 24, 2008 10:19 am
      Ron, I am glad you felt the senior senator from Texas would be a stronger running mate for McCain than the junior senator. Hutchison is an interesting pick, and would be one that could carry some weight. She is a high ranking member in the Senate GOP and is generally well liked. Granted, I have never voted for her, nor would I; but I agree with your reasoning that she has fewer negatives than some of the other contenders. Picking a woman, particularly one is as experienced as Hutchison, would be a smart move on the part of McCain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.