Like the Democrats, the Republicans have many qualified people who would make excellent selections for the V.P. spot on a ticket with John McCain. In election 2008, McCain should be looking for a person that can bring electoral votes in a swing state or a state that went Democratic in 2004. John McCain needs someone younger than himself for voter demographic balance. The V.P. selection needs to have experience managing a state and have an understanging of the economy. Both of these areas are current weaknesses of the Republican Presidential nominee.
Two men that have been mentioned for the Republican Vice Presidency are Florida Governor Charlie Crist (who helped McCain secure the Party's primary election with his timely endorsement) and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Jindal is governor of Louisiana and is a rising star with Republican conservatives. While both men would make excellent choices on a Republican ticket, McCain should be able to win Florida's electoral votes without Crist and Jindal has said that he is not a candidate for VP and is probably too young anyway.
The name of Tom Ridge has been mentioned as a potential VP possibility, but his pro-abortion position would split the Republican Party's national base of support even if he did make the state of Pennsylvania more competitive for McCain. Mike Huckabee finished second in the Republican Primary but outside of motivating the Evangelical voter it is hard to see what he would bring to the 2008 Republican ticket in the fall.
That leaves the following top three Republican candidates for VP:
Mitt Romney- Its hard to see why the former Massachusetts Governor and McCain primary election rival would not be selected as McCain's running mate. He has been effective in raising money for John McCain in the last two months. He is liked by the Party's conservative base (except for Evangelicals). He has run a state and cleaned up the Olympics. He is a successful private businessman with a real understanding of the U.S. economy. He could deliver the electoral votes of Democratic Michigan where he is very popular and even help the McCain campaign in New Hampshire as well.
Tim Pawlenty-The Governor of Minnesota is young and dynamic. Pawlenty is a good friend of McCain. He would certainly make Minnesota (usually a Democratic State) competitive. He was a former House of Representative's majority leader. Pawlenty has an excellent track record as a reform Governor in Minnesota. He has balanced Minnesota's budget three times without raising taxes while enacting a property tax cap. Pawlenty has even reformed the way teachers are paid through a nation-leading performance pay plan.
Joe Lieberman-If McCain wanted to reach out to Democrats, he could select his old friend, Joe Lieberman. Lieberman is strong with independents and would help bring votes in several swing states. It would signal a maverick ticket to offset Democrat Barack Obama's campaign of change.
Look for McCain to choose among these three men in the next two weeks. The likely choice is Mitt Romney but Tim Pawlenty would bring a lot to a Republican ticket in election 2008 as well.