Here’s an interesting way to look at the upcoming running mate selections. All other considerations aside, which GOP running mate would match up best against Obama’s running mate in the debate?
If Obama’s pick is Delaware Senator Joe Biden, perhaps Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal? Just to watch the awkwardness of Senator “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent” taking on the first Indian-American on a major party ticket?
If Obama’s pick is Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, a solid safe, and rather boring guy, then perhaps a rival dripping with excess charisma and charm? Romney? Palin? Huckabee?
If Obama’s pick is Kansas’ Kathleen Sebelius, a nice enough second term governor, but perhaps not a name that leaps to mind when one thinks “commander-in-chief,” perhaps a pick who screams, “ready to lead in a time of war”? Ret. Gen. James Jones? Retired Gen. Peter Pace?
If Obama’s pick is Virginia’s Tim Kaine, would be best matched by anybody with more than three years of experience as a governor, who avoids gaffes as automatically as Kaine generates them? Pawlenty?
If Obama’s pick is Sam Nunn, do you want to contrast, and suggest that the young promising guy belongs on the bottom half of the ticket? (Rep. Eric Cantor?) Or do you reinforce the contrast with Obama with another longtime veteran who’s got experience to spare, and make Obama seem like the greenhorn who’s out of place among three vets?
The presidency will not be won or lost in the vice-presidential debate. But some dramatically-contrasting choices could make for an interesting evening.
(I realize that any post on vice-presidential picks like this is going to generate a ton of e-mails in the vein of, “Jim, how could you forget X? I think my favorite guy/gal would match up well against any of them, and here’s why…”)