114 thoughts on “Mitt Quits

  1. You’re wrong — I think. Romney has publicly called McCain everything short of a rat-faced, French-speaking weasel, and he has probably said that in private. The guy brings nothing to the table — Massachusetts will vote for the Democratic nominee even with Romney on the ticket, Utah will vote Republican even without him, so what possible benefit does McCain get from putting Romney on the ticket?

    I hate to say it — I REALLY hate to say it — but I think he’s far more likely to put Huckabee on the ticket.

  2. Justme:

    I can’t think of a better way for McCain to set himself up to lose. The name “Bush” is fairly toxic these days.

  3. It doesn’t matter who’s on the Republican ticket, we have to vote for them. Why? Because if we vote for any Dem the Terrrrists will kill us all. Mitt says so, so it must be true. Seriously, if your concession speech consists of “I’m quitting cos the Dems will get us killed and let teh gayz marry”, you’re really grasping at straws to explain your rather humiliating defeat.

    Being serious for a second, the way for McCain to guarantee a general election loss is to put Huckabee on the ticket. He’s too much of a turnoff for independents. I think John’s right. McCain/Romney or McCain/Guiliani makes more sense.

  4. As much as I hate to admit it, I think McCain/Huckabee is more likely than McCain/Romney. McCain has tried to woo the Christian right, and Huckabee would do that, wherein a large portion find Romney completely unacceptable.

    A lot of conservatives think that McCain’s ideological credentials are weak, but frankly, think those of Huckabee and Romney are, too.

    I don’t know the field well enough, but I think McCain would have to find someone with stronger appear to the Christian right who also has impeccible conservative credentials.

  5. You’re wrong. Romney wouldn’t add anything to that ticket. Conservatives are going to hold their nose and vote for McCain anyway, and Romney isn’t notably exciting to independents.

  6. Right or wrong it’s unlikely the Republicans will retain the White House. Look at these numbers from Tuesday:

    Democratic votes for Clinton and Obama: 14,622,822 (63.6%)
    Republican votes for McCain, Romney and Huckabee: 8,370,022 (36.4%)

    Put another way, the Clinton/Obama race drew 76% more voters than the McCain/Romney/Huckabee race.

  7. As much as I dislike McCain, I can’t imagine him running with a raving nutball of Huckabee’s caliber; I’m not sure the two of them could agree that the sky’s blue. Of course, given the clear antipathy between McCain and Romney that’s been on display recently, I don’t see that ticket, either. Maybe Charlie Crist from Florida would be a choice?

  8. I’ll pile on and add to the chorus of “You’re wrong.” Oh, I don’t doubt for a minute that Mitt’s trying to play for the VP slot with this maneuver; but I don’t believe that this has been planned by the Romney and McCain campaigns.

    No, McCain/Huckabee makes more sense. Plus, Huckabee’s been playing for the VP spot longer (see West Virginia convention “c*ck-block” of Romney by Huckabee’s supporters throwing behind McCain). And Huckabee on the ticker almost guarantees a bunch of southern states.

    But, to my mind, I don’t think McCain goes with either of these guys. Doesn’t strike me as the type to let go of the contest, just because the contest is over. Just who he goes with, I have no clue. Definitely someone to bone up his conservative bonafides, and someone on the youngish side. I’m guessing someone not largely on the national radar yet.

  9. I think (and hope) you’re right, John. McCain is attractive to independents and Democrats because he’s moderate. Adding Huckabee to his ticket will just turn off McCain’s base. And, the Christian Right will vote for any Republican because there’s NO WAY they’d vote for a Demoncrat. Huckabee is just too extreme. In a scary sort of way.

  10. I suspect McCain’s veep either hasn’t run or dropped out early.

    And I can’t see Vice President Romney. I can see Secretary Romney, but not Vice President Romney.

  11. I agree that the Bush name is toxic, but not necessarily with the people that McCain needs to attract. Many of the conservatives who are unhappy with McCain like President Bush.

    As for Charlie Crist … he doesn’t bring the far right with him. He’s pissed them off almost as bad as McCain has. He’s got all sorts of new fangled environmentalist ideas and he gave voting rights back to all kinds of former felons. Next thing you know, he’d be putting solar panels up on the White House roof.

    What about McCain/Rice?

  12. Your prediction would not be so silly, if it were not the fact that Mitt Romney called John McCain just about every name in the book.

    In my recent travels to New Hampshire, I looked at the Mitt Romney campaign website. Of course all his ads were there. All but one of the ads pointed out how much of a steaming turd John McCain was; the other one called Huckabee names. If you are going use that strategy you better hope you win, because you are not making any friends along the way.

    McCain/Bush would be electoral suicide.

    Mike Huckabee is clearly angling for the job of Vice-Presidential candidate. Mike Huckabee is also probably on McCain’s shortlist. Huckabee makes sense, especially if you figure that the republicans are not going to win. The republicans may be on the wrong side of a transformational election; they may be looking at spending some time in the wilderness trying to re-invent themselves.

    If that happens, Mike Huckabee has to be part of that. He represents a different kind of religious conservative. He is not a smiling Pat Robertson, nor is he a Jerry Falwell with a sense of Humour; he is a political Rick Warren. If the Republicans want to keep the political Christians on their side, they have to have a guy like Mike Huckabee re-invent the Christian Right in a way that is not frightening to the non evangelical. Tricky, but doable.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  13. I’ve been hearing that McCain and Huck absolutely hate Romney with a passion. I’d be real surprised to see McCain make space for Romney on his ticket.

    I’m thinking that to counter all of his perceived liabilities, McCain’s VP slot will be reserved for someone with very strong conservative credentials and is younger rather than older. McCain/Rice looks good – especially if Hillary takes the Democratic nomination. If he could convince him to run (and he won’t), McCain/Powell would be a strong ticket. Maybe McCain/Guilliani?

  14. I’ll add to the chorus and say you’re wrong. As much as I fear this, I think it is going to be McCain/Huckabee. Romney and McCain hate each other, and M/H have been cozying up to each other in an especially creepy way lately.

    The thing that has me a’feared is just how possible it would be for Huck to be POTUS, because McCain is well, old.

    (skeevies)

  15. @18 Justme: He did put solar panels up on the Guvnor’s Mansion.

    Tho if you’re not the type of person who likes an ‘I’ll-say-and-do-anything-to-get-elected’ politician, Chain Gang Charlie may not be your man. (That’s right, Crist did bring shackles to the Senate Floor and wave them around whilst sponsoring a bill to bring back road gangs. Before he decided that Ah-nuld was the man to emulate to get himself elected governor. Now he’s a born-again green. If child sacrifice won him votes, he’d probably be in favor of that, too.) If he wasn’t going to be Veep to an old guy, I’d gladly promote him out of office. But President Crist is more than I can bear. I really will vote Dem for Pres if Charlie’s on the Rep ticket.

  16. Don’t even get me started on Mitt. He can sit on his golden tablets and spin…and spin…and spin….

  17. I think it will be McCain / Someone we haven’t thought of yet. Pick your right-leaning Senator or Governor with some budgeting / financial chops.
    Ghouliani scares me.
    Huckabee scares me more.

  18. Brett L @ 22

    Yes, I was alluding to the solar panels at the mansion. He is a slippery devil, isn’t he?

  19. @18 Justme:

    Cond-i! Cond-i!

    Bob Dole mentioned Condi on Colbert the other night, and my jaw literally dropped — it would be a deliciously Machiavellian move. “You guys have to choose between a woman and an African-American huh? Too bad — we’ve got both! Plus an old, white war hero! Top that!”

    It would be a complete failure, of course. She’s tied far too closely to the Bush administration. But damn would it be fun to watch.

  20. #18 McCain / Rice would actually be a decent ticket. Winnable? I dunno. I think that the Dems would have to screw up pretty badly to lose in 2008.

    Not that that’s stopped them before, of course.

  21. It will be McCain/Huckabee. When McCain gets into office, he will die of a heartattack and Huckabee’s prayers will be answered and he’ll be president.

  22. I doubt Romney is angling for Veep, since — except for our current incumbent — that position has no power and not all that much to do. I could see Romney making a back-room deal for State, or maybe Attorney General — those positions do have power. Or maybe he wants to be Ambassador to the UN — but I’m pretty sure he has some handshake deal with McCain’s people.

    Romney’s back-up plan, of course, is positioning himself for 2012, and it’s better not to be the VP-nominee if he’s expecting 2012 instead of 2016.

    I agree that McCain’s running mate will be someone younger, more conservative, and preferably evangelical. Condi Rice would be a decent choice, but I’d expect it to go to a Southern white male. (Maybe Huckabee, maybe not — but someone like him.)

  23. H.S. @27:
    Don’t these always become contests in who can shoot themselves in the foot least? I’m unable to estimate in this case. I mean, the Democrats are good at it, but better than the Republicans? Only the Libertarian Party is better at catching foot-in-mouth disease.

    For the Rep VP, I’ve got:
    Crist, Gov. Fl.
    Barbour, Gov. Miss.
    Steele, Lt. Gov. Maryland.

    But not Huckabee or Romney. Too much mud slung. Also, Huckabee is a bit too cynical, even for Presidential politics. Can anyone imagine McCain listening to Huckabee on any issue? Okay, then. He’s out as a Veep. As for Romney, he’s got real prospects of winning again (think McCain ’00), signing on as Veep is dangerous. (I think this is also why Obama would turn down a Clinton invitation, if she were to win the nomination) Also, Joe Lieberman is out for ’08 because McCain’s problem is not with the centrists. Too many Republicans already suspect McCain of being blue underneath.

  24. Speculation on Super Tuesday was that Huckabee is staying in it to be a spoiler for Romney, because without him there was a chance of Romney edging out McCain. Further speculation was he was doing this with his eye on the veep spot.

    Granted, this was the CNN pundits. But Romney doesn’t really bring that much to the table. I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison because I wouldn’t vote either one of them into any office higher than dog-catcher (and based on his record with family pets, I wouldn’t even give Romney that one), but some of CNN’s guys were saying McCain’s record actually puts him to Romney’s right. He’s certainly more conservative than his current image suggests.

    So yeah, I think it’s going to be Huckabee. If not him, than the loudest racist McCain’s people can find–he’s in every anti-immigration hate group’s dog house right now, and he’ll need someone who can get those wingnuts to the polls.

  25. How much does McCain need the hard-core conservatives in the Republican base? He seems to be winning primaries just fine without them. And once he moves into the general-election season, he will need the independents far more than the conservatives.

    I think Dave Weingart @ 31 is right: McCain/Lieberman. Lieberman has already demonstrated his “bipartisanship” by endorsing McCain, after all.

  26. I don’t think that McCain will choose either Romney or Huckabee. Huckabee is considered toxic to conservatives, so McCain won’t mend any fences there and would only increase their discontent. Romney can’t deliver much, except economic skills (which McCain needs) but considering the war of words the two engaged in, and McCain’s reputation for holding grudges, I don’t see it.

    And McCain will have to deal with either a woman or black man, maybe both, as his opposition. Adding another white guy to the Republican ticket is not smart.

    My bet is McCain goes for a minority, likely a Hispanic or African American, as VP. Believe it or not, there are plenty of those with military, foreign policy and/or economic experience, who would be more than acceptable to conservatives. It would help heal the rifts in the party and dampen the Democratic advantage in that area.

  27. One possible dark-horse VP candidate is Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-MN, a co-chair on McCain’s national campaign. Over the years, he’s been subtly pushing selected issues (like prescription drug prices) to get into the national spotlight.

  28. Justme @ 18

    As for Charlie Crist … he doesn’t bring the far right with him.

    Actually Charlie Crist isn’t a bad choice. He is extremely popular in Florida and could very well deliver that state.

    What about McCain/Rice?

    How about McCain/JC Watts? Or Michael Steele?

    Mark Terry @28

    You’re wrong. All the Dems would have to do is replay Mitt’s NUMEROUS ads slamming McCain.

    Oh, you mean all the one’s calling him a Liberal? Or the ones calling him like Hillary.

    I don’t think those will get much traction…

    Oh, I almost forgot:

    Scalzi, you are so wrong

  29. Seth Gordon- McCain is winning with moderates. And the vote tally’s in the primaries so far indicate that Democrats are fired up and conservatives are depressed. After all, both parties have about the same number of members (a slight advantage to Democrats), but the Dems have been turning out in droves while the Republicans look like they’re staying home.

    I’m a conservative and had trouble choosing my candidate. Fred Thompson dropped out before I could vote for him. Up until the time I walked into the polling booth I was still debating who I would pull the lever for, as all 3 (I didn’t consider Ron Paul) leave more than a little to be desired. McCain has temperment and age issues, Huckabee is too preachy and is from the political snakepit of Arkansas, and Romney changes his position every other month.

    Even after voting, I’m not sure I made the right choice.

  30. As I noted on my website, I think you’re wrong for the same reasons as Unfocused Me and Nick. My guess at this point? Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Soild conservative who is a proven winner in a purple battleground state.

  31. This development is interesting because it puts the kibosh on the Ron Paul plans to infiltrate the Delegates to the Convention. You see, the Delegates are only bound by law to vote for the candidate who was elected in the primary on the first vote. If that candidate doesn’t win on the first vote, the delegates are thereafter free to vote their conscience (or whatever they possess) for a candidate.

    On the one hand, this makes sense because a lot can happen between a primary and a convention. On the other, it could, theoretically, have permitted a relatively small number of fervent Ron Paul supporters to infiltrate the convention, carry out their lawful duty on the first vote, then on finding McCain split with whoever at less than 50% for either, suddenly thrown their votes over to Ron Paul, thereby resulting in a surprise nomination or spoiler.

    Is this the stuff of tinfoil hats? No. It’s real, and Ron Paul’s organization was trying it. The outcome is now very unlikely, however, unless McCain provides another “ARRRRGH” speech or the voting public turns on him.

  32. Oh, dang, everyone has already pointed out how wrong you are, and very eloquently, too.

    I can only add that Huckabee looks a little like Kevin Spacey and I think that helps him in our shallow, shallow country.

    Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.

  33. As a Minnesotan, I have to agree with Steve Bainbridge. Tim Pawlenty stopped effectively governing this state months ago in order to groom himself for a VP invite.

  34. I’ve heard Pawlenty’s name mentioned in a couple of places. I don’t understand why. All the Dems would have to do against him is run an endless loop of the I-35 Briedge collapsing, with a text graphic about his vetoing the funds that were supposed to maintain/repair the bridge.

  35. I think he bowed out because Huckabee hates him enough that he’d stay in the race to the bitter end just to spite Romney. Plus, with religious fanatics on his side, he’ll have free staffing to get him through.

  36. Veep slot will go to an upper-Midwest white male.

    Romney wouldn’t be at all interested; I’m convinced he’s not spending his last millions now as he intends to tilt at the presidential windmill again in another four years.

  37. Seth Gordon: How much does McCain need the hard-core conservatives in the Republican base?

    I’m thinking he doesn’t. No right-wing fundie will vote either for Clinton or Obama, so they’ll vote for the Repubican, whoever it is.

  38. McCain/Huckabee would turn off most republican voters. Half of them think McCain is a closet liberal and not to be trusted, and many others think Huckabee is a loose cannon. McCain/Jeb Bush would be a disaster. I don’t trust Romney, but McCain/Romney makes more sense than others.

    Not only right-wing fundies would refuse to vote for Clinton, but so would millions of other conservaties. As for Obama, a survey on a conservative talk show here in Utah asked “If we can’t have Mitt, who is your second choice?” Over 80 percent took Obama over other republicans. Not a particularly scientific sample, but interesting anyway.

  39. McCain is well known for his grudges, so I don’t see it being Romeny. And if Huckabee decides “hey, I got a couple of states on Tuesday, maybe I can do this!” all he’ll do is piss off McCain and destroy his chances at VP. McCain is many things, but a nice forgiving man he is not.

  40. Sorry it will be McCain/Brownback. Brownback is liked by the evangelicals but also has some pull in the midwest and is not considered ignorant of issues or a populist (i.e. Huckanee). Also, there were stories that Brownback got McCain Florida via the conservative Catholic vote.

  41. Keri, etc.-

    McCain desperately needs the right of the Republican party. I’m not talking the evangelicals or the neo-cons, but the small government, strict constitutionalist, pro-federalism, etc. right.

    That branch has declined to support him throughout the primaries. And unlike the pragmatic neo-cons or the evangelicals who can comfort themselves with McCain’s pro-life record, the small government conservatives are not a guarantee for McCain. Not because they’d vote for Hillary or Obama but because they are more idealistic than not and might very well decide to stay home.

    McCain needs to motivate the Republican base while at the same time avoiding offending the moderate independents and Lieberman Democrats. If he can do that, he’ll win. If he can’t motivate the small government Republican base, while at the same time maintaining the respect of moderates and Lieberman Democrats, he’ll lose.

    Of course, if Hillary is the nominee, the Republicans as a whole will be very motivated, so McCain might not need to do much. On the other hand, if its Obama I worry. Like Reagan, Obama is a ‘happy warrior’ and doesn’t generate near as much animosity as Hillary.

  42. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. Merely another dramatic act in the pre-coronation pageant for President Clinton and Vice President Clinton in January (with, of course, the token black man serving as nominal officeholder to sidestep pesky constitutional requirements.)

  43. ipmiller wrote “McCain is many things, but a nice forgiving man he is not.” Don’t forget that he nominated Bush at the convention after the dirty trick Busk pulled in the primaries. McCain will pick anybody that works for VP. My guess is Huck.
    JL

  44. A Democratic victory I would have thought to be pretty much assured justa few eeks ago. After Tuesday? McCain just might back into the White House on the strength of the damage the Dems will do to themselves in their nomination dogfight. But to take advantage of that slight crack in the door, he can’t afford to screw anything up. So Huckabee is out, because he’s political death in the Midwest. Romney is probably out for ideological and personal reasons. Condi is actually pretty attractive to a lot of independents I know, but she may have too much baggage. So i’d bet somebody that can somehow shore up McCain’s conservative credentials. but nobody with any of the types of baggage mentioned above.

    BTW, to those figuring the Republicans can’t win because significantly more Democrats have turned out in the primaries, I wouldn’t be so sure of my math. There’s actually a race going on in the Democratic nomination. Nobody has seriously doubted McCain’s for months.

  45. I think McCain’s running mate will be Giuliani. Did you see the gushing endorsement Rudi made about two weeks ago? He was positioning himself to be the VP for sure.

    I have also heard some speculation about Huckabee for VP. I sincerely hope not, given Huckabee’s associations with the religious right.

    As for Romney, there was a lot of bad blood between these two during the primary season. But it wouldn’t be the first time candidates have put their differences aside. George H.W. Bush coined the phrase “voodoo economics” during the 1980 primaries. Reagan and Bush were fairly hostile toward each other throughout the campaign season—but Reagan selected Bush for the VP slot nonetheless.

  46. I strongly doubt that McCain will pick any of the also-ran GOP candidates. There are a lot of Congresscritters and governors available for the position. Chris Cox, formerly the rep for Orange County and now SEC chair, would be a potential choice.

  47. I think there’s too much bad blood between Mitt & McCain…

    Elizabeth Dole? Bob’s been out and about recently…

  48. Elizabeth Dole would continue the frighteningly long tradition of having a Bush or a Dole on the GOP ticket.

  49. McCain/Huckabee, with Giuliani as Attorney General, and Lieberman in the cabinet somewhere.

    It’s the political equivalent of sticking your finger down your throat.

  50. A McCain/Romney ticket makes a lot of political sense; when Romney’s not blatantly pandering to whoever he’s in front of he’s a very smart fellow and is conservative enough for the base, but not so conservative that McCain is uncomfortable with him politically.

    And as for people who hate each other being on the ticket, Reagan and GHW Bush may not of hated each other, but Reagan’s people hated Bush’s people and vice versa, but it seemed a good way to keep the country club Republicans on board with the movement conservatives. McCain knows he needs a sop to the conservatives and will find a genuine article. But it won’t be Huckabee, because McCain needs points both with social and economic conservatives and Huckabee is hardly an economic conservative.

  51. McCain/Gingrich!! McCain needs more than someone perceived as a conservative to get the base behind him. He needs a conservative Icon. And there are only a few out there, and only one with higher political aspirations. As a base member, the only way I won’t vote third party is if Newt on the ticket.

  52. I’m betting on either McCain/Huckabee (to deliver the south) or McCain/Thompson (not quite as popular in the south, but delivers the ideological base, which HATES Huckabee).

  53. Andrew #19: “If the Republicans want to keep the political Christians on their side, they have to have a guy like Mike Huckabee re-invent the Christian Right in a way that is not frightening to the non evangelical. ”

    IMHO, a guy who doesn’t accept evolution and thinks the Constitution should be adjusted to match his interpretation of the word of God is plenty frightening to this non-evangelical.

  54. McCain/Huckabee (very likely) v. Hillary/some poor schmuck is the most frightening scenario I can think of.

  55. stevem at 58 –

    There is not a single republican in the country–other than Ann Coulter, apparently–who wouldn’t get up and vote for McCain if Hillary were on the democratic ballot. McCain does not need the right of the party.

    If Obama is the democratic nominee then yes, I think McCain would need to select a running mate who appeals to the far right.

  56. Romney’s not going to angle for VP. He can probably already see that McCain will be the nominee and McCain will lose. No sense hitching your cart up to that horse.

    What he’s going to do is come back next time. Now everyone knows who he is, so he has 4 years to make alliances and build up his conservative creds and basically re-invent himself as someone all the conservative camps can get behind.

    The Republicans lost this one because the different factions – the religious conservatives, the social conservatives, the war-mongering conservatives – all had their one candidate, but there was no one who overlapped. If Romney can spend the next 4 years convincing people that he’s deport brown people *and* bomb them, he’ll have the nomination locked next time.

  57. The big question for me is: how much would it take for evangelicals to go third party or stay home?

    I just wonder how much McCain needs to pander to the religious right to get elected. If he can really count on evangelicals to hold their noses (and still bother to vote), he’d be best off choosing someone more centrist (Pawlenty, Lieberman, etc.) so he doesn’t scare off independents. If he can’t, though, he’ll be forced to choose a values VP. While Huckabee is a (frightening) possibility, enough mud seems to have flown in the primary race I’m not sure either McCain or Huckabee would be happy with that arrangement.

    As a Minnesotan, I don’t mind if he takes Pawlenty. Not like we were using him or anything.

  58. How about Alan Keyes? He is conservative and Afro-American. It will not happen, but it is something to think about as I doubt Colin Powell will ever touch politics again.

    For those that do not recognize Keyes, he is on the GOP primary ballot in most states and was graciously invited to two debates, both in a minority setting.

  59. Romny wouldn’t be such a terrible move–he brings fiscal expertise (perceived as lacking in McCain), conservative cred, and he’s a governor from the East. But…the bad blood between them is nigh insurmountable, so it likely won’t happen.

    I can’t really believe anyone seriously thinks Huckabee is in the running. To what end???. There’s a LOT of other southerners he could add to the ticket without losing all of his moderate support by aligning with a religious wacko (and one that the anti-tax, anti-immigration conservative windbags dislike to boot). Granted, the two of them actually get along personally, but…..that’s just crazy talk.

    The perfect candidate would be a relatively young (but who isn’t realatively young next to McCain?) fiscal conservative, but not perceived as part of the establishment

    Charlie Crist might be the one–fiscally savvy, and he helped McCain in the primary…and he’s popular here in Florida. (If he just weren’t so creepily tan…)

  60. Plastic Man will scare away as many voters as he brings in.

    One funny Romney story I have…. I was teaching at an urban alternative high school, and wished to get fishing licenses for my 25 students. At $30 a pop (Romney had just raised the fees to try to balance his budget), my school refused to pay for them.

    I went down to the MA state house with 4 thug students of mine, and was getting absolutely stonewalled by everyone I approached. I wanted a single blanket license for me that would allow groups of my students to fish under my supervision.

    By some stroke of luck… Mitzy walked by. I called to him, and he came over. I then chewed his a$$ out.

    “For Christ’s sake, Governor…these kids can hang out in the streets of Dorchester, or I can take them into the woods to fish. Chances are, they won’t even catch anything. Give me a blanket license, please.”

    Mitt took us into his office, made some calls… and I had my blanket license from the DFG a week later…. gratis.

    Granted.. there were reporters around when I started in on him, and I intentionally spoke loudly enough for them to hear. The possibility of him doing this just to shut me up when I walked out past the Boston Globe people was quite real.

    Awful governor, though… his whole term was an attempt to springboard into that Super Tuesday beating he just took. He closed every firehouse he could, and slashed higher education benefits. Even then, our tax burden went up as services went down.

    I was glad to see him fail in his bid to seize power, although I do appreciate his help with the fishing license.

  61. CaseyL @47

    All the Dems would have to do against him is run an endless loop of the I-35 Briedge collapsing, with a text graphic about his vetoing the funds that were supposed to maintain/repair the bridge.

    You are aware that the bridge collapse was due to a structural flaw not maintenance, right?

    Not that that will stop people from running the ad.

    Keri @52

    Seth Gordon: How much does McCain need the hard-core conservatives in the Republican base?

    I’m thinking he doesn’t. No right-wing fundie will vote either for Clinton or Obama, so they’ll vote for the Repubican, whoever it is.

    It’s not about the voting as much as it’s about the Get Out the Voting. McCain will need the Conservative GOTV machine to win.

    JJS @54

    As for Obama, a survey on a conservative talk show here in Utah asked “If we can’t have Mitt, who is your second choice?” Over 80 percent took Obama over other republicans.

    I’m very suspicious of such “testemonials” and I’ve heard them all over. It is impossible for me to believe that Conservatives will pick the man who was rated by a Liberal group as the most Liberal Senator of 2007 over a man who has an 85% lifetime conservative rating in the Senate.

    stevem @58

    McCain desperately needs the right of the Republican party. I’m not talking the evangelicals or the neo-cons, but the small government, strict constitutionalist, pro-federalism, etc. right.

    Yes. That and support in the South.

    Hibryd @75

    What he’s going to do is come back next time. Now everyone knows who he is, so he has 4 years to make alliances and build up his conservative creds and basically re-invent himself as someone all the conservative camps can get behind.

    Precisely. He will work hard for the party getting McCain elected, and in 4 years, when McCain is done, he will run again and likely be successful in getting the nomination.

  62. I thought there could be a slim possibility of the Mitt & McCain ticket. But i’m not sure.

    McCain does need a younger body to stand next to though, I mean he’s what, 71 now? thats kinda old in MHO to be running for president

  63. McCain/GW Bush- McCain dies of old age 1 month into his term and the world gets 3 11/12 more years of GW Bush.

  64. McCain/GW Bush- McCain would not be unconstitutional, as long has gW does not run for the office of president, in this case he is running as a VP. You could possible even get a Hillary/Bill ticket on the Dems side. Invest in ROLAIDS, the stocks could be skyrocketing.

  65. I don’t understand why McCain would pick any of the also-rans. Giuliani is a supposed social-issues “moderate” who actually pledged to nominate whoever the hard-right wants to the Supreme Court, and an advocate of war with everybody on the planet. McCain’s already got one of those on the ticket. Likewise, Romney was only the candidate of the irredentist wingers because he volunteered and they didn’t have anyone else; he was hardly their first choice, and as a VP candidate he’d do very little to bring them back to the fold. Meanwhile, Huckabee is loathed by the Limbaughs and Coulters, the big-money right-wing media-entertainment complex, almost as much as McCain is.

    I agree with several sensible people uptopic — it’ll be someone who didn’t run for President, or who ran but dropped out early. Pawlenty would be a sensible choice.

    What I don’t understand is people who think McCain is a moderate, or “against the war.” This guy must have a reality distortion field a mile wide; he’s one of the most consistently right-wing members of Congress, and if he gets elected, his foreign policy will make Cheney look like a dove.

  66. Okay, people? Do any of you actually live in Florida, you who are going on and on about Cornhole Charlie and I-Hate-Acronyms J.E.B.?

    Firstly: Crist is a no-no. He just got into office, and he’s still tainted with the gay scandal (man just needs to come out already and have done with it). If he gets on the ticket it will explode again, I guarantee, and there goes the vote. Jeb I can see. For whatever reason, the unwashed masses who live all around me love that sleazy bastard. We did, after all, re-elect him in the face of everything he did wrong. Americans seem to love to hump the Bushes for whatever reason (I still can’t fathom how we got them to 20+ years of important political service combined) so Jeb could be a likely bet.

    I comfort myself with the fact that at least the younger Bush brother is relatively smart…

  67. McCain/GW Bush- McCain would not be unconstitutional, as long has gW does not run for the office of president, in this case he is running as a VP.

    That’s not so. The last sentence of the 12th amendment states:

    “But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”

    Bush and Clinton are both ineligible for the Presidency under the 22nd amendment, which consequently makes them ineligible for the VP slot thanks to the 12th.

  68. Frank in 81:

    You are aware that the bridge collapse was due to a structural flaw not maintenance, right?

    Ahem, I believe the verdict is still out on that, correct? The NTSB investigation is still continuing and no official conclusion about the probable cause has been published.

    Yes, the NTSB issued an interim safety bulletin on 1/15/08 to alert bridge owners about a safety concern around inadequate gusset plates in the main truss of these kinds of bridges.

    The question yet to be answered is what caused this bridge to collapse when it did? My informed guess is that it will be a combination of factors and maintenance might still be one of them.

    Hey, the big pharma companies won’t let us import their drugs because of “safety concerns.” Why is it that Republican politicians are fine with cutting transportation budgets regardless of safety concerns? Could it be they get big bucks from the pharma companies? Naaaah.

  69. SeanH at 88:
    That’s not entirely settled. Amendment 12 says “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President” and Amendment 22 says “no person shall be elected to the office of the President”. The crucial word “elected” could qualify a VP candidate who had 2 terms as President, since succession isn’t election. Putting both Bill and Dubya on the VP slots would be a good way to get a nonpartisan ruling on it out of the Supreme Court, actually.

  70. Stacey,

    “For Christ’s sake, Governor…these kids can hang out in the streets of Dorchester, or I can take them into the woods to fish. Chances are, they won’t even catch anything. Give me a blanket license, please.”

    You guys fish in the woods? No wonder you don’t catch anything. Here in Minnesota we fish in the lakes and rivers.

    Sorry for the cheap shot. It is pretty interesting to me that Republicans hate them taxes but love them fees. I wonder if it is because taxes may be progressive but fees are always regressive?

    Naaaah. I’m sure it is just a coeinkydink.

  71. Most likely are Pawlenty or Thompson. News flash: Huckabee’s not really a conservative, he’s a populist evangelical, and his fine disregard for the Constitution would kill him anywhere outside the Religious Right. He could change parties tomorrow, govern exactly the same in Arkansas, and no one would bat an eye. Crist? Too much like Christ, and needs more time to dump that baggage. Condi Rice? Woo hoo. Can hardly wait for THOSE gay rumors to hit the fundie circuit. Brownback? Will he be wearing his Opus Dei cingulum? That’d be fun. Jeb Bush? Not a chance. The Bush name would doom the ticket this round.

    And yes, Doug from Vancouver, Billy and George really really are constitutionally ineligible. But George’s daddy could take another round. He’s only 83. Don’t tell McCain’s mama, 95 and still kickin’, that her son is too old. She’s reputed to have a mean streak. “Still kicking” is not just an expression. ;-)

    Really, who knows? I’m sure they’re running the matchup polls right now to see which of the maybes has the most traction. It’ll be someone with solid fiscon cred and no record of worshipping Roe or appointing liberal judges.

  72. Marc Moskowitz: It is settled–the phrasing allows a VP who succeeds into office by the death or impeachment of the President to run twice on his own only if he served less than two years as VP.

    Both Bill and George are right out as far as getting in via the normal Electoral College route–the EC can not legally consider them on the Electoral College ballot or cast EC votes for them as either President or VP. One can come up with some torturous hypotheticals (see the 25th Amendment Sec 2, and US Const. Art. 2 Sec. 1) that might bring a former elected two-termer back around by appointment and succession, but ONLY by majority action of both houses and the removal of both the sitting Prez and VP through other routes. They can’t come back in via the EC as VP.

  73. Don’t normally post, but after reading the comments, I gotta say, Huckabee scares us middle of the road Christians too. We aren’t looking to our prez or VP to save our souls, we want him to keep our country strong and vital. It isn’t about (or shouldn’t be about) religion, but about governance. Personally I’d rather see Thompson for either position. And yes, I’ll hold my nose and vote for McCain rather than either of the Dems. They frankly scare me.

  74. Yeah, that “Armies of God” speech guaranteed I’d never ever vote for him, and that he’d be poison on a general election ticket. Huckleberry’s staying in the race to get some more weight for the evangelicals at the convention when the platform gets voted on.

  75. It’s been reassuring to hear people talking about alternatives to Huckabee both here and elsewhere. He can’t be the best the GOP can do.

  76. From across the Atlantic, McCain/Romney looks rational – they could obviously bury their mutual antipathy if need be for the good of both their political careers. McCain/Huckabee looks cynical in the extreeeeeeme, and its downright scary that another loopy-tune God-botherer might get that close to the Big Chair.

  77. First: I support McCain for prez. No need to get into the hows and whys of that, the differences of opinion are pretty much beyond debate.

    However, I kinda like to keep the God out of my Government, I believe in that whole separation of Church and State idea the Founding Fathers came up with. Hence, I’m none too fond of the idea of Huck as veep.

    But I don’t think there’s a chance in hell there will be a McCain/Romney ticket.

  78. The joy (for a liberal) of a McCain nomination, or any GOP nomination is that there just are not enough Americans left who support an open ended stay in Iraq, which every GOP candidate other than Ron Paul has been in favor of.

    Electing McCain is essentially re-electing Bush. Hammering that message home will win an election, unless Clinton or Obama get caught in some sort of scandal.

  79. Ink Cannery girl (@71) says:

    “IMHO, a guy who doesn’t accept evolution and thinks the Constitution should be adjusted to match his interpretation of the word of God is plenty frightening to this non-evangelical.”

    Absolutely; I am as close to being an athiest while still believing in God. His rantings on the issue of faith and religion do not sit well with me. However, looking at it from a point of view of where do the republicans go, one of the things they have to do in their wilderness period is to change the way folks think of the religious right. From that point of view Mike Huckabee may not be perfect (IMHO, no-one is), but he has to be part of the process of getting there.

    Very few people would be happier than me if the republicans failed at “rebranding” the religious right.

    Cheers
    Andrew

    P.S. interesting handle BTW

  80. McCain/Romney: Being one aneurysm away from the Presidency can end the worst animosities.

    McCain/Huckabee: Hindenberg/Hitler

    McCain/Leiberman: That would bring out the latent (and not so latent) anti-semitism of the Left. It happens expect pro-Clinton/Obama groups to come out with anti-semitic advertising worse than anything Goebbels ever produced. Could destroy the hard left as a politic force.

    Religious Right: Never underestimate the irrationality of the true believer. Expect them to vote Democratic in November. Because it would deny McCain the Presidency, and because it would punish America for supporting the weaseling apostate. It’s a case of, better the unbeliever than the heretic.

  81. There’s only one possibility that truly terrifies me. That’s Huckabee in the Oval Office. I don’t think I’m alone. Given McCain’s age, his VP candidate has to be considered a likely successor. For me that puts Huckabee right out.

  82. John McCain is Sailing to Byzantium
    with apologies to William Butler Yeats
    by Jonathan Vos Post
    Copyright (c) 2008 by Emerald City Publishing

    That is no country for old men. The young
    watching Joel and Ethan Coen’s bloody repurposing,
    In one another’s arms, including gay marriage,
    and safe sex, and just playing Twister,
    birds in the trees – and binary trees optimized,
    Those dying generations – at their song,
    dying in Afghanistan, dying in Iraq,
    where we’ll need to be for a thousand years,
    listening to hip-hop, to Huckabee on the Fender bass,
    with sax solo by Hillary’s husband, what was his name,
    The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
    the streets of Cloverfield, I mean Manhattan
    on 9/11, the punchline of every posturing by
    Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani,
    Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long,
    or however long it takes to winnow the field,
    Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
    Caught in that sensual music all neglect
    Monuments of unageing intellect.
    Oh, forget the intellect thing. Too close
    to nuclear peanut-farmer wimp Jimmy Carter,
    egghead Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson,
    no, we’ll quote Thomas Jefferson, the only
    scientist ever President, and pretend that
    he would support Intelligent Design today,
    and was an avatar of Reagan. That’s the ticket.

    An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing,
    and sing with Gospel back-up (take that Obama!)
    For every tatter in its mortal dress,
    or Pants-suit in the case of Hillary,
    Nor is there singing school but studying
    Monuments of its own magnificence;
    And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
    To the holy city of Byzantium.
    Which is Winner Take All in delegates.

    O sages standing in God’s holy fire,
    which has thermodynamic temperature
    technically exceeding infinity,
    As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
    the gold standard being a Good Thing,
    and my being a Fiscal Conservative,
    at least compared to Holy Roman
    Emperor Bush II, and his boss Cheney,
    and whom I could have beaten, were
    it not for those dirty tricks, but I beat
    him in the same venue this time,
    so never mind, this is Destiny,
    Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
    which is some sort of helix thing, like DNA,
    or the serpent in the Garden of Eden,
    And be the singing-masters of my soul.
    Consume my heart away; sick with desire
    And fastened to a dying animal,
    which is what a bad VP pick would be,
    It knows not what it is; and gather me
    Into the artifice of eternity.
    Eternity meaning 8 years in office,
    until we amend the constitution to
    let me run a third time, maybe with
    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA, R).

    Once out of nature I shall never take
    My bodily form from any natural thing,
    and I don’t mean tree-hugger Organic natural,
    But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
    Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
    To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
    Or set upon a golden bough to sing
    as a beta-test for iPod or iPhone, iGuess,
    To lords and ladies of Byzantium,
    and my mother is 95 years old and feisty,
    so don’t give me that age-ist nonsense
    about “That is no country for old men”
    because I am not too old, and sing along
    to my victory march, or if you can’t sing,
    at least clap your hands and hum,
    Richard Feynman’s ghost on the bongo drum,
    as my bandwagon sweeps to glory,
    wrinkled fingers on the Lyre strum,
    Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

  83. Tully, if your information is indeed correct, many will sleep easier at night. I pray you are correct.

  84. Andrew @100

    Absolutely; I am as close to being an athiest while still believing in God.

    Oh. You’re a Buddhist.

    Alan Kellogg @101

    McCain/Huckabee: Hindenberg/Hitler

    Invoking Godwin: You lose

    End of thread

  85. Doug, that’s my non-lawyer’s translation of the opinions of the best constitutional scholars. A twice-elected Prez can only return to the office by basically being annointed via acclamation by both houses of Congress, and it would require the removal from office by death, resignation, or impeachment of the sitting Prez and VP plus the appointment of the ex-Prez to the open VP slot before the removal of the Prez.

    The only person to ever reach the seat by that route was Ford, and the idea that an ex-Prez who spent two terms pissing off the opposition in Congress (and his own party, for that matter) could manage it seems pretty far-fetched–Congress would certainly demand that the nominee be one of their own.

    But barring the repeal of the 22nd Amendment it’s simply not constitutionally possible via the election/EC route.

  86. And even that would require a Supreme Court ruling that the 12th referes ONLY to the EC, and not to the later amendments. Fat chance.

  87. Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty has a strong chance to be named VP. He is well liked in the state, holding a higher approval rating than the Dem-majority legislature (story below). His lack of national name recognition and inability to carry MN for McCain on Super Tuesday may be why he would be left off the ticket.

    ST. PAUL – A new statewide poll found that Gov. Tim Pawlenty is more popular than the Legislature, and that the second-term Republican governor has admirers across the political spectrum.

    The poll by Minnesota Public Radio and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute found 55 percent approved of Pawlenty’s job performance, while 39 percent disapproved. Views on the DFL-controlled Legislature were more mixed, with 46 percent saying they approved compared to 44 percent who disapproved.

    Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey Institute, said it’s typical for chief executives to score higher than legislative bodies in approval polls.

    “With a president or a governor you’ve got a person,” he said. “With a legislature you’ve got people, a large number of people. It’s difficult to identify with the body. There’s also a fairly cumbersome, arcane process in the legislature that’s hard for many citizens to track. Which is also I think a kind of drag on their support.”

    The poll was conducted by telephone from January 20-27. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points, but that percentage grows when party subgroups are broken out.

    Pawlenty scored highest among Republicans with 84 percent in support. Among Democrats, he garnered a 37 percent approval rating. “And I think that’s generally very good news for the governor,” Jacobs said.

    The governor’s office was pleased with the poll numbers.

    “Minnesotans have had five years to get to know Tim Pawlenty as their governor. And after five years the results are in and the marks are strong,” said Pawlenty’s spokesman, Brian McClung.

  88. I don’t expect a McCain/Romney ticket for the reason somebody gave uptopic: Romney adds nothing to McCain’s support. Huckabee would, but I don’t really expect Huckabee as McCain’s veep either. Whatever support he gained in the Bible Belt would probably be countered by losses among the independents whose glutei maximii McCain so loves to smooch.

    Not that it matters all that much. Even if McCain wins, he’ll be a one-termer, his only accomplishments will be to pass Democrat policies and proposals, and he’ll be the very last Republican president ever. If Obama or the Queen Bitch wins, then George W. Bush will go down as the very last Republican president ever. Why, you ask? Because any one of the three will readily sign an amnesty-and-citizenship bill for illegals. When those illegals gain the vote, they’ll vote Democrat in all things, giving Democrats permanent political control at all levels — state, federal, and local.

    I know, I know, most of you probably think that would be a good thing. I suppose you’ll still think so even when you’re paying a net thirty percent of your income in federal income taxes, thirty percent in FICA and Medicare taxes, twenty percent in state income taxes, fifteen percent sales taxes, and five dollars a gallon for gasoline — and the budget is still in deficit by hundreds of billions every year. Some of us, however, think otherwise.

  89. Andrew @ 100: Thank you! “ink cannery girl” is an anagram of my full name that a high school friend of mine found. I like the vaguely Dickensian sound of it, although I usually shorten it to “inkgirl”. :)

  90. “McCain/Leiberman: That would bring out the latent (and not so latent) anti-semitism of the Left.”

    I’d think that the majority of the people who loathe Lieberman (note the spelling), do so not because of his religion, but because he’s a self-serving, faux-moderate scumbag who’s done his best to embrace the BushCo while remaining nominally a Democrat.

  91. Tripp Says:
    “You guys fish in the woods? No wonder you don’t catch anything. Here in Minnesota we fish in the lakes and rivers.”

    If you saw my students at the time… you’d understand why “I can take them to the woods” is pretty much what you think it means….. but “to fish” is actually White Person for “far away from your constituents.”

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