Monday, April 7, 2008

Fair rates the VP Candidates!
by Steve Fair

Who should John McCain pick as his running mate? That question has the political pundits guessing. The Senator has said that he has complied a list of potential VP running mates. McCain said picking a running mate was an especially big decision because of his age. But while age may be one of the considerations, the four “C”s will ultimately guide the VP selection process- Competence, Chemistry, Credibility, and Compatibility. Who is being considered? No one but McCain knows for sure, but here are some that should be on the list.

Former Massachusetts Governor Willard- “Mitt”- Romney, 61, has met with McCain and they appear to have a civil relationship, but the chemistry is not right for Romney to be the VP. When Romney dropped out of the race, neither McCain nor Huckabee called him. The other presidential candidates did not like him, but Romney would be a good choice. Romney fulfills two of the four "C"s- Competence and Creditability.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, 52, and McCain get along well, but they attract polar opposite groups. McCain is a “Rockefeller” Republican, Huckabee, a “Right Wing” Republican. While they might forge an alliance, its unlikely McCain will pick someone that has as little foreign policy experience as Huckabee. Huckabee fulfills three of the four "C"s, but lacks in the competence area.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, 49, heads up a battleground state, but recent polling has McCain doing well in Florida. Crist is the state’s former AG and a bachelor who stuck up for former Congressman Mark Foley when he got in trouble for sending explicit text messages to male interns. There are continuing rumors Crist is gay, which wouldn’t help McCain with the conservative wing of the GOP. Crist gets a goose egg in all four "C"s.

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, 47, is a true fiscal conservative and an environmentalist, at least relative to other Republicans. He’s an Eagle Scout, has served in Congress and is in his second term as governor. Sanford voted with Congressman Ron Paul many times on fiscal issues with their two votes being the only “No” votes. In 2000, Sanford endorsed McCain over George W. Bush in the primary, but this year, he withheld his support until after the South Carolina primary. The word is the chemistry is not good between McCain and Sanford over that issue, but that could be overcome. Sanford fulfills all four "C"s.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, 66, and one of only two Independents in the Senate has endorsed McCain. Liberman and McCain are very good friends and Joe has the experience of running for VP- he was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000 when they barely lost. The Democratic establishment abandoned Liberman in his re-election campaign and he lost his party’s nomination. However he recovered and was re-elected as an Independent. It’s unlikely Lieberman would be the choice, but who knows- McCain is a maverick. Lieberman fulfills three of the four "C"s- he lacks creditability with the Republican base.

Former Ohio Congressman Rob Portman, 53, has an impressive resume. He has served as Director of the Office for Management and Budget; He was the US Trade Representative, and a member of Congress for six terms. He is very close to George W. Bush and McCain. He has a bright political future, whether it is as VP or Governor of Ohio. Ohio is a battleground state and Portman could deliver the state’s electoral votes. Portman fulfills all four of the "C"s.

Tim Pawlenty, 48, is the Governor of Minnesota. Pawlenty is the chairman of the National Governors Association. Pawlenty has been called the most conservative Minnesota governor since the 1920s. He’s a Christian conservative and has been a team player. When VP Dick Cheney asked him to step aside in a primary against Norm Coleman for the US Senate he complied. His relationship with McCain is shallow at best, so he’s not a strong possibility. Pawlenty is much like Huckabee without the chemistry- he gets two on the four "C"s scale.

There are a number of others on “the list” according to the Internet. They include Condolezza Rice, 54, who is the first African- American women to serve as Secretary of State(3 of 4), Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, who was the youngest governor in Alaska history. Palin is a strong pro-life proponent and could excite the base(2 of 4). Another name that has surfaced has been Texas U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, 65, who is close to McCain and would fulfill the four “C”s requirement quite well.

Others mentioned are former U.S. Senators George Allen, 56, (3 of 4)and Rick Santorum, 50, (3 of 4) current U.S. Senators Sam Brownback, 52, (3 of 4)and Oklahoma’s own Tom Coburn, 60 (4 of 4).

Former Oklahoma 4th district Congressman J.C. Watts’ has also been mentioned. In fact, fellow blogger Matt Pruitt has endorsed Watts, 50(4 of 4). Pruitt said, “I believe Watts has the ability to make a difference in the outcome of a national election, by just a hair.” If recent history is any indication the November election will be close and choosing Watts as the running mate in order to win is as good a reason as any. J.C. could energize the base and that is absolutely necessary for McCain to be elected.

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