McCain in Feb.: Gender Not a Factor in VP Choice
By Glenn Kessler
Six months ago, Sen. John McCain insisted that he would not choose his running mate on the basis of gender or race if he faced either Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton as his Democratic opponent, but rather would select his running mate on the basis of experience and personal qualities.
Speaking to reporters on his campaign bus as he traveled to an event in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on Feb. 20, McCain was asked whether the prospect of running against a history-making figure would compel him to make his own historic choice. At the time, McCain dismissed the idea that voters would be compelled to vote for someone because of race or gender. "The primary
reason why people vote for a candidate is because of what that person will do for you," he said.
A reporter pressed McCain whether race or gender would somehow figure into his decision-making process.
"I don't think so. I don't think so," McCain replied. "I think you've got to have a first and key priority -- the person that can best take your place immediately and shares your philosophy and values and priorities. I think that's got to be the criterion. I am not capable of that kind of
Machiavellian approach to things."
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