Splitting our differences: if McCain was smart...
by catchaz, Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 09:51:38 AM EDT
It is very rare that the veep pick makes much of a difference in general elections. (ask Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle.) But every once in a while, there is an JFK-LBJ moment, that does make the difference of who becomes president.
I believe this year there are 5 such possibilities, only one of which is on the Dem side. Later, I will write diaries on the Dem candidate i believe could make a difference, James Webb, and the other GOP difference maker, Mike Huckabee. this diary is on the 3 GOP candidates who could make a HUGE difference by attempting to split the divisions that have been raised in the Democratic primary wide open.
the purpose of this diary is to emphasize how important it is to COME TOGETHER AS PARTY behind our eventual nominee.
If John McCain is brave enough, there are 3 candidates who could open up this divide if we don't heal it, and give the GOP new inroads into groups that usually provide the winning margin to Dems. these candidates are Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Kay Bailey Hutchison. all of these candidates can help the GOP no matter who our nominee is.
in short, any of these three would give the GOP an answer to the Democrats historic ticket. granted, the GOP choice would be at the bottom the ticket, but McCain's age and the idea that he might only serve one term makes the historic implications very real.
1) Colin Powell
While Powell lost most of his Democratic support, and alot of credibilty in general, with his show at the UN supporting the war in Iraq, across the country he is still wildly popular. Powell is also still popular with independents.
If Obama is the Dem nominee, Powell might be able to keep the GOP share of the Black vote at it's usual 10% instead of plummeting to zero. it would give the GOP an historic ticket, and given McCain's age and the idea that he might only serve one term, it would set up Powell, not Obama, to be the nation's first Black president. it's certainly not a stretch to say many white Americans would be more comfortable with a Black GOP president than a Black Democrat.
If Clinton is the nominee, especially if she takes the nomination with less votes and pledged delegates than Obama, putting Powell on the ticket could lead to the biggest Black vote for the GOP since the GOP's Southern Strategy chased them all away. a landslide victory for the GOP would be the possible result.
2) Condoleeza Rice:
as with Powell, while Dems have come to see her many errors, the general public still loves her, and sees her as a tough and accomplished woman.
If Obama is the nominee, Rice can offset some of his margin with the Black voters, and gets in line to be the first Black, and first woman president. Plus, she would threaten to make HUGE gains in the women's vote. if many Clinton supporters are as angry as they seem to be about the first serious woman candidate for prez being passed over, Rice gives them somewhere to go to achieve this historic milestone. as again, McCain's age make it more likely she'd be president sooner than later. The GOP would possibly win the women's vote, and with their usual edge among men could make a Dem victory impossible.
If Clinton is the nominee, Rice would benefit from the opposite backlash, Black voters angry at Clinton. A Black woman on the GOP ticket against a Dem ticket without a Black candidate could give the GOP enough Black votes to tilt the scales in their favor. and of course she gives conservative women who'd like to see a woman president an outlet.
3) Kay Bailey Hutchison
the choice i think McCain may be most likely to make. while her actual military experience may be limited, it's the same as Clinton's in the Senate. and no doubt many Americans would see her as "tougher" than Clinton simply because she's a ReThug, and from Texas.
If Obama is the nominee Hutchison does the most to capitalize on white women's anger at Clinton being passed over. She could help lead a revolt by moderate women against the liberal Democrats who denied Clinton the nomination. if that happened, we could be looking at a landslide defeat.
If Clinton is the nominee, Hutchison could be just as hurtful. she would no doubt offer an alternative to the many women who desperately want to see a woman in the white house, but have personal or ideological problems with Clinton. McCain's age would make it very likely that Hutchison would have a real chance to be the first woman president. and similar to their feelings about Black candidates, there are many Americans who would more comfortable if the first woman prez was a Republican.
While McCain may play it safe with yet another Generic White Veep, all three of these potential veeps would be much more dangerous choices for Dems because each would give the GOP an answer to the historic nature of the Democratic nominee. they would each have the possiblility to split our internal differences wide open. which is why we need to make sure those wounds are healed before the GOP gets the chance to bust them wide open.
(cross-posted at DailyKos.)
Tags: African Americans, Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, general election, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Mike Huckabee, racism, Republicans, sexism, Vice President, Women (all tags)