Some "Veep" Advice for McCain ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jun 23, 2008 11:10 AM
Everyone is talking about the "veep" question, so I thought I'd add my two cents to the debate.  Here are a few thoughts (by no means, an exhaustive compendium) for John McCain to consider ...

1.  Make Obama pick first.  The Democratic convention (August 25-28) is before the GOP convention (September 1-4), so why not make Obama go first?  Surely, Obama's pick could impact your decision, after all.  For example, if Obama does not pick a lady, you might decide to do so.  This would potentially help undermine Obama's "change" rationale.  On the other hand, if Obama does pick a woman, your team might seek to capitalize on the idea that this would be "too much change" at once ...

2.  Float the trial balloon.  Whatever you do, don't "surprise" us with a running mate pick.  That's how we got Dan Quayle, for crying out loud.  (And I would argue that Quayle might well have still been picked had the media been given a "heads-up" that he was being considered.)  Leak the idea to the press first, and see how it flies.  Heck, why not tell me, first???

3.  Roll out a team.  Nothing says you must pick just one "running mate"  Why not roll out a team of advisers?  This worked well for Bush -- when Bush was working well.  Colin Powell might not have been his "veep" pick, but by promising to name him to the cabinet, Powell became a factor in the campaign. 

4.  Keep teasing us.  It's summer.  There's not much to write about.  That little barbecue the other week was brilliant.  Keep it up.  Oh yeah, why not invite a few bloggers next time???

5.  Forget paybacksCharlie Crist was vitally important in helping you win Florida.  That's great.  Make him Ambassador to something.  But whatever you do, don't decide to start doling out patronage before you win.  Your running mate (and team) needs to be new and interesting.  They should reflect your maverick, daresay "cool" image.  Don't pick someone to be your running mate based on loyalty.  Think future, not history ...