The Perfect Ticket
Image has not been found. URL: /wp-content/uploads/2008/09/mccain-mccain.jpgPresidential hopeful Sen. John McCain and Vice presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain
Arizona Sen. John McCain’s decision to name himself as his Republican vice presidential running mate in the November elections is no longer being dismissed as just another senior moment.
“A McCain-McCain ticket would be a perfect fit,” McCain,71, explained during a breakdown of his Straight Talk Express bus near Tucumcari, N.M., “The veep and myself would be in absolute accord on any issue I can think of right now, just off the top of my head. As president, I could count on absolute loyalty from my No. 2. And our nation will have a president and vice president who literally speak with one voice.
The presumed GOP nominee elaborated on this need for party unity — not only with the base but in leadership positions. “That is vital,” he continued, “because the choice of me would virtually eliminate the sort of frictions that so complicated Lyndon Johnson’s relations with John F. Kennedy, for example. And Al Gore’s with Bill Clinton. Unlike those individuals, me and me — or I and me, or is it me and I — would make a smooth-running team.”
The senator shrugged off concerns about an extra burden being imposed on an already overburdened president by assuming the vice president’s duties as well. While doing so, he seemed to signal that his vice president would not wield the powerful influence of a Dick Cheney, the current vice president. “What’s a vice president do besides chair commissions that never meet and go to the funerals of minor despots?” McCain asked, rhetorically.
Meanwhile, we could slash federal expenditures by renting out the vice president’s mansion.”
On the Democratic side, Sen Barack Obama, the presumptive presidential nominee, is known to be dodging all efforts directed at persuading him to name his former primary rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate. But he has acknowledged to associates that he is “frankly intrigued” by the notion of choosing her daughter Chelsea.
“Even setting aside how it strengthens our appeal to women, it’s an inspired choice,” one Obama insider gloated, “a win-win situation. We get all the clout and popularity of both Hillary and Bill, without any of the baggage. And there’s nothing the Republicans can slime her with: Chelsea has absolutely no political record. In fact she’s barely ever opened her mouth.”
President George W. Bush seemed caught up in Veep Fever himself today when he surprised Washington political circles by nominating the “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell as his vice presidential choice for 2008. This was a vote-getting masterstroke — mitigated only by the facts that the British Cowell would be ineligible for that office, and that Bush is legally barred from seeking a third term.
- Bruce McCall, a humorist, is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He is the author of “All Meat Looks Like South America: The World of Bruce McCall” and “Zany Afternoons.”*