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Good News

Tom Ridge won't be McCain's pick for VP candidate.


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Bob wrote:

Rand, is your source for this the pronouncements from the RNC, as reported on Fox? I wonder if the sources are really in the position to be so definitive.

Over at, they are (currently and suddenly) taking the possibility of Joe Lieberman for VP seriously - ex-Lieberman aides report they are being asked to dig up old records, which indicates Lieberman is continuing to be vetted. Maybe it is a fake-out, of course. I'd be amused to hear your reaction -- could you live with it if Lieberman was picked? I wonder if you'd find this possibility worse or better than Tom Ridge.

I can't believe Lieberman would really be picked, but as a mainstream Democrat, I'd be delighted if he was -- it would be yet another indication that I'm closer than usual to being in a no-lose position this year!

Rand Simberg wrote:

Yes, it's the RNC sources. But a Ridge pick would make no sense. The only reason to do it is because McCain likes him (I doubt if he would help that much in Pennsylvania). As for whether I could "live with" Lieberman, I'm not sure what that means. In any event, I'm not a Republican, so it doesn't really matter what I could live with. A Lieberman pick would make me less likely to vote for McCain, but I'm not going to vote for Obama under any circumstances.

mpthompson wrote:

As a Republican I can say that from my perspective McCain would be committing a huge mistake in choosing Lieberman. McCain is already on the ropes with a lot of conservatives and he has made some progress in pulling conservatives back into the fold -- the Saddleback debate being one such instance. Choosing Lieberman would wipe out all the good will McCain has achieved lately and put him back on square one with conservatives -- costing him a lot of votes in November. By choosing a conservative running mate it appears McCain can still win the election and not anger 1/2 of the Republican base. Reaching across the isle to a liberal Democrat for a running mate is completely unnecessary if McCain continues to do what he has done over the last two months.

However, from the standpoint of McCain, I can see him choosing Lieberman and probably still winning the election. With such a choice, McCain would be calculating that the angered conservatives won't vote for Obama (which is a pretty safe assumption) and he'll pick up enough voters in the middle to make up for the lost votes on the right. McCain would effectively be starving Obama of centrist voters.

Overall, I don't see choosing Lieberman hurting or helping McCain much. However, it would be a disaster for conservatives that want to see the GOP move away from the mushy middle.

rickl wrote:

It wouldn't surprise me to see McCain picking Lieberman, or some other Democrat, given that he seems to actually relish poking conservatives in the eye.

But I think he should wait until after the Democratic convention to announce his VP pick. I'm not at all certain that Obama has it locked up. More and more Democrats are getting cold feet, realizing that he is both an extremist and a lightweight. If Obama is the nominee, I think there's an excellent chance that he will crash and burn in November. In which case, it hardly matters who McCain picks. There are plenty of voters from both parties who will vote "anyone but Obama".

But if Hillary manages to seize the Democrat nomination, then McCain will have a real race on his hands. If he continues to piss off conservatives, they will stay home and he will lose.

There's another scenario I keep thinking about: Obama gets the Dem nomination and McCain picks Hillary as his running mate. Think about it: The radical left would vote for Obama, conservatives would stay home in disgust, and everyone else would vote for McCain/Clinton. That ticket is a guaranteed winner.

Rand Simberg wrote:

But I think he should wait until after the Democratic convention to announce his VP pick.

I absolutely agree with that. There's no reason for him to choose before Obama does, and it will give him a lot of useful info on which to base his decision.

mpthompson wrote:

rickl, do you really think there is a realistic scenario whereby Obama does not win the nomination in Denver? I certainly can't think of one. The Democrats, particularly those at the top and the 20-somethings pushing Obama, seem to have far too much emotion invested in Obama to back off now. The Democrats have a recent history of picking a loser and staying with him until the bitter end.

Besides, if Obama doesn't get the Democrat nomination there literally will be blood spilled in the streets and the party will be fractured in two. The Democrats already have a big enough problem with the PUMA crowd, but they would be small potatoes compared to turmoil caused by Hillary snatching the nomination from Obama. Even if she somehow succeeds, Hillary could not get elected with just half a Democrat party. The Democrats have made their bed with Obama, they'll have to sleep in it now.

I've learned to never say never, but as much as I would like to a repeat of 1968 in Denver, chances are next week the Democrats will coronate Obama with barely an audible whimper from Hillary and the Puma crowd. Artificial unity will be manufactured for national TV and we can wait to see how McCain blows it with his VP pick.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 19, 2008 12:40 PM.

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