Perilous Possibilites Updated
08-14-2008
I don’t usually group unrelated updates into a single post, but since both items covered below strike me as similarly interesting for the potential peril they hold for each party’s presumptive nominee going into the conventions, I’ll lump them together in a single post.
 
First, on Monday I posted an item on John McCain’s campaign swing through Pennsylvania with former governor Tom Ridge. Their appearance together on the stump raised the inevitable speculation about a possible vice presidential nod for Ridge, who is pro-choice on abortion. I suggested that it was highly unlikely (virtually impossible) that McCain would pick a pro-choice running mate. Now McCain has given an interview to the Weekly Standard, in which he says he is open to a pro-choice running mate, and that Ridge merits serious consideration. Even with these new comments, I still don’t think it will happen. Keep in mind that McCain is in a difficult position. He needs to appeal to pro-choice moderates and independents, while also rallying skeptical social conservatives behind his candidacy. By saying that he would personally consider a pro-choice running mate, while eventually picking a pro-lifer, McCain is essentially attempting to have it both ways. Which constituency will ultimately be disappointed remains to be seen, but I’m betting on moderates losing out on this one.
 
Second, in late July and early August, I posted a pair of items suggesting that the Obama campaign should not be lulled into complacency by the recent lack of Obama-Clinton dream ticket chatter, and that conditions actually appeared to be aligning for some significant convention mischief by hardcore Clinton supporters. Well, while it still looks like Hillary Clinton will not be the vice presidential nominee, it has been announced that her name will be placed into nomination at the convention, something that the Obama campaign had long sought to avoid. Barack Obama now appears to be onboard with the nomination idea, perhaps believing that it is the only option left for avoiding a permanent rift between the two camps. In issuing a joint statement with the Clinton campaign, Obama seems to be focusing on his long-term strategic interest, even if doing so increases the potential for additional headaches at the convention.


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