McCain's Choice on Pro-Choice
I have come across several mentions today of John McCain’s recent appearance on Hardball, in which he discussed whether he would consider choosing a pro-choice vice presidential running mate. While he didn’t dismiss the idea outright, he was apparently somewhat less open to it than he had been in 2000.
As much as political observers like to say that the general election will be a battle for moderates and independents, many of whom are pro-choice, it is just as likely to be about a competitive mobilization of the two partisan bases, left and right. I can’t imagine a quicker way for McCain to undo any progress he has made reassuring social conservatives about his bona vides, than for him to pick a pro-choice running mate for his ticket. Given the concern about his age, what if McCain could only serve one term as president? As unlikely a scenario as that is, can you even imagine the GOP running again in 2012 with a pro-choice, incumbent vice president now at the top of the ticket? No, of course you can’t.
For all of McCain’s maverick tendencies, my guess is that there will be an implicit pro-life litmus test for the vice presidential nominee. Anything else would cause a host of new problems for McCain among social conservatives. In fairness, you are just about as likely to see a pro-life vice presidential nominee sharing the Democratic ticket in November.
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