McCain Hosts Potential Veeps at His Ranch

John McCain has invited three possible running mates to his ranch in Page Springs, near the resort town of Sedona, Arizona, for a weekend visit. The three prospective veeps are Florida’s perpetually tanned, bachelor governor, Charlie Crist; former presisdential candidate, Mitt Romney; and Louisiana’s new governor, Bobby Jindal.

Crist is popular enough in Florida to make a difference in a tight race this fall, but at least one GOP operative has insisted that Charlie must get married, but quick, lest yahoos in the GOP base think he is gay.

Romney proved himself to be so inauthentic during his self-financed run against McCain last winter that it is hard to imagine why McCain would seriously consider him. Perhaps he’s on the list because, if McCain was chosen because he was the least-bad candidate, Romney was second least-worst.

Jindal is a wild card. He was a congressman before running for governor, and is well-known in Louisiana but not elsewhere, which means introducing him to the country would eat up campaign time and resources. Compounding this is his ethnicity. McCain can’t run on the success of the Iraq occupation or the Bush economy, and he’s even been botching his purported strong suit, foreign relations and security, lately. That means the best — maybe only — thing the McCain campaign has going for it is the fact that his opponent, Barack Obama is African-American, a factor that will energize the GOP racist base. Jindal’s family immigrated from India, and he is brown-skinned. Putting him on the ticket might confuse those core voters, who tend to view anyone with dark skin with suspicion. (Another possible ding against Crist.)

In any case, McCain adviser Charlie Black denies that the meetings at the ranch are anything but a fun sleepover for grown-ups. He insists the weekend will be “purely social” and has “nothing whatsoever to do with the vice presidential selection process … Wouldn’t it be difficult to interview people for vice president with the other competitors there?”

McCain’s wife Cindy is worth $100 million, we’re told, and, not surprisingly, the McCains’ vacation home sounds pretty nice:


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