Saturday, August 3, 2013

X/McCain - Why John McCain makes the ideal GOP VP nominee for 2016

Whoever wins the GOP nomination come 2016- assuming it's one of the big three; Christie, Cruz or Rubio (Rand Paul won't win - his libertarianism will alienate too many of the GOP base), Senator John McCain would make the perfect running mate.

For Ted Cruz, McCain would bring a nationally popular leader to the ticket. Where Cruz appeals to a more hard-line strand of the conservative movement, McCain's appeal is broader. Although Cruz and McCain have had their falling outs - see ''wacko bird'' for one example, the evolving Obama-McCain relationship proves that the Arizona Senator deals in the moment. Of course, it's also obvious that Cruz would have to mollify for McCain to even consider joining him as running mate. This being said, if he does win the nomination, Cruz will need a running mate in the vein of McCain.

Chris Christie's compatibility with McCain is much more obvious. For a start, McCain would offer an aligned foreign/national security position and ''straight talking'' style popular with voters. McCain would offer Christie another advantage - allowing him to accentuate his proudly worn position as a conservative deal maker. With McCain on the GOP ticket, Christie would be able to sell himself as a true pragmatic Republican - an identity that would play well with independents and fence sitting Democrats.

For Rubio, McCain would offer something a little different. Even in 2016, Rubio will remain a relative political newcomer (though obviously not to the same degree of Obama in 2008). For a Republican base that remains concerned with national security issues, and in the context of the GOP nominee's almost certain opponent- Hillary Clinton (who, right or wrong, is regarded by many Americans as a foreign policy heavyweight), Rubio's age and inexperience will present a challenge to overcome. At least to some degree, McCain's presence on the ticket would alleviate those concerns. In short, it would allow Rubio to embrace his youthfulness without the negative associations.

In essence, for all three candidates, McCain ticks a lot of boxes. In his disagreements with President Obama since 2009, McCain has won back the affections of many conservatives who once labelled him a RINO. In this sense, his presence on the ticket wouldn't alienate the GOP base. Similarly, in his recent upturn in relations with the President, McCain has renewed the strains of pragmatism which have won him so many admirers among non-Republicans. More generally, in a career defined by national service; in the military, on the Hill and in running for President on two separate occasions, McCain would be a powerful campaign asset and a deeply informed voice on a wide range of issues. Oh... and at age 80 (as he will be in January 2017), McCain (based on his mother's continuing experience) is likely to remain in good health throughout the next President's term in office.

Finally, we need to ask, would McCain even want the job? 

I think he would.

As he moves towards the end of his career, the 2016 VP slot would afford McCain a concluding opportunity to help shape the future of the GOP and the country. A fitting end to a lifelong endeavor.

See below- a great speech from McCain's career - integrity and patriotism personified.

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