Ridge to the future

By STEVEN STARK  |  March 12, 2008

Plus, none of the former candidates in the race appeal to voters in an important swing state. Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell might be an intriguing choice, but they’re too connected with the Bush policies in Iraq for comfort — and, besides, it’s unlikely Powell would accept the nod, anyway.

Traditionally, presidential candidates have looked for running mates who diversify the ticket. But with his selection of Al Gore in 1992, Bill Clinton demonstrated that it might be a better strategy to pick a candidate who reinforces your own appeal — the better to run on a consistent theme. Against Obama, McCain’s candidacy will rise or fall with his ability to convince the electorate that the nation needs a steady, experienced, somewhat independent hand at the tiller. Ridge has the best stature and persona to help reinforce that argument.

And if the opponent is Clinton? In that unlikely case, McCain might want to look elsewhere — which is why he’ll wait to the last minute, after the Democratic convention, to make his choice.

THE FIELD
REPUBLICANS
JOHN MCCAIN

The nominee

DEMOCRATS
BARACK OBAMA

Odds: 2-3| past week: same
HILLARY CLINTON
Odds: 3-2| same

On the Web
Steven Stark's Presidential Tote Board blog: http://www.thephoenix.com/toteboard

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