Home / McCain’s VP: Smokescreens and Scare Tactics

McCain’s VP: Smokescreens and Scare Tactics

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As the two major party presidential choices get closer to announcing their Vice Presidential selections, John McCain is coming under a lot of fire from various quarters about his possible choices and allegiances. McCain has always been suspected of being less conservative than his record would indicate, and recent actions have made the far right and religious conservatives increasingly nervous about his intentions.

First he enraged pro-life conservatives by letting his staff leak the news that pro-choice moderate Tom Ridge was a top contender for the VP slot. This prompted the reprehensible Richard Viguerie to issue a an open letter to McCain which said:

Your apparent interest in selecting a running mate who is out of sync ideologically with the vast majority of conservatives reinforces the image of the Republican Party as a party without principle and dedicated to one proposition above all others – the seeking, acquiring, obtaining, and holding onto power.

Making very clear as a self-appointed spokesman for moralistic conservatives that any more moderate running mate would be unacceptable to at least his small faction, even if his grandiose claim that the vast majority of conservatives share his views may be overstated.

In his letter, Viguerie also restates the fear that McCain might pick his politically confused ally, Senator Joe Lieberman, as a running mate to expand his centrist base. McCain has given very little indication that he would do this, but he has certainly been accepting of Lieberman's support and has now gone even further by offering Lieberman a speaking slot at the Republican Convention, presumably hoping to repeat the devastating impact of Zell Miller's appearance four years ago.

These developments raise a lot of questions about McCain's choices and allegiances, not just for extremists like Viguerie, but also for mainstream Republicans who want to see McCain make a good choice for the Vice Presidency. McCain's continued reliance on Joe Lieberman may be excusable, so long as it is purely a case of using Lieberman for political advantage to suck up as many Democrat and independent votes as possible and then throwing him away. Almost everyone in the Republican party hates Lieberman. He's too conservative for Republican moderates, too much of a statist and imperialist for libertarian Republicans, and apparently Viguerie and his friends on the religious right hate him too, though I can't figure out exactly why. Lieberman's main value is that he really irritates the far left, and that makes him a rallying point for political moderates who are more reactive than analytical. Yet, any reliance on Lieberman raises the ever-present specter that Lieberman might have some ongoing role in a McCain administration and no one finds that idea very appealing.

The rumors about Tom Ridge are also troubling for more than just the extreme religious right. Ridge seems like a nice fellow, but he's an extraordinarily poor choice as a running mate. He has too much in common with McCain, an undistinguished record as a legislator; although he did fairly well as governor of Pennsylvania, his career since then and his time as head of the Department of Homeland Security and close association with Bush are nothing to get excited over. Ridge's main claim to fame is his outstanding record in Vietnam, which has largely driven the rest of his career. Ridge's greatest shortcoming is that he doesn't have a constituency. Even Lieberman has a fan base. Ridge has none. He's not moderate enough or well known enough to draw votes from moderates and independents, and his pro-choice position alienates extreme conservatives.

The real question is, why has McCain chosen to be so closely and blatantly associated with Ridge and Lieberman at this critical point in the campaign? The only answer which makes sense seems to be that it's being done deliberately, as a sort of smokescreen to mask his real Vice Presidential pick and a scare tactic to remind the religious right how much worse things could be for them. It may also be intended to send them the message that there are a lot more moderate votes to be won than conservative ones, so they ought to toe the line. Of course, when McCain makes his announcement and it isn't Ridge or Lieberman, those who doubted him will embrace him out of pure relief or because they feel that their influence caused him to change his mind. If this is his strategy, it shows a level of clever ruthlessness among McCain's campaign advisers which is sort of encouraging.

Looking past all the furor and cries of outrage and political posturing, it seems likely that the one thing we can be sure of is that McCain's Vice President absolutely will not be Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman. Playing these games keeps the McCain campaign in the news and keeps people arguing about it, which makes it exciting and builds suspense, and is what has gotten McCain to an unexpected virtual tie with Obama in the polls. It's certainly way more interesting than Obama's inevitable drifting towards the unavoidable choice of Evan Bayh (the nicest white guy in America) as his running mate. So, bravo to McCain and his advisers for realizing what Americans want out of a presidential campaign — entertainment.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Well, the jungle drums today are beating loudest for Joe Biden, not Evan Bayh, so I’m not sure that Obama’s choice is inevitable.

    I hope they’re wrong. As experienced and principled a chap as Biden is, he has far too many lower-leg-appendage-in-large-facial-orifice incidents on his record for the Republican smear machine not immediately to have a field day.

    Bayh has the advantage that he would help Obama to carry Ohio, which is crucial – as Ohio goes…

    I’d personally like to see Bill Richardson on the ticket, but that seems unlikely to happen.

    As for McCain – well, I think you’re more or less with me on this, Dave, when I state my preference for Anyone But Romney. However, I have a horrible sinking feeling that I’m not going to get my wish.

  • Biden and Richardson both have too much ‘gravitas’ to be on the ticket with Obama. He can’t afford to have someone who makes him look like a lightweight. Bayh is perfect because he’s so whitebread and relatively inexperienced yet highly respected and well connected to the old liberal establishment.

    Personally, if McCain was going to pick a Democrat as so many paranoid nitwits have speculated I think he’d be making a good bet picking Richardson. It would be a hell of a coup too. It would knock the legs right out from underneath the Democratic party.

    I sure hope McCain can make a smarter pick than Romney. Romney is looked on with suspicion by the far right just like Ridge. McCain needs to shake things up a bit. But I do think he’s done an excellent job making us all confused.


  • I do think he’s done an excellent job making us all confused.

    Including himself, probably!

    Well, we’ll know for sure about Obama’s pick soon – if not today, then certainly by the time the DNC ends next week.

    McCain may be tempted to steal some of the Dems’ thunder by naming his as well, although it would cost him some of the advantage the GOP has in holding their convention second this year.

  • McCain might actually wait to see who Obama picks and then make his choice based on essentially countering Obama. I’m still thinking Colin Powell might be on the secret short list.


  • Arch Conservative

    Why do you think Powell would want to have anything to do with McCain Dave?

    One thing is for sure…whomever is in the White House for the next four years….Obama or McCain…neither is going to do a damn thing to secure our southern border and we’ll just get that much closer to becoming a third world shithole.

    I havn’t decided if I should vote for Baldwin or Paul yet.

  • Obama or McCain…neither is going to do a damn thing to secure our southern border and we’ll just get that much closer to becoming a third world shithole.

    Says Archie from his perch in the front-line state of… New Hampshire.

  • Baronius

    Dave, I think Ridge’s biggest claim to fame is the color-coded terror alert system. I’d hate to run for office with that as my best credential. As for Lieberman, the religious right doesn’t so much hate him as…ok, you win, hate is the right word. But they should feel comforted, because the one thing we know for sure about Joe Lieberman is that he’ll sell out all his beliefs to be on the bottom of the ticket.

  • GO MITT!!!

  • I think you have all missed the best bet for McCain’s VP choice. It wasn’t for no reason that Dan Quayle turned down the opportunity to do “Dancing With The Stars.” Dan has been intensely working on his spelling skills now for several months, and announced that he’s ready to take on Murphy Brown. (No one’s had the heart to inform him of Murphy’s demise.) Nevertheless, it’s virtually a done deal. Dan is back!


  • Arch Conservative

    So only people that live in border states are allowed to have opinions regarding our border problems dreadful?

  • Clavos

    Secure the border all you want, Arch. You’ll still need to learn Spanish.

  • Well, when NH becomes a “third world shithole” we’ll all cry crocodile tears for you.

    Your characterization gives us all a pretty good idea of your opinion of other people.


  • Dan

    This won’t happen, but my fantasy tickets would be, for the Dems, Joe Biden, then later in a stunning developement from a secluded bunker, Condoleesa Rice.

    An authentic genius, she would be a stark contrast to old partisan war-horse Biden.

    The female vote would cluster, and the debates would be riveting. She would also be reluctant, another great quality.

    The tickets would be balanced old/young very nicely as well.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Your characterization gives us all a pretty good idea of your opinion of other people.”

    Why do you even bother to beat around the Bush Baritone?

    Just call me a racist and be done with it.

    Anyone who opposes the open border agenda is a racist xennophobe right B-tone?

  • Good column, Dave. I generally agree with you in this piece, except for your gratuitous smearing of every pro-life conservative as “far right” or “extreme,” as if they were some sort of radical fringe group.

    (They aren’t. I would speculate that a solid majority of Republicans consider themselves pro-life, and that the overwhelming majority of self-described “conservatives” consider themselves the same. I can google up some polling data if anyone is interested.)

  • Before Obama makes his official announcement, I’d like to offer RJ’s VP Picks:

    Obama will pick Evan Bayh, Democrat Senator from Indiana. Good choice. He’s moderate, experienced, generally likable, non-offending, unlikely to make any major gaffes (unlike Biden), and will certainly help Obama in Indiana (which is surprisingly looking like a swing-state in this election).

    McCain will pick Mitt Romney, former Republican Governor of Massachusetts, in an effort to shore up his conservative base. Another good choice. Romney is telegenic, a good speaker, a capable attack-dog (always a good quality for a running-mate), has a lot of outside-the-Beltway experience, and could possibly swing Michigan into the Red State column.

    Thoughts, comments?

  • Two possibilities for the Democratic ticket now seem likely:

    1. Obama is never going to announce his pick. He’s decided to go it alone.
    2. He has announced who it is, but every single one of the millions of people who signed up to receive the text message have agreed to keep mum about it until tomorrow.

  • And of course Indiana’s a swing state. It has Baritone in it!

  • “Personally, if McCain was going to pick a Democrat as so many paranoid nitwits have speculated I think he’d be making a good bet picking Richardson. It would be a hell of a coup too. It would knock the legs right out from underneath the Democratic party.”

    Richardson wouldn’t accept, since he’s a major Obama-backer and may even be Obama’s pick for running mate (although I doubt it at this point).

    And if he did accept? Bob Barr would get 15% of the vote, and Obama would win the election. Richardson is far too liberal for the GOP base to accept (even though he’s fairly moderate for a Democrat).

    If McCain was going to pick a Democrat other than Lieberman, how about Ike Skelton? Yeah, he’s really old, but he’s socially-conservative, a strong supporter of the military, and he’d help McCain carry Missouri. It’s not going to happen, but it makes more sense than Richardson, IMO…

  • “McCain might actually wait to see who Obama picks and then make his choice based on essentially countering Obama.”

    That’s definitely a possibility. If Obama makes a really out-of-the-blue kind of pick, you can bet that McCain will at least consider using his pick to counter that.

    “I’m still thinking Colin Powell might be on the secret short list.”

    I though the buzz from a week or so ago was that Powell would endorse Obama?

  • “One thing is for sure…whomever is in the White House for the next four years….Obama or McCain…neither is going to do a damn thing to secure our southern border and we’ll just get that much closer to becoming a third world shithole.”

    I wouldn’t phrase it exactly that way, but you’ve got a point there.

    “I havn’t decided if I should vote for Baldwin or Paul yet.”

    Baldwin would make a decent protest vote (he’s certainly an “arch conservative”), but how are you going to vote for Ron Paul? Write-in?

  • Hmmm. MSNBC is reporting that both Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine are out of the running.

    Who knows if this is true. But I felt that those two were his best two options. (Bayh might help him carry IN, and Kaine would almost guarantee Virginia, in my opinion.)

    Maybe Obama is about to throw a Hail Mary and pick Hillary? That could work. Or maybe Bill Richardson is still a realistic possibility?

    MSNBC’s story also suggests that the pick will be announced Saturday morning. So it looks like we have all night to speculate. 😉

  • Clavos


    I don’t think Romney can pull MI away from Obama as a veep. As President candidate, he might have, but not as veep.

    There are too many out-of-work blue collar workers many (if not most) of whom are also African-American there.

    Obama’s got a lock on MI.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Baldwin would make a decent protest vote (he’s certainly an “arch conservative”), but how are you going to vote for Ron Paul? Write-in?”

    Considering that neither Paul nor Baldwin are on the ballot in my state and most likely won’t be it will be a write in either way.

    In any event I won’t be voting for Juan McCain. I know he’s just itching to take another stab at amnesty and his command of economics is severly suspect at best.

    Seriously…Ron Paul asked McCain a question about economics during one of the GOP primary debates and McCain looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He proceeded to dodge the question and instead recite a list of people he knows that know something about the economy.

    Listening to McCain discuss economics kills more brains cells and does more to diminish the soul than a week in Tijuana of doing nothing but watching donkey shows and abusing every drug known to mankind.

    On a sidenote…..Huckabee’s on TV right now and he’s really getting under my skin with his McCain ass kissing. I liked him better when he was an anonymous 400 pound lardass in Arkansas.

  • Clavos,

    I agree that Romney is not at all guaranteed to flip Michigan into a Red State. However, he should help, at least marginally (thanks to his family background in the state). And Michigan is looking pretty close right now.

    Here are some recent polls out of Michigan. Yes, Obama is in the lead, but not by a huge amount. Around four points, on average.

    Yes, the economy in Michigan is in tatters. But the Governor of MI is an unpopular Democrat, and the Mayor of Detroit is an unpopular (and possibly criminal) Democrat.

    The population of Michigan is only 15% Black. (Outside of metropolitan Detroit, it’s pretty much New Hampshire up there, demographically speaking.) And Black voters would have supported a Democrat Presidential candidate anyway. Obama might get 98% of their votes instead of just 90%, but that’s not too much of a bump.

    Add Romney to the ticket, throw in the Bradley/Wilder Effect, and you’ve got a tight race.

  • Arch Conservative

    If MI is 15% black that a much higher percentage than NH. If I’m not mistaken we’re the whitest state in the nation.

    Not because of that but I think McCain will win NH, especially if he picks Romney.

    if McCain was smart, which he’s not but some of his handlers may be, they would pick Romney and have him fly back and forth between MI, CO, NH, and NV from now until Nov 4 and do nothing but tear into Obama.

  • Clavos

    Points taken RJ.

    Just remember that the unemployed are blue collar, for the most part, and they’re usually Dems.

    As to Kwame: isn’t Detroit, like Atlanta, majority AA? Don’t know how the AAs will react, but down here, a Latino mayor was indicted, tried, convicted and jailed a few years back. As soon as he got out, he ran again and was elected.

  • “If MI is 15% black that a much higher percentage than NH. If I’m not mistaken we’re the whitest state in the nation.”

    Well, yeah, 15% of a lot higher percentage than the 2% up in NH. I’m just saying that outside of the Detroit area, Michigan is pretty much lily-White. But since Detroit is such a major metropolitan area, and so heavily-Black, it kinda distorts the statewide demographic numbers.

    “Not because of that but I think McCain will win NH, especially if he picks Romney.”

    Romney could help there, too. But NH should be close either way. And it’s only 4 Electoral Votes…although 4 could make the margin of victory/defeat in this election!

    “if McCain was smart, which he’s not but some of his handlers may be, they would pick Romney and have him fly back and forth between MI, CO, NH, and NV from now until Nov 4 and do nothing but tear into Obama.”

    Yes, Romney would be best used in places like Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and maybe even Massachusetts (although that’s obviously a long-shot).

  • “As to Kwame: isn’t Detroit, like Atlanta, majority AA?”

    Hugely. Like over 80%. Kwame is mostly unpopular in the suburbs of Detroit, which is the major swing-vote part of the state.

    “Don’t know how the AAs will react, but down here, a Latino mayor was indicted, tried, convicted and jailed a few years back. As soon as he got out, he ran again and was elected.”

    LOL. Reminds me of the career trajectory of Democrat Congressman Alcee Hastings…

  • As I mentioned in my podcast last night, one of the things which made me feel somewhat positive about McCain is that when Obama went into Michigan and promised to save everyone’s jobs and keep the factories open, McCain went there and told them the truth, that they needed to retrain and perhaps move and that what he would give them was opportunities to prepare for and find jobs in relevant, contemporary fields to replace the heavy industry jobs which were never coming back. That was the right thing to say, but I wonder if it will cost him votes.

    People would rather hear the easy lie than the hard truth. It’s what the success of the democrats is built on.


  • “People would rather hear the easy lie than the hard truth. It’s what the success of the democrats is built on.”

    Pretty much.

  • Okay, watching CNN right now. Also checking out HuffPo. It looks like Joe Biden, Democrat Senator from Delaware, is the likely pick.

    If true, I think this is a mistake for Obama. Biden is from the small Blue State of Delaware. He was a big-time loser in the Democrat Presidential Primaries this year. He’s gaffe-prone. He has said many things highly critical of Obama, while praising McCain. He has a history of plagiarism. Did I mention he’s gaffe-prone? And if picked, he merely serves to highlight Obama’s complete lack of experience, or gravitas. (He’s also pretty anti-gun.)

    This choice is a loser. Frankly, as a Republican, I’m thrilled.

  • The early Democrat spin on Biden as VP is the following:

    – He’s got gravitas

    – He’s brilliant

    – He’s experienced

    – He’s Catholic

    – He’s honest

    – He’s “poor” compared to McCain (an appeal to the working class)

    – He’s a master-debater

    – He’s tough

    – The MSM likes him, so they’ll ignore his gaffes and questionable past statements

    Sorry, I’m still not seeing this as a brilliant choice. He might help hold Pennsylvania. That’s about it, as far as I can see.

  • Just brainstorming here…Obama appears to have picked a “safe” establishment White man as his running mate…doesn’t this leave an opening for McCain to choose a woman? With Hillary still presumably seething from her narrow loss in the primaries, and many of her (especially female) supporters still lukewarm-at-best towards Obama, doesn’t this give McCain a potential opportunity to close the gender gap?

    Hmmm. Meg Whitman (CEO – EBAY) for Veep? Or is she too rich? (Net worth estimated at over a billion dollars.) Or Carly Fiorina (CEO – HP), who is a tad more telegenic?

    Thoughts, comments?

  • My hardcore democrat mother who worked on capitol hill for years says that Biden is an egomaniac and dumb as a post. For what that’s worth.


  • Okay, this is kinda stupid, but you’ll probably be seeing more of it in the coming days:

    OBAMA – BI(n la)DEN 2008!

  • Clavos

    OK, here goes:

    FIORINA – Too controversial, bad news, nearly busted HP (the Compaq buy), is an establishment big business CEO with a not-so-hot track record; the Dems will make mince meat out of her. No political experience.

    WHITMAN – Much better track record as executive, not well known to the public (but E-Bay sure is), also did well at Hasbro and FTD. No political experience, but has a degree in Economics from Princeton. Pretty good resume.

    For my money, Whitman’s the better choice of the two, but both have serious drawbacks in terms of name recognition in the political world.

    Don’t know if she’d even be interested, but a good candidate, with LOTS of political experience (TX Senator since 1993) and lots of political savvy as well as all round smarts, is Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX.

  • Egomaniac I’m not going to disagree with.

    Dumb, though? I dunno. I doubt he’s as smart as he believes himself to be … but then, who among us is?

  • If either of ’em have any smarts right now, they’ll be announcing Michael Phelps as their veep…!

  • Okay, how about Condi Rice?

    I think it’s probably a bad choice, but I’m not sure. She’s intelligent, experienced (but not experienced at campaigning, and has never held elective office), Black, female, probably pro-choice, tied to the Bush administration more closely than anyone other than Dick Cheney, a Russia expert, strong on foreign policy, experienced in dealing with the media (press conferences and such), relatively young, almost universal name-recognition…

    Lots of positives and lots of negatives. Would be a gutsy choice. Unlikely, though.

  • I don’t know Doc. I might go for the ‘cute’ factor and bring in one of our lady gymnasts. I know they’re young, but the Chinese seem to have figured out how to get around that issue. No problem.


  • Well, my wife just got in from the car and the radio news said Obama picked Biden. Seems like a mistake to me, but I’m not complaining.


  • “It’s what the success of the democrats is built on.”

    Yeah because Republicans never lie to the public.

  • Arch Conservative

    Someone said that Biden is as dumb as a post….Well so too are many Americans.

    Overall I actually think Biden is a pretty good choice. Who knew Barry had it in him.


    He brings foreign policy experience (Obama has none) to the ticket.

    He will probably have muchmore appeal to blue collar white voters than Obama.

    He is seen by many as a straight shooting plain talker.

    He will be willing to sink his teeth into McCain so that Obama doesn’t have to.


    He does like to hear the sound of his own voice sometimes.

    A guy that’s been in the Senate as long as Biden undercuts Obama’s message of change and new politics.

    Biden was verycritical of Obama during the Dem primaries.

    I’m curious as to who those of you who think Obama erred think would have been the best choice.

    Bayh – Would not have turned IN blue and is rumored to be too gentlemanly to get his hands dirty for Obama in the general.

    Kaine – Even less experience than Obama.

    Sebelius – Picking her would garuntee another 5- 10% of Clintonistas would vote for McCain or stay home.

    Chet Edwards – “That the country guitar guy? He’s in the Senate now?”

    Hillary- Great pick if Obama had a burning desire to win the election and then die under suspicious circumstances at some point in the next 18 months.

    So it appears that we will see Biden whispering in Obama’s ear telling him where Georgia is and Romney whispering in McCains explainging what capital gains means.

  • Clavos


    First, props for #44 and for joining the rest of us in actually talking about the issues without vituperation. I apologize; I know this sounds patronizing, it is emphatically not meant to be.

    Second, I love this line:

    So it appears that we will see Biden whispering in Obama’s ear telling him where Georgia is and Romney whispering in McCains explainging what capital gains means.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well thanks for the props Clavos. I have of late begun to become something I never thought I would be and that is a vocal anti establishment individual who will be voting third party from here on out.

    It has become quite clear to me that carrying water for either one of the major parties in the hopes that when you opt to vote for the lesser of two evils the party that that lesser evil calls home will at least deliver on some of the smaller more subtle differences is pointless.

    Both parties have in recent years shown that their top priority is to needlessly and wastefully spend our money while blaming the other party for allof our problems.

    Our society has become victim of political correctness run amok. The MSM and the major political parties are deathly afraid of offending any vocal special interest group and makes these groups all kinds of promises while giving them millions of our dollars.

    Anyone that dares voice an opinion that doesn’t tow the PC line is immediately attempted to be stifled with socially stigamtized semantic hand grenades thrown in their direction. If you believe in border security you’re called a racist before you can explain why, if you oppose abortion you’re a sexist that hates women, if you oppose Obama you’re a racist, if you believe in traditional marriage you’re a homophobe etc etc etc…….

    America was founded on individualism and independence. We’re the cowboys not the comrades. yet thereis no doubt in my mind that the far left in this nation, which holds ever increasing sway in the Dem party, is intent on turning us into a European style socialist state. They think that if they do it gradually in baby steps no one will notice or object. Obama himself said that he was going to take the profits of the oil companies away from them and give them to other parties that he felt should have them. It’s only a small skip from there to telling small businesses and individuals how much they are allowed to make.

    On the other hand we have become a society that places way too much emphasis on money and material possessions. Too many of us feel obligated to stay an extra hour or two at the office each day rather than go home and spend time with our loved ones. However this does not mean we shoudl adopt the “all business is corrupt and ammorral” attitude that the far left displays. We should encourage hard work, innovation and entrepeneurship while at the same time condemning en masse those abuses of power that occur in business that are both illegal and ammorral. I do not believe that the concepts of ethics/morality and a competitive, productive free market system are mutually exclusive concepts.

    There are four things we need to do to get America back on the right track which neither party will be committed to doing in the next four years because they’re too busy blaming each other.

    1. Shrink the sphere of influence of the federal government and stop spending billions of tax payer dollars in such a reckless and needless fashion. The federal government, unlike the average American household has the luxury of spending gobs of money on all kinds of unnecessary and wastfeul endeavors. Our federal government should have no other purpose than providing the basics for all of us…..roads….military/national security and some very basic limited social welfare. Everything else should be left up to the states.

    2. Bring back the manufacturing jobs. If we want to compete with China and other nation’s in today’s global economy we’re going to have to at some point start making things ourselves again. Through increased taxation and regulation and the desire for the cheapest price on all goods we have literally screwed ourselves. In the future we are going to need to stop importing cheap crap from other nations and start making quality products oursleves and then exporting it to other nations and purchasing it domestically. of course we will have to pay more for it but we will be able to because we will have created higher paying jobs by bringing back the manfucturing base.

    3. Redefine America’s place in the world. This means not using any military force unless there is a clear and present danger to America, it’s interestes, or it’s allies. This also means that rather than strictly confronting radical islam with guns we confront the ideology that tells each new generation of foreign muslims that America and the west are evil and must be hated. We confront this ideology with the help of European and other allies who have themsleves been on the business end of islamic terrorism. We confront it and do whatever it takes to defeat it. I think this may possibly be what Bush had in mind when he decided to invade Iraq but it’s now apparent that this bumbling full wasn’t up to the task and went about it in the wrong way.

    4. Lastly. We need to secure our southern border. I know….they’re just hard working people who come here to do the jobs AMericans won’t do. The trtuh is they are much more of a drain on our society than a benefit.

    Neither McCain nor Obama would even think about doing nay of these things. They’re both too busy pandering.

    I will be voting for either Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin. The only two men in the race I can see that are worth a damn.

    The rest of you can have fun doing you part to continue the ruination of this once great nbation.

  • Arch,

    Good comment. However, I question the wisdom of voting for a protest candidate whose chances of election are nil. How about finding someone on the “liberal” side and pairing with him, agreeing that neither will vote. If enough people did that, neither of the major party candidates could plausibly claim a mandate. That might be more productive than encouraging those likely to vote for the “conservative” candidate to vote for a dark dead horse instead.


  • Arch Conservative

    Dan I can only be responsible for my own conscience and vote. If people keep believeing that the only choices we have are the two guys from the Dem and Rep party that are selected by the media and shoved down our throats then that is all we will ever get.

    Remember Ross Perot in 1992? He didn;t win a single state but he won almost 20% of the popular vote. I bet that scared the shit out of the powers that be in the mainstream media and the two major parties. But since then we have settled down and behaved like good little automatons.

    Rememeber that giant sucking sound that Perot talked about when he would discuss NAFTA? He was right.

  • Arch,

    Yes, I remember and I voted for him. As to whether his popular vote scared the shit out of the powers that be in the mainstream media and the two major parties, I don’t think so; some, perhaps, but not enough: they have a limitless, renewable supply.


  • Clavos

    Rememeber that giant sucking sound that Perot talked about when he would discuss NAFTA? He was right.

    Actually, he was behind the curve on that one, perhaps intentionally; putting the comment out as a prediction when in actuality, it was a summation of already existing conditions.

    The “giant sucking sound” (of manufacturing jobs going south of the border) actually began with the establishment of duty free manufacturing zones in northern Mexico years before (in the 60s), and predated NAFTA, which was signed in December 1992 and went into effect in January 1994, by thirty years.

    As Wikipedia describes, the maquiladoras were thriving long before NAFTA:

    During the later half of the sixties, maquiladora industries rapidly expanded both geographically and economically and by 1985, had become Mexico’s second largest source of income from foreign exports, behind oil.[2] Since 1973, maquiladoras have also accounted for nearly half of Mexico’s export assembly.

  • I find all the concerns about our southern borders rather funny. Please check history and find out how the lands of Texas, New Mexico, and California were obtained. Also, Canada is an easy place to enter the U.S from, ask anyone that has recently had a round trip ticket to Toronto.

  • GreenSpam

    My order of preference for McCain’s VP:

    1. Condi Rice
    2. Sarah Paulin
    3. Joe Lieberman
    4. Michael Steele

    PS. There is no necessary correlation between Conservative and Republican. Lots of Republicans in California are pro-choice – as is our popular Governator.

  • There’s no way McCain is picking Rice. He’s trying to distant himself from Bush and picking someone from his administration who is already on record lying to Congress is not the way to do that.

  • Clavos

    If he wants to kick major Dem butt, he should pick Hillary…

  • Arch:

    What do you have against Bob Barr? He’s running an anti-establishment campaign, and he actually has a realistic shot at 3 or 5 percent of the national vote (although he’ll probably only get a little more than 1 percent, in my opinion).

    I assume he’ll actually be on the ballot in NH, so no need for a write-in vote, which truly is a wasted vote.

  • Clavos

    Here’s an interesting questionnaire you can fill out to determine which candidate best matches your own political philosophy with percentage-of-match results.

  • Arch Conservative

    Bob Barr? The libertarian party webpage uses a lot of flowery language to dance around the fact that they favor open borders.

    Plus I’ve heard Chuck Baldwin speak many times and can’t imagine someone else representing my views better than him. He will most likely get my vote.

  • Clavos,

    My results:

    Bob Barr (Libertarian) – 55%

    Chuck Baldwin (Constitution) – 55%

    John McCain (Republican) – 38%

    Ralph Nader (Independent) – 18%

    Cynthia McKinney (Green) – 18%

    Gloria La Riva [Who???] (Socialism and Liberation) [What???] – 18%

    Brian Moore (Socialist) – 13%

    Barack Obama (Democrat) – 13%

    Hillary Clinton (Democrat) – 10%

    Socially I agree with Barr the most (63%); Economically I agree with Baldwin the most (54%).

    I’d be curious to see what your results were.

  • Arch:

    Got any good links to YouTube (or other) videos of Baldwin speaking? I know almost nothing about the guy, except he’s from Florida and is/was a pastor.

  • Interestingly, as on previous versions of this test, I got less than 50% for any of the candidates. Strangely despite my very unchristian answers I got the highest rating for Chuck Baldwin (48%) followed by Bob Barr (45%) and John McCain (43%). The rest were way lower.


  • Jordan Richardson

    Hey, cool questionnaire.

    My results were:

    Hillary Clinton – 75% (63% social, 83% economic)
    Brian Moore – 68% (75% social, 63% economic)
    Ralph Nader – 65% (69% social, 63% economic)
    Cynthia McKinney – 60% (56% social, 63% economic)
    Barack Obama – 60% (38% social, 75% economic)
    Gloria La Riva – 53% (63% social, 46% economic)
    John McCain – 23% (13% social, 29% economic)
    Chuck Baldwin – 18% (6% social, 25% economic)
    Bob Barr – 15% (0% social, 25% economic)

  • Pablo


    Would that be the same Chuck Baldwin that according to Wikepedia is an opponent of “The New World Order”, and “The North American Union” and suggested re-opening an investigation into 9/11? Is that the guy you like Arch? I am starting to like him too!

  • This ineligible-to-vote liberal got the following:

    Clinton 65% (81% social, 54% economic)
    McKinney 60% (88% social, 42% economic)
    Moore 53% (69% social, 42% economic)
    Obama 53% (56% social, 50% economic)
    Nader 50% (69% social, 38% economic)
    La Riva 50% (56% social, 46% economic)
    Baldwin 25% (19% social, 29% economic)
    McCain 25% (19% social, 29% economic)
    Barr 18% (0% social, 29% economic)

    Doesn’t surprise me much, except that I’m apparently not all that impressed with any of them when it comes to the economy. But then I’m not all that impressed with myself when it comes to the economy either. So what that tells you, I don’t know.

    This is fun!

  • Clavos

    McCain 63% (S-44%, E-75%)
    Barr 45% (S-31%, E-54%
    La Riva!! 40&! (S-50%, E-33%)
    Clinton 38% (S-50%, E-29%)
    McKinney! 38% (S-50%, E-29%)–Same as Clinton!
    Nader 35% (S-50%, E-25%
    Obama 35% (S-44%, E-29%)
    Moore 30% (S-50%, E-17%)
    Baldwin 23% (S-0%!, E-38%)

    My top for Republican Veep:

    Giuliani 69% (S-69%, E-54%)
    Lieberman 55% (S-56%, E-54%)
    Romney was fifth, 45% (S-38%, E-50%)

  • Clavos

    In #37, above, I mentioned that I thought that McCain would do well if he were to name Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) as his running mate.

    Today, in a column on Real Clear Politics, Dick Morris, Bill Clinton’s former campaign manager, agrees with me, saying:

    Now, John McCain can take advantage of Obama’s blunder by coming back with a woman nominee for president. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison would be an excellent choice. She’s been around for decades and is not going to start making mistakes now. Her nomination would be a signal to American women that McCain takes their aspirations seriously, even if Obama does not. Hutchison is not charismatic. But her circumstances would be if she were nominated. The prospect of a woman vice president would electrify women throughout the nation.

  • Clavos,

    After thinking about it some, I’m now kinda hoping McCain chooses a female running mate (and KBH would be a decent choice).

    It would be a major coup for his candidacy, I believe; it would completely close the gender gap while getting a lot of Hillary Democrats to cast their votes for McCain in November. Likely result: Solid McCain victory, if not a landslide. And then Hillary in 2012…

    Okay, so it’s not a *perfect* plan, but it works for four years, at least. :-/

  • Clavos

    I agree with you RJ. I think if he doesn’t choose a female, he’s making a big mistake.

    I don’t know anything about Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor, but a lot of people like her, too.

    He definitely should choose a woman.

  • My (somewhat shocking, to me at least) GOP VP results:

    Mike Huckabee 63% (I don’t like him…)
    Tom Tancredo 63%
    Bobby Jindal 55%
    Fred Thompson 55%
    Bill Frist 53%
    Newt Gingrich 53%
    Charlie Crist 48% (I’m not a huge fan…)
    Sam Brownback 48%
    Jeb Bush 48%
    Mitt Romney 45% (My favorite is ranked tenth?)
    Tim Pawlenty 40%
    Condi Rice 38%
    Mark Sanford 38%
    Tommy Thompson 35%
    Joseph Lieberman 30%
    Rudy Giuliani 30%

  • Sarah Palin is somewhat of a maverick herself. She’s wildly popular in Alaska, but then she’s rather new at her job. Also, strongly pro-life.

    I don’t dislike her, but given McCain’s age, does he really want to choose a relatively young, very inexperienced former beauty pageant (literally) contestant as his running mate? And how would the conservative base of the Republican Party take to a somewhat pro-gay rights VP?

    Palin, IMO, is a Hail Mary. And McCain doesn’t need that right now, since he’s nearly tied in the polls with Obama right now.

  • Here’s a fun exercise, for those who are interested. (And, yes, I apologize to Dave for this hijacking of his post.)

    Name ten current elected official from the *other party* who you respect, if not agree with.

    Here is my list, in no particular order:

    Evan Bayh
    Joe Biden
    Bill Richardson
    Ed Rendell
    Heath Shuler
    Ike Skelton
    Joe Lieberman
    Ben Nelson
    Bill Nelson
    Jim Webb

    I’m particularly interested in replies from BC regulars. Would also be happy to explain any and all of my choices.

  • Ten, eh? And they have to be elected, not appointees… tough one.

    With the proviso that I’m British, and think that a significant percentage of members of both your major parties are about as attractive as toe fungus, I will for the purpose of the exercise align myself with the Democrats and seek to name ten Republicans whom I respect.

    I can only think of three or four right now, but it is midnight on Sunday. Let me sleep on it and I’ll get back to you in the morning.

  • No problem hijacking the thread. It’s pretty much run its course.

    BTW, I think your list of Dems you respect includes some of the biggest douchebags in the party.

    I’ll name 5 Dems I find at least marginally acceptable:

    Barney Frank
    Teddy Kennedy
    Al Gore
    Harold Ford
    Bobby Kennedy Jr.

    Hell, that was a stretch. A lot easier to name ones I despise.


  • I think it would be easier to just try and name ten politicians in general that I respect…no matter what party they come from!

    Dave – if, like you said in an earlier comment, McCain might be waiting to see what Barry does and then pick based on that…it kinda seems like he’s gonna have to pick someome like Powell or Rice. It would seem to be the best way to balance the young black guy/old white guy dem ticket by making the rep ticket and old white guy and a young black woman or relatively young black guy. But picking Joe would just piss all of the extreme right off and would make this all a little more fun.

  • Andy’s probably right, but as promised, here goes with my homework:

    What I Did On My Summer Vacation Ten Elected Republican Politicians I Have Time For:
    (some may surprise you)

    Mike Bloomberg
    Sam Brownback
    Susan Collins
    Charlie Crist
    Liddy Dole
    Chuck Hagel
    Bobby Jindal
    John McCain
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Olympia Snowe

    Blimey, that was tough. They’re a pretty sorry bunch, them elephants.

  • And not that there’s any rush, RJ, but once we’ve all got bored with this game, may I suggest another one:

    Name ten politicians from your own party who you think are absolute scuzzbuckets.

    Should be just as much fun!

  • Ted

    Despite the Dems and the allied main stream media’s desperation to see Romney as McCain’s Veep, Mitt is clearly out, with (1) Obama doubling down on the class warfare theme (McCain’s 7 houses) and (2) McCain doubling down with ads showing the hypocrisy of Biden attacking Obama in the primaries — Romney did way more than that contra McCain.

    This leaves only Govs Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty. Pro-abortion Ridge and Dem-Lieberman were never real considerations, despite relentless media goading. Pawlenty’s lackluster TV performances, coupled with Palin pizzazz, the primacy of oil drilling and the ticked off women/Hillary voters, does now portend a McCain/Palin checkmate on the Dems. This is so albeit the Dems and liberal media dare not mention Palin’s name, that is, everyone but…..

    And if there’s any question as to Palin being uniquely positioned and able to more than nullify Biden in debate, see the excellent discussion.

    Team McCain, well done!!!

  • Clavos

    We have a shill in our midst.

    (-so what else is new-)

  • A quick comments check by IP address shows that Ted has had the hots for young Sarah ever since she was first mooted as a possible VP candidate back in March.

    I actually haven’t seen any discussion whatsoever of Palin as a possible veep outside BC. I doubt McCain even knows who she is.

  • Andy, McCain has to always keep in mind that if he picks Lieberman we can all go vote for Chuck Baldwin or Bob Barr, which even some of us who wouldn’t vote for them under any other circumstances will do if he picks Lieberman. Lieberman costs him mainstream Republicans, libertarian-leaning Republicans, crossover Democrats and miscellaneous others. He’d guarantee a loss.

    As for Sarah Palin, I think she’d be a fine choice for VP, but she’s hardly McCain’s only choice at this point. He’d be better off picking Mark Sanford who has similar credentials and a more important home state, or someone ethnic like Bobby Jindal or my personal favorite J. C. Watts. Hell, why not Michael Steele?

    But whoever he picks he’s likely to get more of a boost from it than Obama will from Biden.


  • Bill

    A John McCain – Hillary Clinton ticket would attract both warmongers and big spenders.

    It couldn’t lose.

    Listen to me.

  • Thomas

    If Mcain picks Colin Powell the game is over. Lights out for Obama with this selection.This is the only choice that would guarantee victory, imo.

  • Jet

    Thomas I never thought I’d say this, but if he were to pick Colin Powel, he’d have my vote, basically because of how much he’s screwed over Hillary


  • Clavos

    This is the only choice that would guarantee victory, imo.

    I disagree. On another thread, I noted that I’ve had a unique opportunity to poll dozens of well educated (nurses) black women on their preference for president. Overwhelmingly, they voted their gender, not their race, in the Democratic primary.

    I think McCain should choose a female veep.

  • Clav,

    OK. But he should select a pretty VP. How about Paris Hilton?


  • Clavos

    Paris would definitely get my vote…


  • Cla(vos),

    Won’t be easy. I mean, you know, we would probably have to rite her inn.


  • Clavos

    Dan (Miller),

    Have you seen her campaign ad? She’s already running.


  • Cla(vos)

    I saw it. In fact, I posted it in a comment on BC. Unfortunately, that does not mean that she will be on the ballot anywhere. So, I adhere to my statement that we will probably have to rite her inn.


  • Clavos

    Id like to rite her…never mind.

  • troll


  • Ted

    VEEP Debates Q&A

    QUESTION: How will Sarah Palin do in a debate with Joe Biden?

    ANSWER: How many men watching will be aware that Biden is in the room?

  • Ooh… I know – I KNOW!!!

    …Oh, I see. It’s not a riddle. Sorry.

  • Ted

    Theme song for the Sarah Palin VP intro at RNC next week.

  • Overwhelmingly, they voted their gender, not their race, in the Democratic primary.

    I think McCain should choose a female veep.

    I saw a lot of this in interviews on TV from the DNC in the last few days. The PUMAs are really pissed and they don’t give a rat’s ass what color skin they or Obama have. They’re talking about taking as many as 3 million votes and giving them to McCain. A female VP would seal the deal. Palin is relatively feminist and would be a winner, but Liddy Dole or Kay Bailey Hutchinson wouldn’t be bad choices either.

    I do like the idea of getting to watch more of Palin. I wonder how McCain’s wife would take having his VP be younger and better looking than she is? Not well I’m guessing.


  • BTW, it appears our friend Ted may not actually be insane. A quick scan for McCain and the names of different possible running mates on Google News turns up almost as many hits for Palin – mostly from legit MSM sources, including editorials endorsing her from papers nationwide – as I said, almost as many as for Mitt Romney, and overall the Palin articles are much more positive than those about Romney. I wonder how conscious McCain’s people are of this.


  • Clavos

    I wonder how conscious McCain’s people are of this.

    From your keyboard to their eyes…

    If he picks a woman, and doesn’t blow the rest of the campaign with some stupendous gaffe, he’ll win.

  • If he picks a woman, and doesn’t blow the rest of the campaign with some stupendous gaffe, he’ll win.

    Well, unless he outfits Romney with some fake boobs and a fetching wardrobe, that ain’t gonna happen. I don’t see any reason to doubt Silas on one of the other threads when he says he’s hearing over the jungle drums that Mr Mormochussetts is the choice.

    From all that I’ve been reading, it sounds as if McCain’s heart says Lieberman, but his head tells him Romney. So unless he disregards either of those body parts and listens to his dick instead, I think you’re going to be disappointed, Clav.

  • bliffle

    Thus Dave effortlessly embroiders his archaic politics with sexism:

    “I do like the idea of getting to watch more of Palin. I wonder how McCain’s wife would take having his VP be younger and better looking than she is? Not well I’m guessing.”

  • Clavos

    Thus Dave effortlessly embroiders his archaic politics with sexism:

    Classic post male menopause point of view…

  • I think if he picks Romney he may actually lose this election!