Could McCain try and turn Hawaii Red?

July 16, 2008

Should McCain choose Linda Lingle as his running mate?

West Wing fans will remember a scene in the final series where the Republican candidate, the McCain like Arnold Vinnick, discusses with his staff how to deal with a surge in polling his opponent, for the Obamaesque Matt Santos. One of the ideas tossed around by a member of his staff is for him to go after a blue state, suggesting Hawaii. Although this idea was never acted upon, it was suggested in the comments that Governor Linda Lingle might be worthy of consideration. From a persue of the internet and Lexis Nexis, there are aguments in favour of this. Unlike Sarah Palin (or Bobby Jindal) Linda Lingle has six years of experience under her belt and she is extremely popular in her state. There is no doubt that if McCain wanted to choose a female running mate who could step into his shoes, if needed, she would be a solid choice.

However, choosing her would have quite a bit of downside and wouldn’t do much to help McCain. Her pro-choice record, her support for a plan that many have described as secessionist, the fact that campaigning in Barack Obama’s birthplace would be a huge waste of resources and her dour personality all militate against putting her on the ticket. Of course, my three favourites candidates are all all pro-choice, with Lieberman and Giuliani coming from deeply Blue States and Condi Rice coming from the deeply Red Alabama. However, even I admit that McCain will never win the home state of Barack Obama, while there are polls showing a McCain/Rice and a McCain/Lieberman ticket being competitive in the Empire State. In any case Lieberman has earned enough respect with his criticism of Clinton and his attempt to clean up Hollywood, Giuliani can talk about adoptions and Condi can modify her position enough to satisfy social conservatives.

Most importantly, Governor Lingle doesn’t bring anything to the table that other candidates don’t. Indeed, if McCain really wanted a popular female governor who was experienced enough to take over in an emergancy, he could do a lot worse that choose Jodi Rell of Connecticut. Using the terminology of the fictional Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell, Linda Lingle is the personification of a fifty degree day. Obivously, she’s not the Alaskan winter that Carly Fiorina (or Mitt Romney) would be but she doesn’t do anything for the ticket and her choice would be perceived as a attempt to dodge the fundamental question of what image McCain want to project.



  1. HAHA! Sen. Obama is the most famous Hawaiian in American history! http://my.barackobama.com/page/invite/birthcert

    Hawaii is proud of their native son, and will vote for him by huge margins.

  2. No.

    Bush lost here by 10%. There are far more important states on the map right now

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