More VP speculation

There’s a lot of chatter about John McCain picking a running mate very soon to redirect the media’s attention from Barack Obama’s foreign trip.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s star has fallen because of revelations that she used the levers of state power to try to punish a former brother-in-law. Why do elected officials think they can get away with stuff like this? I suppose the answer is that many do get away with it, but it’s still bizarre that she would abuse the power of her office with so much on the line for her.

If McCain wants to pick a woman, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison seems like the most logical choice.

Earlier this year there was some buzz about former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as a possible VP choice for McCain, but that must be out of the question now. It was Fiorina’s comment about insurance companies covering Viagra but not birth control pills that led to a embarrassing exchange between a reporter and McCain on the same subject. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is using part of that footage in a television ad aimed at women in six states and the Washington, DC area:

If McCain wants a governor, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Charlie Crist of Florida seem like the leading options. (UPDATE: Jindal took himself out of the running today.) For reasons I don’t understand, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota doesn’t seem to be mentioned often anymore.

I find it interesting that I haven’t ever seen any suggestion that Mike Huckabee is being considered. He was in Des Moines ten days ago for the Iowa GOP state convention and acted like a team player, urging support for McCain in his speech to Republican delegates. It would seem wise for McCain to at least pretend that he is taking Huckabee seriously, although maybe that would just give Huck’s supporters false hopes.

Some pundits are betting on Mitt Romney because of the money his people can raise. Also, his own presidential run makes him more of a seasoned campaigner and known quantity than some of the governors being mentioned.

Not much news on Obama’s search for a running mate has emerged lately. It seems prudent for him to wait to see what McCain does and how the public and media react before making a decision.

Bill Richardson made some good comments about McCain’s “whining” about not getting an op-ed piece published in the New York Times.

I still find it weird that there’s no sign Wes Clark or Joe Biden were even asked to submit information to the committee that is vetting Obama’s options.

I would be shocked if Obama were seriously considering Hillary Clinton at this point. I still think she wouldn’t be a bad choice for him, but given his small lead over McCain in national tracking polls and some of the key states he lost to Hillary Clinton in the primaries, Obama probably believes he doesn’t need her on the ticket. It’s obvious he would prefer not to have to deal with the Clintons.

  • Karma

    It’s karma: our rising star Eliot Spitzer for their rising star Sarah Palin. Lust and wrath: it’s almost poetic justice.

    On to McCain’s veep search:

    Carly Fiorina is out. Not due to the whole Viagra/birth control debacle, although that didn’t help. It comes down to her record at HP: during her time there the stock tanked by more than 80%, thousands of jobs cut, bridges burned in Silicon Valley, all ending in her being shown the door. (HP’s doing a lot better now, and you can argue that her moves are behind that, but regardless–that’s a tough line to sell). Besides, how will a $20 million “golden parachute” ex-CEO will play in this economy?

    I don’t think Jindal was ever in serious consideration–but floating the rumor helps both of them. The same goes for Palin, even if she probably had a slightly higher chance of getting the nod. McCain needs a simple “do no harm” veep: just an average, plain, middle-aged white guy.

    My guess is that Romney is a done deal, although Pawlenty presents a very tantalizing “hometown boy” story for the convention–also sets up someone for 2012. I still refuse to count him out. The lack of rumors around the Huckster is curious, but I have no doubt he’ll continue to be on the trail for McCain–and have a job waiting for him if McCain wins.

    As for the Big O:

    Biden’s been on the scene for eons in Washington time, so my guess is that everything on him is already out there. That, and there’s always the possibility there was some dirt dug on him during the primaries. Wes Clark is probably done, since he was iffy even before his foot-in-mouth outbreak.

    I agree that Hillary is probably out. The fact that she’s disappeared post-Unity tells me she isn’t gunning for the job.

    • Jindal

      I am not buying it, but for what it’s worth a big Huckabee supporter I know thinks it will be Jindal.

      More speculation here from the Louisiana blog Daily Kingfish:…

      Romney has several points in his favor, but I am hoping that selecting him would inspire a lot of the fundies to stay home.

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