Who Should Joe Biden Pick as His Republican Vice President?

098ac-bidenYesterday Joe Biden said that he would consider a Republican as his running mate if he were to win the Democratic nomination in 2020.  Let’s have some fun with this.  Who would make a good GOP running-mate for Biden?

John Kasich:  Anti-Trumper who might help Biden win Ohio

Jeff Flake: Anti-Trumper who might help Biden win Arizona.

Mitt Romney: Trump won Utah in 2016 by more than 18 points.  I don’t think putting Romney on the ticket will help Biden win Utah in 2020.  But Romney is a national Republican and a moderate who instituted Obamacare in Massachusetts before it was called Obamacare.

Jeb Bush:  This would be a strong anti-Trump ticket and might help Biden in Florida.

Condoleezza Rice:  She is only 65 years old and an anti-Trump moderate.

Who am I missing?

OK–I Was Wrong About Jeb


Jeb Bush is out of the race.

Here is what I wrote back on September 1, 2015:

The flashy front-runners of the Summer 2015 will fade and once that happens GOP primary voters will turn to their second option–an establishment candidate.  But I don’t think Rubio is the man.  It will be Jeb.  The former Florida governor has made some mistakes, but so did Romney in 2012.  In the long run he probably has the best chance to defeat Hillary.  There is a clear reason why Trump has spend to much time targeting him. 

This is what happens when a historian tries to predict the future.

GOP Presidential Candidates: Quit Complaining About the Questions

Every Republican in the country tonight is complaining about the liberal bias of the questions posed by Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carlos Quintinilla, the moderators of last night’s GOP debate on CNBC.

Were they tough questions?  Yes. Were the moderators liberal?  I don’t know their personal political views. Did the questions have a liberal bias?  Probably, but I don’t think anything they asked was out of bounds as far as politics go–past or present.
I have not heard Donald Trump criticize the questions yet.  Sean Hannity interviewed him after the debate and Trump skirted Hannity’ question about the liberal-bias of the moderators.  Of course Trump also had serious problems with Megyn Kelly’s question in the first Fox debate.  He could be an bipartisan whiner.
Many conservative pundits on Fox, including Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, and Bill O’Reilly, all thought that Marco Rubio won the day when he said that the CNBC questions had a liberal bias.   Others praised Cruz for attacking the supposed liberal nature of the questions.  
What struck me was that neither Cruz nor Rubio answered the question that they were asked. Instead they used their time to criticize the moderators.  The moderators asked Rubio a good question.  Why aren’t you showing up to represent the people of Florida in the Senate?  He did not answer this question, claiming that it played into the liberal bias of the media. Such an answer may have fired up his base, but it was not very satisfying.  And then he followed-up by saying that if John Kerry, John McCain, and others skipped votes when they were running for president, then why not me?  Jeb Bush was right to attack him on this point.
Let’s just say for the sake of argument that the questions at last night’s debate were biased.  I don’t know about you, but I want my presidential candidates to be able to give an honest answer to any legitimate question that is asked of them.  The President of the United States is the leader of all Americans–liberal and conservative.  When asked a hard question from someone of a different political or ideological perspective–a question that might make him or her uncomfortable–I don’t want my president to default with an appeal to the political bias of the question.
Fiorina needs to answer questions about her time at Hewlett-Packard.  I think GOP and independent voters would like to know more about this.   Marco Rubio needs to explain why he is not showing up for votes in the Senate.  GOP voters in Florida might be interested in this.  Ben Carson needs to defend his “tithing” approach to taxation when people like Becky Quick hit him with the numbers. These are all fair questions. And even if the media is liberal, its members are Americans who have every right to ask these kinds of questions of their candidates. 
And by the way, I would say the same thing about the candidates on the Democratic side.  Why not have Fox News host a debate with Hillary, Bernie, and the gang. Let them address tough “conservative” questions on abortion and gay marriage and socialism and the role of government in society.  I would love to see that. 
OK, enough of this rant.
I came away from the debate impressed with Kasich and Christie.  

Who is Waiting in the Wings for the GOP?

Over at Slate, Jamelle Bouie wonders who will be the Mitt Romney of the 2016 GOP primary season. According to Bouie, there is no establishment candidate waiting in the wings when the outsider candidates burn out and fall off the map.  Here is a taste:

Think back to this time in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, and it’s easy to see the similiarities. Mitt Romney was the most plausible nominee in a wide field of contenders, but he couldn’t catch fire with the GOP base. Instead, he watched a parade of outsiders and conservative alternatives take their turns in the sun, from Rick Perry and Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

But behind this chaos was a certain order. For as much as Romney struggled against conservative enthusiasm for vanity candidates, he also held a steady place in the polls, with strong fundraising and a solid, professional organization. Romney wasn’t the first choice for the majority of Republican primary voters, but he was the first alternate for when everyone’s various infatuations died down. “Romney was viewed positively by likely Republican primary voters regardless of whether they were conservatives or moderates, pro-life or pro-choice, relatively wealthy or not, Tea Party members or not,” write political scientists John Sides and Lynn Vavreck in The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election. What’s more, Romney had high ratings among voters who backed candidates like Cain and Gingrich: “About 74 percent of conservative Republican primary voters had a favorable view of him,” they write. When it was time to choose, Romney was the strongest contender, and Republicans were ready to pick him.

Bouie argues that Donald Trump and Ben Carson will not make it without GOP party support.  John Kasich is too compassionate.  (I love this quote: “Now, when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small,” Kasich said at the presidential debate. “But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.”). Chris Christie is too moderate.  Scott Walker is performing poorly on the stump.  Jeb Bush is too worried about Trump and he has made too many gaffes.

Bouie thinks Marco Rubio may be the best “waiting in the wings” candidate:

The only “plausible” candidate left—someone to bridge the gaps among all party factions—is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. What he lacks in Bush’s money or Walker’s electoral success he has in raw talent: Rubio is the most gifted communicator of the field, with enough savvy to avoid Trump’s traps. He doesn’t engage Trump on immigration or try to swat him away. Instead, he talks policy, tries to distinguish himself with substance, and marches toward his goal.
Rubio, in other words, has the simple combination of discipline and message—movement conservatism, shorn of its roughest edges—that leads to victory. He, put differently, is the closet candidate in the field to the last election’s Romney. If I were a Republican donor or activist trying to make a decision, I’d give the young senator another look.
I like Bouie’s general thesis.  The flashy front-runners of the Summer 2015 will fade and once that happens GOP primary voters will turn to their second option–an establishment candidate.  But I don’t think Rubio is the man.  It will be Jeb.  The former Florida governor has made some mistakes, but so did Romney in 2012.  In the long run he probably has the best chance to defeat Hillary.  There is a clear reason why Trump has spend to much time targeting him.