Please Let it Be George Allen

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Marc Ambinder does some speculating as to who John McCain might chose as his running mate. One of the names, in particular, jumped out at me (well, two, if you count the misspelling of Bobby Jindal's name):

1. Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
2. Gov. John Huntsman (R-UT)
3. Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
4. Ex-Sen. Fred Thompson
5. Ex-Sen. George Allen
6. Gov. Bobby Jindall (R-LA)
7. Mike Huckabee
8. Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL)
9. Mitt Romney

Is George Allen really in the running to be McCain's Vice Presidential nominee? One might think that such a possibility is a bit absurd -- after all, Allen's name has been thoroughly tarnished, not only in his home state of Virginia (which seems like it will be a key swing state in November's presidential election) but also across the country as a result of his utterance of the term "Macaca" and subsequent reporting on allegations of racism on Allen's part. However, McCain did chose Allen to introduce him at the CPAC conference, and Allen did just endorse McCain. And presumably Allen would be able to help McCain shore up support among conservatives, who still seem to like the tainted Virginian.

Maybe Allen's name being floated is just that -- or even less than that, speculation on the part of Ambinder. But given that more Americans viewed Allen unfavorably than favorably even before the Macaca incident, and after the incident 62 percent of Americans indicated that they did not want to see Allen run for President (compared with the paltry 13 percent saying they would like to see him make a White House bid), it sure seems that Allen would be a large net negative on a Republican ticket. So notwithstanding the fear of the possibility that Allen would become the Vice President of the United States, I certainly would not be too unhappy about seeing him on the GOP ticket this fall.

Tags: George Allen, John McCain (all tags)

Comments

36 Comments

Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

 Please let it be Jeb Bush.

by Safe at Home 2008-02-08 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

If they're smart, it'll be Jindall, Crist, or even Palin.  All would be tough to beat.  My guess though is that they'll go for the whack ass crazy wing of the party instead of going for the anti-corruption, moderate "I actually make sense sometimes" wing of the party.

by turnnoblindeye 2008-02-08 10:00AM | 0 recs
Jindal or Hutchison would be smart.

Basically very popular in their states, in the middle of the GOP, and "diversity" picks.

Palin and Crist might be too moderate, and Crist is widely rumored to be gay.  Not reassuring to the McCain skeptics.

by Ramo 2008-02-08 10:05AM | 0 recs
Is Crist rumored to be gay?

I always thought that he would be the best VP that McCain could choose because Crist is a popular governor from Florida.

by puma 2008-02-08 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Is Crist rumored to be gay?

It would be the best way to lock up Florida for him.

by Vox Populi 2008-02-08 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Well, everyone has been saying it would be McCain/Pawlenty since 2006. Things have changed, but who knows. He's young and from Wisconsin, which the GOP has its eyes on.

by RJEvans 2008-02-08 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Hes from Minnesota.

by Safe at Home 2008-02-08 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Oops. My bad.

by RJEvans 2008-02-08 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

I live in MN and let me tell you, this man should scare the bejeezus out of you.  He is one of the best pure politicians I have ever seen.  He could eat babies on the capitol steps and still come out of polling +10 on shares our values.

Seriously, you should worry about him being a nominee at any level of national office.

by kasjogren 2008-02-08 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Well Jeb is out, in NO WAY do I think he will accept or is interested in the job.

I think Crist is his best pick, Florida loves him.
I'm a democrat and I think Crist is a GREAT Governor.

He can carry swing state, and if you notice even though Florida is over Crist goes everywhere with him, and is always behind him at his victory speeches.

Plus, about a month ago, Sen. Martinez from Florida said it would be smart for the GOP nominee to take Crist as VP, a week or two later Martinez endorses McCain, and two days after that Charlie Crist.

the only other thing I can think of is if, he wants Crist as AG, to combat Obama if he pick Edwards during the campaign as AG.

Crist was the best AG Florida has really ever had.

by Mbon007 2008-02-08 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

What about that "Confirmed Bachelor" rumor that surrounds Crist. If this is the best the GOP can came up with they are in real trouble.

by Safe at Home 2008-02-08 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Well he still is VERY popular among both parties in Florida, and those rumors were shot down in the gov race.

by Mbon007 2008-02-08 10:20AM | 0 recs
Guiliani

I don't care what you hear - he's a favorite.

by mickman20 2008-02-08 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Jindal would be a good choice if they are grooming him for a Presidential run someday, but would he leave his Gov job after only a couple months?  What does that say to Louisianans?

Fred Thompson would be just as bad as Allen.  A McCain-Thompson ticket would be a hard sell with voters under 65...

by NJIndependent 2008-02-08 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

No way the GOP would let Jindal go now:  the possibility that just a year after taking back the Governor's mansion and supposedly ushering along an era of more GOP power in Louisiana, a replacement Governor would be a Democrat:  current Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu.  He's probably popular enough to stay Governor for awhile.  And defeat the GOP's objective of making Louisiana even more red.

Of course, the GOP could bank on McCain losing, but having Jindal's profile raised on a national level by being on the ticket, then having Jindal go back to being Governor to set up a strong run in 2012.

by alphaaqua 2008-02-08 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

John Thune seems like a strong pick, although he doesn't bring a state with him.  They absolutely have to have a rock-solid conservative for the #2 spot, and it has to be someone the country can envision taking over as President, meaning Huckabee is out.  They can't pick a Quayle this time because there's too much chance he'll actually have to do the job.

by Steve M 2008-02-08 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Mitt Romney ha!  sure.

by snaktime 2008-02-08 10:32AM | 0 recs
Romney wouldn't take the offer

I think Mitt is counting on McCain to lose so he can take another shot at the presidency in 2012, after Dems have raised taxes and withdrawn most troops from Iraq.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-08 10:33AM | 0 recs
Why John Huntsman?

I don't know too much about him.

by MILiberal 2008-02-08 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Whomever he picks will have to be young and vibrant.  I honestly won't be surprised if it's Huckabee.

by Vox Populi 2008-02-08 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen
I see where you are coming from on the George Allen thing, Jonathan.  But that's the name that jumped out at you?  That's not even close to the worst name on that list.  Mitt Romney is perhaps the worst choice i've ever heard.  He undermines McCain's biggest perceived strength (authenticity) and he's an anethma to independents.  Plus the two have been attacking each other for half a year.
   And as someone said earlier, Fred Thompson would be a disaster.  If that's the pick, then I call credit for the campaign ads against them.  We'll call them, "The Grumpy Old Men."  Mattheau and Lemon move over
by wjr24 2008-02-08 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Sam Brownback would be the smart choice.

by Safe at Home 2008-02-08 10:35AM | 0 recs
Pawlenty

Romney won Minnesota - not that it matters now - but I do think that this reduces Pawlenty's chances.

by eric the red 2008-02-08 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Pawlenty is the only one of those who makes any sense whatsoever-- probably puts MN in play.  

Bonus pick:  Chuck Hagel.  How do you get over people in your base hating your candidacy- pull a Clinton/Gore and make it about winning independents.

Also McCain and Hagel are buddies.

by jgkojak 2008-02-08 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

a Hagel selection would undercut McCain's Iraq position. It would probably drive some conservatives crazy as well.

by gomer 2008-02-08 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

I disagree that Pawlenty puts MN in play.  He's won election statewide twice, but didn't break 50% either time.  Despite less than scintilating DFL candidates.  The so-called "Independence Party" in MN is really the reason he exists.  All that being said, I'm sure he'll be on the short list.  Candidly, I hope he is.  A discussion about tax cuts will be particularly fun if the Governor from "oops, that big bridge fell down" Minnesota is on the ticket.  

by HSTruman 2008-02-08 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

There's also the whole pushing to have a publicly-funded $250 million stadium built in a city where >70% of the population opposed it.  The same city in which a bridge collapsed.

by the mollusk 2008-02-08 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

His VP choice is going to scrutinized even more than usual, since as someone else noted there is a decent chance that he will not run for a second term and might encounter some health issues even during his first term.  Satisfying the uber-conservatives while meeting the kind of scrutiny that only comes when you are 72 years old may prove difficult.  Should be interesting.  

by HSTruman 2008-02-08 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

The other interesting thing is, if he picks someone too old (Thompson, for instance), then we have the Grumpy Old Men scenario mentioned above.  But if he picks someone young and vibrant, he looks like the Crypt Keeper standing next to the guy (and I think, being the Republicans, we can assume it'll be a guy).

by schroeder 2008-02-08 12:03PM | 0 recs
Here's one:

Newt Gingrich.

by the mollusk 2008-02-08 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

It will be Sanford (to help w the base) or Crist (for FL).

by pg4obama 2008-02-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

Ronald Reagan or Jesus Christ will unite the party.

by buffalo soldier 2008-02-08 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

George Allen, that's funny.

I honestly think it's between Huckabee and Pawlenty. Also being from MN, Pawlenty is strong. He's young, been on the McCain campaign since day 1 (Didn't help in MN on the 5th though), and he has some nice dynamics with McCain's positions. He has no foreign affairs experience, but that's what McCain will run on anyway, so no worries. He did win in 06, but the Dem nominee was actually really bad.

As for Huckabee, he's really the guy the repubs want. He's charismatic to some degree, religious and is everything McCain isn't. Southern, unforgiving in his values, doesn't compromise and is popular with the evangelicals.

I have a hard time believing it's Palin, Huntsman, or Thune. They have such small followings and are from such small states. The small state argument could be used for Biden and Richardon on our side, but if one of those three are picked, people are going to wonder why.

What about Jodi Rell (Gov-CT)? Is she popular? She balances the woman/minority problem the Repub. ticket will have if McCain picks a white man. She's also from the NE, which would make McCain at least a little viable there. I don't know much about her though.

by Politically Wise 2008-02-08 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

If it's Huckabee, not only they can kiss the social moderates goodbye, but they'll have to explain away the Fair Tax idea.  Who in his right mind would support a 30% national sales tax?

Still, it wouldn't be the first time that a running mate has had to change his tune for a spot on the ticket.  Why, it seems like only yesterday that George H.W. Bush was railing against voodoo economics...

by KTinOhio 2008-02-08 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

It'll be Charlie Crist. McCain is an old guard Republican who will see his only chance at victory tied to winning Florida. Crist is popular and Bro. Jeb will be sure to line up his chips with the party establishment as he anticipates 2012. The only problem I see with Crist is that both he and McCain are "silver haired devils!" What better way to show up the Republicans for what they are: Old, rich, Southern, white, guys.

by randron 2008-02-08 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Please Let it Be George Allen

I never thought about McCain's advantage with Latinos versus Obama.  I believe it will Chalie Crist as well. He basically owes Crist for the Florida win.  Thune would also be an attractive choice but I don't know what he gains McCain vote wise since his state is already a GOP stronghold.

by ND1979 2008-02-08 01:52PM | 0 recs

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