Shenandoah County GOP

Cantor in the running
August 3, 2008, 2:06 am
Filed under: Congress, Election 2008, State Government and Politics

It’s official: Representative Eric Cantor is in the running for McCain’s VIce-Presidential nod. Politico reports that the McCain campaign has requested documents from the Representative. At this point, it’s very difficult to say what’s going on. According to various reports I’ve read of past vetting processes, the first step is simply asking if they would be willing to be on the ticket. Then, the campaign generally asks for documents. The final step is the interview, including the big question: “Is there anything that would embarrass the big guy?” So it would seem that at this point Cantor is, at the very least, on the “big” short list.

I generally try not to get involved in intra-party contests here on the blog. However, with the ultimate decision being up to McCain at this point (yes, yes, I know, the convention ultimately has fiat, but it would be rather unusual, if not unprecedented, for the floor to reject the Candidate’s pick, at least in the modern era of conventions), I feel that I can at least comment on who I feel is best suited to add something to the ticket. Now perhaps there’s some Virginia bias here, but I feel Cantor is a very strong pick for McCain. Cantor is certainly not a household name, but I think ultimately Obama is also going to pick someone below the first tier of politics, and it’s always a good place to find a diamond in the rough. Cantor is not a household name in Virginia, but he can probably help rack up big margins in and around Richmond, which has been a weak point for Republicans in the last few elections. He doesn’t seem to have any major skeletons in the closet (though granted there are a few things that the lefty end of the blogosphere will try to trot out). He’s also a Southern Republican who mostly fits the Southern Republican profile. Cantor is, however, a solutions oriented conservative (take a look at his website), and he would work very well with McCain’s profile as a reformer. He’s younger than Obama, but he actually has more experience than Obama in national politics AND with a reputation as something different. Cantor would help further bolster McCain’s image as tough on terror and would help with the Jewish vote, as Cantor’s cousin was a victim of Islamic Jihad. In summary, Cantor would bolster much of what makes McCain Mcain, and with that would hopefully help McCain re-energize his campaign with a positive message of reform and respect for traditional American values.

Could this just be a smokescreen like last week’s buzz for Kaine? We’ll see, but Cantor and Kaine would certainly make for a fascinating debate.

(My final analysis on Kaine: Kaine would certainly complement Obama and give Obama the advantage of doubling down, but the major drawback is that he would have gotten the nomination in a very “politics as usual way”–that is, as a reward for being Obama’s first big backer. Plus, he’s talking too much when others on the short list haven’t said a peep. Plus he would taking a beating from the lefty netroots for leaving the state to his polar opposite, Bill Bolling. My wager: You won’t be saying Vice-President Kaine any time soon. Secretary Kaine? Far more likely. But let’s try to prevent that too, alright?)

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