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View Full Version : Elections Bill Kristol floats an interesting idea


noa
08-04-2008, 02:41 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/04/opinion/04kristol.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print


How to Pick a V.P.
By WILLIAM KRISTOL

When you try to talk with McCain staffers about vice-presidential prospects, as I did last week, the normally garrulous become guarded and the usually talkative turn taciturn. Still, here’s what I was able to discern.

John McCain apparently intends to announce his pick after the Democratic convention. There’s been thought given to announcing McCain’s selection the day after Barack Obama’s Thursday night Aug. 28 acceptance speech, to try to minimize Obama’s postconvention bounce.

But the current inclination is to wait until after Labor Day weekend, which ends with President Bush’s speech Monday, the first night of the G.O.P. convention. Then the McCain camp would hope to seize attention Tuesday with the V.P. announcement. A strong pick, followed by the V.P. nominee’s remarks Wednesday and then McCain’s speech Thursday, could provide a good launch into the last 60 days of the campaign.

So, who would be a strong pick? Some V.P. candidates fit one theory of the campaign, others another. And there seem to be at least four competing theories in the McCain camp, which, while not entirely mutually exclusive, point in different vice-presidential directions.

1. We’re going to defeat Obama straight up.

If McCain is ahead of or close to Obama in the polls, there will be a strong temptation to do no harm with the V.P. choice. The leading noncontroversial selections — broadly acceptable to Republicans, conservative but not too conservative, young but not too young — are Tim Pawlenty, the second-term governor of Minnesota, and Rob Portman, former Ohio congressman, Bush trade representative and budget director.

2. We need to accentuate Obama’s key vulnerability — inexperience.

If McCain’s central theme is going to be that he’s ready and Obama isn’t, he needs a running mate who reinforces that message — someone experienced who’d be seen as ready to govern. This points to former rival Mitt Romney, whom McCain has come to respect, or former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, whom McCain likes. It’s true that Ridge is pro-choice, which might be a problem. Or could the pick of Ridge signal to independents that McCain is broadening the party, while pro-lifers could be reassured that Ridge would defer to President McCain in this area?

3. Don’t fight the public desire for change; co-opt it.

The public wants change but is nervous about Obama. Why not allow people to vote for experience and the next generation of leadership at the same time?

This implies a young and different V.P.: the 37-year-old governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal; 44-year-old Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska; or Eric Cantor, the 45-year-old Virginia congressman. Party pros would have fainting spells about the unseasoned Jindal and Palin in particular — but party pros are often wrong, and if Jindal or Palin performed well as candidates, the upside would be considerable.

The two young governors also have this advantage: They’re very popular with conservatives, especially social conservatives. And they’re real reformers. They’ve begun to do in Baton Rouge and Juneau what many voters would like to see done in Washington. Principled conservatism and vigorous reform could be a winning combination.

4. The public is really sick of politics as usual in Washington.

In his convention speech, McCain could say something like this:

“I will give you a reform administration that will put politics aside to work for all Americans. I pledge to turn the page on 16 years of often petty and mean-spirited partisanship so we can tackle the big challenges we face. So I pledge that neither I nor my vice president will seek re-election. Neither I nor my vice president will spend a day, an hour, a minute campaigning or raising money — not for ourselves nor for anyone else. There will be no political office in my White House — there will be no place for a Dick Morris, or (with all due respect) a Karl Rove.”

This opens up several unconventional V.P. possibilities. They include some who would reinforce the notion of a war presidency above politics, like Senator Joe Lieberman and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Or perhaps someone with economic or domestic policy expertise — like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, old McCain friend and FedEx C.E.O. Fred Smith or new McCain insider and former EBay C.E.O. Meg Whitman.

Most of the campaign staff strongly prefers a selection from the first two categories — do no harm or reinforce experience. McCain himself, on the other hand, is intrigued by the bolder possibilities of youth or bipartisanship.

And he could be especially intrigued by Sarah Palin and Meg Whitman. I run into plenty of moderate and conservative women who don’t consider themselves feminists but would be pleased to see a qualified woman on the ticket.

Especially if Obama picks a man, rejecting hope and change in favor of the same old patriarchy — won’t McCain be tempted to say: cherchez la femme?


I bolded the part I found very interesting. I haven't heard that suggested before, not sure if it is a new idea or if it has been floated before and I just missed it.

Anyway, what do you guys think about that? I know you shouldn't trust a politician's pledge to leave office prematurely, as many have broken those promises in the past. Still, I think it would be a brilliant move for his campaign and would really make things interesting.
He probably couldn't make that promise about the VP, though.

mlyonsd
08-04-2008, 02:44 PM
I'd think it would be hard to find a VP candidate willing to agree to that.

SBK
08-04-2008, 02:48 PM
I like the idea behind number 3, but I hate the way he presents it. The 4th option would be very daring, probably falls in the crazy/brilliant category, could go either way.

BucEyedPea
08-04-2008, 03:05 PM
I don't like the idea of trying to get rid of partisanship. I think it's dangerous as it doesn't flush out bad ideas through debate. I think it serves the elites who want no opposition to their own ideas of remaking America in their eyes as opposed to the eyes of daily Americans. I just think the tone of disagreement could be improved.

Reaper16
08-04-2008, 06:53 PM
1 term? Lame. [/rimshot]

RJ
08-04-2008, 08:59 PM
Not a chance in hell that would ever happen.

'Hamas' Jenkins
08-04-2008, 10:31 PM
I don't like the idea of trying to get rid of partisanship. I think it's dangerous as it doesn't flush out bad ideas through debate. I think it serves the elites who want no opposition to their own ideas of remaking America in their eyes as opposed to the eyes of daily Americans. I just think the tone of disagreement could be improved.

Talk of eliminating partisanship is just window dressing. There haven't been honest policy debates in the country for decades, mainly because most of our populace is too damned stupid to understand nuance, and would rather have issues fed to them by the MSM.

Ultra Peanut
08-04-2008, 11:24 PM
1. We’re going to defeat Obama straight up.Oh Bill, you card.

4. The public is really sick of politics as usual in Washington.
So it makes sense to keep playing the games that lead to politics as usual, right? It makes sense to turn your campaign over to those guys and then try to force them out if you win, right?

acesn8s
08-05-2008, 04:38 AM
And after 2 years of a DEM controled congress they would be saying "We couldn't get done what needed to get done so we will be running for re-election in 2012".

:rolleyes: