As the speculation centered on Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket, Bob Goodlatte was practically begging John McCain to choose a conservative. Goodlatte is smart enough to know that his base in the 6th District is conservative. And those conservatives don't like or trust John McCain. Unless McCain picks someone who will energize this base, many will sit out the election - they won't donate, they won't help, and many won't vote. Locked in his first competitive race in years, Goodlatte is understandably worried. After all, he's holding his nose while running with Jim Gilmore. If the national ticket fails to inspire, Mr. Goodlatte will be hanging out there all alone.
Goodlatte seems especially concerned that McCain will try to pick someone like Joe Lieberman who has been at his side, correcting McCain's numerous misstatements on Iraq and terrorism. Lieberman is a former Democrat, is pro-choice, and seen by many right wingers as a "liberal" on social issues. Another potential choice, Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, might be an attempt to off-set Biden's appeal in that state, but he is also pro-choice. Mitt Romney - will born-again Christians vote for a Mormon? Those I know find him a total turn-off. Many conservatives in the 6th might prefer a Mike Huckabee type of candidate. While that might help Bob, it would sink McCain in state after state. Seems there are no good choices for McCain - if he goes right to help right wingers like Bob, he alienates the moderates and independents he needs to have a prayer of winning. If he opts for a moderate, the wingnuts sit out '08.
I might be crowing about my prediction of Biden joining the Obama ticket, but I don't feel nearly so cocky about predicting McCain's choice. There aren't any good ones. McCain is unpredictable. I don't think like a Republican. Thank God. My early guess is that he doesn't pick anyone I've named above - he's gotta roll the dice. I do know McCain doesn't care one bit what will help right wingers like Goodlatte - his "maverick" reputation is mostly earned by stomping on the toes of his own party.