Veepstakes – What McCain Needs

Last week, I spent a few days going over Barack Obama’s options for vice-presidential candidates. This week, I’ll be talking about John McCain – how (and who) he should pick his VP.

I’d say John McCain has two big issues that he can deal with in his campaign for the Presidency. The first is his lack of economic experience. He’s openly admitted he isn’t an expert on the matter, and given the comments made last week by Phil Gramm, McCain will need a lot of help keeping the Democrats away from what has already proven an easy point to attack. Sure, he won’t need some Nobel Prize-winning economist to give policy wonk lectures at every stop, but having a trusted fiscal conservative at his side who’s able to break that knowledge out if necessary wouldn’t hurt.

The second has been a sticking point for the McCain campaign for months, and is something they still have yet to completely work out – that he lacks the credentials of an authentic conservative, and thus will not motivate the party’s base. We all remember Republican pundits and those in the the conservative blogosphere bemoaning McCain’s primary victory (“I will campaign for her [Hillary Clinton] if McCain is the nominee” -Ann Coulter to Sean Hannity, to give one example). Sure, John McCain’s positions have definitely shifted rightward in the past year (something I think he’ll be hearing about from the Democrats, I expect), but he still disagrees with many conservatives on some major issues, meaning he’ll probably need some help from his Vice-Presidential nominee in assuring the base he won’t abandon them for a more moderate platform.

So that’s it for the first day of my John McCain VP coverage, tomorrow I’ll talk about how McCain can win back some states and put a little more red on 2008 projection maps.


2 Responses

  1. […] a veep who appeals to religious voters, something he’s had issues doing (as I discussed yesterday). In his blueprint for a Democrat to win Virginia, Mark Warner said that Barack Obama would need a […]

  2. It’s not simply WHAT McCain needs.

    It’s WHO McCain needs.

    And that WHO is Alaska Gov Sarah Palin!

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