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Veepstake Monday – The Inside Line: 06-30-2008

Tim PawlentyJesus, July already? With just eight weeks before the first gavel falls in Denver, and both candidates hinting that they’ll be making their choices sometime in the dead of summer, this could be the beginning of the end of Veepstake Monday. Toss your sawbucks down now tell them you heard it here first. Remember, we’re quite literally writing the book on the Vice Presidency and we’re going to famous for it by the time the Veeps-in-waiting are going to be slugging it out in fall. You want to be one of the ones to say you followed us when, and that handsome new Corvette you’re driving is a direct result of your unflagging faith in the betting line of those sages over at Veepsblog.com, back when they were just striving nobodies.

The race for number two is tightening, and the pundits are getting so bored with the same names that many are starting their straight-faced, cringe-inducing parlor game of “dark horse” VP candidates. Fired HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, and even Dick Cheney have emerged in the past several weeks as possible contenders by the chatting classes jaded by the tired three-ball juggle of Charlie Crist, Mitt Romney, and Bobby Jindal  and looking to add a hatchet and a flaming steak knife or two to the act. I’m tired of re-exploring Crist, Romney, and Jindal week after week, but even on my best day I know that my Alan Keyes bet is a tough sell to the McCain Brain Trust. On the other hand, this is John McCain’s brain we’re talking about, and if one of the snarling, firebrand toadies who makes it through the door at McCain HQ grabs the candidate’s ear at just the right time, the Arizona Senator could conceivably sign off on Bo Gritz if they convince McCain the General could deliver Idaho, Montana, and Terri Schiavo’s family and put him over 270.

Bobby Jindal – Governor, Louisiana: We’ve all been getting a little disoriented at the smell of $4.00-plus per gallon gas, but Governor Jindal is starting to lose brain cells with an audible Jiffy Pop staccato. He was proud to note that, in spite of the disasters of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, there had been no major offshore spills in the waters around his state. Unfortunately, according the the Minerals Management service, there were in fact 124 major Gulf oil spills resulting from the two hurricanes, “worse than the worst-case scenario,” the study said. No major oil spills. And not to gild the soiled lily or anything, but there were in fact 113 oil platforms totally destroyed and 44 offshore spills off Louisiana alone. His candor on his forays into amateur exorcism is brave, but it’s unclear what that experience would bring to the Oval Office, as, last I checked, there was no President’s Council On Metaphysical Fitness.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 50 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (6/16/2008): 45 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (6/2/2008): 12 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/17/2008): 3 to 1

Charlie Crist – Governor, Florida: Bad times for Good Time Charlie. The man from the land of the Orange Bowl with the unnervingly orange tan has had something of a reversal of fortune the last few weeks. After his longtime opposition to offshore oil drilling, Governor Crist last week joined the can’t-buy-a-drill crowd in the Republican party who have reflexively cited tapping coastal oil reserves that the oil companies still haven’t done despite their longtime claim on 68 million acres of those offshore reserves, and 8.3 million acres of reserves within the eastern Gulf were last year opened for drilling. Between that and the real estate and budgetary woes in Florida, Crist’s approval ratings have dropped into negative territory for the first time in his eighteen months filling Jeb Bush’s shoes. according to a recent Zogby poll. That said, Florida is still one of the big daddies that McCain has to win, and the Golden Brown Child is still McCain’s best pick.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 4 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (6/16/2008): Even money
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (6/2/2008): 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

Tim Pawlenty – Governor, Minnesota: The Atlantic’s Senior Editor Andrew Sullivan has already picked Barack Obama as the Dems’ pick when the Illinois Senator was being obscured by the blinding light of Hillary’s universal anointment, and John McCain as the GOP nominee when the Arizona Senator was accepting coach flight bumps for a free room at the Columbus Red Roof Inn and a $200 American Airlines credit. Sullivan weighed in this week that McCain’s pick of Governor Pawlenty is “already made.” Sitting in my sweltering one-bedroom apartment, I’m not one to criticize a senior editor of such an esteemed publication as The Atlantic, but Minnesota hasn’t gone blue since 1972, when George McGovern couldn’t have beaten Richard Nixon with Jesse Ventura in his corner, much less Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy (the only reason he avoided a 50-state sweep was Sargent Shriver and the Massachusetts hegemony of the Kennedys, and the lingering suspicion amongst the state Kennedyscenti that Richard Nixon may have had someone on payroll perched behind the grassy knoll. On the other hand, according to many Evangelicals, Pawlenty plays the Christ card better than anyone this side of five-time World Series of Poker winner, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson. The Christians are looking for somewhere to go this year, and try as he might, the coarse and short-tempered McCain can’t go religious without eventually losing his cool and stomping on the Second Commandment.
VeepsBlog 2008 Line: 15 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (3/30/2008): 10 to 1
VeepsBlog 2008 Line (2/18/2008): 2 to 1

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