Now that Senator John McCain has all but secured the Republican nomination, the next important question turns to who will be chosen as his running mate? While logic dictates that he look to someone with the skills to balance his perceived weaknesses, would the best candidate be someone with strong economic policy experience given the uncertain economic times we currently live in? Or will his priorities be centered on a running mate who is trusted by the noisy conservative wing of the GOP to shore up the doubts they have about his candidacy? Perhaps the best choice will be a person whose age balances McCain’s or whose ideology appeals to the middle where most American’s gravitate. And let’s not forget about those Independents that are being so successfully courted by Senator Obama these days. With their numbers and importance growing the choice of the right running mate could well be the key to the outcome of this pivotal national election.
Nary has a day passed when another potential VP candidate is rumored. We’ve all heard about Secretary of State Condelezza Rice, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX.), and 47 year old Governors Tim Pawlenty (MN) and Mark Sanford (SC). Rob Portman, the 52 year old former Office of Management and Budget Director, U.S. Trade Representative and Congressman from Ohio, Senator Mel Martinez (FL) and Governor Charlie Christ also of Florida are more names heard frequently.
While it is clear there is abundant talent within the GOP to choose from, it is equally clear that Senator McCain must select a running mate that has the widest possible appeal to the majority of his Party and to the moderate factions of the electorate, no matter their affiliation.