The proverbial wisdom about Vice-Presidential candidates goes this way:
- They balnace the ticket. That is, they give people a reason to vote for the top name on the ticket that he cannot provide for himself. I have always wondered about this one because it seems more like unbalancing the ticket to me.
- The front runner has to feel comfortable with the second choice. This is only in the modern era. Abraham Lincoln had never met Hannibal Hamlin and he knew Andrew Johnson, but barely, and never actually met with either of them after election.
- The second banana has to shine, but he/she must shine a little less bright than the presidential nominee.
- The selection of a VP candidate gets the ticket a brief bump upward. Then, it is back to the grind.
President Obama had better hope the Ryan selection bump is only temporary. Why?
In what are thought of as the swing states, like Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, the Romney campaign got a serious upward bump in all of those states. According to the pollsters Purple Statistics, Romney pulled ahead slightly in Florida, Ohio and Virginia and almost even in Colorado. He had been trailing in most polls in all of those states.
Here is a prediction for you. If Romney/Ryan take Florida, Ohio and Virginia, this race will end up an 8 point spread over Obama/Biden.
And, while we speak of Vice-Presidents, Mr. Biden, is one. He is a man who plagarized key components of his college work. He was a garrulous, reliably Liberal voter while in the Senate. He was the one compelling voice that led President Obama to announce he had changed his mind on same-sex unions. Mr. Biden even announced the President's change of mind before the President announced it, forcing Mr. Obama either to confirm or deny.
And, now, Mr. Biden has told a predominantly black audience in Atlanta, "the Republicans will put you back in chains." He even used the word ya'll, which is probably not much the vogue in Vermont. *Writer's Note-Ya'll is also probably not used in Delaware, either, which is where Mr. Biden lives and the state he represented in the Senate. I keep trying to move him to Vermont in my mind, but even my mental Vermonters think not.
So much for civil discourse.
After Mr. Biden's most recent gaffe, GOP surrogates rushed in to insist President Obama must remove Mr. Biden as his running mate and replace him with Hillary Clinton. These were the Republican Talking Heads who insisted Mr. Biden must go and be replaced by Ms. Clinton.
Two things here. The Clintonistas hate the Obamanians because President Obama took Hillary's place in 2008. A political alliance between the two is, shall we way, unlikely in the extreme.
And, if one wishes to know what happens to Democratic candidates in the modern era who drop their VP candidate and choose another one, see McGovern, George, 1972 and Eagleton, Thomas, same year. McGovern was going to lose anyway (RM Nixon was going to be re-elected) but his on again, off again 18 days with the Senator from Missouri sealed his fate.
Why, my panting readers, would the GOP like to see the bumbling New Englander Biden replaced by the canny Clinton? Such a move would give them several more news cycles to talk about their fellow, a Mr. Ryan, from Wisconsin, and the golden opportunity to compare Mr. Ryan's politics and personal life to that of the Secretary of State.
And, that, dear readers, would take the American electorate right up to election day without much more scrutiny of Mr. Romney, who still won't tell us about his tax rates, who still made Romneycare the law of the land in Massachusetts and who has a few other chinks in his armor.
Bait and Switch.
Has Vice Presidential politics ever been this much fun?
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.