Friday, August 29, 2008


McCain has done a nice job of playing the VP card in such a manner as to steal some news cycle from Barack's big speech. On my local news, the lead story was Barack, followed by McCain's pick being announced today, followed by the weather.

Speaking of the weather, there is a hurricane coming that appears designed to make it impossible for John McCain to escape the linkage to George Bush that Democrats seek to create in the minds of voters. Imagine Gustav coming to shore through the Gulf of Mexico and hitting Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday night in the middle of John McCain's convention? Now that would take some skill to finesse. Katrina was three years ago today.

In the meantime, the McCain campaign is skillfully maneuvering to limit the surge from Barack's big night, even while being respectful of it.

Arizona Sen. John McCain is expected to announced his pick for vice president Thursday evening or Friday.

He decided to wait until Friday after teasing a Thursday night announcement. Leaving us all to wonder - who?

A source familiar with the search said a number of the VP contenders, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and others are expected to travel to Dayton for a Friday rally when McCain is expected to announce his running mate. That will create even more buzz around the pick, the source said.

It obviously isn't Huckabee. Lieberman is very unlikely. Romney has some positives, but would ultimately undermine Barack's appeal to evangelicals and to crossover voters. And he has the baggage of his health reform bill in Massachusetts. Which is why I figure Pawlenty is the guy.

Pawlenty, Romney and Lieberman are seen as the most likely picks, according to the source, while others familiar with the campaign single out Pawlenty and Romney.

But I keep hoping for a game-changer. A woman would be the best thing, a draw for disgruntled Democrats.

There also has been speculation that McCain might pick a woman for his running mate after Democrat Barack Obama tapped U.S. Sen Joseph Biden, D-Del., rather than U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. U.S Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, former EBay CEO Meg Whitman, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are in the mix.

Hutchinson is too old school in my mind. The benefit would be lost. No one without government experience can be John McCain's running mate - it would create a vulnerability considering his age. The CEO angle is just a tease. Sarah Palin, in her first term as Governor of Alaska, can't be considered to be experienced enough.

How about Condi Rice? Why hasn't there been more speculation about her? She's likely being ruled out because she's never held elected office.

Leaving us again with Pawlenty.

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