After weeks and months of punditry and media speculations on who will be the Vice Presidential picks for both John McCain and Barack Obama, it appears that the normally dull McCain campaign has made a bit of fresh news by “leaking” some new developments to the press.
It has been assumed, for quite some time now, by unexcited and even lethargic conservatives that McCain would select either Mitt Romney or Charlie Crist, with a slight chance of Sarah Palin and/or Bobby Jindal as VP. A new twist has been added in the past week to the Republican Veepstakes. Word has been circulating that John McCain is now seriously considering a “dark horse” newcomer to his Veepstakes, Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor.
Someone close to the McCain campaign stated under conditions of anonymity that Cantor and McCain have held several personal meetings as of late, and most recently, the McCain campaign asked Congressman Cantor to turn over records and documents, which at this stage of the game, pretty much denotes VP consideration and vetting.
Telling signs pointing to Cantor being seriously considered include frequent, visible appearances on TV speaking as a surrogate for McCain’s campaign as well as reinforcing McCain’s political positions on foreign, domestic and economic issues. As well, Cantor seems to be fine tuning his “attack dog” role by becoming more and more vocal, as well as more and more forceful in criticizing nearly every position Obama holds.
Cantor, the four-term Congressman, would be a better choice than the others because he is 45, which would balance out McCain’s advanced age, as well as counter Obama’s youth, has strong support among the hardcore conservative base, favors a constitutional ban to gay marriage, is a huge proponent of the anti-tax philosophy of the Republican party, and is Jewish. Perhaps the biggest reason he is under consideration is because he’s from the state of Virginia. With talks heating up about VA Governor Tim Kaine having the inside track to Obama’s VP slot, McCain is trying to keep VA in play.
As of right now, even though Cantor is the “new buzz,” the chances of him being selected as McCain’s running mate is high, perhaps even higher than the other, oft-mentioned possibilities. Romney is not a conservative favorite due to his Mormonism and his recent flip-flopping on issues to appear as a conservative. Crist, though popular in Florida, may be seen as not quite conservative enough, especially being paired with McCain. And there are persistent rumors that Crist may be gay. That certainly won’t go over well with the base. Jindal has pretty much taken himself out of the running as a way to preserve his own presidential run in 2012, and nothing has been said about Palin at all by the McCain campaign.
Within the next couple weeks, we may just be hearing the announcement of the McCain/Cantor ticket.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association