Democrat pundits are almost getting giddy with speculation that McCain may choose a running mate who has “pro-choice” views on abortion, specifically referencing Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman. They’ve been daring, even goading, McCain to do it with teases such as “John McCain needs to show he can reach across political lines,” or “John McCain, the political maverick of 2000, wouldn’t even vote for John McCain, the strictly partisan hack of 2008.”
We’ll know the truth of the matter by the 29th of August.
But what would happen if McCain really did pick a Joe Lieberman or a Tom Ridge? Would McCain win the middle of the political spectrum? Maybe . . . maybe not. He would definitely lose his hold on the base, though. Would his base flock to Obama in that case? No. Would his base stay home? A few would. So, would letting go of his base to capture the middle help McCain win the election? Nope. Why? Because those in the disaffected Republican base would probably vote for a minor party candidate. Obama could be like Bill Clinton, who won the presidency with a minority of the vote, because minor candidates may siphon a significant number of votes away from the Republican.
How do I know that minor party candidates would enter the equation for picking the president if McCain picks Ridge or Lieberman? Because I, myself, have cast votes for minor party candidates when my conscience wouldn’t allow me to pick a Republican in a race in which the Democrat choice was also unsatisfactory. Been there, done that. Let me also say that Ridge and Lieberman are liberal on more issues than just abortion. So, let me just warn McCain not to play with fire, and pick a VP that the base can support.
My preference for the Republican VP would be: Mitt Romney.