Mike Huckabee certainly is not the VP choice to assauge disaffected Conservatives, but the GOP's presumptive nominee will want to repay Huckabee for all the bouquets he sent McCain over the past month, while posing for the VP job. Perhaps President McCain could appoint Huckabee to chair a Bi-Partisan Blue Ribbon Panel to formulate a national ban on smoking.
Club for Growth president Pat Toomey has an interesting column up today over at the WSJ, where he recommends some good VP picks to help McCain mend fences with Conservatives. According to Toomey, here's the order:
1. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford
2. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint
3. Indiania Rep. Mike Pence
4. Former TX Sen. Phil Gramm
5. Forbes, Inc., CEO Steve Forbes
Mark Sanford for me.
I can’t see mike Pence -- good guy though he be -- tipping the election to the GOP. For one thing, the round-‘em-up-and-deport-‘em, Security & Prosperity Initiative-North American Union-NAFTA Superhighway conspiracy theory Right was accusing him of being the puppet of Vicente Fox et al. when Pence proposed a mechanism to identify and legalize Guest Workers. So, irrespective of the veracity of that charge, let’s just say Pence wouldn’t ease the minds of Conservatives suspicious of McCain’s foxhole conversion to border enforcement.
Steve Forbes bet on the wrong horse (i.e. Guiliani), but would make a good choice for Secretary of the Treasury if McCain wishes to persuade Conservatives that he truly has seen the Supply-side light at last.
Jim Demint? Would McCain snub his Soulmate, Lindsay Graham, passing him over for South Carolina's other Senator, just to appease Conservatives? That would be turning over a new leaf, wouldn't it?
Phil Gramm? Wasn’t there some stupid comedy movie in the last few years about a pair of old codgers? The late-night TV comics won’t need Writers!
I have great admiration for Phil Gramm, a quintessential Reagan Democrat, who if I recall correctly, switched to the GOP and was re-elected in a Texas Congressional District that had never elected a Republican. He distinguished himself in the House and Senate as a supply-sider, a passionate advocate of limited government and a National Security Hawk.
All that aside, can you picture McCain and Gramm puttering around the campaign trail, patting themselves down before each speech and muttering, “now where the hades did I put my spectacles this time?” as an anguished aide surreptitiously points a finger to direct the candidate's attention to the top of his own head, where the misplaced eyeglasses reside. Meanwhile a virile Barak Obama, athletically leaps onto the stage and bops convincingly to the music before an adoring throng of 20-something supporters. Arghh, that contrast would even out-do the imagery of a tanned and towering Reagan bounding coatless down the the icy steps at Raikovic to overwhelm a short, swaddled and shivering Gorbachev with a carpal-crushing handshake and shoulder-dislocating slap on the back.
McCain would do far better to reward Gramm’s early support with an Ambassadorship to some friendly foreign country, perhaps Texas.