John McCain is scheduled to announce his running mate today.
Thinking about his vice president choices, I just can't imagine him picking Joe Lieberman, the name I keep hearing bandied around.
The TV networks see the main problem with Lieberman as the fact that he is pro-choice. I think the much larger problem with Lieberman is that he's 66 years old. Jay Leno has already been making "age-ism" jokes every night about the 72-year-old McCain. Can you imagine the jokes Leno would make about a McCain/Lieberman ticket?
The Republicans are angling to capture the middle-aged woman's vote--the disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters. I think McCain is going to choose a woman. A young woman.
That means no Mitt Romney, no Tim Pawlenty, no Charlie Crist, no Mark Sanford, no Richard Burr, no Paul Ryan, no Tom Ridge, no Rob Portman (I googled the VP short list this morning).
Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Senator from Texas, qualifies as female, but she's 64.
Carly Fiorina is the former CEO and Board chair of HP, who was fired in 2005. At 53, she's the right age. She has both financial and executive experience. But she has two big problems. In 2004, she was quoted saying, "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore. We have to compete for jobs as a nation."
While I absolutely agree with the sentiment, it is not likely to play well in the press. Add to that the cloud of the wiretapping scandal over at HP when she left, and I think Fiorina is just too risky a choice.
That leaves Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska.
In an August 1 article in the Washington Times, Newt Gingrich said: "Mrs. Palin is 'a mother of five, is a genuine Alaskan, is a hunter, is a dog sledder, is very much for drilling for oil, has a great reform reputation, took on big oil on behalf of the people of Alaska,' . . . 'I think she would bring a level of excitement and uniqueness . . .'"
Add to that, she married her high school sweetheart, and they had five children. Palin has a nineteen-year-old son in the Army and a four-month-old son with Down's Syndrome whom she refused to abort. In between the two boys, she had three daughters. She's the poster child for conservative values: a hunter, a NRA member, pro-life, with a reputation for integrity. And she's only 44 years old.
I'm betting Palin will be McCain's choice.