Well, tomorrow is supposed to be the big day for John McCain. That’s when he is scheduled to make his long-awaited announcement of whom he has selected to be the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee this year.
Contrary to what some might believe, there is no way McCain will select Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge as his running mate. He knows that too many members of the far right base of the GOP — who are already suspicious of his conservative credentials — would abandon him in a heartbeat if he named a pro-choice candidate to the ticket. Of course, they would not vote for Barack Obama — they would simply stay home on Election Day. He cannot afford to take such a hit and he knows it.
But who will be his choice? I believe it has come down to two men: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Governor (and former McCain primary opponent) Mitt Romney. They would both bring social conservative bona fides to the ticket. That’s something McCain desperately needs to shore up.
I would say that Pawlenty has a slight edge there due to Romney’s late conversion (some would still call it a flip-flop) to the cause. Also, there was some bad blood created between him and McCain as a result of their dust-ups during the primary season. Some believe McCain still doesn’t like him, and that’s quite possible. Still, I believe McCain would put aside his differences with Romney and give him the nod if he believed that was in his best interest.
Both Pawlenty and Romney have the potential to bring McCain a state the Democrats would normally be favored to win. Pawlenty is admired in Minnesota and could very well influence its vote in the presidential election in November. While it’s unrealistic to think that Romney could turn Massachusetts red, he could deliver Michigan — a state where he won a GOP primary this year and where his father was a popular governor — to the Republican fold.
I would be completely shocked if McCain picked someone other than one of these two gentlemen. Of course, it’s possible that I be could be wrong. It’s happened before.