McCain’s Veep tightrope

Byron York argues that John McCain has a problem when it comes to selecting a running mate because if he chooses a solid conservative, he’ll have a running mate who disagrees with him on some key issues. York shows that two frequently mentioned prospects for the ticket, Tim Pawlenty and Mark Sanford, have strongly disagreed with McCain on immigration and campaign finance reform. However, Pawlenty, perhaps the more likely of the two, finds that McCain’s recent pronouncements on immigration are in line with his views.
McCain’s more general problem is that he needs the solid support of both strong conservatives and moderates to win in November. When he picks his running mate, he will be unable to select someone both factions will applaud. But fortunately to the extent the public cares about vice presidential candidates, it probably focuses less on ideology (except in extreme cases) than on personal qualities and perceived fitness to lead.
In any case, McCain’s best move probably would be to pick a solid conservative, thus assauging his base, and then let his opponent highlight McCain’s centrist tendencies by drawing distinctions between McCain and his running mate.
JOHN adds: At the Forum, there is support for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. It’s easy to see why:
OK, sure, it’s an old photo–Miss Wasilla 1984–but, still…
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