For both John McCain and Barack Obama, locked in a tight duel, safety seems to be the prevailing sentiment.
McCain is worried about a right-wing backlash against Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and even against Tom Ridge (the pro-choice Republican former Pennsylvania governor). The eminently safe choice for the GOP is Tim Pawlenty, the Minnesota governor. His selection wouldn’t do much one way or the other, but it would give McCain a good talking head to complement his ticket.
Obama will, of course, steer clear of Hillary. He seems to have three key options for VP – Tim Kaine, the Virginia govenor; Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.); and Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.).
Bayh has gotten some flak lately from the left and is suspect on the abortion issue. He also is bound at the hip to Mark Penn, who wins no points in popularity on the left of the party. Kaine has the same defects that Obama has – he’s a former city councilman and mayor of Richmond, a city with less than 200,000 population (some colleges have more). So a state senator will run with a city councilman for president? I don’t think that will work well. Biden – crusty, talkative, argumentative old Joe Biden – might be the best choice. At least he knows where the men’s room is in the White House!