Who Will McCain’s Running Mate Be?

This should be fun. Is there a single Republican who would work as a running mate for John McCain, or will he have to settle for Mike Huckabee. Oh, really, that one would be a hoot, wouldn't it? Let's speculate!

Is it too early to be speculating? Probably, but I've never let that sort of thing bother me before. Larry Eichol, the Philadelphia Inquirer political reporter, notes that McCain is now the clear Republican frontrunner. Sure, Mitt Romney can come back, and as I think he'll be a weaker opponent than John McCain in the Fall, I hope only good things for Mitt Romney for the next couple months. But the topic of the day is John McCain, and he'll have a hard time putting together an adequate running mate, given the criteria that need to be met.

Let's lay the groundwork a bit. I suppose we could call this handicapping the field:

1. McCain will be trying to prevent the first woman or African American becoming President. American seems to have fallen in love with the idea of change, and there's no better symbol of change than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's potential to break new ground. So McCain needs to come up with some ethinic or gender diversity in his choice.

2. Democrats are outpolling Republicans all over, and that means McCain needs to choose someone who will help him energize the base, the radical right wing Christian Cleric wing of the Republican Party.

3. John McCain is old, and he's going to need to balance that a bit to counter the dynamism of an Obama and the vitality of a Hillary Clinton. He needs a relatively young running mate, unless, of course, Dick Cheney is still ticking out there.

4. Regionally McCain needs to get someone who can win a region. Forget the Northeast, as it will go to a Democrat regardless. Forget California and the west. McCain needs a southerner, or a midwesterner.

5. John McCain's running mate must have stature. Senators are OK, but a Governor would balance the ticket a bit. He could go for a cabinet member, or maybe a bigtime mayor. Whatever the choice, he or shee must have stature, and must have at least some name recognition.

If McCain can satisfy a few of these conditions, he'll be lucky. Frankly, as I quickly peruse the list of Republican Governors, Senators, Congressmen, etc., I'm finding slim pickings. Heck, there are few who haven't been touched by scandal. But let's throw a few names out there.

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