Archive for Friday, July 11, 2008

Huckabee, Romney should top McCain list

July 11, 2008


Texas Republicans may have heard at least one member of their 2008 ticket at their recent convention in Houston.

Though John McCain was absent, the speakers included the two former presidential hopefuls who ought to be the finalists when he picks his running mate: Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

For all the talk of picking a rising GOP star - like a Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman - or a wild card like former business executive Carly Fiorina, McCain would be best off choosing someone with proven national experience and political assets.

A national campaign is no Sunday stroll in the park. An inexperienced running mate could create more problems than solutions. And that means starting with his top challengers for the GOP nomination.

Huckabee and Romney have decided assets and would complement McCain's national security background with experience on domestic issues. As former governors, both have executive experience and would provide ideological and geographical balance.

Their primary campaign showings will allow analysts to cite them as qualified to be president, and both have been vetted for potential peccadilloes.

Huckabee, whose campaign soared when religious conservatives gave him a stunning victory in the Iowa caucuses, would serve as a bridge to a wing of the GOP that remains cool to McCain. Though some conservatives criticized his spending record as governor and consider him soft on immigration, he would energize the religious conservatives necessary for a McCain victory.

An appealing campaigner, folksy and low-key, Huckabee fits the public's desire for a less partisan approach. But he sometimes seemed less than knowledgeable on some issues.

Romney was less appealing as a campaigner, perhaps one reason his campaign failed despite his evident intelligence and personal financial advantage. Once a business executive, he has the background on economic issues Mr. McCain lacks and is knowledgeable on health care, another key issue.

An excellent debater, Romney would be a vigorous GOP advocate, on the trail and in the inevitable vice presidential debate. He fits the traditional vice presidential "hit man" image better than Huckabee would.

And while some voters remain reluctant to vote for a Mormon, that may be less of a problem for the No. 2 person on the ticket. Besides, he could help in Western states where Democrats plan a strong bid and in crucial Michigan, where he was born and his father was a popular governor.

McCain and Romney have had a rocky relationship, which some say dates to the Arizona senator's criticism of the way his rival ran the 2002 Winter Olympics. But Romney has vigorously embraced McCain since the primaries.

Any other choice carries risk, since it's impossible to tell how a neophyte will perform in an intense campaign. There's always the possibility of the unexpected, which is one reason presidential nominees spend so much time vetting possible running mates.

For example, Pawlenty already has shown some propensity for making odd comments. He said of his wife: "She loves football; she'll go to hockey games. Now, if I could only get her to have sex with me."

Portman developed a strong reputation in the House and comes from the crucial state of Ohio. But his role as President Bush's budget director and trade representative might hamper McCain's efforts to separate himself from an unpopular president.

Jindal is seen as having a limitless future, but a 37-year-old running mate might undercut GOP efforts to portray 46-year-old Democrat Barack Obama as inexperienced.

Of three GOP women widely mentioned, Fiorina is new to politics, making her a risky choice. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is little known and inexperienced. And Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, by far the most qualified and experienced of the trio, seems uninterested as she presses what most believe is an undeclared campaign for Texas governor in 2010.

Still, McCain may feel his underdog status requires a gamble, not a safer choice like Romney or Huckabee.

Carl P. Leubsdorf is Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News.


canyon_wren 9 years, 8 months ago

I think it would be a big mistake for McCain to pick either Romney or Huckabee. The people who would vote for him BECAUSE he picked one of those two will vote for him anyway; those choices would DEFINITELY not appeal to those Independents who don't want Obama but would have to make a compromise to vote for McCain. I don't know who else would be more appropriate--I haven't followed the VEEP choices enough to know, but one of these two would be a disaster--ESPECIALLY Huckaby and I like the man, but he would never bring the vote to McCain, in my opinion.

Brent Garner 9 years, 8 months ago

Satirical:Perhaps you are correct regarding Ragingbear, however, lets be reasonable and give him/her the opportunity to respond. Ragingbear, are you out there??? We await your response.

labmonkey 9 years, 8 months ago

I hope he chooses Leiberman....but I dont see that happening. Although I cant stand Huckabee, all of you calling him a racist need not turn any further than your own candidate, Obama. If anyone is a racist, it is him and his wife.

Satirical 9 years, 8 months ago

Ragingbear..."or the cultist that wants to make coffee and tea illegal."Ummm..when has Romney ever stated he wanted to make coffee and tea illegal?

Satirical 9 years, 8 months ago

bkgarner...Ragingbear wouldn't be able to explain because that would require a rational thought, or the ability to make a coherent and well reasoned argument; attributes I have found lacking in most on the LJWorld blog.

ReadingSports 9 years, 8 months ago

I think that McCain should pick Hillary. Of course, he would also be first president to die from falling off the stage at inauguration. Huckabee or Romney will both be liabilities. Mainly because of prejudice against their religious beliefs. Though I personally think the fix has always been in for Romney.

Satirical 9 years, 8 months ago

bkgarner...Ragingbear is not going to respond because he knows his position is indefensable.

Satirical 9 years, 8 months ago

I would not vote for McCain if he chose Lieberman as VP, and neither would many conservatives. He was Gore's VP for goodness sake.

Satirical 9 years, 8 months ago

I would not vote for McCain if he chose Huckabee as VP, the man is a moron and a bigot. I would absolutely vote for McCain if he chose Romney, which I think he should do for several reasons including his fundraising ability. Although, my guess is that McCain will likely go with someone less well know.I seriously doubt Obama will choose a Caucasian female as VP. There are too many people that are still against interracial dating, and marriages, and a black man with a white woman may turn people off. Although you could argue those people may not be voting for Obama either way. I think he needs someone with more experience, but not too old, otherwise the continuous attacks on McCain's age will have less effect. However, I think more than anything Obama is looking for someone who will help him raise a ton of money, since he is not accepting public financing.

canyon_wren 9 years, 8 months ago

Ragingbear--I live in Utah and soda pop with caffeine is sold everywhere. Don't know where you got your info. It is generally believed that the Mormon Church owns some stock in Coca Cola, as it is the only cola sold at most athletic events and at Lagoon, the big amusement park north of Salt Lake. Some believe that the Mormon taboo just extends to HOT drinks--though I think they drink hot chocolate and of course eat lots of chocolate candy, which also contains caffeine. It's a little hard to figure out where the line is actually drawn.

Daytrader23 9 years, 8 months ago

I think he should choose Jeb Bush, Seems fitting. I still wouldn't vote for him even if he had Warren Buffet as V.P

Brent Garner 9 years, 8 months ago

Ragingbear obviously has something against Fundamentalist Christians (Huckabee) and against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Romney). Perhaps he would like to more explicitly, though, not vulgarly, explain why he thinks Huckabee = Fred Phelps, or how Romney wants to impose his religiouis beliefs on others?On the other hand, maybe he just hates anything conservative and religious.

Satirical 9 years, 8 months ago

I think McCain should choose Obama as his VP, now that would really spice things up! (Obama's acceptance is irrelevant)

Ragingbear 9 years, 8 months ago

Romney is a Mormon, Mormons are anti coffee/tea, in fact, it's already more expensive and harder to acquire in Utah than in other states. For example, there are brands of soda that contain caffeine in any other state, but in Utah it is caffeine free. The Mormons have also made several attempts to forward their agenda in political circles, as evidenced by history (including their founder running for president). While coffee would probably be lower on the list, it will end up there. For those who say that they would not interfere, or that Romney would not listen, try saying that about the other presidents who are high standing members in their church.And Huckabees is so uber-christian that he practically wants to make it against the law to not be Christian.

Brent Garner 9 years, 8 months ago

Ragingbear:You really need to check your sources more, guy! Don't know what sources you are using, but if it is some anti-Mormon website somewhere you might want to do some due diligence. Canyon wren just made you look like a fool! And I haven't even weighed in yet. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints let me point out that yes, there is a prohibition for members to use coffee and tea. As for caffinated beverages, there is no such directive. Lots of folks think there is, but let me assure there isn't. Just another urban myth which you seem to have swallowed hook, line, and sinker.Yes, Joseph Smith declared his candidacy for president when he was alive. That would have been way back in the 1840s. He did so more to publicize the persecution being waged against the LDS Church than from any hope of gaining the presidency. And, if you think that Mormons in high office take their marching orders from Salt Lake City then perhaps you would be shocked to learn that the Leftist Harry Reid is a Mormon! Not that many of us are proud of him, but he is! Like I said, Ragingbear, you need to get out more and you need to talk to real people who actually know something instead of listening to your conspiracy mongering friends.

Brent Garner 9 years, 8 months ago

Satirical:Now, now. I still say we should hear from Ragingbear. Ragingbear? Come on. Care to answer the question???

Ragingbear 9 years, 8 months ago

Yeah McCain, make sure to absolutely destroy what vestigial chances you have. Choose either the Fred Phelps on Lithium wannabee, or the cultist that wants to make coffee and tea illegal.

beatrice 9 years, 8 months ago

Sati: "However, I think more than anything Obama is looking for someone who will help him raise a ton of money, since he is not accepting public financing."So maybe Obama should pick Romney? It is ironic that the Mormon was the one Republican running who had just one wife.(okay, I know a few others do too. Just a joke.)

Ragingbear 9 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I was a member for 5 years, 2 of which was spent on a mission. So please hang up and try again. I know all the little spin tricks that they teach missionaries in the MTC.

Brent Garner 9 years, 8 months ago

Ahh, then Ragingbear, this must explain things.For the public's benefit, terminating membership in the LDS Church can occur in two ways: 1) a person may write to the church leadership and formally request removal from the records of the church, and 2) a person may be excommunicated if he / she violates a certain limited number of doctrines, usually violations of the moral code regarding sexual misconduct. In either case, the person is usually a disgruntled person who's reliability as a witness should be tempered with the knowledge that they have a personal axe to grind. I cannot begin to list the outrageous and false notions that former members of the LDS Church have promulgated before the public. Ragingbear, I feel sorry for you. You must be a very unhappy person.

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