McCain's 4 Ways to Pick a Veep

Senator considers do-no-harm and shake-things-up approaches: Kristol
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2008 10:01 AM CDT
Potential running mates for John McCain include: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. Sam Brownback.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – John McCain’s campaign is divided when it comes to a running mate, and William Kristol speculates in the New York Times about the four strategies being discussed:

  • Defeat Obama straight up—If McCain thinks he’s winning, he’ll pick a “do no harm” widely-liked, uncontroversial running mate, like Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman.
  • Accentuate Obama's inexperience—Here McCain would pick a tested governor, like Mitt Romney or Tom Ridge. McCain likes Ridge more, but the ex-Pennsylvania governor is pro-choice.

  • Co-opt the public desire for change—This would lead McCain to pick a young or different VP, like Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, or Eric Cantor.
  • Forget politics as usual—McCain could throw a monkey wrench in the works and vow not to seek re-election. Say something like, "Neither I nor my vice president will spend a day, an hour, a minute campaigning or raising money." Pick a non-Republican like Joe Lieberman or Michael Bloomberg, or a non-politician like ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
Party insiders greatly prefer the first two options, but McCain, Kristol reports, is lured by the latter two.