Question of the Week: McCain’s VP Pick

Here at RedMaryland we are going to try, in light of the wildly popular RedMaryland endorsements, to do a “question of the week” portion of our blog. This week’s question: Who do you want to see as John McCain’s running mate?

The results may surprise you….and they’re below the fold.

Brian Griffiths- Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK):
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin brings a lot of things to a potential national ticket. First off, she already has a record as a reformer. She challenged a Governor of her own party in a competitive primary and defeated him easily. She also brings a different demographic to the ticket. While Senator McCain can easily be portrayed as an old Washington insider, scarred from battles both real and political, Governor Palin will give voters something different. A feeling of vibrancy, of renewal. About as far away from being a Washington insider as you can possibly get. She’s so popular, both inside and outside of Alaska, that a Draft Palin for VP movement has existed on the internet for over a year.

Trending: Thank You

And don’t let her looks and vibrancy fool you; she is also a conservative’s conservative. She believes in limited government, in rooting out corruption, the Second Amendment, and in fiscal responsibility. Governor Palin represents a lot of the things that we as conservative Republicans have been concerned that Senator McCain is not.

You can take a look for yourself how impressive Governor Palin is by checking out this video from

It’s refreshing that somebody would actually admit on the record that she would be interested in serving her country in such a capacity.

The people of Alaska probably don’t want to lose Governor Palin yet, given that she has just started her work as their Governor. However, I’m not sure there are many other choices Senator McCain can make that would energy the base as much as the selection of Governor Palin would. I hope that Senator McCain calls her to serve her country, something she would do admirably.

My honorable mention choices include Bobby Jindal, Mark Sanford, and JC Watts.

Martin Watcher– Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK): My choice for John McCain’s running mate would be Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. The beautiful young Governor brings two things to this campaign. She is a mother of four young children and with her husband present the image of the ideal American family, something this campaign needs to center on. I know that it is stupid to focus on image when we try to pretend to be meaty ideologues focused on substance, but I am looking at what the American people would vote for. I don’t want to attempt to have a black VP candidate to compete for a black vote that our party would never win, especially against a black Presidential candidate. We need to therefore either look to the suburban white voter, or the Hispanic voter, and Governor Palin obviously appeals to the suburban soccer moms and Nascar dads.

And she is a reformer in Alaska coming in after the dreadfully corrupt Murkowski regime (I should say an administration that appeared corrupt). She defeated Murkowski in a 5 way primary and still captured over 50% of the vote, a pretty impressive thing to do. She has taken on big oil in Alaska, one of the few places where big oil is popular, and that type of populism would appeal to the country. Most importantly, she is clean of any Washington insider view. I think Obama will win because he isn’t viewed as a Washington insider, something that McCain will easily be viewed as.

Governor Sarah Palin will be a counterbalance to McCain’s age and experience, with an energetic and picture-perfect family to present to the American public.

Bud the Blogger – Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL):When it comes time for John McCain to ponder potential vice presidential candidates, few will argue that he needs a strong conservative. Often, running mates are chosen in hopes of expanding a voter bloc. In the case of McCain, he likely needs a strategic individual who appeals to a wide range of voters as well as a skeptical base. In turn, someone with executive experience would provide a great compliment to the long time Arizona Senator.

Certainly, Florida Governor Charlie Crist would be an ideal choice. On the eve of the crucial Florida primary, Governor Crist put aside longtime friendships to back McCain. Governor Crist also provides instant conservative credentials. For instance, he’s staunchly pro-life and pro-marriage. In addition, he earned the highest rating (A+) granted by the National Rifle Association. Finally, he remained true to his business roots by actively pursuing massive tax cuts for Florida residents.

Governor Crist appeals to a wide range of voters in his home state. In fact, a recent poll shows that 61 percent of Florida voters rate Governor Charlie Crist’s performance as excellent or good. With those numbers, he can single handily deliver the swing state of Florida which translates to a hefty 27 electoral votes.

With McCain already facing scrutiny from a frustrated base, he can ill-afford a contentious vice presidential nominee. With Governor Crist, McCain gains a loyal and charismatic conservative. Likewise, he virtually locks up a state crucial to the GOP in November. Honestly, I cannot see another choice more worthy or valuable than Governor Charlie Crist.

Tim Patterson– Former Rep. John Kasich (R-OH): While I am not a fan of loud-talking, John Kasich is a solid fiscal, social, free-market and free speech conservative. He’s popular in Ohio, a bell-weather state that will be crucial for a Republican victory in November. Placing him on the ticket also affords the opportunity to revive a moribund Ohio GOP marred by scandal and poor leadership. Putting Ohio in play will also help with Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. As an evangelical Christian, Kasich will also appeal to Bible Belt Republicans and do well in the same places where Mike Huckabee showed so much promise.

Kasich was a leader in the Republican Revolution, rising in 1995 to chair the House Budget Committee that finally was able to create a balanced budget under Republican Leadership. He is a vicious dog on wasteful spending, earmarks, and pork. His message is positive, energetic, and patriotic. Where John McCain is weak on the issue of energy and age, Kasich exudes vigor and youth. He was considered for the Dole ticket in 1996, but was ultimately rejected because of his perceived youth. Today, it would be an invaluable asset.

He took some hits in the 1990s for helping to pass the Clinton Crime Bill (mainly because he found ways to pay for it), and thus his NRA rating is not as strong as it could be. But he is solid down the line on nearly every issue important to Conservatives. He would be a strong, energetic candidate on the ticket, and would go a long way to shoring up a McCain right flank.

Greg Kine – Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA):
While I believe Charlie Crist will be McCain’s pick for VP, I would love to see Governor Jindal in that role.

Bobby Jindal is the solidly conservative wunderkind of the Republican party who recently liberated Louisiana from the inept leadership of Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Governor Jindal is a bright, energetic, honest and charismatic example of the kind of conservative leader our party should be producing.

Oh, he is an Indian-American, too. In an election year where historical firsts seem to be a prerequisite, he fits that bill. Despite his minority status, he won in a Southern state which many have suggested could never support a non-white. He helps McCain in winning over the conservative base and is a proven vote getter in a region where McCain showed surprising weakness in the primary season. Governor Jindal provides the forward-looking, youth-driven (“Obamaesque?”) eloquence to complement the old-school, well just plain old, persona of John McCain.

While his work in Louisiana will probably keep him from taking such a role, his selection as a VP candidate would not only boost McCain but put a talented, lifelong conservative in the top tier for consideration for the next open GOP Presidential nomination.

Streiff – Gov Mark Sanford (R-SC):
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Fiscal and social conservative. Champion of school vouchers. Proven administrator. Foe of pork barrel spending. He is a running mate that would be attractive to conservatives who feel alienated by the selection of candidates available to them this year.

Michael Swartz – Gov Mark Sanford (R-SC): Personally I’d love to see Duncan Hunter as his running mate since I supported him in the primary, but I know that won’t happen for two main reasons:

  • No executive experience.
  • Doesn’t help him carry a state – McCain likely won’t carry CA anyway.

I think it will be a Southern or Midwestern governor, and out of the group he’s likely going to pick one who’s in his second term. This would place six on the list: Rick Perry of Texas, Bob Riley of Alabama, Sonny Perdue of Georgia, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Pawlenty and Sanford are the youngest of the group, both 47, while Riley is the oldest at 63. Barbour and Perdue are also in their 60’s. And don’t count out Mike Huckabee.

But out of that group I’d lean toward Sanford.

I’m thinking because the likely Democrat candidate is B. Hussein Obama and he’ll probably pick a governor as his running mate as well (one possibility would be Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas), we’ll need a younger presence on the ticket. Unfortunately with having McCain as the likely nominee, a man who conservatives are lukewarm to at best, it’s making our side pick a running mate to secure our conservative base rather than expand into purple states – that’s why I see someone like Sebelius appealing to the other side. Obviously she’s female and the Democrats always play the gender card, but she can also chip into the farm belt Midwest that’s traditionally been red and maybe pull a state or two in that region away from the GOP.

Mark Newgent – Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) or Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL):I would like to see McCain choose Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina or Florida’s Charlie Crist as his running mate. Both men are solid conservatives with solid executive records. Either man on the ticket would help with the conservative base. Crist admittedly would help McCain to garner more independent and blue dog Democrat votes, more so than Sanford.

However, I would not rule out McCain choosing Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty a moderate Republican governing a true blue state.

Send this to a friend