Seriously, Karl… That’s so cliche of you to pick two former presidential running mates. As punishment, I’m going to remind everyone about the time you got down with your bad self (“MC Rove“) at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Anyway, this Sunday, Karl Rove came on “Fox News Sunday” and told Chris Wallace what he thinks about the veepstakes so far…
For McCain: “Well, first of all, we are way before they get down to a short list. You know, most of the nominees are named either at the convention or the week before the convention, so we’ve got two months to go on this.
“What I tried to do here is choose types of people. You’ve got the â€” in Mitt Romney, you’ve got the defeated primary opponent.
“In Pawlenty, you’ve got the â€” you know, you’ve got a blue state Republican.
“In Charlie Crist, you’ve got a strong advocate and ally from the primary process.
“And then in Joe Lieberman, you’ve got the choice way out of left field â€” you know, the real excitement.
“Each one of these has their strengths and weaknesses, but each one of them ought to be thought of as an archetype rather than just an individual, because we are months away from them getting down to a short list.
“I’d pick Romney. Romney is already vetted by the media, strong executive experience both in business and in government, has an interesting story to tell with the saving the U.S. Olympics, and also helps McCain deal with the economy, because he can speak with the economy with a fluency that McCain doesn’t have.
“On the downside, he’s been a little uneven in his performance. In fact, that’s being charitable. I mean, this is the guy who talked about environments and marching with Martin Luther King and so forth. And there’s also the Mormon problem, which was really sort of astonishing to me.
“When his father ran for president in 1967, there was not a single story on the front page of the Washington Post, New York Times, or a cover article in any of the major news magazines about George Romney’s Mormonism.
“And yet we’ve been subjected to a lot of that kind of coverage this time around, and as a result, there is â€” and particularly in sort of evangelical and Baptist communities â€” a problem with his Mormonism.”
For Obama: “Biden is the â€” fills the role of the person who ran against him. He’s got foreign policy experience, which is turning out to be a weakness for Senator Obama, and has gravitas in Washington.
“Governor Sebelius is the governor of a red state, Kansas, likely to be a Republican state in a fall but nonetheless an interesting choice.
“Webb has been talked about. He’s been the recent sort of “buzz du jour” in Washington. And he’s got military credentials, crossover credentials, having served in the Reagan administration, and strong antiwar credentials, which helps Obama on his left.
“And then, of course, Chuck Hagel, which is the sort of out-of- left-field choice. Senator Hagel’s wife Lilibet has been an Obama contributor, and obviously Hagel has been a critic of the Iraq war. Despite his longstanding personal friendship with McCain, he has yet to endorse McCain.
“Out of those four, I’d say Biden. But look. I think the Democrat field of vice presidential candidates is far more opaque than the Republican side, because I think it is â€” this really comes down to â€” when you make a decision about vice president, you’ve got to make one of two decisions â€” who’s going to help me politically or who’s going to help me govern.
“And this really gets to be a personal decision of the candidate. And the mix between the two â€” how much of my decision is based on how much they can do for me politically, and how much has to do with the chemistry and their background and their abilities that I think will help complement me in governing â€” these are intensely personal.
“And as a result, you know, those of us now sitting on the outside watching it are not going to know how the candidates are going to go about doing this, particularly with Obama, who doesn’t have a track record of these kind of relationships and having played in high stakes politics.”