When Senator McCain announces the name of his running mate, he will get the undivided attention of the country for about two minutes, and the introduction will be played again and again for weeks. Thus I hope he opens the announcement this way:
As you can see, I have asked ______ to join me in the task of governing this great nation, and in governing it from a belief in its greatness, not in its guilt. Together we are going to lead this nation into a second American century, one even greater than the last, one that builds on our great Constitutional order and our long standing commitment to freedom at home and its expansion around the world.
When I made this decision –perhaps the most important decision any president can make as so much potentially hangs on the individual one-heartbeat away from the Oval Office, I had to put politics aside. Many unpaid advisors in the media wanted me to think about putting this state being in play, or that demographic being mobilized. But I had to think about the country first –who could step in and step up if needed.
_________ is that individual. I will tell you why in a moment, but let me underscore what the voters should take away from this announcement.
My Administration will be run by seasoned executives with the capacity to make hard choices and to get things done. This is not the time for amateurs, and American Idol needs to stay on television, not in the government. We won’t be interested in pleasing the press or scoring political points. These are very dangerous times, and the threat from our enemies, though forgotten by many and downplayed by others, is real and in some respects growing. Our economy is strong but buffeted by the price of oil, and our entitlement programs and our spending addiction put us on a collision course with fiscal reality.
We have to change the way we do business in Washington. We have to be serious about the problems in front of us. We have to be prepared to make hard choices and do difficult things. We have to act, and do so in the best interests of all Americans, not this or that special interest group of trial lawyers, or Hollywood elites, or public employee unions.
Here’s the bottom line: As my running mate I have selected an individual far better prepared to be president than my opponent is. ________ is ready to be vice president on day one and president if the need ever arose. _____ has the experience in executive decision making that is necessary to avoid terrible mistakes than can cost lives and shake economies. And, crucially, _______ believes in this country’s essential greatness and essential goodness. Together we are going to cross this country reminding its voters that we cannot set sail to our fears, as Ronald Reagan used to say. We believe in the future, we believe in our ability to defend ourselves and our friends around the globe, and we believe that we can meet the essential challenge of finding the energy we need top fuel the growth that will benefit not just America but the entire globe.