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February 15, 2008

McCain Mulling "Moderate" VP Pick

It gets better and better.

[T]here’s increasing speculation in Washington and among McCain’s supporters that the Arizona maverick will instead run to the center and pick a more liberal vice presidential candidate.

The theory goes like this:

Barack Obama has become his party’s front-runner because he has expanded the Democratic Party. His big rallies draw crowds of nearly 20,000, unheard of for a primary campaign…

This is a strategy that simply won’t work for McCain because there is a certain bloc of core, loyal and principled conservatives who will never vote for him no matter what he says now, who he picks to run with, or who the Democratic nominee might be…

So, McCain’s only option is to run hard for the middle and hope that his centrist ticket can beat the soaring rhetoric and high promises of a likeable guy like Obama with little experience and a liberal voting record.

Allah analyzes this idea and finds it wanting, as do I.

First, while there is a "core" of conservatives who may not vote for McCain under any circumstances, there are many more conservatives who don't much like the Maverick but can, when it comes down to it, pull the lever for him. I'm one of those, I think.

At some point, though, Maverick McAmnesty makes himself more or less indistinguishable from a Democrat and pushes that larger group of not-falling-in-love-but-falling-in-line conservatives into the sit-this-one-out camp.

Further, I strongly question how many true "independents" there are that can be swayed by such moves. Most independents aren't really all that independent; they have a definite preference for one basic political philosophy or the other. Picking up a fairly negligible chunk of this small group will be more than offset by the losses caused by a large conservative boycott of the top of the ticket.

Perhaps McCain sees no other path to victory. Certainly the large numbers of new Democrat voters Barack Obama has made is daunting. But if that's the case, then McCain simply cannot win against Obama anyway. Gaining 1% of true swing-both-ways independents at the cost of 10% of conservatives will produce a worse loss, not a closer one.

If McCain is thinking Lieberman for Veep, well, look here: Lieberman's a good man and certainly pro-war enough for me but he's hardly likely to move many votes. He certainly didn't seem to be a compelling candidate in 2004.

If he's thinking Hegel... I'm sorry, that's the Rubicon for me. Do. Not. Want.

And Huckabee? He'd be violating the most important rule of picking a VP, picking someone prepared to take over as Commander in Chief at a moment's notice. Huckabee is a naive buffoon whose understanding of anything apart from religion is paper-thin... and even his religious understanding seems pretty superficial and weak.

Permanent. Republican. Majority.

Dead and buried, forever, much the same as Star Wars died with Episode I.

Thanks to Slublog.

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posted by Ace at 12:34 PM

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