Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Game Theory and McCain's Veep Pick

Right now all the scuttlebutt out there is seemingly pointing to a McCain-Romney ticket.  I can definitely see both the advantages and disadvantages of that option. 
Romney's younger, he's dynamic, he's an economic powerhouse (in the sense that he's a very successful CEO), he's got an entire voting bloc by the proverbial short hairs in that I think a good majority of them feel that he is the fulfillment of the White Horse ProphecyI mean, he got 90+% of the Utah vote.  I think he's probably going to do that nationwide with Mormons.
Romney's a Mormon (doesn't play well in the Bible Belt), he's done some flipping and flopping, and Taxachusetts doesn't seem like they like his Universal Health Care that much.
At the same time, from a voting bloc perspective, I don't know that he's a negative.  Sure, McCain will lose votes in the South, but the only state where that matters is Virginia.  It doesn't matter in Florida, but the other states are solid enough that McCain could get defections and be okay.  At the same time, Romney helps him a lot in Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, and perhaps California.  That doesn't mean that he'll deliver all those states, but he'll certainly make McCain far more competitive there, to the point where the electoral math could very well fall McCain's way.  I'd consider Romney the safe choice, even though choosing a Mormon doesn't seem like that would be the case.
What I would like to see however is something that is far more risky, but could blow the thing wide open.  McCain would either win by a landslide or lose by a landslide.  That pick is Joe Lieberman, former Democratic Veep choice and current Independent Connecticut Senator. I know that this would cause a lot of conservatives to throw a conniption fit, but think about it for a minute.  Most of the nation defines itself in the middle of the political spectrum.  Sure, they're not "the base" or even terribly active in politics.  You don't have any blowhards out there on radio or TV spreading the moderate gospel, but those voices are there.  They got John McCain elected as the Republican candidate and they are a force to be reckoned with.  They're the people who were initially enticed by Obama's message of change.  What better weapon could McCain pull out of his arsenal other than some actual change - for the first time in the history of the Republic, a major party ticket would have moderates from each party on the ticket.  Lieberman brings some demographic advantages (he sews up Florida and could perhaps make New England/New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania competitive or even Red) that I think outweigh his negatives (low GOP turnout in their current strongholds).  Let's face it, the Republican base isn't satisfied with McCain as their standard bearer to begin with.  Putting Romney or Ron Paul on the ticket won't change that.  Their beef is with McCain the moderate - as though being moderate is somehow a completely unacceptable option.  Let me tell you, I'm sick of Republicans who want to throw everyone out of the party who doesn't fit their definition of the party.  Let anyone who wants to be a Republican be a Republican.  If you don't agree with their politics, vote for someone who you do agree with.  Don't throw your vote to the other side of the aisle in hopes that the other guy will get elected, thus making conditions perfect for you to say "I told you so" to everyone else.  Anyway, end rant.  
Lieberman would be amazing, and even though I don't agree with his politics on a lot of issues, I know that he and McCain are very good friends and would work together well even though they are in different parties.  This more than just about anything else I can think of would have the potential to energize people about the political process again and perhaps turn things around to the point where you'd get more involvement and turn the tide.  In the process, I think it'd get McCain elected.  Of course, he might not be, but it would shake things up and that's what I think we need a little more of.


themickel said...

I think that's a great idea.

And that's why it won't happen.

And I'm definitely not looking forward to 2 months of polygamy jokes after Romney gets the VP nod.

And while we're on the subject, why is it that Mormons unquestioningly support Romney? The guy supported abortion, flip-flops in a way that John Kerry would be proud of, and seems to have no consistent, driving principles (as opposed to a Ron Paul), and yet he still takes away 90% of Utah. I mean, are we so desperate to see a Mormon in the national spotlight that we'll take any chump who pays his tithing? That's like hiring someone based solely on the fact that they went on a mission.

C'mon, Sorro, if anyone can explain this you can.

End rant.

Sorro said...

There are two things I see. One is the White Horse Prophecy. Whether the Constitution is "hanging by a thread" or not, it's hanging by a thread in a lot of people's eyes and if they could get a Mormon elected, it's a way to rescue the country. After all, Joseph Smith said so (but at the same time, he kinda didn't and he certainly didn't name names of the Mormon who would do it).
The other thing is that people feel like it makes us bona fide in the eyes of everyone everywhere.

Michael Brady said...

"Hanging by a thread" is such a subjective phrase. I call upon the relativists of the world to help me explain why the older generations believe that it is already to that point (I'm almost there) and those our generation and younger think we're doing just fine; in fact, we are making "progress" what with all of the homosexual lifestyle acceptance and such.

This country has basically been doomed ever since it was tapped as the promised land for Lehi's posterity. In essence, the promised land brings with it innate blessings of prosperity for anybody who knows what to do with elbow grease (though the same holds true anywhere); the principles of the gospel, industry included, have always been held up as an example to demonstrate what kind of blessings come from obedience. However, the U.S.A. has been heading down the primrose since 1776, and the Americas have been since before Moriancumr.

I say that Elder McConkie had it right. People are focusing on tabloid religion instead of doing their home teaching. The fantastic outweighs the "drollness" of living with your loved ones for eternity. Why do Mormons always have to feel like we need to prove ourselves right? I'll tell you why: pride. I say instead of speculating and reading into something that Joseph Smith is likely to have said but did not expound upon to come up with some cock-eyed interpretation that puts Romney in the 20500 zip code, we show our neighbors a little charity by doing our home teaching, we help the poor through our fast offerings and other volunteer work, and we do our best to stay worthy of the spirit who will tell us which candidate best represents the Lord's ideal (yeesh).

That feller from Minnesota will likely prove to be a spoiler for tabloid Mormonism, leaving us to bite our nails until Beau's aunt (my lady on the side, BTW) makes another sensational prophecy. Sorry, tabloid Mormons: guess you've got to study your scriptures after all to find the mysteries of life. Romney will probably not be there to tell you what to do. Guess it's up to you to get the Holy Ghost's direction in your life!

Wait a minute--did I just prophecy that Pawlenty will be the GOP VP candidate? Oo, sensational!

There are more important prophecies to which we should be paying attention, the biggest of which is that Jesus Christ (NOT Mitt Romney) will save the nations when he comes again. We should do our best to prepare for that. Have I made my point?

Go read your damn scriptures like you know you should!

Michael Brady said...

i was wrong. but i never claimed to be either a prophet, or a key figure in an answer to prophecy.