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Why Obama/Biden Means McCain Has To Pick Romney


Since Justin raised the question last night, I figured I’d contribute these thoughts adapted from a post at Below The Beltway.

There’s a lot of merit in the argument that having Biden on the other side of the Democratic ticket makes it hard for McCain to pick someone who has only a limited amount of political experience without risking that the Vice-Presidential Debate could turn into another Lloyd Bentsen-Dan Quayle type matchup. That means, I think, that people like Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, or Sarah Palin should be off the list. They each have a lot of positives, but they also have one glaring negative — a very limited political resume. Placed side-by-side with someone like Biden, that lack of experience is going to be glaring, especially in the case of someone like a Jindal or Palin, or Pawlenty, none of whom have any foreign policy experience.

This also goes back to the argument I made last week that one of the most important criteria that McCain will have to live up to in picking in running mate is that the public will have to have some confidence that the person he selects would be ready to lead at a moment’s notice. Obama has the same concern, of course, but the reasons that this is a bigger issue for McCain are, I think, rather obvious.

Which leads to the guy who seems to be on the top of every pundit’s list right now, Mitt Romney.

As I’ve said before, picking Romney makes sense for McCain for many reasons, and the presence of Joe Biden on the other side only seems to reinforce that. Yes, Romney doesn’t have the foreign policy credentials that Biden does, but unlike Barack Obama, John McCain doesn’t need a running mate to reinforce his weaknesses on foreign policy. What McCain needs, is someone to reinforce his weaknesses on the economy, and Romney fits that bill very well.

Of course, if he does pick Romney, it’s going to be hard for McCain to make much headway out of Joe Biden’s statements about Barack Obama considering how bitter the primary fight between McCain and Romney got toward the end.

That little problem notwithstanding, the pluses for McCain of picking Romney far outweigh the minuses, and they far outweigh the arguments in favor of any of the other candidates on the short list.