Over at The Plank, my co-blogger Josh Patashnik has an excellent post on how politicians and pundits badly miss the mark when evaluating the importance of the vice presidential selection. Rather than obsessing over the short term political gain–which according to the available evidence may not even exist–candidates selecting running mates should focus on the fact that their choice will be closely identified with their party for decades to come.
In my mind, the most ridiculous aspect of the veepstakes frenzy is the focus on vice presidential “qualities” that will supposedly help the presidential nominee. This can be seen most humorously in John Heilemann’s New York magazine article on the “possibility” of a McCain-Bloomberg ticket. The idea is crazy enough on its own, but this quote in the essay is priceless, and perfectly captures the degree to which the issue is blown completely out of proportion: “The GOP is losing on the economy by 10 to 15 points,” says Doug Schoen, who served as Bloomberg’s pollster in his mayoral runs. “With Mike on the ticket, that gap would quickly, dramatically close.” Instead of disputing this absurd statement, Heilemann even more ridiculously adds that the “McCain–Bloomberg–Arnold Schwarzenegger troika” would put California in play for the GOP!
Anyway, let this stand as a plea for no more Veep talk until at least late July. Okay, fine, how about June 1st?