Fred Barnes has weighed in on the GOP Veepstakes today, suggesting Mitt Romney as the most viable candidate. He argues that Romney’s strength on the economy, acceptance by social conservatives, and national vetting during his presidential bid make him the strongest contender. At the end of the article, he adds this caveat:
Romney thus appears to have the best ratio of virtues to drawbacks. But there's just one problem: McCain doesn't like him. Just how important compatibility is--that is something McCain will have to decide.
This seems like a bit of an understatement. McCain’s personal animosity for Romney is well documented in the form of press releases, angry name-calling by top advisors, and in the pages of, yes, The Weekly Standard. With that sort of coverage, it seems pretty obvious just how important compatibility is (see: Edwards/Kerry, 2004). Of course, Fred Barnes’ other suggestions, including quasi-Democrat* Joe Lieberman and fellow geriatric Fred Thompson, seem equally unappealing. When added to the VP nominations trickling in from other pundits (Clarence Thomas, Condi), one can only assume that whoever is tapped by McCain will have the advantage of being compared to a rather poor candidate pool--not that running against flawed candidates helped Mitt much in his presidential bid.
*This originally said "pro-life." I mistyped. Apologies.