February 25, 2008


McCain’s Veep Problem: If he chooses a solid conservative, he’ll have a running mate who disagrees with him on some key issues (Byron York, 2/24/08, National Review)

John McCain faces a dilemma when it comes to choosing a vice president. He needs a running mate who will be a contrast to him in a few key ways — younger, more knowledgeable about economic issues, and, especially, more conservative. But if McCain selects a running mate whose conservative credentials are beyond dispute, he’ll be choosing a candidate who likely disagrees with him on some issues of great importance to the Republican base.

On Sunday, I spoke with two leading contenders for the McCain ticket, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, both in Washington for the annual meeting of the National Governors’ Association. While each expressed strong support for McCain, neither would deny differences with the candidate on two of the issues that have caused McCain the greatest trouble with the conservative base: immigration and campaign-finance reform.

Polls could hardly be more consistent in showing that no one outside of Washington much cares about campaign finance but, to the extent that they do, even Republicans support not just reforms but public financing, which would be truly horrid. And, on immigration, Republicans track the rest of America in supporting the sort of comprehensive solution that features making illegal immigration, legal immigration easier, and granting current illegals legality if they jump through a few hoops.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2008 11:42 AM
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