1. Fred Barnes goes through all the possible Republican VP candidates on THE WEEKLY STANDARD page and concludes that the weighty choice with the fewest liabilities is Romney. But the objections to Mitt are weighty too. Most important, it’s all too clear that Mac doesn’t like him, and this time especially the ticket should be a team. The point of Bush-Cheney was to give the president foreign policy expertise he really needs, and I think this time the message should be that the VP would give the president domestic expertise he really needs. Romney certainly is an expert, but would it seem clear enough that Mac would reply upon his advice?
2. I think McCain should check out very carefully another longshot VP possibility--Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She’s young, smart, really popular, and probably America’s prettiest governor. Palin just announced she’s seven months pregnant with her fifth child. Apparently nobody had noticed (and not because she’s overweight or anything like that). There’s a lot--really a lot--to be said for a woman candidate who lives her family values. (A Romney-Palin ticket might even have been accused of being natalism run amok.)
3. I found out at the Bioethics Council meeting that health economists really respect McCain’s heath care plan. Mac would eliminate the bias in the tax law in favor of employer-based policies and give each American a $2500 ($5000 for families) subsidy to purchase his or her own insurance. His goal is to maximize your ability to choose your own provider and kind of coverage, detach your insurance from your job, and encourage innovative multiyear policies. The concern some economists have is that the subsidies may be too small to pay for adequate coverage and achieve McCain’s goal of getting all Americans insured. But all in all, there’s a good chance Mac could really become credible on this domestic issue.