Philip earlier noted the speaker list for the Republican confab in two weeks. I think he’s right to ask us to look at it and wonder if it means anything for the Veep choice. I will note that of the people most often mentioned as being on the “short list,” the only one NOT listed as a speaker is Rob Portman — who, of course, also happens to live fairly close to the Dayton, Ohio rally at which McCain is expected to announce his choice next Friday. Another not on the speaker’s list who is thought to be on the slightly-expanded short list for Veep is Fred Smith of FedEx. Neither is Eric Cantor. Make of that what you will. Of those who SHOULD be on the short list, it is notable that John Kasich isn’t listed as a speaker. He ought to be, if only to give him a boost for governor of Ohio in two years. Mike Pence isn’t listed as a speaker either, even though he is as responsible as anyone for the recovery of the GOP in the past month, due to his leadership on the pro-drilling rump session of Congress.
Then again, what we know so far is just the “headline” speakers; there probably will be other speakers added to the list at some point.
Now, back to Kasich: For those still holding out hope that McCain is after all smart enough to be considering Kasich (even though all indications are to the contrary), and also willing to read way too much into the tea leaves, it is worth noting that right after the big rally in Dayton (also not far from Kasich’s old House district), the next stop for McCain, that same day, will be in Pennsylvania — which is where Kasich grew up.
I’ll write lots more on this next topic, but I spoke to Frank Luntz today about the communications abilities of a whole list of possible Veeps. As I say, I’ll report on the whole list later. While he didn’t think Kasich would be likely to be Veep, Luntz was emphatic and enthusiastic about Kasich’s ability to connect with middle-American voters. “John Kasich is brilliant!” he said.