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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

McCain’s Very Short List of Female Veep Prospects

David Paul Kuhn of The Politico has an interesting article out today about three women who could theoretically help John McCain cut into Barack Obama’s big lead among female voters by joining the GOP ticket.
It’s not a very extensive or impressive list.
Kuhn begins by dismissing the early talk about Condi Rice as a potential running-mate, citing her apparent lack of interest in the gig, and her total identification with the Bush administration. In fact, her reported pro-choice views probably disqualify her from the get-go.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has the paper credentials you’d want from a Veep, but has a stormy history with the cultural conservatives who likely have a veto over the selection, and is also widely considered Big Oil’s closest ally in the Senate.
There’s been some buzz about former HP exec Carly Fiorina, who’s been campaigning with McCain for a while. But as Kuhn points out, this may not be the right year to pick a former corporate CEO who presided over massive layoffs before getting fired and then accepting a $21 million golden parachute.
Then there’s Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, has a lot of movement conservatives fired up about her future if not her present. Palin, a former high school basketball star and beauty queen, got elected in 2006 after beating scandal-plauged Gov. Frank Murkowski in a primary, and is aligned against endangered porkmeister Don Young in this year’s GOP House primary. So she’s highly compatible with McCain’s alleged “reform” persona. But the reason conservatives outside Alaska love her is all about her rigid anti-abortion views, manifested in her personal life when she chose to continue a pregnancy, in her forties, despite knowing the child would have Down’s Syndrome. Still, she’s barely into her first term in office, has zero foreign policy experience, and is from a bright-red state that’s politically and culturally remote from the rest of the country. Maybe she and Jindal could create a formidable hard-right ticket in about 2020.
When it comes to McCain’s female running-mate options, as Porky Pig would say, “That’s all, folks!”

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