Who's in the Republican Veepstakes?

1. Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota
  PROS: An early, loyal McCain supporter who has long been close to the candidate. Solid conservative who has won two elections in an important swing state that is hosting the Republican National Convention. Age (47) is a balance to McCain's.

CONS: No significant foreign policy experience. Untested and not fully vetted on the national stage. Weak reelection win in 2006 raises questions about whether he could help carry his state.

2. Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts
  PROS: CEO background strengthens McCain's economic credentials. Vetted through his own presidential campaign. Personal wealth solves potential money woes. Reportedly favored by Bush insiders. Aggressive and effective surrogate work endearing himself to McCain insiders.

CONS: Skewered McCain during primary season, with quotes that would be thrown back at the ticket. Has little personal relationship with the candidate. Will offer no help in carrying his home state. History of liberal-to-moderate positions could haunt him with GOP base.

3. Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida
  PROS: Popular governor of perhaps the most important electoral state in the nation. Endorsement of McCain may have been critical in helping him win Florida -- and the nomination.

CONS: Doesn't solve McCain's problems with conservatives, particularly on immigration and environmental issues. Has served less than two years as governor.

4. Republican Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina
  PROS: Considered a "safe" pick by conservatives. Could strengthen McCain's economic credentials, particularly on taxes. Effective television presence who is helping line up conservative support for McCain.

CONS: Doesn't add a state that isn't already in the GOP column. Stayed neutral during tightly contested South Carolina primary, even though he endorsed McCain in 2000. Has had a tense relationship with Republicans in his home state.

5. Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah
  PROS: Bucked conventional wisdom in Utah by supporting McCain over Romney. Will be 48 on Election Day. Deep experience in Reagan and both Bush administrations.

CONS: Home state is among the safest Republican states in the country. Mormon faith could present challenges similar to those faced by Romney.

6. Former Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
  PROS: Deep experience in legislative and executive branches, as trade representative and budget director in Bush administration. Popular among conservatives. Reputation as a tax-cutter. Would bring strong Capitol Hill relationships to the ticket.

CONS: Would further tie McCain to Bush administration. Represented conservative district and may not necessarily help McCain win Ohio, a key swing state.

7. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
  PROS: Strong conservative with national celebrity in political circles after defeating Democratic leader Tom Daschle in 2004. Good television presence. Impeccable credentials on conservative judicial nominations.

CONS: A two-senator ticket would have trouble running as Washington reformers. Geographical diversity would not add states to GOP column.

8. Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
  PROS: Strong background in economics. Early and aggressive McCain supporter. Prominent female with experience in public eye.

CONS: Has never run for public office. Has been off-message several times in discussing McCain's positions.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...