How about Jim Talent as a possible McCain running mate? I have not heard anyone mention his name. The former senator from Missouri and 6 term Congressman is a very reliable, smart conservative with solid credentials. He narrowly lost a governor’s race and senate re-election campaign in Missouri. I recall a thoughtful piece Talent wrote for NR last year calling for tying US military spending to a percentage of GDP and increasing troop levels to better prepare for war in the 21st century.
Talent is 51 years old and, unlike Bobby Jindal or even Mitt Romney, can’t be labeled too young, inexperienced or a political lightweight. Talent would provide more “gravitas” to the McCain ticket than Jindal, Romney or a “non politician” and would still allow the McCain campaign to contrast the “experience” issue with Obama. If McCain were to pick a running mate with little or no time in elected office, McCain would lose leverage against Obama on the issue of being “experienced and prepared.”
Talent would provide McCain with a relatively youthful and competent running mate and would be popular with supply-siders, pro-lifers, and others in the GOP base. At the same time, Talent does not come across as a partisan GOP hack, so he would be appealing to independent voters and could help McCain in some of the Midwestern swing states.