Mr McCain has invited Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Massachusetts Governor and one-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney to his Arizona home at the weekend.
Correspondents say the three men are high up on Mr McCain’s list of possible vice-presidential candidates.
The McCain campaign denied that Mr McCain was holding the meetings with a view to selecting a running mate, saying the event was a purely social occasion.
As I understand it, Jindal may be the future of the GOP (and if he is, that’s not a bad thing for the country or that party), but he’s only 37 years old. McCain sharing a ticket with Jindal might add some youth and vigor to McCain’s lack of either, but it would make it a lot harder for McCain to attack Obama on the inexperience issue.
Charlie Crist seems to be a competent governor from Florida who governs as a moderate. He was married once, but only for 7 months back in 1979. He is rumored to be gay, which may or not be true. But could McCain run with an allegedly gay man and expect that conservatives would still vote for him? Probably not.
So of the three, that leave McCain with Romney, who certainly has enough experience and the “correct” sexual orientation to be VP. Romney even looks like a president in a blandly handsome kind of way. But Romney’s Mormonism wouldn’t help McCain among conservative Christians.
In the end, I find myself believing McCain when he says the weekend is a social visit to make it look like those three are being considered.
If McCain is smart, he will choose someone like Governor Tim Pawlenty of MN. He’s young (47 years old), handsomish, and a moderate governor. He’d probably help McCain carry Minnesota.
But, given how well McCain has run his campaign so far, my money’s on Romney.