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.


5 responses to “McCain/Romney?

  1. I agree – I don’t think it’s any of these three. I think McCain floated a few names out there to take away attention from this John Hagee lunatic, who resurfaced this week, and the so-called release of his medical records today, which was of course laughable and a sham.

    Evangelicals will never go for Charlie Crist. Too bad, since he seems like a good choice. Dem friends in Florida sort of like him. And he’d put Florida in the McCain column.

    Jindal is too young, lacking in experience, and doesn’t really bring a state to the table. And a lot of wingnuts on the fence already about McCain would not be too enthused to see someone named Piyush Jindal on the ticket.

    Romney is, well…..Romney. And I think McCain hates him with every fiber of his being.

    If you’re McCain, Pawlenty is probably the best way to go. But I’m putting my money on Lieberman.

    Outside shot of Tom Ridge: he and McCain like each other, have long been friends, Ridge has a good resume, but he’s pro-choice.

  2. You really think Lieberman is a realistic choice for McCain?

    Pluses for McCain w/Lieberman for VP: It would be that it would be historic for a former Dem VP candidate to switch to become a GOP VP candidate. Lieberman could play up the whole Zell Miller, “I didn’t leave my party, my party left me” angle. Also, though Lieberman is younger than McCain, Joe makes John look youthful.

    Minuses of Lieberman as McCain’s VP: while he’s a hawk on foreign policy, Joe is basically a liberal on social issues, so his being named as McCain’s VP choice would enrage the GOP fundie base. Also, Joe’s behavior in the 2000 recount indicates that he wouldn’t be all that effective if there’s another recount.

    I don’t think McCain has a lot of good choices, so that’s why Pawlenty might be his choice if he doesn’t pick the hated Romney.

  3. To be sure, Lieberman’s social positions would be a problem with some on the right. But I’m constantly overwhelmed by how much, in spite of his positions on social issues, they just love him.

    Off topic, but speaking of the 2000 recount, did anyone catch the HBO movie last night? I’ve got it sitting on the Tivo and am hoping to watch it this week.

    I think Pawlenty is the good – and reasonably safe – choice. He may bring Minnesota with him, he’s young, and he’s got executive experience which McCain sorely lacks.

    But I still can’t help but think Ridge gets a solid look. He could bring Pennsylvania with him and he and McCain are friends. But, he’s supposed to be awful on the stump and, as I said above, he’s pro-choice.

    Of course, there’s always Huckabee, too.

    The sort of amazing this is the dearth of good options on the GOP side. Obama’s biggest problem is going to be narrowing down the list of truly remarkable people from whom he can choose.

    And a Happy Memorial day to everyone….it seems most of you are in Indianapolis, so I hope that the weather there is as beautiful as it is in Virginia today. I hope your cookouts are fun and your beer (or other beverages) cold…..

  4. Thanks, GB! I hope you enjoyed your holiday as well!

    It seems like McCain really doesn’t have many good options for VP. If he picks any well-known Republican, a lot of people are going to be pissed off, it seems.

    Obama, on the other hand will have an easier choice. Today, I’m hoping he picks Wesley Clark, who as a Clintonite will help Obama some w/Clinton supporters, but he will also give Obama some security cred.

    And I loved “Recount!” I was going to blog about it, so thanks for the reminder.

  5. Apparently the wingnuts have already come out full force against Crist. They have two reasons to hate him – he’s an unmarried moderate, and his endorsement aided McCain in Florida a great deal.

    There’s also a piece up on Slate about how the real wingnut nightmare is the McCain-Ridge ticket.

    Clark would be an interesting choice for Obama. It would help to smooth things over with the Clintons’ supporters (I have to keep reminding myself that that is important – not easy when those two are as loathsome as ever….) and, as you reference, he would lend serious stature on the national security front. Webb’s obvious detriment is that it could remove a Democrat from the Senate.

    I still kind of like Bloomberg for Obama, though. The obvious drawback is a lack of national security experience.

    How about Anthony Zinni? Like Obama, he was right on Iraq from the start. He’s a highly decorated general and a former Centcom Commander. Could be an interesting choice.

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