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Pick a Vice President that Makes You Look Good

The Sarah Palin pick was problematic for John McCain in many ways. Yet, it was completely avoidable. All John McCain needed to do was to observe a bit of history. In recent decades American Presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have made a pattern of choosing a Vice President that made them look good.

For example, how did Bill Clinton make himself look even more charismatic and charming to the American public? By choosing the stiffest and stuffiest VP he could find in Al Gore.

George Bush, Sr. also knew to choose a VP that would make him look even more smart and media savvy. Dan Quayle delivered for him. The famous "potatoe" gaffe ended Quayle's chances for national elected office the moment the "e" rolled off his lips.

Even the famously corrupt Nixon knew this principle. He chose Spiro Agnew as his Vice. Agnew's high level of corruption shielded Nixon from the heat, for a time at least. Nixon's downfall came, however, with the choice of a charismatic, straight-shooting Gerald Ford as the new second in command. With Ford's appointment, Nixon began to look bad by comparison, and was then vulnerable to inquiring minds probing the possibility of corruption in the highest office.

By observing these lessons McCain would have found a simple solution for drawing attention away from the issue of his advanced age. All he needed to do was find a running mate even older than himself.

Looking back on the 2008 Election using the principle above, Barrack Obama made the right pick to complete his presidential ticket. While Joe Biden the running mate had many flaws, it was one of these flaws that made him a great pick. By choosing a loose cannon, shoot from the hip, master of gaffe, Obama was able to highlight his own thoughtfulness and eloquence.

by Cameron Hatch
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