Thursday, January 31, 2008

McCain's Running Mate

A friend of mine asked me last night whom I thought John McCain would select as his running mate. Now, this presumes that McCain will be the Republican nominee. This is looking like a safer bet after McCain's win in Florida.

Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani are gone after running the most apathetic and strategically-flawed campaigns, respectively, in recent memory. Thompson never seemed to want the job. My own sense is that he wanted people to want him to have it more. I think his own level of enthusiasm mirrored the public's. Rudy just seemed to have taken a really bad idea, put all your eggs in one basket, Florida, and run with it all the way to an early and ignominious exit. I am sure when the campaign strategist responsible for this blunder gave his Power Point presentation for this campaign template, it must have seemed brilliant and revolutionary. The problem is, Rudy had already been seriously marginalized by the time he got to Florida. Surpassed by the likes of Mike Huckabee.

So, McCain is now the front-runner. And when my friend asked me who I thought McCain would select as his running-mate I immediately thought of one guy: Joseph Lieberman.

I think this selection is attractive and makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, by selecting a Democrat for his running mate, McCain can steal a bit of Obama's ground-breaking thunder. Second, Lieberman is a Democrat that many Republican-leaning independents would support. He is as conservative Democrat as you are likely to find, who has supported the War in Iraq. He is a bit of a pariah in his own party and I think he will be able to wear this as a badge of honor among Republican and independent circles.

Personally, Joe Lieberman is about the only Democrat for whom I have any respect. Like McCain, he is not perfect. I don't care for his attacks on Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and specifically the video game segment of the market. Of course, I have my problems with McCain, too. I hate McCain-Feingold. I didn't care for his initial stand on the illegal immigration amnesty proposed by the Bush administration. I don't care for his expansive definition of torture, nor his compromise on judicial nominees.

But in the 2008 election, all candidates must be viewed through a single prism: are they worse than Hillary Clinton?

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