In 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 ...
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.
- Newt Gingrich is calling Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) an 'awfully good' vice presidential pick, and Rick Santorum has said he'd consider Rubio for his Cabinet.
- Mitt Romney has named Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) as a possible running mate, although a month later, he insisted he hasn't even thought about his vice presidential nominee. Some experts believe he'd have the best shot with Rick Santorum as a running mate.
- Rick Santorum is keeping pretty quiet about his Vice President pick, but his "generous benefactor" Foster Friess says Santorum should pick Mitt Romney as his running mate.
- Ron Paul also hasn't publicly mentioned VP picks, but this video is causing a minor stir, as he named Fox Business’s Freedom Watch host Judge Andrew Napolitano as a possible running mate.
Here's what out political bloggers have to say on the subject: