Monday, August 18, 2008

VP Panic

Yeah, it's getting too close to decision time and I'm in a panic. First about McCain. Tom Ridge is quoted Sunday as saying that even a pro-choice guy (like him) would either become anti-choice like the nominee (McCain) or refuse the VP nomination. That's a bit scary. McCain looked like he went a long way in fixing his Evangelical problem Saturday, and if he thinks he did, he might pick Ridge. And that's probably the most potent pick he could make. It may put PA in play.

I still think he'll try to avoid offending either the GOPer base of anti-choice, pro-war zealots, or Independents who haven't yet figured out that he's no longer their kind of guy (if he ever was) by picking Pawlenty, a guy so unknown that (as someone said somewhere) he sounds mostly like an appetizer at the Olive Garden. And that would be good. He's not likely to pick Romney now, who might help him in a few key states, because Huckabee's vocal disapproval is a signal to the Rabid Right base that they should be upset by that. And McCain cannot afford to alienate Huckabee, who kept getting votes even after McCain was the presumptive.

But it's Obama who is up first, with just ten days before the VP is nominated officially at the convention. A post at Huffington indicates that Kaine is insufficiently pro-choice, which is something I didn't know, and don't even know if it's true, but if Dem women feel that way, he's a bad idea. He might be hard for Hillary to swallow, although if she talks him up, that might help with her voters.

That horseshit article in the NY Times Sunday I quoted is an obvious plant to get Obama to pick an "experience" candidate, and they mention Bayh--which is a sure tipoff that the article is more Clintonite propaganda. So I'm in a panic that he might actually do that. His choice could be announced as soon as tomorrow. I'm actually in fear of my email at the moment. (Although I just checked it.)

Well, I'll get a grip and hope it's Dodd, Biden or a nice surprise.

Two items (at least)of controversy came emerged from the Saddleback night, and both of them are about McCain (and neither of them is his $5 million a year definition of rich.) One is whether he knew the questions in advance, and there is some evidence he wasn't actually in that "cone of silence" at the church until Obama was halfway done. The McCain campaign is getting real indignant on this one, and actually I think the evidence against McCain is weak.

Not so his war story about the guard who made a cross in the dirt to silently signal his Christianity. The story of an imprisoned person being surprised by a guard silently making a cross in the dirt is in Solzhenitsyn's famous 1973 novel, The Gulag Archipelago. There are assertions that McCain is a big Solzhenitsyn fan, and that he did not tell this story until 1999, although he recounted his POW experiences ever since he returned in 1973. It may also be significant that the McCain campaign chose the other charge to get so exercised about.

Update: The cross in the sand story keeps getting more complicated. It may not be in The Gulag Archipelago at all, and one story in there about a guard wearing a cross on a chain while torturing prisoners makes a different point in Solzhenitsyn's book. It may have been attributed to S. by various rightward pols. Anyway, Andrew Sullivan seems about the only one interested in following this, as of Tuesday. He cites this TPM post that seems definitive so far.

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