Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why a McCain/Ridge ticket makes sense

Political insiders say former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is on the short list of vice presidential candidates being considered by Sen. John McCain.

I've been worried for months that Ridge would end up as McCain's VP. They've been close personal and political friends for years and McCain is loyal to his friends.

I've never been a fan of Tom Ridge, but I can see McCain's thinking in picking him for VP.

Ridge remains a popular former governor in Pennsylvania and could help deliver the Keystone State for the Republicans come November.

People's fondness for Ridge has a lot to do with what a terrible governor Ed Rendell has been. It's the same nostalgia people invoke about the Bill Clinton administration. George Bush has screwed up so badly that his predecessor looks much better even though most of the country's current woes can be traced to the Clinton years.

The problem I have with Tom Ridge is that he's pro-abortion and is not a fiscal conservative. Picking Ridge would alienate the conservative base of the Republican Party, but McCain is gambling that the base will come around because the alternative -- Barack Obama -- is unthinkable.

Pennsylvania is considered a swing state, but leans toward the Democrats. If McCain wins Pennsylvania, he will be the next president.

Barack Obama can't win the presidency without taking Pennsylvania. McCain could still get enough electoral votes to win even if he loses Pennsylvania, but the Keystone State could be the knockout state for the Democrats.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your analysis of why Ridge would make a good choice, but I don't think his pro-choice stance is as problematic as you think.

HW Bush faced the same problem, but slowly modified his position. Ridge is doing the same thing, saying that while he might disagree, he would support the policies of the president.

And you're not going to get two men who agree on absolutely everything. What's important is that McCain feels comfortable working with his VP, and in this regard Ridge fits the bill.

Also, I am not sure why you say Ridge is not a fiscal conservative. I lived in Pittsburgh during the time he was governor, and I don't remember him exactly as being a spend thrift.