The LuLac Edition #526, July 28th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: JIM FITZGERALD, FORMER GORVERNOR TOM RIDGE AND BLOG EDITOR, BLOG EDITOR AND GOVERNOR ED RENDELL IN 2008.
Idle speculation on the Vice Presidency continues across the country with the pundits so we might as well indulge too. Here’s my picks, keep in mind they are just my own and most likely will be highly inaccurate.
Yep, former Governor Tom Ridge will get the nod and this ticket was bolstered yesterday on Fox News Sunday by none other than Bill *Kristol, the conservative panelist. Ridge though pro choice can be a comfortable pick for McCain. They’re friends, like each other and there will be no question of Ridge’s ability to step in as President if needed. However, as *Kristol indicated yesterday, it is all in how the selection is presented to the right wing of the party. Ridge can admit his pro choice bias, but also say that he will not be the guy appointing the Supreme Court Justices, McCain will. And if they don’t like it, McCain never was a favorite of the Republican right anyway. A base that sits home might be made up by showing the independent streak that got him where he is today in national politics. McCain needs to use a big state strategy. Pennsylvania is tailor made for him. Conservative, many veterans, and a middle of the road state where moderates have held sway in our politics. Think about all the successful multi term politicians in the Commonwealth, all were middle of the road politicos who were rewarded with multiple terms. The two Senators who were viewed in the extreme, Joseph Clark in the fifties and sixties on the left and Rick Santorum in the nineties and this decade on the right, were defeated and dismissed after two Senate terms they barely won. Ridge is a middle of the road guy who will play well here and enable McCain to carry these electoral votes. **Kristol: corrected from earlier post.
To me there is no other choice. The Senator from Illinois has to shore up the perception that he can’t carry the big industrial states. And in my view he can’t do it without Hillary Clinton. She will bring the disaffected women who were her stronghold as well as many elements of the party still not trusting him. The other choices mentioned are bland, white Senators and Governors who will not diminish the star power of Mr. Obama. That may be a good and bad thing. Good because he will remain the center of attention, the rock star if you will, bad, because they add nothing electorally. And we cannot forget that Obama is still the first black man to run for national office. Will voters say they will gladly pull the level for a person of any color but when they get down to cases actually decide not to go with what they told the pollsters? This happened twice to the popular Mayor of Los Angelious Tom Bradley in the 80s when he ran for Governor. Even though the Dems seem to think they have this in the bag, there are numerous pitfalls that can trip Obama up. Senator Clinton seems to be the best option given that she can bring her substantial vote total to the table for this ticket.
If not Senator Clinton, then what about Governor Rendell? Although Mr. Rendell has said on numerous occasions he would not be interested, Rendell would bring domestic policy gravitas to the slate, boundless energy and a formidable statewide organization that might blunt any inroads the GOP might try to make. Plus, Rendell can make the case to the middle class on how important a Democratic victory can be for their economic needs and viability. If not Rendell, then Colorado Senator Ken Salazar might be a good choice. Salazar, a Hispanic made a major breakthrough by becoming Colorado’s first Latino Senator and first Democrat since Gary Hart to serve from the Rocky Mountain state. He can bring with him the Latin based community as well as energize the west, a usual GOP stronghold. The negative? Another minority on the same ticket but maybe this year is the perfect time, a year to see if that change can be transformed into a new electoral coalition that will last for generations to come.