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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

“A Joe Of His Own?”

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Bill Kristol is still thinking Joe Lieberman. (HT: RobinsonandLong.com.)

Michael Medved is excited about Senator Hutchison.

I’ll leave it to someone else to figure out when the country last had two tickets composed of four senators, but McCain backers hoping for a McCain presidency should look at ElectionProjection’s map:

The left-of-center blogger FiveThirtyEight charts it this way:

Romney or Pawlenty help McCain in the states where he needs to needs to flip tens of thousands of votes to his column –Romney in Michigan, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire; Pawlenty in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

The two senators, their supporters argue, will have an impact across the U.S., but vice presidents rarely if ever do that.

Vice presidential nominees can hurt the top of the ticket. They can lose the one debate when the country is watching. They can disappoint key parts of the base and send them to the sidelines. They can make gaffes on the trail and thus feed the hostile MSM with storylines.

But the most they can help is in a handful of states and on three crucial occasions –when they are announced, when they speak to the convention and when they debate.

The only one of the rumored possible veeps who will almost certainly help in key states and on those three crucial dates is Romney, though Pawlenty is a likely assist across all categories as well. Senators Lieberman and Hutchison, Secretary Ridge, former Congressman Portman etc –they all raise worries about these four factors.

Senator McCain is even going into the conventions, which very few observers thought would be the case. There is no reason for going long at this point, and every reason to allow Obama to keep beating himself.

Either Romney or Pawlenty makes enormous sense, and Romney has the advantages of having spent months in the media madness of the primary season and of having been in the bizarre world of nationally televised debates many times. The base both in and beyond St. Paul would rally to either man, but would be split decisively by a pro-choicer.

The Dems made a mistake in 2004 by picking soft-punching Edwards, and Obama has made a huge mistake by going with another Beltway Brahmin while kicking Hillary and her supporters in the teeth. The Dems are worried and can’t hide it. The next four days won’t infuse Obama with gravitas or change their position on victory in the war or using America’s energy, and it won’t erase Obama’s record of zero achievement and lousy judgment. If anything, Denver will add to the fears of a personality cult instead of a presidency.

Senator McCain needs competence, experience and energy to match his own and a running mate whose ideas resonate with the GOP faithful. Lieberman for Secretary of State, yes, but winning means exciting the GOP in September, a good showing on October 2 at Washington University, and crucial help in few key states in November.

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