This week is "VP Week" here at Moms for McCain. I have invited several Moms and friends to share their thoughts on why their preferred candidate would be a good choice.
I respect people who have recommended super-conservatives, ultra-liberals and everyone in between. As I see it, the perfect VP for McCain will be just as principled, hard-working and original as he is. I'll include my thoughts in the future, but in the meantime, here are a few factors to consider.
- Age. McCain's vigor on the campaign trail is undisputed, but in our culture looking and "thinking" young are important. And, candidly, knowing that it's statistically more likely that a VP might have to take over, we need someone who has...
- Experience. McCain's best argument AGAINST Obama is the disparity in their national, military, and legislative experience. Choosing a complete rookie for VP needlessly eliminates this advantage, and adds to worries about who would take over if President McCain did buy the proverbial farm. Balancing age and experience will be important.
- Gender. An electable woman striking the glass ceiling with a pickax made many would-be McCain or Obama voters think twice. But now that Obama and Dean's agenda has sent her packing, many Hillary supporters are taking a very serious look at McCain. More women than men voted in 2004, and Moms like myself are a motivated, flexible volunteer pool. I do believe a woman on the ticket would mobilize women for McCain.
- Race. Obama has an achilles heel with Hispanics - a key constituency in Florida, California, Texas and other electorally-rich states. McCain's tours of inner cities and other unorthodox Republican stomping grounds show that he is not leaving any Demographic up for grabs. A minority on the ticket gives McCain a stronger chance against Obama.
- Geography. Upper Midwestern states will be up for grabs, and a native son or daughter might play well here.
- Priorities and Issue Positions. McCain has commented publicly that picking a pro-choice running mate would be "difficult." There are other hot-button issues which could make the difference with swing voters or reluctant conservatives.
- Compatibility. Love or hate his policies, but McCain has truly lived the mantra "to thine own self be true." Picking a simpatico running mate will help McCain's true colors shine - a mate who rubs him the wrong way, however appealing otherwise, would diminish the integrity at the core of his campaign.
There are a variety of "Choose the VP" algorithms you may enjoy, including CQ Politics' NCAA-style "brackets."
If you are passionate about a VP candidate and would like me to include your two cents, please comment or email me at moms4mccain at yahoo.com.