Hardly News: Presidential Candidate Not Backing Their Running Mate

The news media is making a big deal out of John McCain’s unwillingness to commit to supporting Sarah Palin for president in 2012. This is hardly surprising. Even beyond the special circumstances this year in which the vice presidential candidate turned out to be unfit for national office, it is common for presidential candidates to chose candidates they would not support for president. Often that is a consequence of balancing a ticket with someone who appeals to a different segment of the electorate. This was also clearly the case with McCain’s choice of Palin.

We really can’t bash McCain over this. After all, both Al Gore and John Kerry chose running mates who were significantly different from them and wound up endorsing other candidates when Joe Lieberman and John Edwards ran for the nomination in 2004 and 2008.

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  1. 1
    Eclectic Radical says:

    The irony, of course, is that the John Edwards who ran in 2008 was politically much closer to John Kerry than he was to the John Edwards who finished a close second to John Kerry in 2004 and became the running mate on Kerry’s ticket. He was certainly closer to the Kerry of 2004 than was now-President Obama. Then-Senator Obama was much closer to the John Edwards of 2004.

    Ain’t politics fun?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    I didn’t see Edwards of 2004 or 2008 as being close to Kerry, but it is possible to have different views on that depending upon which issues you are looking at.

  3. 3
    Joe Markowitz says:

    John McCain would be an idiot to endorse anybody for President in 2012, at this stage of the game.  It is only 2009 for crying out loud.  Why are we even talking about the 2012 presidential election?  Don’t we have better things to talk about?

  4. 4
    Eclectic Radical says:

    People are talking about quite a few things here, Joe, besides the election in 2012. Some of them are, indeed, much ‘better’ things to talk about. Some of them are not. The beauty of a blog is that one can talk about quite a few things at once.

    Ron,I suppose it is a matter of persepctive, and I certainly agree the Edwards campaign in 2004 was miles away from the Kerry campaign. He was essentially running as a fairly traditional Southern populist. In 2008, on the other hand, Edwards admitted he had been mistaken about his Iraq vote and shifted to the left on social and economic issues to run as a more stereotypical ‘liberal.’ His 2008 positions were closer to the Kerry/Edwards general election positions than to his own 2004 primary positions.

  5. 5
    salome says:

    mcbain,romney,ahhhhnold and huckabee have GOT to go and the GOP better grow a set and return to conservatism.

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