James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Veeps, and is this an Election From Hell?

Vache Folle thinks McCain will pick Clinton for VP. Vox Day thinks it will be Sarah Palin, but wants Giuliani, because "I'd just enjoy witnessing the suicidal despair that would run rampant throughout the Republican Party as it watched its the old tormentor pluck defeat from the jaws of victory."

My own prediction in June was Mark Sanford, for reasons to be explained when he's picked. But if he's not, McCain has to choose between taking appeasing the Religious Right and taking them for granted by choosing a warmongering "moderate."

Like Vox, I want to see McCain go down. But even more, I'd love to see the Religious Right squirm and make excuses for voting someone Liebermann, or Hillary.

On a related note, John Derbyshire calls this the election from hell. It may be that, but I don't see it as a turning point. The turning point was 2004, when the Republicans should have revolted against Bush and denied him a nomination, and the Democrats should have nominated a candidate who didn't vote for all of Bush's worst policies. If McCain is worse than Bush (and he probably is), and Obama is worse than Kerry, this only further drives home the point made in 2004 of the stupidity of the electorate and/or the dysfunctionality of the system.

As Derbyshire notes, it is commonplace to complain about the candidates, but before 2004 one could usually understand why the candidates were selected:

2000: Incumbent Vice President of a seemingly successful two-term administration vs. popular and seemingly effective six-year governor of a large state.

1996: Incumbent President in a period of peace and prosperity vs. an effective Senate minority leader.

1992: Incumbent President vs. a popular longtime governor.

1988: Incumbent Vice President of a seemingly successful two-term administration vs. a highly-regarded longtime governor of a fairly populous state.

1984: Incumbent President vs. former Vice President.

1980: Incumbent President vs. former two-term governor of a large state.

1976: Incumbent vs. one-term governor of mid-size state.

1972: Incumbent vs. Senator

1968: Incumbent VP vs. former VP

1964: Incumbent vs. Senator

Indeed, the only real surprises in the ten elections were a) small-state governor Clinton getting the nod in 1992 in a fairly weak field; b) Carter getting the nod in 1976 as an obscure one-term governor; c) activists nominating McGovern in 1972; d) activists nominating Goldwater. Everyone else had a resume that made the nomination unsurprisng.

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