With the Democratic Party Convention a little over a week away, the hype about the Veepstakes is approaching a fever pitch. While Senator Obama has remained mum about possible running mates, the media has certainly been having a field day, taking odds on who Obama might pick.
On the other hand, the media seems barely interested at this point about who John McCain will pick as his running mate. An informal, non-scientific poll over at Instapundit shows Sarah Palin as the frontrunner for the vice-presidential slot, with Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson showing second and third, respectively.
While Obama's choice may not be all that important (I figure there's no way he'll pick Hillary, for obvious reasons), McCain's choice will be vitally important, because it will make or break his run for the Oval Office. He has to choose someone that can actually replace him should he be unable to continue to hold the office of President. Let's face it, he's no spring chicken. Also, the true conservatives in the GOP only grudgingly support McCain, mainly because he's anything but a conservative in their eyes. McCain can capture the moderate voters in both parties all by himself, but he needs someone with the conservative credentials that will pull in the conservatives of the party while not turning off the moderates and the undecideds. That narrows his choices.
This should make Mitt Romney one of the last people McCain should choose, because too many in the GOP see him as a RINO (a Republican In Name Only), trying to wear the mantle of a conservative. But all anyone has to do is look at his record as governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to see he's no conservative. What proof do I have? That's easy: RomneyCare.
One thing McCain should do is choose someone not already in Congress. That pretty much leaves those holding office as a governor, or that formerly held office at state or federal level. That person will also have to have 'street cred' as an effective conservative that knows how to get things done. That narrows the field even more.
McCain must choose wisely. Frankly, by choosing Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, former US Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee, or Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, he'll have a pretty good shot at being able to move into the White House next January.