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January 12, 2008

Joe Won't Be The Veep Pick For McCain

Unlike in the 2004 campaign, when a still-angry McCain allowed rumors of a second-slot deal with John Kerry to percolate just a little before denying them, the McCain campaign wants to scotch rumors of a similar deal with Senator Joe Lieberman. Robert Novak reports that Team McCain emphatically denies any suggestion that Lieberman would get selected as his running mate if McCain wins the Republican nomination:

Close advisers of Sen. John McCain say there is no possibility that Independent Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman would be McCain's vice presidential running mate on the Republican ticket.

McCain credits Lieberman's endorsement for president last month as triggering his turnaround in New Hampshire, leading to victory in that state's primary last Tuesday. In addition, McCain and Lieberman are friends who admire each other personally. Nevertheless, Lieberman still votes the straight Democratic line in the Senate on nearly all issues except Iraq, and McCain's advisers feel Lieberman never would be accepted by the Republican Party.

A footnote: When Lieberman endorsed McCain, Democratic friends called his office seeking reassurance that he was endorsing McCain only for the Republican nomination and not actually the office of president. No, they were told, this was a real presidential endorsement.

This suggestion had as much chance of becoming reality as the press flirtation with a Kerry/McCain ticket in 2004. Despite personal friendship between Lieberman and McCain and an identical view on war policy, the two men remain at quite some distance on most other policy matters. Besides, McCain already has enough trouble putting the GOP base at ease with his track record; he'd hardly jeopardize his nomination by picking a Democrat as his potential successor.

If McCain won the nomination, he'd be the oldest such candidate for the Presidency in history. He would need to ensure that his running mate has good health, youth, and vigor in order to allay concerns about McCain's own health. However, he would also have to avoid making George H. W. Bush's mistake of picking Dan Quayle, and look for someone with some serious executive experience and party credentials.

Again, McCain is far from winning this nomination, but if he did -- or if Fred Thompson won it -- I'd say that they would look at governors like Mark Sanford of South Carolina or Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota for potential VPs. Both would give the executive experience that the nominees would lack, and both could make excellent presidential candidates in four or eight years. Thompson might be more likely to pick Sanford, while Pawlenty was one of the first McCain supporters when the campaign started a year ago.

Addendum: Just for giggles, look how much time Quayle had in Congress when he got picked as Bush 41's running mate, and look how much experience the three leading Democrats have had. He beat Hillary by five years, Edwards by six, and Obama by nine.


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Bravo to Captain Ed Morrissey for pointing out this bit of information. Just for giggles, look how much time [former VP Dan] Quayle had in Congress when he got picked as Bush 41's running mate, and look how much experience... [Read More]


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