Aren't the Veepstakes exciting?
Great fun, like some sort of enormous political game of 'Guess Who?' with each party slowly whittling out those hitherto seemingly solid senators, governors and others for any potential conflict, past misspeak, incorrect policy position or inconvenient associates.
We've been exposed to a whirl of potential candidates almost non-stop since Obama and McCain won their respective primaries. That's about two months of Obamaveepery and several more of Senator McCain's. With all the major news bureaux continuously filing reports on who's up, who's down, what's been said, how the candidate looked, sounded or acted around a potential VP is poured over, analysed, counter-analysed and then rubbished in the next contradictory report to come out. We've been treated to mini-resumes of every senior to mid ranking senator and governor in both parties for several months and they've all taken their turns in the media spotlight, taking a bow and participating in a form of political show and tell followed by some playground rubbishing of the other team captain.
Enough is enough. Seriously, whilst I'm as much of a politico as the next person, all this Veepfoolery is just building us up to one big anti-climax. Honestly, come the end of the Olympics when all is made clear and Obama calls first, followed by McCain there will be maybe one day of news coverage followed by a mass shrug. If McCain picks Romney then there might be some sort of witty hair comparison articles. For the Democrats Obama's VP will look dull in comparison and might end up being more qualified than the freshman senator. Either way, if, as the current buzz suggests, it's Evan Bayh or Tim Pawlenty, then we're not really talking about a game changer or major news. Two moderately qualified, moderately interesting, mid ranking Midwesterners; much like Baby Bear's porridge, not too hot, not too cold but just about inoffensive enough not to take a hit in the polls. Frankly, yawn.
Think back – Kerry announcing Edwards, woop, that changed the game, Gore choosing Lieberman, a little left field – but still yawn (though admittedly not yawn if McCain chooses him) and Bush choosing Cheney, ho hum. When this is all over, we'll look back and laugh. Ok, so we probably won't, we probably won't even look back – there'll be two people on the bottom of the tickets and we probably won't think much about them for the next few months; certainly less than has been thought about them for the past few.
By Matthew Bennett