Monday, August 11, 2008

What's New in the Race for VP?

1) Senator John McCain is campaigning through Pennsylvania with former governor and vice presidential contender Tom Ridge. Some believe that by choosing Ridge, McCain’s chances increase in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. However, Ridge is openly pro-choice, which has the potential to turn off segments of the Republican Party, some of whom already are having difficulties voting for McCain. Also, Ridge’s former position as Secretary of Homeland Security under the Bush administration may scare off independents who hope McCain will distance himself from Bush Republicanism and return to moderate conservatism.

2) Independent Senator, and close friend to McCain, Joseph Lieberman has been rumored to be on the presumptive Republican candidate’s short list for VP. While Lieberman continuously insists that a McCain-Lieberman ticket is never going to happen, an adviser to McCain tells the Financial Times that McCain “loves Lieberman” and that he’s on the short list because he has “never embarrassed anyone, never misspoken.” Advantages to picking Lieberman include the fact that he has already been vetted in the 2000 election and his pull with elderly Jewish voters. However, his influence in the Jewish community may not be enough for McCain, as the majority of Jews will still vote Democrat in November, not to mention that that pull is not enough to win the presidency. Picking Lieberman also would signal another disconnect between McCain and conservative voters, who believe Lieberman to be an Independent in name only. While he may support the war in Iraq, his voting record almost always falls in line with Senate Democrats.

3) Senator Barack Obama will reveal his Democratic VP choice via e-mail and text messages to supporters. Obama is currently on vacation in Hawaii with his family until August 15th, and with all eyes on the Olympics, political observers believe Obama to reveal his VP pick after the Olympics.

4) The theme for Wednesday night at the Democratic Convention has been released – national security and honoring veterans. Wednesday night happens to be the night on which the vice presidential candidate is scheduled to speak. Political observers are questioning if the theme gives any clues to whom Obama will pick as VP. Perhaps Obama will choose a running mate with a background in military affairs – like, Sen. Chuck Hagel or John Kerry.