The shadow-boxing is almost over and John McCain is about to have his chance to face a real and anointed enemy, other than himself. Who’s going to ride shotgun with him as he makes his race for the White House in the culmination of several decades of public service? The courtship began at his Memorial Day barbecue in Arizona. McCain’s preliminary event in the beauty pageant was just the bikini competition, and even though we haven’t heard them talk about how they love animals and if they had one wish it would be world peace, he’s already got some real lookers on his runway. Regardless of McCain sexing it up in Arizona, though, everyone knows that politics isn’t pretty. These men and women on Senator McCain’s short list better have their Scotch-Guard applied if they’re going to sign on with the senior Senator from the Grand Canyon State, because there’s a bulging dam of effluent about to break, and that could sully the lot of them.
Charlie Crist – Governor, Florida: I’m not budging on this one. Charlie was at the barbecue and most likely got the plate with the biggest slab of meat. Unfortunately, that’s probably a poor choice of words, given the enduring “is he or isn’t he?” gay flap about Florida’s seemingly-confirmed bachelor governor. Only his hairdresser knows for sure, and his hair looks fabulous. He’s been protesting a bit too much lately, pulling a Rock Hudson and allowing an oily GOP operative to actively circulate a video of him canoodling with a hot, apparently non-SheMale brunette in an elevator. I don’t care if he’s gay, and if he is I wish he’d be man enough to come out, but the taint of Larry Craig, Mark Foley, et. al. notwithstanding, the GOP propaganda machine will disseminate enough denial in the interim to effectively kill this as a campaign issue. His positives are too high. The road to the White House goes through Florida, and Obama definitely has inroads to make with Latinos and the Jewish. Crist rules Florida with one of the highest gubernatorial approval ratings in the land.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 1.5 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (5/19/2008): 1.5 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (4/28/2008): 2 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (4/14/2008): 3 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (2/18/2008): 6 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/31/2008):4 to 1
Joseph Lieberman – Senator, Connecticut: He’s running out of reservations from which to stray. In the last several years, Senator Lieberman has turned queering his patch into something on the Tourette’s spectrum, and he’s done it again, accepting an invitation to share a podium with one of Senator McCain’s disgraced clergymen, Pastor John Hagee. Hagee has, of course, called the Catholic Church “the Great Whore” and invoked Hitler and a vengeful homophobic God in just a few of his most-publicized inflammatory declarations, and even Version.2008 John McCain, who hasn’t met a far-right position he doesn’t like, has had a rare moment of clarity and repudiated Hagee’s remarks. That isn’t stopping Lieberman from accepting an invitation from Mr. Hagee to speak at a pro-Israel conference in July. Lieberman’s home-state Hartford Courant is treating Lieberman’s RSVP as if they’d just found out about their son’s NAMBLA membership. He had a real future in the GOP after he betrayed his party, but that just went south faster than the Seattle SuperSonics
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 80 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (5/19/2008): 5 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/17/2008): 14 to 1
Sarah Palin – Governor, Alaska: Whoa, not going there now. I had her plugged in and was ready to tee-off on her for her anti-environmental and anti-women’s rights stands, especially after news reports I heard as recently as today of her being McCain’s magnet for the disaffected Hillary voters. But my fresh check of Google News has reigned me in a bit, so no funny or indignation here. And not much chance for the Veep nod either, nor would she want it, I don’t imagine. Governor Palin, 44, just gave birth to a child with Down’s Syndrome. This is a tragedy, and a challenge akin to juggling 14 bowling balls, and she made her choice and I’ve got nothing but sympathy and admiration, but there’s an ominous and nauseating buzz I’m sensing in the Republican blogs, citing her knowingly giving birth to a Down’s child as confirmation of her pro-life bonafides, and what a great draw she’d be for McCain’s softer Christian constituencies. That’s a dark road someone else is probably going to go down, but I’m not touching it either way, except to say that I think she’s a bit consumed right now, and the Vice Presidency probably isn’t in her immediate future.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 40 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/17/2008): 12 to 1
Bobby Jindal – Governor, Louisiana: I’m eight ways from Sunday on this one. He’s young–really young, at 36–and, as an Indian-American, is a Big Tent favorite and doesn’t comport to any ethnic stereotype that even the biggest voting American knuckle-dragger has ever conjured up (they don’t even know what “vindaloo” is, much less how to spell it–how the hell are they going to be able to call that up as a pejorative?) The Republicans have an enormous problem in the Gulf States, thanks to George Bush’s abysmal response to Hurricane Katrina and as evidenced by the recent special election in Mississippi where the Democrat, Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers, defeated Republican Greg Davis, despite the overestimated star turn by Vice President Cheney. Still, McCain just got caught with his pants down assailing Obama for talking smack on Iraq even though he hasn’t been there in two years, while McCain has been talking smack on New Orleans but has only been there twice since the storm hit in 2005, when he was busy celebrating his birthday with President Bush. He talked a good game in fall 2005, but didn’t make it there until July 2007–for a fundraiser–but in the meantime had managed to vote against an additional year of unemployment benefits for people left jobless by Katrina. He made it again last month for a publicity appearance with Governor Jindal (this comes in contrast to five visits by Senator Obama during the same period). Unfortunately, lobbyists in the McCain campaign have been leeching up to the surface like water-table toxins, and Governor Jindal has a senior staffer who is in fact a paid energy lobbyist. That’s the kind of baggage that an already beleaguered Senator “McClean” doesn’t need.
And I don’t want to be too superficial, but I’ve never let that reticence stop me before: Looking at his most-recent publicity photo, he looks perhaps a little too boyish. He bears a striking resemblance to M. Night Shyamalan, but in his 14-year-old incarnation. Maybe we should let him get through his awkward phase and finish his last growth spurt, then we’ll talk to him about being a heartbeat away from the Presidency.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 12 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/17/2008): 3 to 1