Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jon Huntsman will *NOT* be McCain's VP, so let's stop talking about it!

The latest local media hype-story has been that Governor Jon Huntsman could possibly be picked as John McCain's running mate. The theory goes that he comes from a rich family, has bucked a good chunk of his fellow Utah Republicans in endorsing McCain over Romney, and his LDS faith appeals to many conservatives.

However, this is baloney. I'd bet dinner that Huntsman will not be selected as McCain's Vice President. Here's why:

1) He's from Utah. Utah is Arizona's neighbor. Usually, you pick someone from another part of the country from you, not someone from an adjacent state. Furthermore, the VP candidate will probably be from a state where the Presidential election is expected to be close. While an Obama-McCain election will be closer in Utah than any presidential race in the past 20 years, if the Republicans are that worried about losing Utah, they're in more trouble than it's worth.

2) He is up for reelection this year. With a 75% approval rating, why does this matter? Well, he simply cannot run for Governor and be the VP nominee. Utah Code 20A-9-201:

(2) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b), a person may not:
(i) file a declaration of candidacy for, or be a candidate for, more than one office in Utah during any election year; or
(ii) appear on the ballot as the candidate of more than one political party.
(b) A person may file a declaration of candidacy for, or be a candidate for, President or Vice President of the United States and another office, if the person resigns the person's candidacy for the other office after the person is officially nominated for President or Vice President of the United States.

He would have to drop out of the race in September after the convention. If he drops out any time after 5:00 PM March 17, the Republican Party cannot replace him on the ballot unless he drops out for medical reasons. Should they try that, it would cause problems with the VP campaign ("He's not medically able to run for Governor in Utah, but can be a heartbeat away from the presidency?")

3) Jon Huntsman is not as conservative as the conservative branch would like. Furthermore, there's that pesky Mormon thing. See: Mitt Romney,

So, who do I think will be on McCain's short list?

A) Mitt Romney. He's looking for a job.

B) Mike Huckabee. He's the anti-McCain. Will bring the party together.

C) Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota. Comes in to the right of Huntsman. MN is a swing state.

D) Condi Rice. Helps counter the uniqueness of either a Hillary or Obama candidacy. Especially helpful if the Dem nominee isn't known until August.

Anyone you think should be on the list that I've missed?


1 comment:

Jerry said...


Although I'm not lying awake wondering if Gov Huntsman will become McCain's VP, I'm not sure it is as farfetched as you might think.

Regardless, a closer reading of the statute would show that, in fact, the Governor could become VP and be replaced by the Central Committee.

20A-1-501; The state central committee of a political party, for candidates for United States senator, United States representative, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, and state auditor, and for legislative candidates whose legislative districts encompass more than one county, and the county central committee of a political party, for all other party candidates seeking an office elected at a regular general election, may certify the name of another candidate to the appropriate election officer if: (iv) resigns to become a candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States.