Election 2008

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McCain Weighs Running Mate Options

February 21, 2008 12:44 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Age and a reputation as a moderate mean that John McCain may have to think very carefully about his choice for vice presidential nominee.

30-Second Summary

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McCain has faced criticism from within his own party throughout the primaries.

But now that his nomination is practically guaranteed, pundits from across the country are advising him to select a running mate who will counter his two most commonly perceived shortcomings—his moderate conservatism and his age.

If elected, McCain will be 72 years old on inauguration day, making him the oldest president to win his first term in office. Ronald Reagan was 73 at his second inauguration in 1985.

In addition, Republican stalwarts such as Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson have attacked McCain’s conservative credentials, criticizing his economic and social records.

Although discussion of McCain’s running mate has been going on for months, speculation began in earnest after Mitt Romney dropped out of the race and the Wall Street Journal published an editorial examining the senator’s options.

Potential candidates include sitting governors from across the south, including Florida’s Charlie Crist and South Carolina’s Mark Sanford, as well as former and current nomination rivals Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee has said repeatedly that he would not consider the vice presidency, although there have been suggestions that by running with McCain he would help win over the conservative base that has so far shunned the senator.

That is probably the only way Huckabee will make it to the general election. Following a decisive victory in Wisconsin, McCain is only around 200 delegates shy of the 1,191 needed to confirm his nomination at the GOP’s national convention in September.

Headline Links: Vice president possibilities

Background: Republicans find McCain lacking

Related Topics: Bush senior and Romney endorse McCain

Reference: Counting delegates until the GOP convention

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