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People's Choice for McCain's VP

As we noted last week, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) let word slip that the search for his ticket mate is underway.

Given that backdrop -- and that The Fix is somewhat obsessed with the veepstakes -- a new poll done by Gallup testing potential vice presidents caught our eye.

The pollsters asked 453 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (from March 24-27) if they could "name someone that you would like to see John McCain choose as his vice-presidential running mate?"

If the person said "yes," they were asked to provide a name.

Here are the results:

Mike Huckabee 18%
Mitt Romney 15%
Condoleezza Rice 8%
Fred Thompson 4%
Ron Paul 2%
Rudy Giuliani 2%
Charlie Crist 2%
Joe Lieberman 2%
Colin Powell/John Edwards/Tim Pawlenty/Newt Gingrich/Bill Richardson 1% each
Cannot Name Anyone 31%

A few observations:

* This is what's known in the polling business as an "open-ended" question -- meaning that respondents are required to name a candidate without any prompting from the person conducting the survey. This particular open question is better understood as a measure of name identification than as a true guide to Republican voter preferences for McCain' veep pick. It's no accident that Huckabee and Romney, the last two candidates left standing in the presidential race with McCain, lead the way currently as their presidential runs did much to raise their profiles among Republican voters.

* Vice presidents, nowadays, are picked by the presidential nominee -- not elected by voters. So, while McCain's advisers surely pay passing attention to polls like this, there is no way that this kind of survey data will play much of a role in the final selection.

* The current Fix frontrunner in the McCain veepstakes -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Tpaw to his friends) -- is knotted in a tie with John Edwards and Bill Richardson in the poll. Somehow we think Pawlenty is slightly more likely to wind up on the GOP ticket....

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 6, 2008; 7:52 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: wlnjqjib42 | April 12, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: bzd70zvk06 | April 12, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Your reports is only hype by the left...It seems as the left is attempting to push Mitt away with large amounts of inappropriate comments...Overall, the best person would be of course Mitt - he is what the left fear v/r

Posted by: J-Sanchez | April 11, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: 65qdsvu3bm | April 9, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Name Reconition means a lot. It takes months, or years to gain name reconition. But, more important McCain needs help to win California, Iowa, Penn., Ohio, Illinois, Mass., Michigan, etc. The McCainites got together, on McCain's ranch, a few weeks ago, and decided that they needed California. So one must look at who would help McCain win in California? Answer: Romney, Guilani, Bloomberg, or perhaps the Gov. of Flordia. But, CERTAINLY NOT Tim Pawlenty, or as his fellow Minnesotans' know him as the little Corporal or PAWTY. It seems that Chris C of - THE FIX simply has PAWTY on his brain and can't help himself. McCain also needs someone to help him raise funds, and PAWTY can't do that either. PAWTY Couldn't even give McCain Minnesota and Michigain in the primary, Romney won. PAWTY has a billion dallor state deficit to fight with this year. He can't even balance his state budget so how can PAWTY be National Material? It's simple, Chris C. of - THE FIX is the only news writer that puts PAWTY first, and has done so for some time, as like I said, he just has PAWTY on the brain and can't help himself speaking for the Little Corporal of Minnesota.

Posted by: Gouldnen | April 7, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the kind word.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | April 7, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

directingcool writes "Your way too long statement was just a bunch of words with no purpose."

Welcome to the Fix sir/ma'am. Actually the purpose of my post was to provide a sort of man-on-the-street impression for the other interested parties here.

If you are not one of them, then please scroll on by, but know that mark_in_austin is a gentleman and one of the most well-informed posters on this board due to his relentless quest for information and factual references.

It is in that spirit that we share information and anecdotes, partisan jabs and opinions, in the hope that an informed electorate will result, at least here at the Fix.

If you have a problem with my posts, please let me know and I'll respond. (But probably not nearly as politely as mark.)

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 7, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, there are a few names that are running throughout the post that you can cross off the list:

Powell: he'll endorse Obama when he wraps up the Dem nomination. Trust me.

Rice, Graham, Crist: umm, no. They may help McCain in Chelsea and West Hollywood, but will lead to an electoral landslide defeat everywhere else.

Whitman, Crist, Lieberman: too "moderate"/liberal in the eyes of the Repub base. The fascists are already complaining about the prospect of Willard being on the ticket, their magic underwear savior just a few months ago.

Love that the Republicans are so illiterate and inbred that they think Edwards and Richardson are Repubs!

Posted by: uckeleg | April 7, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

i think mike huckabee would be the best choice because he is good on the economy and on immagration two things mccain is not good on he has a good personality and he would help him win all the southern states how do you think bush won two terms by winning all the southern states and florida likes huckabee and so do independent voters like me who voted for huckabee in florida also catholics seem to like huckabee also he is the right age and he disagreed with bush on the war he was a good govenor for arkansas and he has experience with the economy and hispanics like huckabee but i dont think mccain will pick him but if he does i as an independent will vote for mccain i think huckabee is his best hope if not sam nunn from georgia would be good but he is a democrat so i doubt he would run with mccain i think huckabee is a good man and really cares about all americans

Posted by: dixieb | April 7, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

directmgcool - To which Of my posts did you take the most exception?

If it was the one from 10:23A, I quoted "Proud's" post from a previous thread because six of us had urged her to attend the BHO and HRC speeches in Grand Forks. Proud is R, and her views of the two speeches were interesting because they were not motivated by support for one D or the other, and because we know proud to be intelligent and often witty.

Now if you objected to another post of mine, please describe it by time-stamp and if I am moved to defend it or if I see your point You will hear from me.

I am a lawyer in Austin, TX, 64 years old, happily married, with four adult children.
Who are you?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 7, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mark from Austin, who the f*&^ are you? No body cares about your warped assesment of the night. Your way too long statement was just a bunch of words with no purpose. When you have something to say, it would be easier to say less than go on and on and on when your opinion really doesn't mean anything to anybody...

Posted by: directingcool | April 7, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

If McCain wants to compete for the Hispanic vote, then Romney is out. I would even prefer to see Huckabee who also did some anti-immigration posturing before losing in south carolina and has made some outrageous proposals.

I think the reason is because Huckabee has a pro-immigration track record despite the rhetoric during the election, a record which complement's McCain's and yet he is more likable. Huckabee even supported educational opportunities and benefits to be extended to the children of undocumented immigrants as their immigration status was not their fault.

Mitt Romeny is not likeable and has taken anti-immigration positions without championing notable pro-immigration causes...

Posted by: eljefejesus | April 7, 2008 4:51 AM | Report abuse

From "Head of State"

"Sunday, April 06, 2008

From ABC News' Political Radar:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is actively courting the Vice Presidential nomination, according to Republican Strategist Dan Senor. "Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this," Senor said this morning on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

If true, a potential gamechanger. Independents and moderate Republicans inspired by Obama will now be fair game for inspirational rhetoric about Rice. and her personal story as an African American woman who has risen to her current position from humble origins, against the odds. Democrats will parry that it's about the man--not the position--and a fractious debate will begin.

To cut through it, Dems will need to refocus the debate upon the war, and Rice's role in decision-making as National Security Adviser, where she was generally regarded as unable to act effectively in the face of Rumsfeld's and Cheney's demands, and was only able to survive by attaching herself directly to Bush--as a surrogate rather than an adviser.

If she was rolled over by her colleagues, the argument should go, how will she be able to lead in the face of today's conflicts and demands ?

Head of State

Posted by: robthewsoncamb | April 6, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to you. It sounds like your doctors caught it early, which is a very good thing.

In case you're interested, here's Loma Linda's website:
Or you can look at:
The benefit to proton therapy compared to CyberKnife (and Gamma Knife) is the ability to control, in three dimensions, the deposition of energy of the proton beam compared to electrons or photons, resulting in less damage to healthy tissue. But both are superior on well-defined nodules to chemotherapy.

Posted by: mnteng | April 6, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris: I think Mitt "I'll flip flop on any issue" Romney has as much chance of being on a ticket as I do of being the Pope.

And I'm NOT Catholic!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | April 6, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Proud: Right lung, another needle biopsy on the 10th. I'm very optimistic and have every intention of beating this bugger.

Posted by: lylepink | April 6, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

lyle, I didn't see your original post about where your nodule is located? Lung? One of my active duty friends recently had a Gamma Knife procedure on an area in his inner ear. So far so good, but he won't know if it's successful for quite some time.

Talk with your MDs, and best of luck. :)

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 6, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

novamatt: Another one to consider is John Kasish, former Rep.from the Columbus area. mnteng: Thanks,I am looking at all options and have ruled none out, but the CyberKnife appears to the best thing that has come along for many years, side effects are close to nil and results are simply amazing from what I have found so far.

Posted by: lylepink | April 6, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

off topic - The other day Mark asked if I would support and encourage McCain to support the new legislation co-sponsored by John Warner and others , the post 9/11 GI Bill.

Here's a fantastic example of why I'm a little hesitant to jump onboard this new initiative without first finding out if it's really needed or sensible. ...

Recently here in No Dakota, we elected as the Republican Public Service Commissioner nominee a fellow named Brian Kalk. He is a retired Marine, who started out as enlisted in the corps and worked his way up to the officer rank of Major before retiring.

His leadership assignments while in the military included:
Commander, Military Entrance Processing Station.
Operations Officer, Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Compliance Officer, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Company Commander, 1st Radio Battalion.
Logistics and Maintenance Officer, 1st Radio Battalion.
Operations Officer, MSSG 22, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit
Logistics Officer, Marine Air Group 14
Procurement Chief, Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic.
Computer/Radio Operator, Operation Desert Shield / Storm.
Computer Programmer, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Information Systems, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

During his time in the military and shortly thereafter, he strived for and achieved a remarkable level of quality training and education including:
BS: Campbell University, Buies Creek,
NC, 1991. (Political & Social Science)

MS North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 2001. (Environmental Engineering)

Ph.D. North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND, 2007. (Natural Resource Mgmt)

more on his bio here:

With a resume like his, it is easy to see why he won the PSC spot fairly handily, and I fully expect him to win in the fall. The point being, he was trained in a diverse and applicable skill-set while in the military and was able to use what the military had to offer to obtain higher education that will serve him very well in the civilian sector.

He is an example of what one can do with military service, and it turns out it's quite a lot if one applies themselves.

I wholeheartedly support the continued education and training of our military members.

If this new bill would streamline the beuarocratic process rather than bog it down further, that would be a big plus.

What we have now, the Montgomery Bill currently in place, is well established within the VA system, and recent improvements have been made, e.g. the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008 made several changes to the GI Bill for reservists, and as of November 1, 2007 the Army has made changes to its GI Bill transferability program. Eligible soldiers may now transfer up to 18 months of their GI Bill to spouses or children.

The chaos that may be caused by adding another layer of legislation onto this system needs to be carefully weighed. But I do agree that more should be done for wartime vets than in peacetime.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 6, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

V.P. pick for McCain? now if i was advising him on who to pick heres what i would do.

1)run far away from anything bush. Condi Rice is out(worst.NSA.head.ever.) Portman would be out also, but i wouldnt rule him out right away.

2)Fight in the center. take advantage of being a maverick so chosing a moderate like lindesay graham of S.Carolina or joe liberman out of CT would be great if he has to face obama(who can also appeal to indies) or hillary(who may only get the base of her party)

3)Get Religion-enter the return of Mike Huckabee

4)find exectutive experience-governors like Mike rounds or tim pawlenty or go to the captains of industry.

and for the love of god here's what i would advise against.

an Affirmative action pick-sorry condi and jindal.

Dan Quyale 2.0.

a inside the beltway running mate- no one from congress or better yet dont call a lobbyist!

some one with more baggage or october suprises-Charlie Christ or god forbid Rudy.

now if i was going to suggest someone, i would say spenser abraham. kind of moderate, senator from Mi and nice safe all american background.

thats my 2 cents.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | April 6, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

How about America's Iraq War Sweetheart, Lynndie England?

Posted by: jtradigan | April 6, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

How about Ayad Allawi? McCain seems to think highly of him.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | April 6, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Portman would be a good, safe pick for McCain. Swing state, economic chops, younger, agreeable to the base.

I disagree with the assumption that a VP pick has to be a superstar. The superstar is McCain. He doesn't need any extra wattage.

Posted by: novamatt | April 6, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse


I read your post on a different thread about the CyberKnife. One other possibility to consider for treatment is proton therapy. My dad helped design the synchrotron at Loma Linda University, so I've been following their progress for a while. They have apparently had a lot of success in the last 18 years. I think there are other proton therapy facilities, including at least one here on the East Coast.

My thoughts are with you for speedy treatment and a quick recovery.

Posted by: mnteng | April 6, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Agreed: McCain must know the Dems' candidate before choosing his VP.

CW: Win Ohio and win the WH.

CW: A favorite son can help a Pres candidate in that state, if it's a swing state and the margins are close.

If the O-man is the Dems' champion in Nov. McCain doesn't need help in Ohio - it will remain a red state.

If Lady Hillary carries the Dem flag in Nov., Ohio becomes a bloody battleground and McCain needs help there.

There are few Republicans left in Ohio who aren't totally discredited now.

John Boehner, 58, Ohio 8th, House Minority Leader; not a favorite of the zelot social conservative class, but well respected by economic conservatives; on many issues more McCain-like than Pres. Bush (small gov., immigration, pork, congresional reform, etc.)

Boehner, as a VP candidate, can help McCain in Ohio, raise huge amounts of campaign cash and boosts McCain's economic portfoilio.

Posted by: mcohill | April 6, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with JD and Jim about Powell, but if he were on the ticket I would think that was great, anyway.

I expect the next Admin to call on Powell to help with some aspect of the national security mess, anyway. For example, he was a great manager at State [best in 30 years according to lifetime hands] and if we must have the ridiculous bureaucracy called DHLS then it needs a great manager. This is true for either party.

I agree with proud about Jindal, but he unfortunately will have to serve as Gov. of LA before the nation knows who he is, and being Gov. of LA is like being sentenced to Elba, except people watch you suffer.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree with JD, Powell is too old to be McCain's running mate. Also, he brings nothing on economic issues.

Posted by: jimd52 | April 6, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"I'm skeptical that either Powell or Rice will accept McCain's VP slot. Neither of them have previously run for elected office and both have talked about an aversion to campaigning. I don't know what McCain can offer that would make them change their minds."

Yes, McCain should tap one of these excellent choices to be his running mate. Rice is a documented incompetent, who's "failed upward" over the course of her sad career with Bu$hCo and is a proven liar and political hac to boot. Powell, for his part, sold his integrity down the river in the runup to the Iraq war fiasco by giving a speech at the U.N. containing falsehoods and cooked "intelligence" fed to him by "Shooter" Cheney's stovepiped intelligence gang. What a fine pair of public servants! Quick, give'm both a Presidential Medal of Freedom and -- by all means -- a promotion!

Posted by: TruthTeller41 | April 6, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I think McCain should have DICK Cheney select a VP for him like Georgie Jr. did. Then McCain could pretend to be President for four more years.

Posted by: coloradodog | April 6, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm skeptical that either Powell or Rice will accept McCain's VP slot. Neither of them have previously run for elected office and both have talked about an aversion to campaigning. I don't know what McCain can offer that would make them change their minds.

Posted by: mnteng | April 6, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

There are several obvious, excellent choices to be McCain's running mate. I will name just a few to show what an incredible wealth of talent the GOP has out there these days: Alan Keyes, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, David Duke, Tom DeLay, Sen. Ted Stevens, "Duke" Cunningham, Dennis Hastert. I could go on and on. But I think I've made my point.

Posted by: TruthTeller41 | April 6, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

JD, I think Jindal would be better than Pawlenty precicsly because he's a little greener...there's no bad blood for him like there is for TPaw in Minn b/c of the bridge and the fact that his state's in the red (thanks to Dem spending, but he'll get the blame).

Powell's a pipe dream at this point. It would've worked in 2000, that's for sure.

Newt anyone? Mr. Solutions for America?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 6, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

no one knows Portman outside of Ohio lilypink and I still don't think a no 2, especially a local congressmen will mean all that much to Ohions. Ted Strickland on the Dem side MIGHT be a different matter though.

Rice and Powell remind voters of W and Powell is fed up with politics and his wife does not want him to run.
Is there someone who fits the bill as a R economic poulist? Huckabee is the closest thing to that and is a great campaigner but the economic conservatives on't ever let that happen.

Posted by: leichtman | April 6, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Proud, cam, iriz...

It cannot be Powell. He's only 1 and a half years younger than McCain. In addition, policy-wise, what does he bring that McCain doesn't? All the law and order and national sec types are already in McCain's camp.

I think it's the Minnesota gov, he's such a good fit for so many reasons. Plus it grooms him for later. Actually, Jindal would be great too, except he's too green.

Posted by: JD | April 6, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

cam8, I disagree if only because Powell has expressed neutrality and even hinted at a possible endorsement of Obama, so if he were to be on the ticket with McCain it would be a setback for Obama coming from a well-respected general.

I do agree with your underlying statement that Rs cannot, nor should they try to, win elections by employing the liberal method of identity politics.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 6, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Portman, from Ohio fits in all ways with what McCain needs, and Ohio is a critical state that has to be put into play.

Posted by: lylepink | April 6, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't have a prayer in Ca and therefore the immigration issue which is a hotbutton issue in San Diego means nothing to a McCain choice. Immigration reform while ticking off conservatives could also be McCain's key to reaching out to the critical Hispanic voters in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado also a likely stronghold for McCain. Since Obama is critically weak with Hispanics it would seem logical especially if Obama is the nominee to find a strategy to appeal to them in his selection.

I just don t buy the theory that the VP selection seals a state's preference. In the end voters select the top of the ticket and as with N Carolina and Edwards don't care to much who is number 2.

Linsey is acceptable to cultural conservatives, while Huckabee is also acceptable his Ark tax policies are hated by the economic conservatives. Linsey just seems to be the natural choice and a comfortable fit for McCain.

McCain really needs a blue collar, workingman economic populist, the opposite of Romney perhaps someone from Ohio, I just don't see any Rs that fit that resume who have national name recognition.

Posted by: leichtman | April 6, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to go off topic, although it's still topical in the sense that McCain can't really choose a running mate until he knows who his opponent will be:

There have been stories about how the Democratic superdelegates are content to sit on their hands and wait until the primaries are over before backing a candidate. I believe that they're waiting for more than that.

This thing won't be decided until June, when Obama and Clinton are sitting at a table with Howard Dean, Rahm Emmanuel Chuck Schumer, and the rest of the D election leadership. Most of the superdelegates are waiting to be told who to back, so that Clinton and Obama come out as a unified front, and begin a joint quest to beat McCain.

I'm not saying that they'll be running mates: they won't. But neither will jeopardize their standing with the party by not stumping for the nominee, as JFK would say, "with vigor."

Posted by: cam8 | April 6, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse


I am almost prepared to put money that it will be Condi as VP. Condi really grabs alot of the pizzazz from Obama.

She might grab some black and independent voters. '08 has shown that women can no longer be taken for granted. In order to pull them to the voting booth, you might need one of them on the ticket.

Finally, she will get the James Dobson's and Christian conservatives to get on board. Its a Win, Win Win all around. All of the previous names above have their issues Romney (Mormon), Huckabee (conservatives-don't look him), Pawlenty's record is not the best as Gov. and Powell is not interested from everything I have read.

Posted by: SHOOMBIE72 | April 6, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse


Powell is probably the perfect running mate if it's McCain v. Clinton, but I don't think Powell can help him against Obama.

See, he doesn't need a splashy, big name running mate against Obama, just a darling of the Southern religious right that can offset the red-state appeal, African-American turnout explosion, and organization that Obama has.

Posted by: cam8 | April 6, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Badger3 above has asked:

"To suggest that John McCain should pick a running mate that is strong on national security is asinine. Why would he, when that is McCain's strengh?"

McCain needs someone with credibility on national security precisely because he has shredded what illusory facade he once held of having it. In the past few years, this is national security resume:

- Voting to drag us into Iraq without reading the NIE, which would have detailed for him many misgivings analysts had toward Bush's 24/7 "WMD" argument.

- Buying Rumsfeld's "they'll shower us with rose petals and we'll be home by Christmas" public line (even as Rummy was privately acknowledging that this was a deliberate lie designed to sell the public on the neocon's agenda).

- Recently, claiming that if we left Iraq, Al Qaida - which comprises less than 10% of the insurgency and is hated by the civilian population - would "without question" take over that country. No serious military analyst believes this ludicrous suggestion.

- And finally, asserting that Iran is arming and training Al Qaida and sending them back to Iraq. Whether this was McCain being uninformed on what would be a significant discovery if it turned out to be the case, or a conscious lie to continue the current Commander in Chief's pattern of waging a disinformation war against the American people, either way does not speak well for the man's credibility.

He's either woefully incompetant or dismayingly dishonest when it comes to security matters. Given that he drank his way through Annapolis and finished 894th in his class of 899, I suppose I am being asked to give him the benefit of the doubt and conclude that he just hasn't got a clue. But Bush is pretty clueless (I think we all agree on that now) and that doesn't mean he hasn't also been deliberately prevaricating on defense issues. So evidently, it can be both.

Posted by: B2O2 | April 6, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell would be an outstanding running mate for McCain, I have always believed they would be and unbeatable ticket. Not sure whether he or Graham really balance the ticket enough now in a weak economy.

I agree with Mark that our CIC needs to champion energy independence and domestic solutions to get us off the foriegn oil teat. A VP who is business savvy and solution-oriented is paramount.

Islamic extremism would be the preeminent challenge of our time if it were not for Middle East oil. This needs to be vigorously pursued as a foriegn policy/national security issue and econominc issue - we can rev up our economy like we're seeing in North Dakota by resposibly moving forward in alternative technologies, local oil, coal, wind, switchgrass ethanol, etc.

I love the idea of a Declaration of Energy Independence. This can be a bipartisan cause; it must be a bipartisan effort for this country.

Whoever is the next president will face unprecedented challenges to work with the other side.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 6, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The telling results to me are these:

"Colin Powell/John Edwards/Tim Pawlenty/Newt Gingrich/Bill Richardson 1% each
Cannot Name Anyone 31%"

Edwards and Richardson?

Looks like a significant proportion of the R's aren't ready to pay attention to the presidential race yet. That doesn't bode well for McC to get any sort of press coverage -- all the air is being sucked up by BHO and HRC.

Posted by: mnteng | April 6, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

McCain faces a daunting challenge in selecting a running mate. Here are the salient factors (IMHO)

1. He needs someone who will not anger the right. His standing with conservatives is improving but he particularly needs to shore up support with religious conservatives. James Dobson, for one, is still very antagonistic towards McCain. He cannot afford to alienate this faction to the point where turnout is severely depressed or a significant number vote for a third party candidate. As Ralph Nader showed in 2000, it doesn't take much of a third party vote to tip a state one way or another.

2. At the same time, he cannot afford to pick a running mate who turns off moderate, swing voters who are essential to winning the general election. These voters gave Bush the election in 2004 despite all the publicity about evangelical turnout. A fire-breathing right winger would alienate an important McCain constituency - independents.

3. Given Mac's age, he must pick someone at least 10 years younger. I agree with a Dave to a certain extent that the running mate cannot be so young looking that the visuals tend to accentuate McCain's age.

4. McCain's admitted weak point is his grasp of economics. He needs a running mate who understands the issues, speaks clearly on them and has a record of accomplishment on economic issues. A current or former governor would fit the bill nicely.

5. Given the fact that the Democrats will have an African American or female candidate, a female or minority running mate would be helpful.

6. Above all, McCain's running mate must be credible as a potential president.

Here are my thoughts on some of the possible choices:

Huckabee - while he would mollify the religious right he would turn off the other conservative factions. He would also turn off independents suspicious of the religious right.

Romney - despite the mutual antagonism displayed in the campaign, he would complement McCain quite nicely. He was a businessman and governor. He understands economic issues, he is a decent campaigner and he appeals to conservatives yet would probably not be scary to independents. His biggest drawback is the anti-Mormon feeling among the religious right. Given that this group is suspicious of McCain, selecting Romney could depress turnout among that key element of the base.

Palin - I believe she is too young and inexperienced. It will look like McCain is running with his daughter. Had she served as governor longer, she might be a better choice.

Whitman - Christine Todd Whitman would be a wonderful choice to attract swing voters. Her selection would infuriate the right wing of the Republican party.

Rice - while she is an appealing personality and would be an historic choice, she has several serious drawbacks. She brings nothing on economic issues and is, of course, far too closely associated with Bush's failed policies. I also believe that she has expressed views on social issues that would seriously alienate the right wing.

Giuliani - too liberal on social issues for the evangelicals. I don't think he could attract enough independents to offset the religious and social conservatives who would sit on their hands or go third party.

Thompson - too lackluster a candidate and too old looking. Imagine the jokes on late-night TV about the nursing home ticket.

Crist - he would be a good choice in many ways - a moderate conservative who is hugely popular in a critical swing state. Crist is a talented campaigner. I am not sure that he would be so popular with the religious conservatives. There are widespread and persistent rumors about his sexuality. On the other hand there are also rumors that he fathered an illegitimate child.

Leiberman - it would be interesting to see someone run for VP on both the Democratic and Republican tickets in the same decade, however this will not happen. He is not strong on economics and is too liberal on too many issues for the right wing.

Graham - a key McCain ally and a Southerner who might be able to hold the evangelicals. However, he brings nothing on economic issues and has been the subject of rumors about his sexuality. He was also a key supporter of the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill and this would alienate the right.

Pawlenty - a safe choice. I agree that he could put Minnesota in play and would have the added benefit of helping Norm Coleman retain his Senate seat. I have seen rumblings on the right that he isn't a true conservative.

Posted by: jimd52 | April 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty is a fallen away Catholic which coupled with McCain seeking the endorsement of the anti-Catholic Rev John Hagee creates an anti-Catholic appearance by McCain. Since Catholic voters are the swing voters who decide prez elections, McCain so far is failing Catholics in appearance at least and is not appearance everything to voters?
There is an alternative view that picking Pawlenty in a Sept convention will make no difference as election will be 7 weeks later so noone will even know or care who Pawlenty is.

Posted by: mascmen7 | April 6, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Lindsey Graham is a good choice, but he'll have similar problems as McCain does with conservatives on immigration. However, McCain cannot choose a VP until he knows who his opponent will be in the general. Clinton and Obama are strong in different areas of the country.

Clinton has a great chance to put OH and IA in the D column. NM and NV are also probable flips with her at the top of the ticket. McCain would need a strong conservative presence with working man appeal to shore up his ticket.

Obama, on the other hand, locks up VA, also flips IA, and endangers the Republican stranglehold on the South and Midwest. McCain will have to find a way to get the Christian right on his team, and a Southern Republican VP is the only way to bring them over.

Posted by: cam8 | April 6, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Please don't pick Mitt Romney, John. The disappearance of the perfectly-coiffed flip-flopper from our televisions screens has been the best development of the campaign so far.

Posted by: Brittman1 | April 6, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Juan McCain will probably pick someone 'moderate' (aka a closet Dimocrat like Juan) from a swing state.

But I'd really love to see Hillary as his VP if B-Hussein get the nod from the uber-left Dims.

Posted by: pjvm | April 6, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

He needs to pick someone moderate democrats will like because they will not vote for Obama.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | April 6, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

To me Proud, Linsey Graham looks like the absolute perfect fit for John McCain. He is youthful looking, articulate, and is beloved by southern conservatives. I don't agree with a word he says especially about Iraq but he is non threatening and mimicks the McCain line about Iraq if McCain wants to make Iraq rather than the economy his central them. He is more well known than the governor of Minn. The only question is if McCain wants a governor who MIGHT help him with a certain state which is rarely the case or another Senator.

Linsey Graham also reiterated that he worked with HC across the aisle to extend tricare to the reseves a HC bipartisan bill.

Condi Rice will only remind voters of W which seems like a nonstarter.

Also interesting that Jimm Webb a still undecided superdelegate, says unlike most Obama supporters here, that he admires both and will decide who he thinks will make the best Pres. as his test as a superdelegate.

Posted by: leichtman | April 6, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse


Good morning. Thanks for re-posting "proud's" review. I wonder if AlaninMissoula is seeing HRC and BHO as well. It would be interesting to get his take as well.

I can't wait to see the ballot in Nov. Gravel/Barr, McKinney, Nader -- just a collection of interesting personalities in addition to the major candidates.

Posted by: mnteng | April 6, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

McCain/Powell is my 2008 ticket.

Posted by: irizarryrafael | April 6, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

mteng, Hi.

Bob Barr and Mike Gravel are running for the Libertarian nomination. They may end up on the same Libertarian ticket!

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

McCain Compiles List of Possible Veeps


Posted by: f.fox1212 | April 6, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse


What about a poll of the Fixistas? The only problem is that most of the posters aren't (R) or R-leaning. But maybe we could put aside our name-calling to see who political "junkies" like as a McC VP.

Just saw on TV that Bob Barr formed an exploratory committee. Bob Barr???

Posted by: mnteng | April 6, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

gouldnen -

If you can cite some links, I would look at them.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Taking dave's age contrast argument to heart, I think Tom Ridge has the right "look". Younger, but not so young the contrast calls undue attention to McC's 71 years.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Vice Presidential Hopeful, Pawlenty Under the Mantle of Deception

Minnesota Governor Pawlenty has been labeled, by McCain, as being the new style Republican which must mean it is fashionable for McCain's Vice Presidential hopefuld to wear a cloak designed to cover a complete mantle of deception. Underneath lies awards to judicial corruption, Draconian threats to Minnesota cities that they must struggle to act as Federal immigration enforcement, destruction of the Minnesota tax base, and the show of open disdain for Native American civil rights.

At a Pawlenty forum, Pawlenty's security team singled-out the obvious middle and lower class supporter(s) with the warning, "Do not extend your hand", while Pawlenty extended his arm, past those ordered to not touch him, and reached to shake hands with wealthy donors. Only then did Pawlenty's mantle of deception become viewable. Such shocking actions portrayed Pawlenty's typical disdain and contempt for any other than the wealthy.

--Under Pawlenty's mantle of deception, Pawlenty supported an affluent Republican judge who was openly holding secret meetings to determine court cases. When a Pawlenty supporter took one of the court cases, that the judge decided via a secret meeting, to the Minnesota Appellate Court, former Appeals Court Judge G. Barry Anderson took part in a decision and ordered that deciding a court case, via a secret meeting, could not be detrimental to judicial proceedings. However, at election time, the Minnesota Ninth Judicial District voters found secret meetings unacceptable for judges and removed, the ex parte district judge for violating Minnesota canon. During the campaign, the ex parte judge stated he held secret meetings all the time and couldn't run the court without them. "We do ex parte all the time." This ex parte judge had previously been cited, by the Chief Judge of the Ninth District, for holding a secret meeting, in a criminal case. Minnesota judicial canon demands that no secret meetings occur. Pawlenty's office was made aware of judicial impropriety, in the Minnesota Ninth District, by a northern newspaper which called for a special judicial investigation.

Following the ex parte Appellate decision, by Judge G. Barry Anderson, Pawlenty appointed him to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Concurrently, Pawlenty appointed Judge Russell Anderson to Chief Judge of the Minnesota Supreme Court where notably Russell Anderson is a friend to the ex parte judge who was removed by the voters. Shortly after the two (2) Andersons' appointments, the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader exposed that two (2) judges, with the surname of Anderson, were holding secret meetings to decided the fate of cases before them on gay rights, gay marriage, and abortion. The Judicial Board, under Pawlenty's administration, refused to investigate and hear the two (2) eye-witnesses to the judicial impropriety.

--Under Pawlenty's mantle of deception, Pawlenty gave an executive order, on January 7, 2008, using his office to essentially force Minnesota cities to take on federal immigration enforcement to bolster the presently failing federal ICE policies. Pawlenty, showing his disdain and Draconian view against Minnesota cities, threatened, in his new policy, to derail state funds, earmarked for Minnesota cities, if they do not take on the federal immigration enforcement duties. These Minnesota cities are already hard-pressed for financial resources. Pawlenty's new policy forces city resources to be spent on a job that is consstitutionally defined to be performed by the federal government instead of using the badly needed resources for fixing the crumbling state transportation system (until 6 Republicans overrode Pawlenty's veto as another poster above mentioned) and providing the uninsured population with health care in a struggling job market. This new policy has Pawlenty's administrative office being the determining factor for which cities meet Pawlenty's Draconian requirements.
--Under Pawlenty's mantle of deception, Minnesota taxpayers are now forced to pay a 30-40% increase in property and home taxes while the housing market is crumbling around the middle and lower class. Minnesota has a billion dollar deficit which shows the result of Pawlenty's feed the wealthy tax policies. Pawlenty's tax policies tax the poor and ignore home foreclosures which are at the highest rate ever recorded in Minnesota. No doubt the state deficit is due to Pawlenty's fixation to provide a billionaire public funding rather than providing for the needs of the middle and lower classes. Pawlenty forced his weight, as Governor, to assure a 700 million dollar public loan to a white billionaire (although Pawlenty refuses the colored owner a stadium and claims there isn't any way he can get a stadium - now or later) when Native Americans, in northern Minnesota, are restricted in their ability to buy, sell, and travel.

--Under Pawlenty's mantle of deception, Pawlenty's administration refuses to accept Native American I.D. as a primary form of identification by ignoring Minnesota law, thereby, disabling Natives from obtaining passports and transacting business in Minnesota. Small business owners, in morthern Minnesota, have informed the news media and this poster, that state, county, and city ordinances dictate what business software they must use. The state dictated software does not have an option to input a Native American I.D. card number, but the software has the ability to input foreign I.D.. I reached the Governor, during a talk show, and the Governor promised me that he would get back to me on the Tribal ID issue, but it's been months, and he has never responded as promised.

--Under Pawlenty's mantle of deception, Pawlenty appointed a prosecutor (Sheri Schluchter) to a state district court judge position where I live. In Schluchter's most infamous case, she went witch hunting after a Native American Roy Martin. According to the Northern Herald News, Schluchter had Martin charged with an alleged assault notwithstanding 1) That Martin did not fit the description that the victim gave which defined a young white man. 2) That Martin's wife said that Martin was in bed with her at the time of the assault. 3) That Martin, a disabled man, could not have used the escape route that police determined was used by the assailant. 4) That the victim had seen and exchanged greatings with Martin and his wife, at a restaurant, after the assault but did not recognize Martin as her assailant.

But, Schluchter had Martin in jail for about 7 months until a jury, hearing the evidence, took about 2 hours to fully acquit Martin of any involvement in the crime. During Martin's incarceration, the police were provided with the identity of another suspect that fit the description given by the victim and whose modus operandi fit the crime. This information was ignored as the concentration was on an effort "witch hunt effort" to convict the Native American whether he was guilty or not.

It seems, Pawlenty continues to hide under the mantle of deception of being a social conservative Governor, but under closer examination, when his actions and his policies are reviewed, the contempt for the middle and lower class and Native Americans is clear. One could look at Pawlenty's behavior and policies as catamount to racial and financial bias.

Posted by: gouldnen | April 6, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

dave, is Condi too "young"?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Whoops I forgot to add to my comment above. McCain needs to get a running mate soon. He needs to get someone young to add some pizazz to his campaign. Pawlenty is young..he's sort of hip. McCain needs to pick Pawlenty and he needs to do it soon, so some of the of media coverage can be on him, versus Hillary and Obama.

Posted by: badger3 | April 6, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I am stronger on process than on ideology, and I like McC because he has been attentive to open and collaborative process.
I had thought BHO was pitching to me all along, and HRC was not. Now I am less sure.
I, too, think our energy policy should be issue #1 for debate and collaboration - the results of it will be so far reaching, on our foreign policy, on our economy, and on our environment.
So long way around to our topic, Sarah Palin is the Governor of AK, who has a great record on reform [process] and on directly dealing with energy and environmental issues. Christie Whitman has some experience in the area, although her views were ultimately unwelcome to Cheney and she was an early casualty of 9-11 in the GWB Admin.
Too bad they are "unknown".

So despite her failure as NS Adviser, and her mixed, but better, record as Sec/St,
Condi Rice may be the best choice on the "popular" list.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

To suggest that John McCain should pick a running mate that is strong on national security is asinine. Why would he, when that is McCain's strengh? To suggest McCain would pull someone from the Senate is just as asinine, since the Republicans are going to need to hold on to all the seats they can.
McCain needs to pick someone who is strong on economics. He'll need to pick a Governor.
I believe he'll pick Pawlenty for a couple reasons...
1. Pawlenty fixed Minnesota's budget mess after Ventura left it shambles.
2. Coleman is up for reelection in MN. The Republicans want to keep his seat. Having Pawlenty as McCain's running mate, might help Coleman.
3. Minnesota is a Blue State. We don't have a lot of electorial votes, but I'm sure the Republican party would be happy to see it Red in Novemeber.

Posted by: badger3 | April 6, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

McCain should not pick someone under 55. The problem with someone too young is that ages do not average out. Imagine you see two men, one who is 72 and the other who is 48. You don't see two men who look about 60; you see an older man and a younger man. Having someone too young will constantly accentuate McCain's advanced age, and that is not good for him come November.

Posted by: dave | April 6, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Proud"'s view of the back-to-back speeches
of the 2 Ds, coming from a McC R with no horse in the race, is so much more interesting than this analysis of a poll topic that I reprint it here with apologies to "proud" if she has a copyright pending.
After attending the state Dem convention last night and hearing Obama and Clinton both speak, I have to say, I really don't get what all the hype is about over Obama.

He was ushered into the arena after a glowing introduction by Sen Dorgan and Congressman Pomeroy, then all the ladies started to swoon and get all giddy. U2 was playing over the loudspeakers. But, after he started his speech, the audience really didn't get behind it that much. It was a let down from the anticipation of seeing this person who has been built up by the media as a larger-than-life figure, and his speech really didn't fire them up.

His speech can be summed up as :
lofty rhetoric, criticism, red meat Bush/Cheney references, lofty rhetoric, criticism, I love this country, criticism, war that should never have been waged, criticism, change, unity, criticism, lofty rhetoric, MLK quote.

One thing that stuck in my mind that he put at the very end, was a reference to MLK Jr becuase of it being the anniv. of his assassination. He quoted MLK as having used the phrase "The moral arc is bending toward justice".

Then, he said, if MLK were there today he would see him, Barack Obama, there as a candidate for president and he would say the arc is bending toward justice.

I'm not sure how well that played with the typical white people up here.

Overall, his speech was big on criticism and offered no solutions, just generic rhetoric about change. He came across as elite and not very connected to the concerns of average people...lecturing and preaching but not very sincere.

Clinton was introduced by some guy named George Sinner, a former governor or somthing, and it was probably THE worst into I've ever heard, monotonous and extremely dull. Despite that, she bounced out onto stage to the Rocky theme and looked pretty chipper despite being a little late (must have been that corkscrew landing at GF airport).

Hillary's speech offered plenty of criticsim of the current administration, too, and a few red meat references of Bush and Cheney, Halliburton, etc...but this WAS the Dem convention, so it was predictable.

She has gotten better at doing her stump speech over time, her cadence is more natural now and she comes across as -dare I say it- caring when you see her in person.

Her speech was about twice as long as Obama's, and offered plenty of details. She had many proposals, and specific solutions that she wove into the talk at the same time as she connected with the people of the state with local anecdotes and facts. It was good!

She started right away with bringing up the great flood and ensuing fire of '95 which devastated Grand Forks. This is really big in the minds of locals to this wiped out the entire downtown- it was sort of like the Katrina of North Dakota.

Other things she discussed with proposals for and a desire and commitment to help:
urban development
small businesses
family farms
Indian Health Service
Native Americans and their tribal chiefs
"RNs, teachers, waitresses, janitors" basically appealing to the working class.

One thing I really liked was her idea of a "Declaration of Energy Independence"

She said she had waited after 9/11 for the President to summon the nation to a cause greater than themselves. (I found myself nodding in agreement) The cause of energy independence she pledged to champion -so we don't have to be beholden to the Saudis and the Middle East.

Obama mentioned none of this.

I don't agree with their politics, and despite all the feel-good, campaign promises of change and reaching across the aisle in unity, the record clearly shows Clinton and Obama both consistently voting along the democratic party lines. But I liked Clinton's speech better last night.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin and Christie Whitman are not on the list. Based on the methodology of the poll, this is not surprising.
Watching Webb and Graham.

Graham sounds very cheerful, under the circumstances. Webb sounds more realistic.
He criticizes the failure of the Admin to lead a diplomatic initiative.

If this thread remains civil, proud should repost her review of the HRC and BHO by a curious visitor with no horse in the race.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 6, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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