# Kay Bailey Hutchison

OK, just one last McCain VP speculation thread

Supposedly MSNBC has confirmed that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will not be John McCain’s running mate.

Several bloggers have noted that at least one plane was chartered from Alaska to Ohio, which would suggested he is going with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

That seems like a desperate choice to me. McCain is over 70 and a cancer survivor whose main argument against Obama is that he is not “ready to lead.” So then he chooses someone who not only hasn’t finished a single term as governor, but has already become mired in an abuse-of-power scandal? (She used powers of her office to try to get a state trooper fired because of he and Palin’s sister were going through a bitter divorce.)

Great move!

The arguments for Palin are

1) she’s a woman

2) she reinforces McCain’s arguments on tax cuts and oil drilling, and

3) perhaps Joe Biden would have to go easy on her or else look like a bully.

But 1) I am skeptical that picking a woman will significantly cut into the gender gap working in Obama’s favor so far. I guess we’ll know more when we have more polls taken after Hillary Clinton’s convention speech, which more than 20 million Americans watched.

2) Alaska cut taxes because the state receives a huge amount of money from the federal government compared to what they put in the federal coffers. You can’t run national fiscal policy the same way.

3) Biden can ignore Palin most of the time. His job is to be an attack dog on McCain.

If McCain wanted a woman, he should have gone with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. She has experience in federal government. Even those some advocates on the religious right don’t think she is strong enough on the abortion issue, she does have an anti-choice voting record.

If it is Palin, props to Douglas Burns, who called that a long time ago.

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Final McCain VP speculation thread

Rumor has it that John McCain will officially announce his running mate tomorrow in Ohio. The Republicans will likely leak the news this evening so that Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium’s Invesco Field won’t dominate all the media commentary.

Who’s it gonna be?

I still think “Biden crimps McCain’s VP choice.”

My best guess is that McCain will pick Mitt Romney. The downside is that the ticket can be ridiculed as “Rich and Richer,” but the upside is that Romney is seasoned enough to go head-to-head with Biden in a debate. I can’t say the same for other possible choices such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Also, I think I saw one poll suggesting Romney would help McCain in Florida, where recent polls show Obama and McCain within the margin of error.

Some people in the McCain campaign are supposedly pushing for Joe Lieberman to be the running mate. Although he still caucuses with Senate Democrats, he has been campaigning for McCain and using Republican talking points against Obama.

I can’t imagine McCain would dare to pick Lieberman. The beltway media would love the bipartisan-looking ticket, but the Republican base would go ballistic if McCain picked someone pro-choice. Although I don’t like Lieberman, his voting record is solidly Democratic.

The religious right doesn’t even want former Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on the ticket, because he is pro-choice. At least Ridge is a lifelong Republican.

Open Left user leshrac55 pointed me toward this Huffington Post article about how Karl Rove has asked Lieberman to withdraw his name as a possible running mate, but Lieberman declined to do so.

(UPDATE: More rumors that McCain  really wants to pick Lieberman.)

I’ve seen no sign that McCain has ever considered Mike Huckabee for VP, but after watching Huckabee on The Colbert Report last night, I’m more convinced than ever that we haven’t heard the last from him. He’ll be running for president in 2012 or 2016 for sure. I disagree with many of his views, but I give Huckabee a lot of credit for praising Michelle Obama’s speech and pointing out the absurdity of conservative pundit spin about Hillary Clinton’s speech.

Also, I don’t recall hearing any Republican besides Huckabee express pride that this country has nominated a black man for president. On Colbert’s show, he said that while he won’t vote for Obama and wouldn’t like to see him become president, he remembers growing up with racism in the deep South, and he’s glad Obama’s race didn’t prevent him from winning the nomination.

I have heard some speculation that McCain will pick a woman, most likely Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison now that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is mired in scandal.

What do you think?