In the post below, I suggested that, because they are deadlocked, the Dems may be able to produce a dream Clinton-Obama ticket. It’s unlikely that, left to their own devices, the Clintons would share the spotlight with a rock star. But it’s possible that the super-delegates, who likely will dictate the nominee, can make Obama’s inclusion a condition of their support for Clinton.
On the Republican side, there’s been a fair amount of speculation that McCain will select Huckabee as his running mate. The smart money, I think, is against this prospect. To win in November, McCain needs to solidify support among conservatives while maintaining support from moderates and independents. Huckabee’s inclusion is unlikely to promote either goal. Influential conservatives like Rush Limbaugh distrust Huckabee about as much as they distrust McCain, while moderates/independents might be scared off by a vice presidential candidate who wears his religion on his sleeve.
On the other hand, Huckabee might provide the answer to an increasingly vexing problem — the enthusiasm gap. President Bush staved off John Kerry’s challenge through an incredible grass-roots operation. That operation was based on the phenomenal efforts of volunteers.
Who will be McCain’s volunteers? Surely, not the same party faithful upon whom Bush relied. Perhaps McCain can mobilize his core support group, war veterans. But there’s no doubt that he could also use evangelicals. Only the inclusion of Huckabee on the ticket creates the possibility that they will actively help McCain. The prospect of that concrete assistance might outweigh the negative reaction of those conservatives who pay close attention (Huckabee is more than capable of disguising his centrist and liberal tendencies) and of moderates (in the end, they will vote for the presidential candidate, not the VP).
Thus, as little as I like to admit it, I can’t rule out the possibiity of a McCain-Huckabee ticket.
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