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Veep?

So, the Democratic contest seems to be just about over (yes, I know Clinton's going to win WV, but I don't think it's going to change anything at this point), and the media is filling columns with speculation about who the running mates might be for both John McCain and Barack Obama.

Two questions:

  • Who do you think should be vice president for each ticket?

  • Who do you think will be the actual pick for each?


I've been watching for the past few days, and several names keep coming up for Obama: Bill Richardson, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, Kathleen Sebelius, Jim Webb, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Al Gore, and, yes, Hillary Clinton.

For McCain, popular buzz bandies about the names of Mike Huckabee, Charlie Crist, John Thune, Mitt Romney, Joe Lieberman, Kay Hutchison, Mark Sanford, Lindsay Graham, Rudy Giuliani, and Haley Barbour, that I've seen.

Democrats
On the Democratic side, I can tell you this much: people wanting Gore are indulging in wishful thinking to the point of fantasy. The man has been there, done that, and it'd almost be an insult for Obama to ask him. Gore is sitting comfortably in the catbird's seat: he's a kingmaker, he's got his place in history ... as he put it on NPR a few days ago, he's a "recovering politician."

I don't think it's going to be Edwards, either. He has waited too long to endorse, and I think he's probably a more likely option for Attorney General or possibly a Supreme Court nominee, anyway.

I also don't believe it will be Sebelius. I think that would be viewed as too much of a slap in the face to HRC voters.

I think Richardson and Clark are the two most likely options, with Richardson being the more probable of the two.

As for Hillary, I would hope that this Othello is smart enough not to run with Iago.

Republicans
On the Republican side, Crist provides tactical advantage in terms of Florida as a battleground state, but who knows if he'd say yes or not. I don't think it'll be Lieberman: I just don't think a lot of voters like him, and McCain needs a likable running mate. Besides, he's already been Gore's running mate. A Hutchison pick might snag a few HRC voters, but Texas hasn't gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1976, so she doesn't really help the ticket in that way 'cause he's already got Texas.

My spider sense will tingle madly if McCain picks Giuliani. The latter's dramatic shift from front-runner status just reeked of something going on behind the scenes to encourage him to take a fall, and if the veep position was the bribe, I'd be squicked. He doesn't need Giuliani as much now, though, since HRC won't be a New York guarantor. I could also see Giuliani as Attorney General or a Supreme Court nominee. Really, I think the latter options are more likely, because McCain already has problems with being considered too liberal. I don't see him adding someone perceived as being a left-leaning Republican to the ticket.

Huckabee helps McCain with the conservative base, but again, the Christian conservatives are going to hold their nose and vote for McCain anyway, so I don't see that as a real problem for him. I also think he and Huckabee make strange bedfellows, not that that is unusual in politics. Even so, I just don't think McCain needs him that much. As rdansky wrote in one of the more astute political observations I've seen in a while, many Republicans will go out of their way to find reasons to vote for their party's candidate. Even with Bush's historic unpopularity, there are many more that will grudgingly pull the lever for McCain than would ever cross over for Obama in a protest vote. They're not as likely to cut off their noses to spite their faces, methinks.

John Thune strikes me as sort of a Dan Quayle choice, not because I know anything about him because I don't, but more that it feels like they'd be trotting out a young man who could run in 2016.

What do you think?

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