Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Carly Fiorina for Vice President?

I've been discussing the selection criteria for vice-presidential running-mates today in lectures, and I've mentioned John McCain's additional need to select someone considered young and vigorous - qualities which might offset concerns about his age (he'll turn 72 in August).

I frankly haven't kept up with the McCain veepstakes, but I'm a little surprised that Carli Fiorina's being considered. I've seen some photos of Fiorina travelling with McCain on his campaign plane. I thought perhaps she might be considered for a cabinet post. But V.P.?

Maybe so:

The former Hewlett Packard CEO, an economics adviser and fund-raiser for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, has never run for public office before. But in an interview Tuesday, former McCain campaign official and current Republican National Committee Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli refused to rule her out. “I am so impressed with her,” Donatelli said. “We could do a lot worse than Carly.”

There’s been a low-level buzz among conservatives in Washington about Fiorina’s prospects for a couple of weeks, apparently spurred by a private lunch Donatelli attended with antitax advocate Grover Norquist. At the lunch, Donatelli talked up Fiorina’s conservative positions against abortion and gun control, say people with knowledge of the meeting.

Donatelli confirmed the lunch conversation but acknowledged, “She would not be a traditional pick.” There could be pressure on McCain however to chose a woman or a minority running mate, given the Democratic field.

Fiorina’s negatives? She’s not a party figure with obvious ability to unite Republicans, she doesn’t bring a state with her, and she carries baggage from her time at HP, where she was ousted over performance issues. In addition, she approved a controversial plan to gather information on journalists suspected of receiving company leaks.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said he had no comment.
Hey, what happened to Condoleezza Rice?

Pretty good odds, it turns out!