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Former U.S. Appeals Court Judge Charles Pickering of Mississippi: Criteria: Conservative, young, and with proven leadership ability. He said he hadn’t given the subject much thought, but that Romney and Pawlenty both seemed acceptable.
Gary Palmer, president of the Alabama Policy Institute: “I would have said Mark Sanford….[but he might be better four years from now]. The ideal candidate is not only a fiscal conservative but a social conservative. He needs to infuse some personality in the campaign, and somebody who will run on ideas and issues.”
Palmer volunteered Kasich and Pence as “guys who fit the mold.” And, when asked, said Cox “would be an attractive candidate” if he would raise his profile.
John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation (North Carolina): Caveat: “I’m not sure there’s a lot of historical evidence for the importance of a vice-presidential choice. But McCain, for obvious reasons, needs to pick wisely.”
“A month ago, I would have picked Mark Sanford, but I’m persuaded that McCain is not going to pick him. The most important thing is, who is qualified to be president. He should be perceived as being capable of stepping into office and running the government without a year or two of tutorials. Probably the best choice is Romney. He was the governor of Massachusetts and an accomplished private sector manager. And arguably Romney has some appeal in Michigan.”
Another good choice: Kasich.
IF YOU ARE KEEPING SCORE, of ten people who mentioned names, there were six mentions of Sanford as acceptable (two as first choice) five for Romney (two as first choice), four for Pawlenty (none with real excitement), three for Kasich, two (both first choices) for Jindal, two each for Cox, Ryan, Pence, and Daniels, and one each for Thune, Ensign, Burr, and Huckabee. Of the qualities listed by top conservatives as essential, executive ability seems to top the list. Conservatism and immediately recognizable qualifications came next. Geography played only a small role in the considerations. Making moves to the political “center” was scoffed at: McCain, these conservatives think, does that all by himself without needing help from a running mate.
Come back to this space on Monday for my final column in this intermittent series on this topic.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online