February 08, 2008

With Romney Gone, It's Thompson Time in the Veepstakes

Mitt Romney's gracious withdrawal yesterday at CPAC effectively cemented the Republican nomination for Arizona Senator John McCain, a candidate that I don't particularly like, but one is that is still far superior to either the empty promises of "change" from Barack Obama (presumably from partial presidential incompetence, to total), or the similar economy-killing socialist politics of a character-free Mrs. Clenis.

That support for McCain, however, is very fragile, and could easily be crushed or increased by the presumptive nominee's choice of running mate.

As both Scott Ott and Stephen Green have noted, Fred Thompson would make an excellent Vice Presidential running mate for McCain, balancing McCain's fiery temper and RINO leanings with sound conservatism based upon Federalist principles. That Thompson brings some regional balance to the Arizona Senator's ticket is also something others might note, but I find less important that his principles (full disclosure: Thompson became my favorite for office after Roger L. Simon and I interviewed him for Pajamas Media in November.)

Other conservatives, of course, could be an acceptable choice, but if McCain wants the support of the conservative wing of the party he has so often fought with, he needs a sounds conservative choice as his Veep, not a fellow RINO.

If McCain chooses a fellow liberal Republican—say, for example, social conservative theocrat, but economically liberal and internationally buffoonish Mike Huckabee, or South Carolina's amnesty-loving fellow RINO Senator Lindsey Graham—then any hopes McCain has of the tentative truce between his campaign and the conservative wing of the Republican Party are dashed.

We have nothing but flawed characters remaining in this election, but McCain, for the moment, is the less offensive choice for many. He could go a long way towards building a winning coalition if he recognizes the hopes and fears of his own party by asking a conservative such as Thompson to join him on the ticket, without compromising the "Maverick" reputation that moderates and independents seem to value in his candidacy.

The ball is is McCain's court. We can only hope he plays it wisely.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 8, 2008 10:16 AM

Instapundit has suggested Michael Steele, and Ace Of Spades has suggested Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Either would shore up his conservative credentials and nibble into the identity politics currently running rampant on the Democrat's side of things.

Posted by: ExUrbanKevin at February 8, 2008 11:08 AM

I'm with Instapundit. Funny how Steele happened to be on stage with Bush at CPAC this morning...and received wild applause.

I like Fred and I wish he were still an option. But two geriatric senators on the ticket is one too many. As for Palin, is America ready for a MILF VP?

Posted by: Pablo at February 8, 2008 11:30 AM

It's so funny to hear you guys complain about "identity politics" yet be willing to play game when it suits your needs.

More "do as I say, NOT as I do" conservative hypocrisy.

Posted by: dem operative at February 8, 2008 12:26 PM

I thought Thompson already said he didn't want the job?

Posted by: Jeff at February 8, 2008 12:52 PM

Sounds like someone has a problem with diversity, and with having their party's main selling point co opted. I like Steele because he's rock solid on the issues and would bring a conservativism to the ticket that it lacks. Also because he's not a beltway guy, something else McCain lacks.

Say, dem operative, who as it that photoshopped Steele as Uncle Sambo? And why would you have a problem with either a female or minority Republican?

Posted by: Pablo at February 8, 2008 01:38 PM

I don't like identity politics, but I accept that they will be used against a candidate, and therefore, steps must be taken to counter them.

I know that the idea of voting for someone because of what they believe in rather than who they are is troubling to some, if not downright unfathomable. So be it.

Posted by: ExUrbanKevin at February 8, 2008 02:14 PM

Fred is unlikely as it would be the Geritol ticket which would put some off.

Club for growth president Pat Toomey is suggesting

Gov Mark Sanford SC
Sen Jim DeMint
Rep Mike Pence
Phil Gramm
Steve Forbes

Posted by: JustADude at February 8, 2008 02:30 PM

Nah, I suspect Huckabee has other people in mind for his VP.

Posted by: Cindy at February 8, 2008 02:30 PM

I really don't think Huckabee has Fred Thompson as first choice for his VP.

Posted by: Cindy at February 8, 2008 02:49 PM

McCain will raise as much money as he can from conservatives until the convention at which he will choose someone with whom he's comfortable. That will eliminate almost everyone that can draw conservative votes. My guess would be Pawlenty, Coleman or Grassley in an attempt to win an upper midwest state.

Posted by: Ken Hahn at February 8, 2008 03:25 PM

The last time I saw Fred Thompson I thought he was dead. Then he moved a little and I realized I was wrong. McCain 71 Thompson 65 = 136
If Obama gets the nod that will make a wonderful contrast for all the young voters expected to vote this election.
Steel, Huckster, DeMiint, Pawlenty, Thompson, Forbes, and any other Veep choice that can't solidify the party is a loser.
McCain will be hard enough to sell without hanging some dead weight on his worthless butt.

Posted by: edward cropper at February 8, 2008 03:34 PM

I am a Michael Steele for Veep booster from way back:

One blogger told me Steele didn't have the experience. My response -- if Obama has enough experience to be president, then Michael Steele definitely has enough to be VP.

Posted by: Lorie Byrd at February 8, 2008 04:30 PM


No one knows this Michael Steele outside of your little group. The only reason McCain would use him is for his color. Seeing McCain has no principles, I wouldn't put it past him.

I urge all of my fellow conservatives to stand strong. Do not settle for less than a conservative like Fred Thompson.

When we settle for less, we get less, every time!

Posted by: Edward at February 8, 2008 04:57 PM

Steele is not less of a conservative that Fred, and if you don't know who he is, you haven't been paying attention. Former MD Lt Gov, Senate candidate, current GOPAC Chair, Fox News contributor, 2004 GOP Convention speaker and Mike Tyson's former BIL. Oh, and the guy who warmed the crowd up for Bush at CPAC this morning....

Posted by: Pablo at February 8, 2008 05:34 PM

Does anyone think that the chances are good for the Republicans in 2008 ?

Posted by: John Ryan at February 8, 2008 06:38 PM

A name I have heard thrown around is Kay Bailey Hutchinson. That could be an interesting ticket.

Posted by: William Teach at February 8, 2008 07:07 PM

John, I think Hillary is eminently beatable. Obama is more of a challenge, sad to say.

Posted by: Pablo at February 8, 2008 07:27 PM

Heres a REAL curveball: Condi Rice.

My mom has been a hardcore democrat for years and thinks it's the perfect solution to the republican issue... she feels that it will be an Obama/Clinton ticket either way, with one or the other in the drivers seat, mutually interchangeable (she actually thinks it will be Obama for P and Clinton VP which gives her a better shot to go for president in a few more years) I think she might be on to something there....

Posted by: Big Country at February 8, 2008 07:50 PM

Re Fred... while, as a long-time Fred head, I'd love to see him on the ticket, I really think he'd decline. My gut feeling is that he's had enough politics for a while. I could be wrong, tho... I often am.

Steele would probably be okay, I have problems with his preference for stare decisis in dealing with Roe v. Wade, however, and with what I have heard about his stand on the death penalty; Kay Bailey Hutchison would be good, though I am not that familiar with her positions, what I remember doesn't include any big disagreements; Bobby Jindal was recently called a new Ronald Reagan by Rush, and that's high praise from behind the Golden EIB Microphone.

One wonders if the lefties are afraid of Mr. and Mrs. America seeing that there really are non-white and non-male candidates that are strongly conservative.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 8, 2008 08:13 PM

Watch for TX gov Rick Perry to be on the shortlist for McCain VP.

Posted by: Zhombre at February 8, 2008 09:32 PM

On second thought, and seeing that Fred has now endorsed McCain, I kinda wonder if perhaps he isn't angling to move into Number One Observatory Circle.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 8, 2008 11:47 PM

Duncan Hunter or Mitt Romney?

Posted by: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr at February 9, 2008 12:13 AM

[[Does anyone think that the chances are good for the Republicans in 2008 ?]]

McCain allready outpolls Clinton and Obama is hard core liberal, so yeah.

Posted by: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr at February 9, 2008 12:15 AM

Bobby Jindal, won't happen, but just sayin'

And yes, John, we do think the chances are good.

Hillary? Her negatives alone will kill her.

The second Obama's "hope" campaign is shown for the vacuous empty thing it is, he's toast too.

Posted by: Conservative CBU at February 9, 2008 01:27 AM

Tom Coburn.

Southern, a doctor. Trusted by cons. He can argue the health care issue which will be very prominent in this campaign credibly. He's well spoken, sincere and anti-pork.

Posted by: DaveW at February 9, 2008 07:23 AM

How bout Obama for GOP VP if HRC steals the nomination from him?

Posted by: comradelittle at February 9, 2008 09:03 AM

How about Mike Pence?

Posted by: C-C-G at February 9, 2008 06:25 PM

Well those who think the chances are good should put some money down.

Posted by: John Ryan at February 14, 2008 10:57 AM