5.23.2008

About McCain's VP selection committee head...

Contrary to popular belief, Sen. McCain will not be heading up his veep selection process himself. While McCain may be "chairing" that committee, a former Reagan official (from 1987-1989) named Arthur B. Culvahouse will be heading with search. As with most things McCain, the "Reagan official" tag is a nice smokescreen for Culvahouse's moderate leanings (emphasis mine):
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has tapped a former Reagan administration official to head his campaign’s search for a vice presidential nominee.

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) told The Hill that Arthur Culvahouse, who was Reagan’s White House counsel from March 1987 to January 1989, will be helping McCain vet candidates and develop a list.

[...]

Culvahouse has been active in GOP circles, consistently contributing thousands of dollars to Republican candidates. He donated to McCain in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Other Republicans that Culvahouse has contributed to include Sens. Alexander, Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Richard Lugar (Ind.).
I can tell you that most Reagan Conservatives are just so darn excited about Sens. Lugar and Specter that they can't help but donate to their campaigns. Even Sen. Alexander's American Conservative Union rating is only a 72 - and his is the highest of the three by 12 points and 32 points, respectively. If who Mr. Culvahouse is donating to is any indication of the type of people he might choose, we're in for a longgggggg 2008 election season.

On the other hand, at least Culvahouse has some good instincts:
He also publicly supported the controversial nomination of John Bolton to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005.
McCain/Bolton '08? If only...

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Here's an important piece of advice: If it looks like it's going to be McCain/Palin anyway (and that should be a "no brainer" for Team McCain), McCain should announce NOW or VERY SOON, rather than later towards the convention. There's currently a growing chorus for Obama/Hillary (as VP) ticket (in fact the Dems are likely aware of the Palin phenomenon).

If the GOP waits while movement for Hillary as VP grows -- even worse until after it is solidified that Hillary will/could be VP pick -- selecting Palin will be portrayed by Dems/liberal media more as a reaction by GOP selecting its own female (overshawdoing Palin's own remarkable assets), rather than McCain taking the lead on this.

Selecting Palin now or early (contrary to the punditocracy) will mean McCain will be seen as driving the course of this campaign overwhelmingly, and the DEMS will be seen as merely reacting. And, there's absoultely no down-side to this because even if Hillary is a no-go as VP for Obama, the GOP gains by acting early.McCain the maverick. Palin the maverick. Do it now!

There's no reason, and actually substantial negative, in McCain waiting to see what the Dems do first insofar as his picking Palin as VP, because, no matter who Obama picks, Palin is by far (and I mean far) the best pick for McCain and the GOP, especially in this time of GOP woes. The GOP can be seen as the party of real 'change' (albeit I hate that mantra, change, change, bla bla), while not really having to change from GOP core conservative values, which Palin more than represents.

In light of the current oil/energy situation, as well as the disaffected female Hillary voters situation, and growing focus on McCain's age and health, Palin is more than perfect -- now.(Perhaps Team McCain is already on to this.)

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