Patterico's Pontifications

8/28/2008

Next Up: McCain’s VP Choice

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 8:51 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Democratic National Convention is over and the McCain campaign hopes to dampen its after-effects with a VP pick on Friday. The most recent reports suggest it will be Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Pawlenty is a safe pick but I wonder if he will come across as a lightweight in his debate with Joe Biden just as Dan Quayle suffered in comparison to Lloyd Bentsen. It’s possible Biden will commit some gaffe (it’s happened before) but he will certainly do everything possible to avoid it and he only has to do so for one debate.

McCain bills himself as a maverick and he is when it comes to challenging the Republican Party. But at a time when McCain needs to shake up this election with a bold pick, I doubt he will. I don’t mean he should select a Democrat like Joe Lieberman or a pro-choice candidate like Tom Ridge but he needs a younger, energetic Fred or Fredette Thompson who can articulate conservative values and satisfy the public’s yearning for something new.

Pawlenty may be the closest we’ll get.

As for me, I’ll accept any choice as long as it’s not Lindsey Graham.

— DRJ

76 Responses to “Next Up: McCain’s VP Choice”

  1. Pawlenty is a safe pick but I wonder if he will come across as a lightweight in his debate with Joe Biden just as Dan Quayle suffered in comparison to Lloyd Bentsen.

    — I remember that working out alright for Quayle.

    Icy Truth (f54eb3)

  2. Age and party affiliation are the only things Joe Biden has in common with the late Lloyd Bentsen. Biden appeared at literally dozens of debates among other Democratic aspirants, including such easy targets as Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson. He got exactly the same number of delegates as those guys — zero.

    Beldar (00a6c7)

  3. It’s a different public now than it was then, Beldar. I can’t honestly say I know what the American people want these days. Do they want a strong executive or do they want a handholder-in-chief?

    PS – I’ve given up on McCain picking Palin but wouldn’t it be nice?

    DRJ (7568a2)

  4. I like Palin or Meg Whitman. Palin has an investigation going on right now so that is enough to stop her possibility.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  5. That’s too bad about Palin; especially considering what LBJ, in a time before the media age, did in a similar situation.

    Icy Truth (f54eb3)

  6. Ambinder notes that Romney is also scheduled to be in Ohio tomorrow where McCain will be announcing. He’s still in the mix as well.

    Dana (084de8)

  7. The helicopters have gone away (again); maybe they’ll be back. (We live about a mile from his home.)

    htom (412a17)

  8. Pawlenty, that is.

    htom (412a17)

  9. McCain’s VP pick will be Joe Biden (D). A sort of maverick end run.

    Wesson (f6c982)

  10. Wesson’s next pick will be lottery numbers. Get ready to write them down. 😉

    Icy Truth (f54eb3)

  11. (Staring at the comment number 9. Not knowing what to make of it…)

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  12. If McCain picks Graham will he get the gay vote?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  13. Mccain/Biden was a ticket that Joe Biden himself suggested Love2008.

    Biden is pretending it didn’t happen, but he clearly thought Mccain was fit for the white house, and Obama wasn’t, to the extent that Biden would have been honored to run with Mccain.

    Palin is indeed not going to happen. She’s under a bullshit investigation, and Mccain has absolutely no scandals (the Keating 5 is, if anything, a huge testament to Mccain’s integrity in the face ot evil). Mccain isn’t going to screw that up with even a hint of scandal, partly because Obama has so many scandals in his extremely short career.

    So sadly, my pick, Palin, is simply not possible. Meg Whitman is indeed one of the major possibilities. I hope she is well vetted, but I think it’s a great idea. Obama says Biden isn’t DC… we can show them what a non-politician looks like. Meg can easily campaign. VP campaigning is pretty easy. This is the kind of glass ceiling women should try to break. Innovating something amazing and useful. Building American business.

    Fiornia is apparently not a finalist. I guess it would be too easy to paint her as a failure, even though her policies at HP saved the company (and made it #1), she did lose her job thanks to boneheads. That’s too easy for Obama to make a narrative attack out of.

    Pawlenty is a good pick in many respects, but also very boring. Not as plastic as Romney, though. I’m happy about that. Though I guess I’ll live with Romney and hope he doesn’t ever have a chance to flip on something I care about again.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  14. Pawlenty is a safe pick but I wonder if he will come across as a lightweight in his debate with Joe Biden just as Dan Quayle suffered in comparison to Lloyd Bentsen.

    My God, DRJ, if Joe Biden can make you look like a lightweight then you have no business being in politics. Here is the money line I would use if running against Biden:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, when Senator Obama first introduced Joe Biden as his running mate he told us that Senator Biden has — and I quote — “brought change to Washington” in the 35 years that he has served in the Senate. I ask you, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Washington a better place today than it was 35 years ago? Is Congress more honest and efficient than it was 35 years ago? Are the taxpayers being better served than they were 35 years ago? Ladies and Gentlemen, do we really want more of the sort of change that Joe Biden has brought to Washington the last three dozen years?

    JVW (d54fc4)

  15. John Kasich, anyone? Does that qualify as younger and more energetic? Not to mention a “let’s cut spending” financial conservative after McCain’s own heart?

    I’m just sayin’…

    Casey (9ee427)

  16. Not a bad point, Casey, I’m a Kasich fan. Doubt he is on the short list though.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Jeb Bush? Hell, If McCain wants to look young, he can pick GHW Bush, who remains eligible.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  18. JVW,

    McCain’s VP needs to be a skilled debater and, frankly, good at attacking the other candidates and Party. Can Pawlenty do that and do it well? I don’t know because I haven’t seen him enough, but he seems like a nice guy. One of the problems with a safe pick is that they are often nice guys who may not be skilled at verbal attacks.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  19. Kevin Murphy,

    Heh. But if he’s going that route I vote for Barbara Bush. I always liked her better anyway.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  20. DRJ – Barbara Bush would park her electric car in the lobby, take her Segway to the stage, and gut Joe Biden in front of millions. She’s been advising presidents since Obama was in college.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  21. She could do it, and I’d pay to see her on a Segway.

    DRJ (7568a2)

  22. I’d pay to see her gut Joe Biden.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  23. Agreed DRJ, and like you, I don’t know enough about Pawlenty to judge whether or not he will be a skilled debater. I can’t imagine that McCain’s people though would choose someone without having at least a pretty good idea of their interviewing and debating skills. Then again, we should never underestimate the boneheadedness of the GOP.

    But still, it really can’t take that much effort to hold one’s own with Joe Biden.

    JVW (d54fc4)

  24. McCain has an opportunity, perhaps. Obama has chosen a hyper-conventional running mate. McCain could go for someone outside the white male box.

    But please, not Fiorina! She was a disaster at HP. She would alienate the entire nerd vote.

    RIch Rostrom (09ec82)

  25. Rich Rostrom,

    What in the world makes you say she was a disaster for HP?

    I hear this a lot, but it’s always just spat out there with no evidence.

    I do know that HP is the #1 company in its field, thenks 100% to Fiornia’s risky and ballsy merger with Compaq. A lot of people thought her entire plan was stupid, and fired her hoping to turn around a plan that, within weeks of her firing, was obviously the right move. HP was smart enough to follow Fiornia’s plan despite firing her, and that’s why there is really no way to use HP and disaster in the same sentence.

    So tell me, please, how was she such a disaster?

    I agree she can’t be VP, if only because your story would be repeated over and over, and the explanation takes a few more words than the assertion, so the voters would largely buy the lie. But she’s a damn smart woman, and a great example of what’s right and wrong in the world. This woman was kicked out before her prime, and I think would have made the best argument for Hillary voters if she could have over come the narrative.

    Oh, and do geeks vote? If they do, why are IP laws the way they are?

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  26. I am puzzled that people fear Biden would overwhelm Pawlenty in a debate. When has Biden overwhelmed anyone in a debate?

    NCC (d671ab)

  27. JVW:

    Here is the money line I would use if running against Biden:

    “… Is Congress more honest and efficient than it was 35 years ago? Are the taxpayers being better served than they were 35 years ago?”

    Please, please don’t anybody in the McCain camp say that. “35 years ago” puts us right smack in the middle of the Watergate scandal. From there, it’s hard for any part of the federal government to have gone anywhere but up.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  28. NCC, you’re probably right, but I’m happy to let everyone assume Biden is some kind of brilliant fella… keep those expectations way too high, please.

    I see Justin has repeated the rumor that Palin is the VP. Is sure hope so. It’s based on a report all over the internet that Palin flew from Alaska to Ohio last night. Also interesting is that all the other major possibilities are being loudly talked about, when Mccain is clearly playing some kind of publicity game. If he wasn’t picking Palin, I think he would at least loudly consider a woman like her, as Obama did with Sebilius. So that she’s coming to the party, yet isn’t being discussed, leads me to suspect she’s the pick.

    Exciting stuff!

    Steele guessed it would be her yesterday, which was a surprise for many. Romney said he wasn’t teh guy (which is why we all thought it was Pawlenty).

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  29. With many Hillary voters on the fence Palin would seem to be the best choice but I think we are overlooking Carly Fiorina. Carly would bring a different backround. She has a strong economic backround and does not come from a political backround. The 1st Female Vice President would take some wind out of the OBAMA ” Historic” story.

    Dennis D (ae900a)

  30. Please let it be Palin.

    JD (75f5c3)

  31. HotAir wonders who’s on this flight from Alaska to Ohio.

    Oh.
    My.
    Gosh.

    PAL-IN! PAL-IN! PAL-IN!

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  32. DRUDGE WAS CRUEL WITH HIS TEASE HEADLINE. I WAS JUMPING UP AND DOWN ONLY TO HAVE MY BALLOON BUSTED SINCE IT’S NOT A SURE THING. PLLLLEEEEEAAAAZZZE LET IT BE TRUE!!!!!!!!!

    Lisa (f848e0)

  33. I will actually donate money to the McCain camp if Palin is his pick…

    Though I would have enjoyed watching Romney beat the crap outta Biden at the debate, I suspect that Palin could easily do the same…

    Then again, *I* could probably beat Biden in a debate…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)


  34. Comment by Scott Jacobs — 8/29/2008 @ 6:12 am

    Am with you. Have not donated money to McCain yet but his campaign will get a lot of money from me, starting this weekend, if he picks Palin.

    Palin would destroy Biden on the issues in a debate IMO. He’d be left either stuttering, or nastily attacking her personally, the latter making him look both stupid and boorish.

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  35. ABC is reporting Palin is still in Alaska. Maybe it’s a head fake but I’ve thought all along that this was a good possibility. She appeals to two groups, the women disappointed that Obama didn’t pick Hillary and the pro-life types who are still uncomfortable with McCain even though he is solidly on their side.

    Meg Whitman would be a good choice except for the fact that nobody knows how she would do on the campaign. Palin is known in Alaska as “Sarah Barracuda” and she beat the sitting governor, Murkowski, in the primary on a reform ticket.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  36. Not only have I thus far not donated to McCain, whenever I get his “send me money” crap, I’ve checked the “other amount” box and writen in

    I’m voting for you. Be glad you’re getting that much from me.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  37. As an aside, Gov. Palin would also draw the 18-25 year-old male vote…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  38. Strangely, I was just telling my wife that I will send John MCcain a birthday gift (it’s his birthday), if he’s awesome enough to pick Palin. Now I come on here, and apparently a lot of people agree with me.

    If anything, Palin would help shore Mccain up with conservatives who are tired of worrying that Leibermann or even Romney was the pick. A lot of GOP excitement is good, too. This election will be won on voter turnout.

    While Mccain is seeking older women right now as his core weakness (that can be fixed), I wonder if Palin’s polling among the die-hards wasn’t the more impressive feature.

    Justin Levine announces his pick a couple hours later than the rest of the internet. Congrats Justin! (just hassling you).

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  39. McCain is teasing me, as is all this talk about Palin. I am prepared to be profoundly disappointed. Any of the potentials appear to be better than Baracky and Biden, which offers a sliver of solace.

    JD (75f5c3)

  40. HotAir and CNBC updates claim it’s Palin.

    McCain’s camp sure can keep a secret, though, can’t they? Good for them.

    BECAUSE OF THE MATURITY!!

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  41. #39
    Any of the potentials appear to be better than Baracky and Biden, which offers a sliver of solace.
    Of course they are, JD. They are Republicans. The Superior Ones.

    love2008 (0c8c2c)

  42. CNBC says it’s her! Drudge took away the question mark! We can only hope!

    Lisa (f848e0)

  43. I am surprised that the Democrat operatives in the CIA that leaked all sort of GOP plans aren’t leaking McNugget’s VP choice.

    PCD (5c49b0)

  44. Ever since I saw Palin’s appearance on Craig Ferguson’s show, I was convinced she’d be right up Maverick’s alley. She went against the party orthodoxy in Alaska and won, big. She’s also terrific on camera, and will appeal to McCain’s distaste for earmarks and boondoggle spending omnibus bills. Bravo!

    Dmac (874677)

  45. I forgot to mention that if she is indeed the VP pick, this will just add to an already re – energized McCain campaign. They’re finally acting like they’re in this thing to win, and their recent ad campaign is further indication of the new campaign chief’s strategy.

    Dmac (874677)

  46. Fox is saying it’s Palin.

    Please oh please oh please…

    no one you know (1f5ddb)

  47. One of the Powerline honchos thinks that the press reaction to a Palin will be 100% negative.
    Who give’s a rat’s ass what those the in-the-tank for- the- messiah bozos think? I think it reflects back more on the big zero’s lack of experience, what 143 days in the Senate, doing just what? What will ordinary Americans think? I understand she’s under investigation over some BS. Seems some friend of Obama’s will be sentences prior to the election for actual wrong-doings.
    If Palin is doing a good job of running Alaska for past two years and is up for VICE Prez, how is she any worse than often wrong on many things like the Iraq war & 35 years as washington insider slow joe biden? Give me a governor with that executive experience over those Senate slugs any day.
    I note that Gov.Palin disgrees with McCain on opening up of ANWR. And if worse comes to worse who would do an actual better job in Oval Office if needed?

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  48. NBC News says Palin is the pick just now.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  49. How could McCain possibly think Sarah Palin would appeal to Hilary Clinton’s supporters? Let another woman potentially become the first President of the U.S.A.? No way! They’re saving that accolade for Hilary, even if they have to wait eight years!

    Maria Johnson (209802)

  50. Right! ‘Cause we all know how patient women are. . . .

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  51. and why are the Comments closed on “Sarah Palin”?

    Another Drew (e24867)

  52. #51 was posted on another thread, and has appeared on both threads.
    Is there a glitch somewhere?
    Would that be the same one that caused a “closed” notice to appear?
    Just Asking, DRJ.

    Another Drew (e24867)

  53. Yeah, somthing’s hosed with the comment system.

    Everybody’s talking about how the choice of Palin takes McCain’s experience argument away — however, it also does a pretty darn good job of taking away Obama’s argument that McCain is just the same old Bush/Cheney. Well played on the McCain campaign’s part.

    McCain’s VP choice actually shows a lot more of an interest in (and willingess to) “change” than Obama’s choice.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  54. Patterico added his comment to the top of the thread and inadvertantly froze all of us out.

    Then again, maybe it wasn’t inadvertant. Maybe he selfishly wanted the last word. Who does he think he is, anyway?

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  55. An objective, non-partisan comment from Phil? Talk about “change”!

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  56. Hey, I’ve always been objective and non-partisan — you’re only just now recognizing it because YOU’RE so unobjective and partisan 😉

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  57. Yeah. . . . That’s it. [Damn emoticons! How do you make a sarcastic face?]

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  58. No-bama – Vote Baby Mama!

    Okay. Needs work. Gimme a minute. . . .

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  59. Sarah Palin – She Changes Her Children’s Diapers, and Joe Biden’s Too

    — A little bit long, but I like it. :-)

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  60. Sarah Palin – Are You Really Going To Vote Them Down Twice In One Year?

    — “them” being women of course.

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  61. Hey, I’ve always been objective and non-partisan — you’re only just now recognizing it because YOU’RE so unobjective and partisan

    HA! Well played sir!

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  62. McCain/Palin – Vote For The Non-Sexist Ticket

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  63. I don’t know.

    The positive about Gov. Palin is that she has the right positions on conservative issues and is a tough on ethics reform, having taken on the Republican establishment in AK over this and won (and that in a state where Sen. Ted Stevens just won the Republican primary).

    The negative is that she’s only been governor for two years and before that, but for a short stint on Alaska’s Oil & Gas Commission, was mayor and city manager of a town of less than 10,000 people and before that a TV sports reporter.

    If John McCain were younger, I’d be more comfortable.

    Peccator Dubius (0a6237)

  64. Maverick/Outsider vs. Marxist/Insider – You Decide

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  65. Experince/Youth vs. Youth/Experience – Which One Would YOU Rather See First?

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  66. JVW wrote:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, when Senator Obama first introduced Joe Biden as his running mate he told us that Senator Biden has — and I quote — “brought change to Washington” in the 35 years that he has served in the Senate. I ask you, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Washington a better place today than it was 35 years ago? Is Congress more honest and efficient than it was 35 years ago? Are the taxpayers being better served than they were 35 years ago? Ladies and Gentlemen, do we really want more of the sort of change that Joe Biden has brought to Washington the last three dozen years?

    Also worth mentioning is that Biden came into the Senate as the youngest member, and has served the equivalent of seven Presidential terms.

    Did he bring “new ideas?” No.

    Did he bring “new politics?” No.

    Did he bring “change?” NO!

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  67. I WOULD Kick Joe Biden Out Of The Bed

    — I denounce myself 10 million (to the power of infinity) times. [See how I still chickened out and wrote “the bed” instead of “my bed”?]

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  68. Baah! As a Chicagoan, I see through this cynical, racist move to keep a second generation Irishman, Richard M. Daley, from being President-By-Proxy.

    nk (3c7a86)

  69. And wouldn’t that be the big difference between Obama and JFK? Daley Sr. may have gotten JFK elected, but there’s no hint that he dictated policy — that was Papa Kennedy calling in favors and/or making some promises. But, since Obama clearly is having his strings pulled by the current-day Chicago machine (makes one wonder – coincidence that Oprah is in Chicago? what does she owe to the machine?), what is the agenda coming from the major city with the highest tax rate in America?

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  70. I am just going revel in this inspired selection today. Exquisite.

    JD (75f5c3)

  71. Peccator Dubius wrote: The negative is that she’s only been governor for two years and before that, but for a short stint on Alaska’s Oil & Gas Commission, was mayor and city manager of a town of less than 10,000 people and before that a TV sports reporter.

    That’s true. It’s unfortunate that it’s come to comparing a former State Senate cipher who has nothing to recommend him but the ability to give a good speech, an old school blowhard Senator whose personal story is more interesting then his three-and-a-half decades in Washington, a First Lady who carpetbagged her way into the Senate in exchange for not divorcing a philandering President (IMHO) and a female Governor who, while being young and smart, has little Executive experience BUT still more than ANY of the rest of them!

    What about McCain? There’s no doubt in my mind he’s qualified to be President. I just don’t know if I’ll be OK with the decisions he would make.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  72. Has the looney left started their “McCain now has a nursemaid”, patently sexist smear yet?

    Icy Truth (f4b203)

  73. Icy Truth wrote: Has the looney left started their “McCain now has a nursemaid”, patently sexist smear yet?

    I would say “Don’t give them any ideas,” but I know that they never fail to mine new depths.

    Back in 1998, I first got involved in internet forums by slamming Gloria Steinem after she wrote her now-expunged New York Times editorial making excuses for Bill Clinton and saying that even if Paula Jones was telling the truth about Slick Willie groping her and dropping trou, it didn’t meet the definition of sexual harassment.

    I’m waiting for the first feminist icon to blast Palin for having “so many” children and/or choosing to have a Downs child. I am confident it’s coming.

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  74. I think Palin is a good choice for McCain; based on her first speech, she speaks well, seems more like a down-to-Earth person than most “experienced” politicians, is attractive (which always helps), and is an outside the box pick that will give independents and disgruntled Democrats a reason to give McCain a second look. Even though that’s all true, Obama’s foreign and economic policies are better for the long-term success and security of the United States. Plus, his “experience” outside of Washington politics makes him BETTER qualified than a 30 year member of the Senate. In my opinion, generally the longer you’re in Washington, the worse you are.

    Dennis (152be4)

  75. l.n. smithee, you don’t have to wait long. The leftists at Althouse are already calling her a heartless moron for allowing a child with Down Syndrome to be born from her very own body.

    The nerve of someone allowing a defective kid to be born! Only the best should survive!

    steve miller (0fb51f)

  76. It will be very entertaining to watch the mouth-foaming leftists attack Sarah Palin and, by their association with the DNC, drag the Democratic party as a whole into the muck of their vile hatred.

    Entertaining, and for some, enlightening.

    Apogee (366e8b)


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