Joel Mowbray reports: Eric Cantor for VP?

Eric Cantor is the House chief deputy minority whip whom we have written about in several posts including “A letter to Speaker Pelosi” and “Cantor on CAIR.” Our occasional correspondent Joel Mowbray ([email protected]) writes:

With the speculation machine at full tilt this week that McCain may soon announce his running mate, one name not commonly bandied about deserves at least a closer look: Rep. Eric Cantor.

The Virginia Republican is a stalwart conservative, and he happens to be the only Jewish GOP member in the U.S. House. Working in his favor, he’s got a smooth delivery and a soft, but distinct Southern accent. With boyish good looks and the requisite attractive family, he exudes wholesomeness. Not to be discounted, either, is that he is quite close to McCain personally. At a mega-dollar fundraiser in the posh Hamptons this past weekend, for example, Cantor was one of the few “friends” who didn’t buy his way in.

Plenty of insiders see Cantor as one of the best faces in the GOP. In a recent National Journal anonymous poll of three dozen Republican congressmen and senators, Cantor received the second-highest number of votes — behind only Mitt Romney — for whom they would like as McCain’s veep pick. When Bush spoke in Israel this May, the influential Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention told several members of the American delegation that he would like to see Cantor as vice president.

Though the odds of the 45-year-old Cantor being picked are unquestionably long, it might be worth checking out the independent EricCantorforVP site. The site is chock full of information on the four-term congressman from the Richmond area, including news stories and video clips.

Even if McCain, as expected, goes with Romney or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Cantor would be a very close friend of a McCain White House. And should Obama triumph in November, there’s little doubt that Cantor would become one of the most prominent voices of Republican opposition.

In other words, learn more about Cantor now, so you can say you knew about him before most did.

Jaime Snyder recently posted thoughts on a possible Cantor vice presidential candidacy at the Weekly Standard site and linked to the Standard’s 2003 profile of Cantor by Susan Crabtree. This past fall Fred Barnes returned with an updated profile of Cantor in “The leader.”

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