Talk is Veep

Posted: Apr 29, 2008 4:05 PM

Speculation about John McCain’s running mate has been a hot topic on our blog and in May’s edition of Townhall magazine we featured a roundup of some of his most likely picks.

A good pick would be somewhat youthful, complement McCain’s maverick reputation and bolster his conservative credentials. Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of those who might be on his short-list.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Here are our picks, in no particular order:

Mark Sanford
Governor of South Carolina
Age: 48
Pros: Disagrees with McCain that illegal aliens should be given amnesty under a comprehensive immigration reform plan. Is passionate about spending and entitlement reform.
Cons: Could feud with McCain over immigration. Would not endorse McCain until it was certain McCain would win the Republican nomination.

Charlie Crist
Office: Governor of Florida
Age: 52
Pros: Has high approval ratings as governor of a key swing state.
Cons: Is praised by Al Gore for his work to stop global warming. Has been reluctant to take a firm stand on abortion, gay marriage or adoption rights for gay couples. Previous opponents have engaged in smear campaigns to suggest Crist, a divorcee, is gay. (Crist divorced his wife after six months of marriage in 1980 and has not remarried.)

Tim Pawlenty
Governor of Minnesota
Age: 48
Pros: Survived his 2006 re-election in a true blue state that will be home to the Republican Convention in September.
Cons: Has little “real world” experience. Narrowly won his two gubernatorial races with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Kay Bailey Hutchison
Office: Senator from Texas
Age: 65
Pros: Could neutralize Hillary Clinton and help McCain carry the South. Is considered a reliable conservative with a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 90.4.
Cons: Recently voted against the McCain-backed one-year moratorium on earmarks. Has said in an MSNBC televised interview, “I do not want to be vice president. I’ve said that over and over again. I’m going in a different direction. I really do not want to be vice president.”

Mitt Romney
Office: Governor of Massachusetts
Age: 61
Pros: High name recognition. Has practical business, political and campaign experience and already said he would accept a vice presidential slot on McCain’s ticket.
Cons: Fought McCain bitterly in the primary.