Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 27, 2008
POLITICS: Cantor for VP
We had a roundtable yesterday on the GOP Veepstakes over at RedState (as you can see, among the Contributors there we have a major divergence not only over the right VP pick but over McCain's odds in this election - and yes, that's former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith taking the view that McCain is a lost cause). I ultimately came to the conclusion that McCain should pick Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, a view I and the other Directors of the site formally endorsed here. Obviously the chief consideration is that Cantor's the most conservative of the remaining plausible candidates, and he's smart and articulate. Cantor wasn't my ideal choice - I preferred Mark Sanford or Don Carcieri - but he's the best of the group that seems to be currently under consideration.
Cantor would be considered a little light on experience for a presidential candidate, but (1) McCain at the top of the ticket already has experience to burn, and (2) Cantor is obviously more experienced than Obama, having been in Congress twice as long and in House leadership since Obama was in the Illinois statehouse (like Dick Cheney, Cantor managed the unusual accomplishment of being named to a leadership position after just a single term in the House); he passes the basic threshold for credibility in the job, and should have no problem taking the same stage with Joe Biden. As I note in the roundtable there are different cases in their resumes and profiles for picking guys like Pawlenty (who has the most experience as a public executive) or Romney (who brings the private-sector business experience), but Cantor's the guy among the remaining candidates who stands the best chance of firing up the base, and he's been more involved in national security policy for the past 8 years than the other two, while avoiding some of the pitfalls of the more outside-the-box choices.
I should note that while John Kasich's name still comes up I have no idea if he's ever been considered - Kasich would also be a fine choice.