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Best Choice for McCain's Veep? Try Jeff Sessions


Posted: March 3, 2008 5:51 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2008 5:02 a.m.
One does not hear much about the office of the vice president. It's kind of a nothing job with no real power. The vice president presides over the Senate and has no voting power except to break a tie. That has happened only 233 times in the history of our country. No, the framers of our Constitution did not have a clear concept for the office of the vice president. except to provide a successor in the event of the president's death, disability, or resignation.

Despite the lack of political influence wielded by the vice president, 14 of the 44 presidents are former vice presidents who have risen to the position of commander in chief; more than half after a sitting president had died. No question, the office of the vice president is an extremely important position.

Every four years there is a leap year and a day is added to the calendar: Feb. 29. At just about this time, the talk commences about vice presidential running mates for the nominees. Like clockwork, the political rumor mills gear up and begin to churn out the names of candidates.

On the Democratic side, short of a complete nuclear train wreck, Barack Obama is your nominee. Who will run with Barack to seal the deal? Will the vanquished Hillary swallow her Clintonian pride and do what is best for the party? I think not. Hillary at 60 would be giving up a powerful Senate seat from the powerful state of New York. And why would she do that? Hillary would be waiting in the shadows for four or even eight years.

The list of less notables running with Obama and Clinton is unceremoniously dull and without interest. Can you imagine Dennis Kucinich as Obama's running mate? If that happened, I would predict the space suit business would dramatically grow. What about Senators Chris Dodd from Connecticut or Joseph Biden from Delaware? No, I don't think so. Would John Edwards from North Carolina run as VP? I don't think Edwards would go down tobacco road as the second fiddle again. I think we will just have to wait and see whom Obama selects as his running mate.

The Republican side of this equation is much more interesting. Here is John McCain, 71 years young (McCain will be 72 on Aug. 29), and very possibly a one-term president. Who would he select? Ninety-six percent of Americans said a presidential nominee's choice is somewhat or very important. So you know the McCain camp is thinking about this issue as we speak. Here is a short list of possibles to run with McCain: Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 47; or Gov. Charlie Crist, 51, of Florida. Crist early on endorsed McCain in the Sunshine State and helped McCain win the primary.

Then there are South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Rob Portman, 52, a former congressman from Ohio and current director of the office of management and budget. I am going to take a wild guess as you read those names and make a prediction: The needle on your excitement meter did not jump.

Political novices immediately call for Gov. Schwarzenegger to be the running mate to McCain. After all, he endorsed McCain early on, after Giuliani pulled out. Of course, Schwarzenegger is not eligible to run. He is not native-born, which is a Constitutional requirement. Incidentally, a little side note about John McCain's birthplace. The four-term Senator was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 (he's called a Zonian), when the Zone was part of the United States.

OK, let's take it up a notch. How about retired General Colin Powell? He needs no introduction. You can do the math on that. Four years from now, who knows what a 76-year-old John McCain may or may not do.
Here's the candidate I like ... and I like him a lot. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Sen. Sessions was the unsung hero who stopped cold an amnesty for the 30-plus-million or so illegal aliens that John McCain and the rest of the left were trying to cram down our throats.

Jeff Sessions is a young 60 and he thinks right, both politically and ethically. I only wish Sen. Sessions threw his hat into the ring early on; then we might be having a different conversation today.
Indeed, John McCain could do himself a great deal of good and earn a lot of political capital by asking Sen. Sessions to be his running mate.

He would have my vote in a Dixie second.

Yes, Jeff Sessions is the right choice for VP.

I would urge all to write John McCain and tell him what you think about the choice for his VP. McCain's direct mailing address is:

John McCain
P.O. Box 16118
Arlington, VA. 22215
(866) 775-2008

As always, I welcome your opinions and points of view.

Roger Gitlin is a Santa Clarita resident, teacher and Minuteman. He can be reached at His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.


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