Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm wondering. . .

Yes, this is pure speculation on my part, but I can't help but wonder why Obama is delaying the announcement on his running mate? Maybe it's because he's had to change tack in the last couple days, knowing that there is one avenue out there that can practically guarantee his victory--but traveling that road requires him to hitch his carriage to a wagon that isn't known for great hospitality. Time will tell, but if the rumors are true (are they ever?), then tomorrow night we will know--after the evening news has already aired and probably pretty close to the cut-off for the print copies of the east coast dailies. Another brilliant move from a campaign that keeps getting every action wrong.

So let's use my speculative nature to guess what's going to happen in the next couple weeks with the BIGGEST decision of the election. How big is it? Well, one candidate can all but win it if he chooses wisely (that would be Obama tabbing Clinton), and one candidate can all but guarantee a loss if he chooses poorly (that would be McCain picking Lieberman).

Honestly, I don't think either candidate will go with that nuclear option. I think Obama will do anything he can to distance himself from the Clintons. Whether it will cost him the election or not I can't tell (I can only hope!). In the end, I think Obama goes safe with Sen. Bayh from Indiana. Executive experience, midwest support, and a longer record of national politics than Obama--that's a good resume to accompany The One. (Incidentally, nothing would put Crackerquiddick out of bounds more quickly than choosing a guy from the slice of the population that Obama was slighting in that exchange) But there's still a part of me that holds out hope that he goes to the opposite end of the nuclear option (as in, his one decision that could end his hope of winning) and is able to pull Al Gore back into electoral politics. If so, you heard it here first!

For McCain. . .all right, first let's get the bad guy out of the way. Lieberman will be great in a cabinet, not in the White House, and as I alluded to above, I honestly think that tabbing a liberal, not-very-young and rarely across-the-aisle Democrat as a running mate puts a fork in McCain's chance at election. And he may enjoy being Maverick the Man, but I think he actually wants to win this thing and on some level he's going to realize that Lieberman is just too damaging to that opportunity. So Joe is a no--or so I hope!

Who's in? Well, I think it will be Pawlenty. I think that all things being equal McCain will be looking for someone who was willing to help him survive last summer, and Pawlenty fits that bill. And he is at least equal to all the other choices, especially since he has been such an able ambassador for McCain these last few weeks. I don't think McCain does this because he believes such a move puts Minnesota in the GOP column; rather, I think he does it as an effective counter to Obama's play in the midwest. Whereas Bayh may swing Iowa, that isn't overly damaging to McCain's chances even with MN staying blue. But McCain must keep OH red, and I think that picking somebody who's profile (if not name) is identifiable to the fine people who live there will be helpful. Pawlenty may not be from there, but I bet that after he is unveiled in Ohio a lot of people there will be thinking "he's one of us"--and that's good. Besides, McCain doesn't need someone who has shown the ability to play hard politics, like a Romney or a Giuliani, because so far McCain's team is positively wiping the floor with Obama. So McCain can choose a nice-guy running mate, someone from outside of DC yet who has the blessing of the GOP coalition. That leads me to Pawlenty.

SO I predict that there will be no major mistakes or saving throws in the VP picks.

How predictable.


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