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Looking at McCain's Timing

Leslie Sanchez at CNN writes a piece entitled "McCain Should Hold His Cards in VP Poker" in which she states:

If conventional wisdom is correct and Barack Obama's vice presidential selection is days away, should John McCain pounce with his own veep announcement?

I say no. For McCain, this game is more like poker than quick draw. He's got one singular advantage when it comes to the Veepstakes -- he can afford to wait and see Obama's hold card.

Once he sees which of two or three strategies Obama has decided to play, he can decide which of his own cards to play.

Will the Democrats make a choice based on region or gender? Will Obama play to "new politics?" Either way, expect McCain's choice to counterbalance Obama's. There's no reason for McCain to tip his hand before Obama plays his card.

Sanchez is correct that McCain would seem to have nothing to gain by revealing his running mate now. Yet it's hard to see why McCain would choose to wait so as to "counterbalance" Obama's pick. The first problem with this is that McCain's selection is most likely going to be based on how he can strengthen his own campaign rather than minimize the Obama ticket's advantages.

Second, McCain doesn't have that many options. Most think McCain's list has dwindled down to a maximum of four or five candidates and many think it's less than that. The primary reason for this, as has been noted elsewhere, is that there aren't many good Republican choices out there. Meanwhile, many of the original potential veep choices have canceled themselves out (Ridge is too pro-choice, Huckabee is too fiscally populist, Giuliani isn't conservative enough, etc.) McCain's scarcity of options here doesn't really allow him to find the right counterbalance.

-Greg Bobrinskoy