Senator McCain Should Choose John Breaux As His VP

I know this is a long blog entry, but I feel Former Senator John Breaux would be the best VP choice to defeat Obama/Biden in November.

As someone who strongly supports Senator John McCain’s bid for the presidency, I want to enumerate the many reasons why he should choose former Louisiana Senator John Breaux as his Vice President choice. This is a long letter, but I hope it lays out a comprehensive rationale for a McCain/Breaux ticket.

  1. Senator Breaux would be a transformative pick.

Senator Obama talks a lot about his new style of politics and “bringing the country together.” As the 2008 election has unfolded, Senator Obama has shown who he truly is—a brass knuckle Chicago politician with an unyielding liberal record. Already we are seeing the American public sour on Senator Obama. With the pick of Senator Joe Biden, Senator Obama has proven that he does not want to change the Washington establishment—instead he merely wants to accommodate it.

The pick of Senator Biden gives John McCain a golden opportunity to dramatically change the calculus of this election. Senator Biden does not help Senator Obama in very many states and his loudmouth antics may very well come back to haunt the Obama Campaign. Even the latest Rasmussen Poll about Senator Biden shows that the Senator from Delaware is not very popular nationwide.

Still, for John McCain to capitalize on the Biden pick, he must pick someone who will essentially change the election narrative. One possible Vice President choice does that: former Louisiana Senator John Breaux.2. Senator Breaux will transform the political map.

There are news reports that Senator Obama is ending his fifty state strategy. Senator Obama is canceling advertising in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Montana and North Dakota. The Obama campaign might be realizing that their liberal agenda does not go over in RedState America. With the Obama Campaign in retreat, this is the time for the McCain campaign to go on the offensive. They can do that especially with Senator Breaux.

The key battlegrounds during this election cycle are the rust belt, the upper Midwest and the Rocky Mountain states. Senator Breaux is the type of politician that appeals to moderate-conservative Democrats and Independents who inhabit these regions. What is especially important is that the type of Democrats that get elected in the rust belt, the upper Midwest and the Mountain West are not uber-liberal, Obama Democrats, they are Blue Dog Democrats.

Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Allen Boyd (D-FL), Chris Carney (D-PA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Brad Ellsworth (D-IN), Baron Hill (D-IN), Tim Holden (D-PA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), John Salazar (D-CO), Zach Space (D-OH), Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Charlie Wilson (D-OH) are all Democratic Representatives who are members of the Blue Dog Coalition, and come from congressional districts with healthy numbers of moderate-conservative Democrats and Independents. Senator Breaux is exactly the type of Vice President choice who can campaign and win over voters in these districts.

In addition, the most important toss-up regions in key battleground states are inhabited mostly by moderate-conservative Democrats and Independents. Southeast Ohio and Northeast/Southwest Pennsylvania are all areas where John Breaux can campaign and tout that a McCain presidency will represent those regions core values and will fight for their economic interests.

Senator Breaux is the type of vice president who could appeal to voters in all fifty states. Governors Romney and Pawlenty only have limited bases of support. Every state has moderate-conservative Democrats and Independents. Senator Breaux can campaign in critical regions and states, while highlighting Senator McCain’s numerous solutions to end the stalemate in Washington.

  1. The Republican base will support Senator Breaux—and will rally around him

As 2004 demonstrated, the Republican Party likes a good conservative Democrat. Former Georgia Senator Zell Miller was one of the highlights of the 2004 Republican convention. Despite the fact that Senator Lieberman holds many left-of-center positions, most Republicans applaud his integrity on defense issues. This McCain supporter hopes that Senator Lieberman will become the next Secretary of State or Defense in a McCain administration.

Still, Republicans care about core principles. The pro-life issue is one of the sine qua non issues for a large majority of Republicans. It is because of the life issue that Governor Tom Ridge and Senator Lieberman cannot be chosen as Vice President. However, it is clear that Senator McCain wants to make a VP choice that will boost his chances of winning in November. As stated above, Senator Breaux will do that—and he will unite the Republican base.

Now, how can a Democrat unite the Republican Party? Simple. Senator Breaux is a Democrat who holds numerous conservative positions. Senator McCain will be acknowledging conservatives by showing that he cares about their core issues. To start, Senator Breaux is culturally conservative. He is pro-life. He is a practicing Catholic, who would appeal to an important voting block this November. He is pro-second-amendment. He is also a fiscal and economic conservative. Senator Breaux supported the balance budget amendment, the 2001 Bush Tax cuts and even supported eliminating the death tax. That’s a record that any Republican Senator would be proud of!

Energy issues have also become increasingly important this election cycle. The “Drill Here, Drill Now” movement has gained increasing strength as gas prices have risen dramatically. Senator Breaux is a conservative on energy issues. He supports new oil exploration and even supports drilling in ANWR. He opposes the inane windfall profits tax. Louisiana is an energy state and Senator Breaux has a record of dealing with energy issues. Senator Breaux is also, on balance, conservative on trade issues and defense issues. He voted “yes” on the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

If Senator McCain is wondering how the base will react to Senator Breaux, all he has to do is call up Rush, Sean, Mark Levine, Laura Ingraham and e-mail the folks at Hot Air and National Review Online, and ask them what their thoughts on Senator Breaux might be. The McCain campaign has already called many supporters, donors and party officials about the possibility of a pro-choice running mate. The McCain campaign can certainly call the same people and ask what they would think about a conservative Democrat running mate.

  1. By choosing Senator Breaux, Senator McCain will be seen as directly reaching out to Clinton supporters.

With the choice of Senator Biden, John McCain has a golden opportunity to reach out and scoop up disgruntled Clinton supports. Senator Obama did not choose Senator Clinton as his VP; he did not even vet her for the Vice Presidency. Senator Obama also did not even reach out to Clinton supporters by picking a pro-Hillary elected official. Senator Obama could have chosen Senator Bayh or Governor Rendell as his VP choice. He did not. The Democratic Party is not united, as has been shown by the polls and the PUMA movement. Many PUMAs are even open to voting for Senator McCain, but he has to reach out to them. How can he do this…

…by picking Senator Breaux. Senator Breaux supported Senator Clinton during the Democratic Primary. Senator Breaux even did a radio advertisement for Senator Clinton. Senator Breaux is the type of Democratic who will appeal to moderate-conservative Democrats in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

It is clear that the Obama campaign has antipathy for Clinton supporters. The Obama campaign’s text message introducing Senator Biden as the VP choice was sent out at 3 A.M.—a subtle dig at one of the Clinton campaign’s main arguments during the Democratic primaries. Senator McCain has the chance to extend his hand to Clinton supporters and win this November. Senator Breaux would be an essential part of doing just that.

  1. Senator McCain and Senator Breaux are two sides of the same coin and by choosing Senator Breaux, Senator McCain would be burnishing his maverick credentials.

Both Senator McCain and Senator Breaux have made their careers in the Senate by being bipartisan politicians. Both Senators McCain and Breaux have repeatedly worked with the other party to get things done. A McCain/Breaux ticket would be a national unity ticket that will tell Americans that Senators McCain/Breaux will finally put policy ahead of politics. Senator Breaux can work with Senator McCain to find bipartisan solutions to health care, social security and the budget. Senator McCain will likely be working with a Democratic congress if he is elected president. Vice President Breaux can work with bridging the gap between these two parties.

For sixteen years, the Clinton and Bush presidencies have divided our country into two camps. A McCain/Breaux presidency will bring the country together. Both McCain and Breaux enjoy the respect of their opposing parties and the American public. A McCain/Breaux ticket will be sending the message that Senator McCain is serious about finding common solutions to America’s problems.

What is additionally important is how the media will portray a McCain/Breaux ticket. A Pawlenty or Romney VP choice will be seen as a safe choice and will only be worth a limited amount of press. Picking someone like Carly Fiorina or Governor Sarah Palin would engender a lot of excitement. But the biased mainstream media will highlight Fiorina’s problems at Hewlett-Packard, and as for Governor Palin, CNN and MSNBC will focus on her current “trooper scandal” and how she is so inexperience as compared to Senator Biden.

The MSM, however, will have a hard time downplaying/attacking a McCain/Breaux ticket. A McCain/Breaux ticket would be historic in nature: Such a ticket would immediately overshadow the Obama/Biden ticket. The MSM cannot attack Senator Breaux for being outside the mainstream or for being a bad choice: He is—in fact—a Democrat. America is hungry for a national unity ticket. Senator McCain should give America what it wants, while still adhering to his conservative principles. .

One major question is whether Senator McCain would take the chance in choosing Senator Breaux. Who knows? But Senator McCain is someone who plays craps and takes chances. Clearly, anything’s possible.

6….But is it too late for Senator McCain to choose Senator Breaux?

Of course not, but Senator McCain’s campaign must act quickly. With the Biden pick, Senator McCain’s campaign now knows what they will be facing this November. As has come out in the last week, Senator Obama had vetted dark-horse Congressman Chet Edwards. Senator McCain still has plenty of time to contact Senator Breaux to see if he is interested and to vet him. Senator Breaux is a known quantity to both Senator McCain and the American public. He has been a national figure for years. Senator McCain knows Senator Breaux positions and whether he would be comfortable working with him.