Hi, Rich. I think both candidates have been doing the same mildly cynical though not at all objectionable thing: paying courtesy lip service to the concept of being open to individuals whose views are outside the party mainstream.
In reality, Kaine, Lieberman, and Ridge have no chance of being selected (for a start, because of each of the three’s abortion position). But it doesn’t hurt Obama much even with the pro-abortion zealots to put Kaine on a short list, and far more importantly it shows everyone else that he’s not just picking from a narrow list of those who pass the Dem litmus test – even though he actually is.
Conversely, it doesn’t hurt McCain to agree to the general idea of Ridge of Lieberman being a fine VP choice, even though he knows he’s going to go with Tim, Mitt, or Eric. He’s just assuring pro-aborts that they’re not summarily denied a place at the table even before the meeting starts. Instead, he doles them out a few crumbs, just as Obama is doing.It’s a lie, but it’s a white lie and it’s common. It certainly comes up routinely when Supreme Court names are bruited about, and there’s nothing wrong with it – except that as now, overzealous Kremlinologists can read a little too much into the message and overreact.