Let’s say that the election of 2008 is between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. Who would be the best running mate for each one?
Hillary should choose Jim Webb, the freshman Senator from Virginia. He isn’t afraid of his opponents ( a quality many Democrats crave and haven’t had since the days of “Bill”) . Webb would also put some important southern states in play – states that Republicans must probably sweep to win.
And with his service in Vietnam and as Undersecretary of the Navy under President Reagan, Webb has the gravitas to offset Hillary’s inexperience and longtime antagonism toward the military.
While some think the dream ticket of Hillary-Obama is inevitable – given the “rock star” “feel” it would have– the choice of Obama would guarantee defeat for the democrats. Just ask John Kerry who chose a “style over substance” candidate when he picked John Edwards as his veep. It’s a choice he rues everyday.
When Obama claimed recently that he would sit down with our enemies but bomb our ally (Pakistan), his “substance” was seriously called into question.Our country, at this early stage in the race, may romanticize Obama in high office, but his deep naivete is now becoming transparent.
Rudy Giuliani would have three attractive choices for the Veep slot: John McCain, who easily fits the bill as someone who could be trusted to step into the president’s shoes if need be; Mitt Romney, who has proven his leadership qualities, and is both vigorous and articulate; and, Texas Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison.
A Giuliani-Hutchison ticket would be uniquely troublesome for the Democrats in several ways.
The thrice-elected Senator of the second largest state in the union would neutralize Hillary Clinton on two fronts: (1) the novelty of her being a woman, and (2) Hillary’s lack of accomplishments when compared to those of Senator Hutchison. In short, because of Hutchison’s presence on the ticket, Hillary Clinton is just another “I voted for it before I voted against it”, East Coast liberal. Of course, having a Southerner on the ticket would help neutralize Webb’s appeal to southern voters.
Rudy, as former Mayor of New York City, puts the usual democratic, huge electoral-college “gimme” states like New York and New Jersey in play. Because of his moderate views on social issues that are close to the hearts of many on the left (for instance abortion and gay marriage) he is very appealing to many liberals who think he is more likely than Hillary to “keep us safe.” But because the right recoils at the idea of Hillary as president, Rudy will get their vote in spite of his social views.
Rudy’s “footprint” in “9/11″ helps him, as we’re still living in a “9/11″ world. But, he would need to put forth something like An American Agenda — a massive program to fix America’s infrastructure. The man who cleaned up New York City and de-fanged the Mafia has the credibility to sell this idea to the American people. If Mrs. Clinton were smart, she’d try and co-opt this idea. Coming off the tragedy of the Minnesota bridge collapse and the Katrina disaster, it’s an issue that would
surely resonate with American voters.
The race in ’08 is really 3 against 2, as the Clinton-Webb ticket would also have “Bill” as sort of a roving third candidate on the ticket - a big plus to voters who may be vulnerable to the nostalgia of the Clinton years. I suspect that’s a lot of people. Nevertheless, the choices of both Mr. Webb and Ms. Hutchison offer the best chance of helping their prospective parties win the White House in 2008.
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