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Long list before short list for veep
The Press of Atlantic City ^ | February 10, 2008 | Nancy Benac

Posted on 02/10/2008 1:24:40 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Yes, yes, yes, it's much too early to start thinking about running mates. Too bad. People are doing it anyway.

And even though they won't admit it, odds are that Sens. John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are giving it at least some thought.

So, too, are people who turn up their noses at the suggestion they might be a good fit, yet secretly harbor ambitions of getting the nod.

Veepstakes speculation - always an undercurrent with a presidential election afoot - intensified this past week after Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, helping to clear McCain's path to the Republican nomination.

Already, there is a "choose Mike Huckabee" movement, an "anyone-but-Huckabee" counter-boomlet, and plenty of other names in the mix, including a slew of governors, senators and others singled out for their potential attractions related to factors such as age, geography, policies, experience and personal chemistry. And although the Democratic nominee remains a huge question mark, there is plenty of talk about a Clinton-Obama unity ticket, or an Obama-Clinton unity ticket, as the case may be.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg still is only flirting with the idea of running as an independent, but already names of potential running mates for him are dangling, Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, for one.

Joel Goldstein, a professor at St. Louis University School of Law and an expert on vice presidents, said the choice of a running mate is more complex than it used to be. With the more expansive role played by vice presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, "you can't pick somebody simply because they're going to carry Ohio or Florida," Goldstein said. "It's going to backfire."

REPUBLICANS

Given McCain's age - at 72 on Inauguration Day, he would be the oldest first-term president - there could be more focus than usual on his choice for vice president.

McCain batted away questions Friday about what he'll be looking for, saying it would be inappropriate to go there with Huckabee still in the race.

Even so, he offered some clues to his thinking. A regional strategy - picking a Southerner, for example, to help carry states in the South - doesn't work like it did in the past, he said.

McCain even laid out a job description of sorts: "The fundamental principle behind any selection of a running mate would be whether that person is fully prepared to take over and shares your values, your principles, your philosophy and your priorities," he said.

Under one theory, McCain should use his veep choice to shore up support among wary conservatives.

"That's the high-profile, easy way" to get right with conservatives, said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "If you said, 'I can't change because I'm too old to change and I'm too ornery and I don't want to be nice to you but I'll select as my running mate someone you really love,' then they'll all say 'OK, we'll put up with the ornery old guy.'"

That thinking would appear to rule out a moderate like Rudy Giuliani, who supports abortion rights, and seem to point to someone like Huckabee, an ordained minister popular with social conservatives.

But economic conservatives complain that Huckabee's tenure as governor of Arkansas was marked by tax increases and liberal policies on immigration and law enforcement.

"Clearly, an economic liberal like Mike Huckabee will be unacceptable to a majority of Republicans," said Pat Toomey, president of the anti-tax Club for Growth.

Huckabee, asked Saturday about prospects for a McCain-Huckabee ticket, joked that it's already been done.

"My wife's maiden name was McCain," he explained. "Almost 34 years ago, the Huckabee-McCain ticket became one. It's worked very well all these years."

Romney, once McCain's strongest rival for the nomination, hasn't attracted much speculation as a potential running mate, principally because there appears to be no chemistry - and much acrimony - between the two men.

The ranks of Republican governors offer McCain, a four-term senator, a long list of choices that could add executive experience to the ticket. Among them: Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, Florida's Charlie Crist, Mississippi's Haley Barbour, South Carolina's Mark Sanford. There are senators, too, on the long list that will gradually become a short list, including John Thune of South Dakota and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

One who's not likely to get the nod: former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, a former rival for the nomination who would be 66 on Inauguration Day. In combination with McCain, that adds up to a 138 years.

The tricky thing for anyone hoping to snag McCain's vice presidential slot is to audition without looking like it.

"That is almost a disqualification," said GOP consultant Rich Galen. "Surely Crist in Florida has gotten as close as anybody to overplaying his hand." Crist delivered a timely endorsement to McCain that helped him win the hotly contested Florida primary, and has campaigned around the country with McCain.

DEMOCRATS

Still battling delegate for delegate, Clinton and Obama need to keep their focus right now on securing the nomination.

Others, though, have more time to ponder the ramifications of the two candidates teaming up - in either order.

Many see that as the unstoppable "dream unity ticket," says Goldstein.

Republican Galen, however, thinks it would be more of a nightmare scenario.

A President Obama, he says, wouldn't want Bill Clinton roaming around "reminding everybody of how he would have done it."

A President Clinton, he says, wouldn't want to be overshadowed by the star appeal of Obama.

If the Democratic candidates decide to look elsewhere for a running mate, one strategy is select someone who reinforces their own qualities.

Obama, for example, could pick a Washington outsider to supersize his change message, for example a governor like Arizona's Janet Napolitano or Kansas' Kathleen Sebelius.

Dan Coen, a Los Angeles management consultant who runs the Web site vicepresidents.com, said Bill Clinton executed this strategy flawlessly in selecting Gore, another young Southerner. Coen, who also wrote a book about vice presidential trivia, calls this the "ticket brand" strategy.

"It's important to pick a candidate who complements you so well that it really excites the country," Coen said.

The counter strategy is to select someone with offsetting qualities, in Obama's case a senior statesman such as Joe Biden or Chris Dodd, two longtime senators who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for themselves this year. In Clinton's case, that could be Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, seen as more of a moderate than her.

Other names floated for Clinton: Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who made his own run for the Democratic nomination four years ago.

John Edwards, who had a difficult time as John Kerry's running mate in 2004, says his name is off the table.

"I'm finished with that," Edwards said last year, when he was still seeking the nomination for himself.

Democrat, Republican or something in between, anyone thinking about making a play for the vice president's job might want to ponder McCain's own thoughts on the position.

Asked last year whether he would consider being a vice presidential candidate, McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said:

"You know, I spent all those years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, kept in the dark, fed scraps - why the heck would I want to do that all over again?"


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; 2008veep; anyonebuthuckabee; barackhusseinobama; barackobama; captainmcqueeg; charliecrist; chuckhagel; democratparty; democrats; election; electionpresident; elections; fredthompson; gop; haleybarbour; hillary; hillaryclinton; johnmccain; johnthune; juanhernandez; juanmcaztlan; lindseygraham; linseedgrahamnesty; linseedgrhamnesty; marksanford; mcinsane; mikebloomberg; mikehuckabee; mittromney; obama; presidency; republicans; rino; rinos; taxhikemike; tedstrickland; timpawlenty; vicepresidency; vicepresident; vp; wesleyclark
It'll be Huckabee, watch and see.
1 posted on 02/10/2008 1:24:49 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Why not just merge the two parties, when there is so little distinction left?

The GOP can nominate McCain/Obama, and the Dems can nominate Obama/McCain.


2 posted on 02/10/2008 1:29:59 PM PST by oblomov (Today's GOP brings to mind Nietzsche's statement, "When something is slipping, push it!")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I bet it will be Lieberman.


3 posted on 02/10/2008 1:31:03 PM PST by MrsPatriot (W...Still the President!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I hope it is not Huckabee. That would be s sure losing ticket.
4 posted on 02/10/2008 1:33:05 PM PST by Uncle Hal
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To: MrsPatriot

Hey, Juan Hernandez was born in Dallas, Texas, making him eligible for the office....


5 posted on 02/10/2008 1:33:34 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Second To None!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Governor Sanford is McCain's kind of guy

Sanford says he brought the pigs to the lobby to make a point - - to show that state lawmakers were on a freewheeling spending binge when they dispatched 105 of his 106 budget vetoes in 99 minutes the day before. The Senate did virtually the same Thursday by overriding 100 vetoes.
6 posted on 02/10/2008 1:34:43 PM PST by ari-freedom (Pragmatism: the 4th leg of conservatism.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

General Tommy Franks


7 posted on 02/10/2008 1:47:58 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"McCain even laid out a job description of sorts: "The fundamental principle behind any selection of a running mate would be whether that person is fully prepared to take over and shares your values, your principles, your philosophy and your priorities," he said."

Holy smokes! McCain has got Fat Teddy on his short list!!

8 posted on 02/10/2008 1:54:00 PM PST by CapnJack
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Put RINO Rick Perry on the list. I would vote for that just to make him go away from Texas.


9 posted on 02/10/2008 1:57:45 PM PST by hadaclueonce (shoot low, they are riding Shetlands..)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Grahamnesty.

10 posted on 02/10/2008 1:59:52 PM PST by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I will say this right now: I don't like that McCain is going to be the Republican nominee, but given the stakes, I would vote for him over Clinton or Obama. If he chooses a genuine conservative as a running mate, I'll be there. But if he selects that slimy little Arkansan prick as his Vice President, I will stay home on Election Day, so help me God.
11 posted on 02/10/2008 2:04:59 PM PST by andy58-in-nh (Kill the terrorists, secure the borders, and give me back my freedom.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dick Cheney. *grin*


12 posted on 02/10/2008 2:49:17 PM PST by CalifChris
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Romney.


13 posted on 02/10/2008 3:04:37 PM PST by FrdmLvr
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I mentioned this on another thread...if I were McCain's strategy advisor I'd tell him to convince Colin Powell to run. He's already alienated the base; he might as well pick a VP designed to secure the middle. If Powell won't run, I'd go with Tim Pawlenty.

And now my standard disclaimer: I don't care for the politics of either man.

14 posted on 02/10/2008 3:08:54 PM PST by NittanyLion
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Steve Forbes

He will counter anything anyone has to say about McCain not knowing enough about the economy.

15 posted on 02/10/2008 3:10:18 PM PST by BBell
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To: BBell
He will counter anything anyone has to say about McCain not knowing enough about the economy.

Would you trust McCain to actually listen to anything Mr. Forbes had to say?

16 posted on 02/10/2008 3:19:45 PM PST by supercat
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To: andy58-in-nh
But if he selects that slimy little Arkansan prick as his Vice President, I will stay home on Election Day, so help me God.

Don't do that. Go vote for every solid Conservative on the ticket. Send as many Conservatives to Congress to possible, then if by some act of Satan they win, we can do his agenda what he spent the last decade doing to ours.

17 posted on 02/10/2008 3:42:38 PM PST by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: MNJohnnie

I live in New England. If there is a “solid Conservative” available to vote for anywhere on the ticket, it will be a miracle.


18 posted on 02/10/2008 4:17:16 PM PST by andy58-in-nh (Kill the terrorists, secure the borders, and give me back my freedom.)
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To: Uncle Hal
I hope it is not Huckabee. That would be s sure losing ticket.

______________

Get ready for disappointment.

19 posted on 02/10/2008 4:29:51 PM PST by Hattie
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I’m looking for Obama to choose a real outsider for VP - Ophra.
20 posted on 02/10/2008 4:44:52 PM PST by Dan12180 (Prayers and faith vanquish all)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

21 posted on 02/10/2008 5:09:57 PM PST by mirkwood
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To: supercat
Yes I would trust McCain to listen to his advice on manners of the economy. Forbes is a very intelligent man and very likable in my opinion.
22 posted on 02/10/2008 5:15:16 PM PST by BBell
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wolfie Blitzer salivates over the Liberal “Obama/Clinton” wet dream ticket.

Nightmare.


23 posted on 02/10/2008 5:18:31 PM PST by Rosemont
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To: CalifChris

Dick Cheney. *grin*


I love it.

The bumper sticker could be: You don’t know Dick.


24 posted on 02/10/2008 5:40:59 PM PST by Senator Goldwater
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I hope he nominates his mother. It will be a gender balance, they are nearly the same age, which neutralizes the age issue somewhat, and she won’t take none of his arrogant inside the beltway crap.


25 posted on 02/10/2008 5:45:05 PM PST by Biblebelter (I will NEVER EVER vote for McCain or any other current Senator.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

God help us if it the Huckster.

here is one name that would be awesome:

John Thune of South Dakota


26 posted on 02/10/2008 6:36:35 PM PST by WOSG (Want to blame someone for McCain being the nominee? Blame the Mormon-bashers)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I, an unworthy, humbly suggest that said Presidential candidate take a bold move and choose a trio :Mr. I, Mr. Me, and Mr. My - which will apply to, resonate with, and send into ethereal rhapsody, so many of the brave - and modest (i.e., thoroughly anonymous) - keyboard warriors hereabout.

An alternate: he might nominate the distinguished Mr. R. Limbaugh - who will surely decline because he, Lord Limbaugh, has now proclaimed in recent days himself chief oracle of us all - and hence above it all (marble statues of His Lordship are in the making for the Rotunda.)

27 posted on 02/10/2008 6:42:51 PM PST by mtntop3
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
It'll be Huckabee, watch and see.

The. Worst. Move. McCain. Could. Possibly. Make.

28 posted on 02/10/2008 6:50:06 PM PST by MitchellC
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To: SIDENET
Grahamnesty.

Second worst move McCain could possibly make.

29 posted on 02/10/2008 6:52:15 PM PST by MitchellC
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Crist is a loser. The Huckster is too "evangelical" for McCain - - he's out. Forget Newt - - too much baggage. Could be Sanford. Maybe Pawlenty. Tom Ridge? Rick Santorum?? (The problem with Rick is that he lost his re-election bid.) It does have to be somebody who is bright, articulate, energetic, and young. Not necessarily somebody with "gravitas" - - McCain doesn't need that. Doesn't have to be a household name, but not a Dan Quayle type, either. There's also geographical (electoral) considerations, but that's a slightly lesser priority. (Wow, can I ramble!)

Whoever it is, the key for McCain is too make his choice somewhat (or very!) surprising and somebody who will bring an instant smile to the faces of real conservatives.

30 posted on 02/10/2008 7:03:46 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
McCain will pick the loser of the DNC primary...


31 posted on 02/10/2008 11:31:18 PM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: andy58-in-nh

Me, I don’t want to be within 1000 miles of a voting machine that day if I’ll be forced to pull the lever for a republican ticket combining an overage anurism-ready vein-popping anger junkie and an IQ sixty-five Arkansas squirrel-popping bible thumper.

I’ll be in Mexico or points south, on a beach, cold beer in hand, feet up, sun going down, and shedding a tear for the once-great Republican party.

R.I.P.


32 posted on 02/11/2008 4:12:50 AM PST by John Valentine
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To: Lancey Howard

The only VP possibility I can think of that might take me to the booth is Janice Rogers Brown.


33 posted on 02/11/2008 4:14:37 AM PST by John Valentine
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