What could go wrong?

[T]here’s increasing speculation in Washington and among McCain’s supporters that the Arizona maverick will instead run to the center and pick a more liberal vice presidential candidate.

The theory goes like this:

Barack Obama has become his party’s front-runner because he has expanded the Democratic Party. His big rallies draw crowds of nearly 20,000, unheard of for a primary campaign…

This is a strategy that simply won’t work for McCain because there is a certain bloc of core, loyal and principled conservatives who will never vote for him no matter what he says now, who he picks to run with, or who the Democratic nominee might be…

So, McCain’s only option is to run hard for the middle and hope that his centrist ticket can beat the soaring rhetoric and high promises of a likeable guy like Obama with little experience and a liberal voting record.

Smart thinkin’, except for the fact that (a) it’ll only alienate more conservatives and (b) Obama’s sure to tack towards the center himself for the general knowing that, unlike Maverick, his base will be there for him anyway in November. Which leaves McCain fighting a stalemate in the middle while his rearguard troops — led by Limbaugh, who’s hinting that he won’t endorse McCain — melt away. How bad could the melting be? Strong black Democratic turnout in the south + weak evangelical Republican turnout in the south = dude.

But who could he pick? Giuliani’s a non-starter because of his abortion position. What he needs is someone appealing enough to counter Obama, socially conservative enough to get Christians to turn out, but squishy enough on foreign policy and spending to attract moderates…

Dude.

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