Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Some More Ideas

Larry Sabato, in a shameless attempt to boost his ratings, has hired a couple of distinguished guest columnists to plug VP possibilities for each party. Our friend Kathryn Lopez talks up Romney for McCain. Advantages, in my view: Romney brings class, executive competence, and needed policy wonkiness to the ticket. Disadvantage: Mac and Mitt really can’t stand each other; this wouldn’t be an AUTHENTIC ticket. Possible disadvantage: It would be a ticket with no Christians. This shouldn’t be an issue, and I’ve said time and again that being a Mormon makes Mitt more trustworthy in my eyes. Still, as a social scientist I have to say that this ticket might contribute to an already significant mobilization of the base problem. The problem might even be worse than that if some evangelicals continued to suckered by Obama’s pseudo-Christian preaching. I do agree with Kathryn that Mitt seems a lot more than 10 years younger than John, and I’ll add that he didn’t really get a fair hearing as a possible presidential nominee.

The political scientist Pomper suggests Senator Jim Webb for Obama. Advantages: The bobo Barack needs to be affirmed by a genuine warrior, and Webb might well be effectively savage in attacking the "Bush/McCain" handling of the war in Iraq. Disadvantage: Webb, to put it gently, might be thought not have the emotional stability required to be commander-in-chief. He also just got to the senate and all that. Still, interesting choice. Sam Nunn obviously would be better, though.

Discussions - 11 Comments


Can Obama now credibly talk about Christianity without raising the spectre of Reverend Righteous? Not an argument for adding Romney, however.

Webb has skeletons as well as Reagan background.

No to Mitt, I'd say. Apart from the very real and very important perception of inauthenticity such a ticket would bring (as per Peter's original post), there's also the problem that Mitt brings no energy to the ticket. I'm sorry Mitt fans, but the guy just doesn't generate enthusiasm outside of nerd circles. It may speak well of such people that they are able to see his virtues . . . but it's not so easy to share that love. He brings executive competence and policy wonkishness? Oh, stop before I hyper-ventilate!

Joking aside . . . I say "fine." Those qualities are not bad . . . they are, of course, good and needed. So put him in the cabinet and put him to work. He needn't be the big cheese or second to the big cheese to serve his country with distinction.

Besides, a Vice President is not there to be a competent executive (what does a VP do that really requires it?) and if executive competence were a highly valued commodity in electoral politics, we'd be talking about who Mitt should choose for his running mate. And, notice, we're not. As to his policy wonkishness . . . what? McCain should seek that out to highlight so he can put half the country to sleep? Unless he's got some charts and a quirky Texas accent (though even that is not as compelling as it used to be) and can say, "Now, looky here!" every ten seconds, who is going to care? A VP nominee (if he has any real job at all) is there to make the candidate look good and to bring energy and enthusiasm to the ticket. Mitt looks too good himself to make anyone else look anything other than bad. Further, Mitt couldn't bring energy or enthusiasm to himself despite spending a king's ransom in the attempt and enjoying the well wishes and cheerleading of very prominent parts of the conservative media.

Put Mitt in the cabinet and see if more public attention to his competence and wonkishness brings him more enthusiasm (don't hold your breath). But that, at least, would be fair to Mitt and useful to McCain--and yes, good for the country. But look elsewhere for energy and enthusiasm. It might not be a fair thing in this world, but competent, hard-working and quick-minded guys are just . . . well, boring. Even (maybe especially) when they're really handsome--I mean, how predictable are his good looks?

The question of his being a Christian or a non-Christian or a Mormon has some real impact, probably, but not nearly as much as people are inclined to believe. (This is in no way scientific, I know, but for what it's worth I've only come across one person in all these many months who, when pressed, confessed that she would never vote for Romney because he's a Mormon. And even she began to crumble when presented with the Obama or Clinton alternative. My point is that these folks are part of our base and I believe that they'll stay home about as much as I believe they won't vote for McCain either. In other words, that percentage of the base is already angry anyway.) Mitt's real problem is that he's got no love handles, (as I've said from day one). Everything about his story is too perfect and too boring. If you had to pick between reading a novel version of his life or one of McCain's or of Obama's (or even Bobby Jindal's short story). . . c'mon! No contest.

Trust KLO to get it wrong big time.

Romney has undoubted skills and ability. We should put him in charge of Homeland Security, and have him do double duty as also head of FEMA. He should do both, {I know that FEMA has been foolishly folded within Homeland Security}. Romney is too bright to waste, as Giuliani and Gingrich have been wasted since they left public office.


"suckered by Obama's pseudo-Christian preaching." Very well said.

Romney's an impressive fellow, but I don't think it's quite fair to say he didn't get a real chance at the nomination. K-Lo's just gotta let go at some point... As for Webb, he'd definitely bring something to the ticket, but could Obama handle Webb speaking his mind? Webb really seems like the kind of guy who's not going to let anyone tell him what to do - including the president...

His money warped the primary season. A guy who should have been out after Iowa was able to stay in and buy some love. He couldn't buy wins, but he could buy some love to maintain some viability. And Republicans instead of taking a good look at a guy like Giuliani, noticed only his flaws, the extent to which his views didn't jive with theirs, even though he said he wouldn't alter the platform, nor govern inconsistent with the platform.

But that meant nothing to them. People like KLO and Ingraham continued their misguided flirtation with the Romney candidacy, ------------------------------------------- until such time we were stuck with probably the most obnoxious of the lot of 'em.

But hey, we had to allow all that "momentum" to dictate our decision. That had to be the key, that was all important, all persuasive, utterly compelling.

Thus we're left with a guy who can't speak about economic issues, can't speak on legal issues, can't speak on domestic policy, other than those fads of the hour. We could have had Giuliani, who was probably the most fiercely intellectual of the lot, who could speak knowledgeably and persuasively, and the whole nation respected.

But this accomplishes nothing.

I think the only thing worse than McCain winning is McCain losing. And of course his wife just chimed up today saying that her husband's campaign wouldn't be "negative." As if the Republicans have much of anything to run on since '04.

Can McCain speak intelligently on the valuation of the dollar? Can he speak of the role that our insane energy policies play in our trade imbalance?

This guy couldn't get campaign finance and immigration reform right, --------------------- but he's going to be our standard-bearer in the debates and out on the hustings.

It makes me nauseous.

Like my pastor's wife said, we might as well enjoy the few weeks we have left to us to trash McCain. Bitter Thoughts, shortly we have to try to focus on his positives. Think of it like staying married. Ignore distressing truths, forgive the past, and live in hope even if it leaves you hungry. Keep the available alternatives in mind as it might make the bitter seem sweeter.

Somebody once told me that "a man should keep his eyes wide open before marriage, but half-closed thereafter."

Bitter, I will accept that. But I think we really committed already. Do we have alternative? I think not. We ought to make sure we don't create the kind of rancor that makes a horror of the wedding ceremony.

Sounds like the makings of a good Hollywood screenplay.

Then there is something like THIS
in the news and I could just weep.

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