Meadville Tribune

CNHI News Service Originals

July 6, 2012

Five myths about choosing a vice president

(Continued)

— 2. A vice presidential nominee's most important role is to balance the ticket.

This is true sometimes, as when a young and relatively inexperienced Barack Obama picked 36-year Senate veteran Joe Biden in 2008, or when Washington insider Dick Cheney suggested himself to George W. Bush in 2000 to counterbalance Bush's perceived lack of gravitas and foreign policy experience.

But one of the most successful contemporary political pairings was of two wonkish, 40-something, white Southerners: Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. Gore's selection reinforced the message of generational change that Clinton wanted to send as he unseated the last president of the World War II generation, George H.W. Bush.

Clinton and Gore also reported that they had great "chemistry" and enjoyed campaigning together, qualities said to also be high on Romney's list. But will he find his political soul mate in someone comfortably familiar, such as Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, or someone younger and ideologically edgier, such as Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin?

3. A vice presidential nominee can carry a key swing state.

This has not happened since 1960, when Lyndon Johnson, ahem, helped John Kennedy win Texas. But that was a time when political machines (or chicanery, in the case of the 1960 voting fraud allegations) could still have a major impact on turnout.

Since then, presidential nominees have generally ignored this consideration, or, if they have tried to heed it, it has not worked. Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis attempted to revive the Kennedy-Johnson "Boston-Austin Axis" in 1988, but having Sen. Lloyd Bentsen on the ticket could not make Texas a Democratic state again. Nor could Edwards deliver his native North Carolina for John Kerry in 2004.

The near-abandonment of this strategy has been a boon to vice presidential nominees from less populous states, such as Cheney of Wyoming and Palin of Alaska. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota should take heart.

Text Only
CNHI News Service Originals
  • car-dashboard-gps.jpg Do cars have too many distracting gadgets?

    New cars are a gadget freak's dream; sophisticated navigation systems, Internet connectivity for mobile devices, systems to monitor your driving habits and a system that automatically summons help.

    August 3, 2012 1 Photo

  • Five myths about choosing a vice president

    Every presidential election cycle, once a party's nominee becomes clear, we focus on the veepstakes. Who will Mitt Romney choose? Will he play it safe with a traditional pick, such as Walter Mondale in 1976 or Jack Kemp in 1996? Or take a chance, as John McCain did with Sarah Palin in 2008? Either way, there is no evidence that a vice presidential nominee plays a great part in voters' decisions. But that doesn't stop us from overhyping the selection process.

    July 6, 2012

  • gift-card-2.jpg Gift card givers, beware: 6 tips to protect your purchase

    Many shoppers looking for a simple, easy present for friends and family this holiday season will turn to gift cards, letting the recipient do the shopping at their favorite store or restaurant. But the Better Business Bureau says consumer complaints about gift cards are on the rise, and buyers need to beware of potential pitfalls.

    December 14, 2011 1 Photo

  • vacancy-sign.jpg Stay scared: 10 most haunted hotels in America An overnight stay at a haunted hotel is a nightmare come true for many thrill-seeking tourists, and travel website TripAdvisor has named the top 10 places where you can scare up a good vacation.

    October 25, 2011

  • met092211amazonwarehouse.jpg E-commerce raises question of sales tax fairness

    A growing chorus of bricks-and-mortar small businesses are protesting what they see as tax law inequities driving them to the brink by requiring they collect and remit sales taxes while their electronic counterparts prosper through tax-free goods and services.

    October 24, 2011 4 Photos 2 Stories 1 Video 1 Link

  • met092211toddsmith.jpg Conflicted politics deter sales tax reform

    Lawmakers face political challenges in closing a legal loophole that allows online retailers to avoid paying sales taxes, as they weigh an issue of fairness against aversion to raising taxes.

    October 24, 2011 3 Photos 4 Stories 1 Video

  • Hugo Eight must-see films to close out 2011

    It's that time of the year, when all the films that are either designed to draw in big holiday bucks or win big 2012 awards get released. And those in love with cinema have dozens of options at the theater.

    October 14, 2011 1 Photo

  • Red_Leaf_BH.jpg SLIDESHOW: Fall colors on display across the U.S. The change in seasons brings a vivid display of fall foliage. Check out this gallery of photos of autumn colors from across the United States.

    October 14, 2011

  • organic-produce.jpg Organic: Is it worth it?

    “Organic” has long been one of those buzzwords floating around health- and food-conscious communities. The fact is, though, not a lot of studies actually confirm that people who eat organic food are more healthy than those who don’t.
    SLIDESHOW: The 'dirty dozen' of fruits and veggies

    September 23, 2011 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Jane-Lynch-Emmys.jpg Who will win Emmys? See most-nominated TV shows Some epic HBO dramas along with a few popular comedy staples lead the way in nominations for the 63rd annual Prime time Emmy Awards, which air Sunday night.

    September 16, 2011 1 Photo

Business Marquee
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks