This is not the Republicans' year. There are omens all over the place.
Some of them cosmic. As you may recall, Rep. Vito Fossella (R) ran a red
light a few weeks ago and was stopped by a policeman who determined
that (1) Fosella was drunk and (2) Fosella had a family in Virginia in
addition to one on Staten Island. Vito Finito as the tabloids put it.
With great difficulty, the Republicans managed to find a candidate to
run in NY-13, an evenly split district that is the only Republican-held
House seat in New York City. The candidate, Frank Powers, was a rich
businessman who could finance the campaign himself, something the
cash-strapped NRCC can't do for him. Things were looking rosy for a bit
and the Republicans thought they could possibly hold the seat against
the Democratic contender, most likely New York City councilman Michael
McMahon (Chris Van Hollen's choice) although there is a primary in Sept.
Got it so far? Enter the cosmic forces. Powers
of a heart attack yesterday. So it is back to square 1 for the GOP.
Having looked at some of the potential Democratic Veep candidates,
now let's look at who is available for John McCain to choose.
He is actively trying to woo women distressed by Hillary Clinton's defeat.
If Barack Obama picks a man, McCain might try to pick up the former
Clinton supporters by putting a woman on the ticket. Suppose he wants
to do that. Who's available? Governors and senators are the obvious
Republican Women Governors
Gov. Linda Lingle (R-HI)
is a twice-divorced Jewish woman from a small and very blue state in which
Obama lived for a number of years. Doesn't look promising.
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK)
would drive the media wild. Can you imagine, the elderly McCain paired
with a good-looking 44-year-old biker chick? All the reporters would
want to go for a ride with her on her motorcycle. She would completely
overshadow McCain and make him look very old. She'd be at the center
of media attention, but there would be issues whether she is prepared
to be commander in chief.
She has five children and is strongly anti-abortion, which may help with
the base put probably not with independent women.
Gov. Jodi Rell (R-CT)
is pro choice and too liberal for the Republican party and she is from
a small blue state to boot.
Republican Women Senators
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
is currently fighting for her political life against Rep. Tom Allen.
If she were to be on the national ticket, the Democrats would pick up
her Senate seat. Besides, she is from a small blue state.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
is the wife of former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole.
She has had numerous jobs in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations.
She is definitely a heavyweight with lots of government experience.
However, she is locked in a tight reelection battle with Kay Hagan
and if she were to drop out of the race, Hagan would probably pick
up the Senate seat. That has to be a consideration. Otherwise, Dole
would be a solid choice.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
looks and acts like a southern belle but underneath
is a solid conservative and very savvy and experienced politician.
She is thinking of running for governor of Texas in 2010, but might be
persuaded to take the Veep slot. She would definitely help McCain
with women and conservatives. She is not up for reelection this year.
Her main downside is that she has close ties to the oil industry. Nevertheless,
all in all, she is probably the best choice among the women.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
will bring up the issue of nepotism very quickly. When Sen. Frank
Murkowski was elected governor, he had to appoint someone to his
vacant Senate seat. He wanted someone he trusted completely--
so he appointed his daughter, Lisa. She was later elected in her own
right, but she has also been involved in a couple of scandals. Seems
an unlikely choice.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
is a moderate from a small blue state. The Base might not like her, but
if McCain wants to thumb his nose at them and make a pitch for
independents, she might be an option.
Carly Fiorina is a name that is often mentioned so we put her on
the list. She has a background in business and has been a top McCain
advisor on economic policy. She is one of the few women to be CEO
of a high tech company, in her case Hewlett Packard. She might be
an interesting choice were it not for the minor detail that she was fired
by the HP board for incompetence in an extremely visible and public way.
If McCain wants to prove that he is just as incompetent as George Bush,
picking Fiorina will surely do the job.
Oh yeah, and as CEO she fired thousands of HP workers yet when she herself
was fired, she got a severance package exceeding $20 million. That's going
to go over real big with blue collar workers worried about losing their jobs.
Condi Rice has said she doesn't want the job. Besides, she
is tied so closely to George Bush that it would make it impossible for
McCain to deny that electing him would be Bush's third term. He doesn't
Christine Todd Whitman is the former governor of New Jersey
and former EPA administrator. She is a moderate and might help bring
in women and independents but the Base won't like her.
Meg Whitman is the former CEO of E-Bay and sometimes named
as a possibility. She is known to have political ambitions and doesn't
have the baggage Fiorina has. She's a dark horse though.
Here are today's polls. Nothing really unexpected.