Tales from the Trail

How to choose a VP? For McCain, rule one is “do no harm”

July 29, 2008

mccain-vp.jpgBAKERSFIELD, Calif.  – John McCain may not be giving any clues about who he wants as his No. 2, but the Republican presidential candidate does have a few ideas about how to choose. 

Rule one: Do no harm. 

“First, you want to make sure you have a candidate that’s not going to hurt the ticket,” the Arizona senator told a fundraising event webcast to American citizens in Bermuda.

“The second thing is, and I think it’s the key criteria, is it someone who shares your principles, your values, your philosophy and your priorities? Hardest thing for the president is to establish priorities.”

McCain said his list was full of good candidates. See if you can guess who he’s referring to here:

“There’s so many highly qualified people in our party, ranging – and I won’t mention names – ranging from people who have been stalwarts in our party for a long time, great governors and senators and businesspeople,” he said.

Fill in the blanks, folks. But don’t expect a timetable. McCain declined to identify a deadline for his decision.

“I will announce it just as soon as the process is completed, but it won’t be driven by any other factors — the Olympics or the Democratic convention or any other.  It will be strictly on when we can arrive at a conclusion,” he said on CNN.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (Republican presidential candidate John McCain speaks at a campaign picnic last week outside the Maine Military Museum in South Portland)

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