Thursday, January 26, 2012

Flagged by Powerline

This is a record week in bipartisanship for me. First I found something admirable about Chris Christie, and now I'm agreeing with the Power Line blog: "Worst News Story of 2012?". Reuters wrote an article arguing that Marco Rubio won't 'vet' as a Vice Presidential candidate. Campaigns historically have gone through great pains to carefully pour through Vice Presidential nominees' financial, political, and personal history to find anything remotely disqualifying. In 1972, McGovern's campaign failed to fully vet Tom Eagleton before nominating him. Soon after the convention, a history of treatments for clinical depression were discovered, causing a firestorm of national media attention. The McGovern campaign asked Eagleton to withdraw.

Both parties learned the important lesson: Vice Presidential candidates can become distractions that overshadow the message of the campaign. That's the central assumption of the Reuter's piece; that the Republican party will carefully select the most qualified- or minimally, the least embarrassing- candidate to be the VP nominee.

PowerLine believes that the Reuters article was the worst news story of 2012 because there were a couple of corrections that Reuters had to issue (certainly, an embarrassment to the wire service). I think it's the worst news story of 2012 because the central assumption is ludicrous: Republicans are unconcerned with appearing to play by the rules, tell the truth, or be prepared to govern.

In 2008, the McCain campaign selected Sarah Palin as his running mate, and the Republican party is still suffering from that move. I don't see any evidence, however, that the Republican party is interested in or likely to learn from their mistakes. Marco Rubio, like Sarah Palin, would surely be a disastrous pick for Vice President. Like Sarah Palin, he would also certainly outshine the nominee.

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