The news media and the blogosphere, especially that part of the Cheddarsphere here in southeastern Wisconsin have been speculating (although some are skeptical) on some kind of deal worked out between John McCain and Mike Huckabee in that Huckabee would become McCain’s vice presidential candidate if (now when) McCain secures the Republican nomination.
It would be hard not to draw that conclusion. After Huckabee lost three consecutive races, after South Carolina, he stayed in the race. He has been polite and praising John McCain, while negative toward Mitt Romney. And then there was the West Virginia convention.
But I don’t see Huckabee as being the best match. If McCain is hoping to offer an olive branch to listeners/readers/followers of Limbaugh-Coulter-Glenn Beck, I don’t think Huckabee has too great a standing with them either. He might help with social conservatives (evangelicals, et al.).
McCain’s age will force him to look for a younger person that could be seen as stepping into the Presidency (e.g., NOT Dan Quayle). The presence of Obama, Clinton or both on the Democratic ticket will bring pressure to select a woman or an African American or both (Condi Rice, anyone?). And there is the regional balance, seemingly less important in McCain’s case since he’s done well in the NE and South.
Fred Thompson would be an obvious choice. Would Fred take it? I doubt it, but stranger things have happened this cycle. Fred is a friend of McCain and might do it for the good of the party. Fred would appeal to all three conservative factions (fiscal, social and security).
But Fred’s not young.
Rice is connected with the administration and I don’t think McCain will go for anyone with connections to this administration.
Fred Dooley has predicted Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi. He’s youngish (60), conservative like Thompson, and has worked with Democrats in Mississippi.
There is also Romney, although it would be hard to imagine these two getting together now. But if Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan could almost do it, I suppose anything is possible, especially in politics.
Other candidates are possible, Hunter or Tancredo. They might help McCain in the mountain west, where Romney won on Tuesday.
Who else is there? Or is there no one who would save this ticket from a revolt on the right?