I'm just too much of a political junkie not to be already contemplating possible US presidential tickets for 2008. It's a banner year.
Rudy Giuliani – Newt Gingrich. Gingrich would be the perfect attack dog in a campaign, a traditional role for second banana—incredibly articulate. Balances the ticket ideologically and reassures the Republican right. Balances the ticket geographically. Balances a Washington neophyte with someone with Congressional experience coming out his ears.
John McCain – Joe Liebermann. Good buddies, so McCain might be able to persuade Liebermann to run; balances the ticket geographically, and comes right up the middle, appealing to dissident Democrats and to independents. A “national unity” ticket to face the issue of the Iraq War.
Mitt Romney – Colin Powell. Powell would be a catch for anyone, and would be great to neutralize a Democratic ticket possibly including pseudo-African-American Barack Obama. He’s said no before, but who knows? Now, somewhat vindicated by events in Iraq, he might be interested. Would balance the ticket ideologically if Romney, as seems likely, runs from the right. Would give the ticket needed foreign policy experience. And would give a relatively young candidate some gravitas.
Jeb Bush should properly be a dream partner for any of these guys—with his great record as governor of Florida, the geographical balance he offers any of them, and his Hispanic-Catholic ties. But I’m betting his brother will remain relatively unpopular, killing his chances this time around.
The best Democratic possibilities just don’t look as good; but this could reflect a bias on my part.
Hillary Clinton – Barack Obama would be a fine ticket. It would position Obama well for next time, or next-next time, so he is liable to agree. Not a good geographical balance though. Nor is it strong for ideological balance—it would have to work by rallying the base.
Hillary Clinton - Bill Richardson. New Mexico is a key state, and Richardson can probably deliver it. Balances the ticket geographically, and helps hold the Democratic client base among Hispanics. Richardson lends strength in foreign affairs.
Barack Obama – Nancy Pelosi. Obama, given his youth and inexperience, needs balance from a longtime party stalwart—like Lyndon Johnson for John Kennedy. Pelosi gives him this. Geographical balance of a sort. Weak on foreign affairs, though, should Iraq be the issue. Pelosi is unlikely to go for it unless it looks like a winning ticket, since it would mean giving up her seat.
John Edwards — Bill Richardson. Edwards is not of much value to anyone as a vice-presidential possibility. He’s probably not enough to make a difference to Clinton in the South or even in the Carolinas—he doesn’t have a strong “local boy” profile. And he doesn’t have enough congressional experience to balance Obama on this. But I feel he is appealing enough to have a good solid chance to be the presidential nominee. So who works for him as VP? Given that he needs someone with foreign policy experience, and strong government experience, I’d say it’s Bill Richardson. Again, this could deliver a key state, and help hold the Hispanics for the ticket.