The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sanford 2012?

I must confess that if there is anything that would lead me to consider voting for John McCain, it would be the announcement that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford was running as his VP. Of course, I would then slap myself and take a shower, but given the contempt and bile that I reserve for The Little Furher, that is a pretty big admission.

The appeal of a McCain/Sanford ticket should be obvious from McCain's perspective. Sanford is an actual conservative, young, handsome, popular and southern. In other words, all of the things that John McCain is not. It would be a balanced ticket that helps to solves McCain's issues with the base, neutralizes the age problem, the religion problem, the gay marriage problem, the fiscal conservatism problem, the southern state problem...O.K., I could keep listing McCain's problems until the cows come home. The point is that there are many good reasons that the pundits keep bringing up Sanford's name.

The real question is: What is in it for Mark Sanford? It is a matter of conventional wisdom that he is a rising star within the GOP. A conservative constitutionalist with a strong record on cultural as well as fiscal issues, Sanford once famously walked into South Carolina's legislature with a pig under each arm. He introduced the pigs by their names, "Pork" and "Barrel" before releasing them in the chamber and chastising the lawmakers for their reckless spending.

Sanford was mentioned often and early as a possible candidate for the nomination in 2008 and would seem to be a favorite for the nomination in 2012. He is also a shrewd political operator which is why I would be very surprised if he were to accept the VP slot on a McCain ticket. The strong possibility that McCain will get stomped by Obama come November will relegate his unfortunate running mate to the annals of loser history beside such noteworthy n'er do wells as Jack Kemp, John Edwards, Joe Lieberman, Lloyd Benson, and Geraldine Ferraro.

It is also unlikely that McCain would follow the Bush/Cheney model of giving over the reigns of government to the veep and vacationing except when a really bad idea needed to be promoted. That would leave Sanford in the political wilderness, unlikely to even emerge to break a tie in what will probably be a more heavily Democrat Senate then today. Worse yet, Hell might freeze over and he would be stuck living in the Naval Observatory for 8 years, attending funerals for foreign dignitaries and watching daytime TV.

So while it may give Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace something to speculate about in the absence of actual news reporting, I think that the chance of a Mark Sanford VP bid is about as unlikely as, well...a John McCain presidency.


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