Do Candidates' VP and Cabinet Picks Affect Your Vote?

Politics & Views 10

Vice President SealIn 2008, I was considering voting for John McCain. As an independent voter, I liked his moderate stance. I liked that he didn't always blindly side with Republicans. I liked some of his policy ideas. And then announced that Sarah Palin would be his running mate.

Suddenly, I didn't like McCain so much anymore.

Oh, I gave Sarah Palin a fair shake. But the more I listened to her, the more I became convinced that she really wasn't ready to be a Vice President ... and I shuddered to think of her becoming President if something were to happen to John McCain.

In short, Sarah Palin had a tremendous impact on my voting decision in the 2008 election. So if you ask me whether a candidate's choice for running mate can affect a voter's decision, I'd have to say ...

Heck. Yes.

This week, we're going to ask our political bloggers the same thing:

Does a candidate's choice of Vice President and Cabinet members affect your decision to support him in an election?

What do you think?

Judging by how often the subject has come up already in our CafeMom Coffee Breaks with the presidential candidates, their Vice President and Cabinet picks are very important to you. The question has come up in every event that we've held so far.

Particularly for women, it's an important issue. If we can't have a woman running for president, we want to know that we would be represented with a Vice President or Cabinet member(s). And we don't want just any woman, as John McCain (and um, Michele Bachmann) proved so well. It has to be a woman that a large number of us believe is well-qualified for the job.

One of the smartest things Barack Obama did was invite former rival Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. Regardless of what you personally think of her, Secretary Clinton has emerged as the most popular member by far of Obama's administration. Her approval rating among Americans is positive (which is saying a lot in this economy), and in a recent survey we took of CafeMom members, a majority said they would support her over Obama if the two were to run against each other in a 2012 presidential election.

As for the GOP presidential candidates, they're already tossing around names of potential running mates in an effort to get voters' attention.

Here's what out political bloggers have to say on the subject:

Using Potential Running Mate & Cabinet Picks to Attract Voters Isn't an Option

Vice Presidential Candidates Can Break -- But Not Make -- a Campaign

The People a Presidential Candidate Surrounds Himself With Matter

2012 election

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bills... billsfan1104

No I do not consider the VP. You liberals voted for Obama with Biden, and he has been a complete and utter failure. In fact, both of them have. I wish liberals would stop blaming Sarah Palin for them voting for Obama. Embrace that you voted for him. Embrace that you thought it was cool to vote for the first "black" president, and you fell for all his "hope and change", bullshit.

Akash... AkashaGermaine

I was totally on the fence in '08. Both candidates has stances I liked about different issues and both had stances I disliked. But as soon as Sarah Palin opened her mouth I began to dislike her. And the more she talked, the worse it got. P.S. billsfan, I'm not liberal nor conservative. I judge by the issue.

nonmember avatar Graciesmom

I voted for Obama as an independent voter who originally supported McCain. SP played a role in my decision to switch. But there were other reasons I decided against McCain. I did not vote for Obama because he is black. I did not vote for him because he was cool or for hope and change. He hasn't disappointed me because I never really bought into all the hype. I am hoping Romney gets the GOP nom. I would be interested in who he chooses as his running mate and it will affect my decision to vote fir him or not.

Zangr... Zangrilli

I was on the fence too, I was probably leaning more toward McCain.  If he had chosen Romney, I would have definitely voted for him, as the economy was starting to tank.  It was his decision to choose Palin that made me question his decision making abilities and ultimately vote Democrat.

Zangr... Zangrilli

Billsfan - what a class act you are.  Perhaps you can respect other people and refrain from cursing.

nonmember avatar Babyface

@billsfan - do u kiss ur mother with that mouth? Really classy.

ashjo85 ashjo85

The solidly left and the solidly right will always vote for the same party, no matter who the VP is.  But the choice lies with the group in the middle, the moderates of both parties, as well as the independents, and it's really the small things with that group. Torn between two candidates, something like a VP pick can absolutely swing a vote. I'm a fairly solid Republic myself, and Sarah Palins gaffes had even me a little uneasy. I voted McCain anyway, but for something who is a lot more centralized than me, she probably alienated a lot of folks.

bills... billsfan1104

TY Zang for the compliment. :-)

copgi... copgirl112

Romeny and Santorum would never run together , There republicans but Santorum is way to conservative for Romney. 

texas... texasmamma777

"One of the smartest things Barack Obama did was invite former rival Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State"   It was a cynical move made in an attempt to hobble the Clintons.  Smart for obama politically, but he never put her up there because any of his advisers told him she'd be a good SOS.  And she is not.  She has hurt America, in tandem with obama's failed policies, foreign & domestic.  Luckily, so far she has not been a TOTAL disaster, but she's still got time.


"Regardless of what you personally think of her, Secretary Clinton has emerged as the most popular member by far of Obama's administration"  Popular with whom?  I'd take an "unpopular" better-qualified SOS over the unqualified wife of an ex-president any day. 


Her appointment was and is an embarrassment, like most everything to do with this administration's foreign policy.  The appointment was extemely cynical, calculated only for political gain, and antithetical to America's best interests.


Color this citizen unimpressed, but I would vote for her over obama, if forced to choose between the two.

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