Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Year of the Veep?

The race for president is tightening up, and both sides need something that will generate a boost in the poll ratings and in voter interest. John McCain has succeeded in turning the media's attention to nitty-gritty details as opposed to Obama's long-term "Change" philosophy. They also both have potential liability aspects as voters weigh the impact of age and race on their decisions. The key to victory in this election may well be the identities of the two VP candidates. Each presidential candidate needs to choose someone who will: enhance their combined impact and stature (1+1=3); bring additional votes to the ticket that would not be likely for the presidential candidate alone; give geographic and/or demographic nationwide appeal to the ticket; and offset one or more perceived weaknesses of the top candidate. The selection of VP candidates who cover all of these criteria will be very difficult, but it very well may be critical to the results of the general election and to the perception of the electorate of the worth of each party's ticket. There have been several elections when I voted one way or the other because of my feelings for the vice-presidential candidate, and one or two where I wished the VP candidate was the one running for president. This year the election is going to be extremely close, and the VP candidates may make the difference. I also think that this year's election competition will go right down to the wire and will feature some high-impact last-minute surprises.

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