Sunday, August 03, 2008

Veepstakes: Cantor up?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The McCain media outlet known as The Politico is reporting today that McCain's Veep Vetters are looking at... Eric Cantor.

Yes, Eric Cantor, the Republican congressman from Virginia.

With most of the attention on the likes of Romney, Pawlenty, and Jindal, Cantor's name is fairly new to the game. He's also a relative unknown, unknown beyond the Beltway, though he is a rising star in the party and has already proven himself to be something of a national political figure.

As with other possible veep picks, the question is, What would Cantor bring to the table. Or, put differently, why him?

The CW is that McCain needs to make a splash, that is, to make an exciting and unconventional pick, one that would get people talking and the media positively worked up in his favour. He doesn't need someone like him, given his experience and alleged readiness for the job, he needs someone unlike him, someone young and fresh who, presumably, could be easily groomed for the job. Plus, he needs someone who can help him with the base and in key swing states.

Like, for example, Virginia.

And consider Cantor's other qualities. He's:

  • only 45, much younger than McCain;
  • already a key GOP leader on Capitol Hill;
  • got some national security, international relations, and economic policy experience;
  • an excellent fundraiser with national appeal;
  • popular with evangelical conservatives; and
  • a pro-Israeli Jewish Republican.
In other words, McCain could do a lot worse. A Cantor pick would make a splash but perhaps without the risk that would come with selecting someone with less experience and/or from outside Washington, like Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

As I have said before, I am hardly one to wish McCain well, but Cantor, I think, would make an impressive running mate.

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  • Timing on Palin VP announcement:

    1. Several days after gasline passed in Alaska.

    2. Several days before the Olympics.

    3. Ideally before Obama names his Veep (especially if Obama were to name a woman or Hillary).

    Hey, McCain, why not Monday (tomorrow Aug 4) and LET THE GAMES BEGIN already!!!

    In any event, stand by this week!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 PM  

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