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Monday, February 11, 2008

Vice Presidential Material?

Senator McCain needs to pick a running mate that impresses Conservatives...

Senator Jim DeMint R-SC

Actually this is more what I have in mind for a Presidential candidate. But if we're going to be stuck with McCain, naming Senator DeMint or someone like him as the VP candidate would be a good start for McCain to begin making amends with those of us on the right that he has so often betrayed.


Blogger Thrifty Scot said...

What role do you think the Vice President will play in a McCain administration? I myself doubt very much that the VP under McCain will have anywhere near the influence of a Dick Cheney, or even an Al Gore.

Vote for McCain and you're going to get the Full McCain, not some McCain/DeMint hybrid based on the Bush/Cheney model. Think Bush/Quayle, instead. And that didn't end well for anyone.

IMO, McCain's VP pick is only relevant in terms of succession.

2/12/2008 10:28 AM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

We are in agreement.

I'm looking mainly to the future. Regardless of who ends up in the office I'm afraid we're going to have a big mess to clean up. The only question is one of magnitude.

Partly to blame for the weak GOP primary field this time around is that VP Cheyney (who I wish would have had the top job instead of Bush) was not in play for a successor with a four-year bully pulpit. A strong VP usually ends up as the initial front-runner when the top guy's term is up.

McCain has admitted that due to his age he probably will not seek re-election to a second term so, win or lose this time, the GOP will need a strong candidate in four years.

Part of me really wants to stick it to McCain for all the damage he has done to the Conservative movement and the damage to Bush Administration initiatives. McCain's actions and inactions may have contributed to Bush having to move even more leftward than he would have on his own just to get support of his own party.

McCain's transgressions should be unforgivable, but the alternatives are so much worse in the critical area of the military (look how the first Clinton administration decimated the military, and I believe Hillary would be even worse than Bill was) I feel forced to support McCain.

Actually, Bush 41 would have done well to listen to Quayle who strongly urged him not to cave on the "no new taxes" pledge. It was also Quayle who strongly lobbied, and got, Bush to continue support the Patriot Missle program when he was starting to go wobbly on it.

2/12/2008 10:47 AM  
Blogger Thrifty Scot said...

I don't put much stock in the one-and-out scenario, regardless of what McCain might suggest. I'm taking very little of what McCain says at this point at face value.

If things go "well" (meaning that McCain has reasonable re-election hopes, with or without conservatives), he's likely to run again. If things go to hell, that won't put DeMint in a good position, having been a participant (however tangential) in that failure.

IMO, McCain hopes to transform the Republican Party. How does a conservative VP emerge from such an administration untarnished by the McCain transformation?

"Hi, I'm Jim DeMint, running as the conservative choice in this race. Sure, I was part of the McCain administration that passed amnesty for illegals and a cap and trade scheme that drove gas prices to $4 per gallon and home heating prices up 50%, shut down political blogs through FEC regulation, nominated Warren Rudman to the Supreme Court and yeah, we did destroy the pharmaceutical industry by importing Canadian price controls into the U.S. - but hey, don't blame me. I was just an uninterested observer. My hands are clean."

I just don't think being McCain's VP will prove a resume enhancer for any conservative. Sure, McCain might govern as a passable conservative and a conservative VP will end up in the catbird seat for the nomination, but I wouldn't count on it. The more likely outcome is that a conservative VP will be either buried or broken by his service under McCain.

Unless of course, McCain is buried first.

2/12/2008 11:42 AM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

You do a fine job in defining the hobson's choice we have here.

I guess it comes down to I would rather have a Conservative VP rather than a McCain yes-man. It may not help but it couldn't hurt other than, as you point out, the poor guy's image may be permanently tarnished by his association with the McCain administration.

There is just not a good scenario here. We have bad (McCain), worse (Madame Mao), and even worse (Obamalamadingdong). Of these choices I guess the best we can hope for is to surround McCain with as many Conservatives as possible and push Conservatives in Congress to do anything they can to obstruct his liberal agenda.

In any case it's going to be a long four years (at least) in which the Conservative movement needs to get its act together and take back the Republican party.

I really hope for some miracle to derail the McCain candidacy, but the chances of that are becoming smaller by the minute.

2/12/2008 12:09 PM  
Blogger G-Man said...

Is McCain running because he has a grand vision for the direction of the nation or just the direction of himself in the Oval Office?

I have heard it suggested that McCain may prove to be a "big issue" President – one who cares most about his big issues and less about the rest. If so, he just might seek a running mate to "handle the rest." If there is any merit to this theory, his choice for VP may signal it.

It will also be interesting to see what McCain does in the Senate during the coming months. If he is serious about the issues he articulated at CPAC, then he could start offering them on the floor now. Further, he could challenge Obama/Clinton on a few issues and offer bold changes now to flush them out.

Regarding past veeps, Cheney and Quayle were among the most useful to their respective presidents. I fail to see how Gore gets linked to the "Bush/Cheney" model. This guy thinks the sky is falling and failed to get Clinton to support Kyoto – he also failed to find any support in the Senate (by a 98-0 vote against). The only good thing he did was certify the Electoral College vote for Bush.

Quayle was ahead of his time and, in 1988, was BETTER prepared for the Presidency than JFK was in 1960. The ridicule he received was unwarranted and baseless. Remember he was ridiculed for criticizing the media's effort to "normalize" out-of-wedlock births such as on the TV show "Murphy Brown." Even Murphy Brown proved him right – the writers essentially wrote the kid off show, motherhood wasn't for Murphy.

Sadly, I don't think Vice President Quayle will ever shake the SNL image of him. If he could, he'd be on my very short list for President.

2/12/2008 8:06 PM  
Blogger Thrifty Scot said...

If HW Bush consulted with Quayle on policy, it sure didn't show, given the tax increases and the passage of a number of liberal ideas, such as the clean air act and some noxious civil rights legislation. Quayle generally played the standard veep role.

Gore was given high profile responsibilities - witness the NAFTA debate with Perot. He had an enhanced role as veep, somewhat outside the traditional norm.

Cheney is in a league of his own for veeps.

That's how Bush/Cheney and Clinton/Gore are similar arrangements, different from the Bush/Quayle model.

One should expect McCain to return to the old model. Like HW Bush, and unlike W Bush and Clinton, he doesn't need the "stature implant" that a prominent washington insider imparts as veep. He might select a veep for ideological or geographic balance (a role that DeMint would fill nicely), but it is unlikely that he will rely on his veep for policy (which would make DeMint's conservatism mostly irrelevant).

2/12/2008 11:57 PM  
Anonymous G-PoK said...

This may not add much to the discussion over a McCain veep choice, but I feel I have to comment on any discussion of Quayle.

I was so excited about the idea of a Quayle presidency (before health issues forced him to drop his first bid) that I named my dog after him. His media image was so unfair and so completely unlike the real man. Too bad he'll never be able to make a comeback!

2/13/2008 5:47 PM  

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