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Cantor Rising?

Buried at the bottom on this Fox News article about McCain's VP situation is this nugget:


Meanwhile, FOX News obtained an exclusive copy of a letter written by Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode asking McCain campaign manager Rick Davis to consider fellow Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor for the job.

In the letter, Goode told Davis McCain should "look right and not left" in selecting his running mate and described Cantor as "a consistent conservative" who would "energize the Republican base."

Cantor's name has been in the background on McCain's VP search all along. But since we haven't studied his case closely here's a quick look:

*Cantor represents a district that went 61-38 for Bush in 2004;
*He is the only Jewish Republican in the House;
*He won his 2006 election 64-34;
*He received a 100% conservative rating from the ACU in 2007.

Obviously, Cantor is a popular conservative from a key battleground state. Whether his place on the ticket would help McCain's chances significantly in Virginia is hard to know, but that is something to put in Cantor's "pro" column.

In the "con" column, Cantor is a career politician, having won his first office in 1991 to Virginia's House of Delegates. What that means is that he doesn't bring any significant policy weight -- say, on the economy -- although it would be a stretch for Democrats to argue that he's a "DC Insider" having served in House since 2001.

The bottom line is that Cantor would be seen as an ideological choice for McCain, perhaps bolstering his support from wary conservatives. That of course comes with its own drawbacks.