Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Case Against Rendell

Mickey auditions reasons that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell should not be the Democratic nominee for Vice President. The best I can come up with is not a case against Rendell per se, but rather an argument for others. Specifically, it's not clear to me that Rendell adds much to the ticket. The only tangible thing is that he would virtually assure that the Democrats win Pennsylvania.

But it's not as if Pennsylvania is truly a swing state. The last Republican to win Pennsylvania was George H.W. Bush -- 20 years ago. Democrats swept the state in 2006, and Arlen Specter remains the only prominent Republican elected statewide. Rendell broke 60 percent of the vote against Lynn Swann. Is there a Republican other than Rudy Giuliani who could force Democrats to defend Pennsylvania?

Who might be a better selection than Rendell? Ted Strickland (OH), Mark Warner (VA), Bill Richardson (NM), Tom Vilsack (IA), Brad Henry (OK), and Phil Bredesen (TN) all are governors (or former governors) who represent real swing states. Any one would but Richardson could well flip a state that the Republican candidate needs to win the Presidency. All but Richardson would be regarded as non-Washington types; most would be seen as somewhat younger and more moderate. Richardson would have the virtue of being the first Hispanic on a national ticket.

While Rendell sounds like a good 'do no harm' candidate, he doesn't have the upside of the other candidates the Democrats have to offer.


Steve Smith said...

Oklahoma's a swing state?

The Editor at IP said...

Fair enough -- Oklahoma is not a swing state. But it is one that the GOP probably needs to win.

And Henry won re-election 67%-33%, and last I heard (I see no recent polls), he remained wildly popular.

Any Oklahoma residents want to opine on whether Mr. Henry could bring his state's electoral votes if he were the VP nominee?