The Spectacle Blog

WSJ Touts Chris Cox

By on 3.25.08 | 1:11PM

A week ago it was Robert Novak effectively touting my favorite choice, Chris Cox, as McCain's best running mate option. Today it is the Wall Street Journal's online Political Diary. Because it is subscription only, I reproduce it in full (having secured permission), but note that the subscription is quite worthwhile if you don't have one already. Anyway, here it is:

Meet Chris Cox

While the Democratic slugfest sucks up all the media attention, John McCain will have at least one big chance to move back to center-stage -- when he picks his veep nominee.

Mr. McCain needs to bolster his economic street cred, especially after admitting minimal expertise on the subject. He needs to rally pro-growth Republicans and calm the fears of ordinary voters amid the mortgage meltdown. Who to call? California Republican Chris Cox was on George W. Bush's shortlist eight years ago and didn't get the nod. Now his moment may have arrived, judging by a growing murmur among his GOP fans.

At 55, he's youthful and confidence-inspiring, with ample experience to serve as understudy to a well-traveled 72-year-old. He has a reputation as a serious and sober minded politician. He earned both a law and business degree from Harvard. He's fluent in Russian -- before entering politics he started a company that translated Soviet publications into English. He served a stint in the Reagan White House, then ran successfully for Congress from Orange County, serving nine terms and amassing a strong record as a fiscal conservative and tax cutter. He also led a bipartisan Congressional commission that wrote the book on Chinese technological espionage.

In 2005, he became chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he has walked a careful, and successful, line in eschewing over-regulation while expanding investor information on CEO pay and other governance hot buttons.

Not widely known is a chapter in his personal history. At age 25, Mr. Cox faced the possibility that he might never walk again when a Jeep he was riding in flipped over and pinned him to the ground. His spine was crushed. It took him six months and a steel brace that he wore around his chest before he regained the ability to walk. Today, he still suffers severe pain, especially if he sits for long periods of time, so he often uses a desk that allows him to work while standing up.

-- Brendan Miniter

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