Tuesday, May 20, 2008

McCain's new convention strategy

While I believe John McCain has a better than not chance of being the next President of the United States, he will face a serious obstacle on September 4th when he will be forced to address the Republican Convention in Minneapolis.

The problem won't be so much that his stance on issues such as immigration reform and global warming will be in stark contrast to most of the delegates amassed at the Xcel Energy Center, rather it will be that the delegates will all be Republicans, and they will put their differences with Arizona Senator aside and cheer him enthusiastically.

Then McCain will be forced to acknowledge the crowd's cheers, and perhaps look towards the rafters and smile at President Bush, who will be doing his own cheering from a special box. Unfortunately for McCain, cameras will capture all of this cheering and smiling and acknowledging, and the images will be beamed to homes all over America, reminding people how much they don't like a lot of the people who have just become very excited about John McCain.

There isn't a lot poor John McCain can do about this. (If some sort of devastating disaster befalls the Twin City region in late August, be very suspicious.)

His one saving grace, if you can call it that, is he will probably have his good friend Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman to introduce him. Lieberman is no great shakes, but he is not a Republican either -- in fact he ran on the Democratic ticket for Vice President just eight years ago.

But is there another failed Democratic Vice Presidential candidate out there that John McCain can recruit to help him survive Minneapolis?

Yes there is! In interviews over the last couple days, Geraldine Ferraro has given every indication she would still like to work hard to defeat Barack Obama, whose campaign she feuded with earlier in the year over race and gender issues.

Ferraro didn't add much to the Democratic ticket in 1984, but she just might be what the Republicans need to get through another hour of prime time convention coverage without alienating most of America.

With Lieberman and Ferraro on board, McCain would have the support of two out of the four living failed Democratic Vice Presidential nominees, and would only need John Edwards and Sargent Shriver to complete the set. (Mondale actually won in '76, so he doesn't count.)

Getting the endorsements of Edwards or Shriver is probably a bridge too far. Although on the off-chance McCain was able to build an insurmountable lead on Obama before the convention, Edwards could surely be convinced to jump ship with some flimsy promise of a "poverty tour." McCain might also try to get Arnold Schwarzenegger, a fellow member of the super exclusive popular Republican club, to lean on Shriver, who happens to be the action-star-turned-governor's father-in-law.

But two out of four ain't bad. In fact the slogan for the 2008 Republican Convention could be "Now With the Support of 50 Percent of the Living Failed Democratic Nominees for Vice President."

Anyone have a better one?

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