An extraordinary idea that could completely blow out the White House 2004 betting market and scupper Bush’s chance of being re-elected is being speculated upon in Washington. The plan, quite simply, is that John Kerry, certain to be chosen as Democratic candidate in July, should select the Republican Senator from Arizona, John McCain as his running mate.
The pair would then run on a National Unity ticket.
The two have a lot in common. Both had illustrious military careers and both have campaigned on many of the same issues in Washington. McCain, himself, fought and lost to George W. Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000.
The idea has been given credence in a powerfully argued article by, Mark Shields, nationally known columnist and commentator, and the moderator of CNN’s politics programme, “The Capital Gang”.
Such a plan looks very odd from a UK standpoint. But the notion of “party” is very different in the US where there is usually an ongoing need by the White House to follow a bipartisan strategy simply to get things through Congress. In fact it rarely happens that the incumbent President has majorities for his party in both houses.
Parties are also geographical things. If you want to develop a political career in Arizona, where McCain is from, your only real route is in the Republicans just as Kerry’s only real route was with the Democrats. It might also be recalled that Kerry’s wife was a noted Republican supporter. In many ways McCain, who was really screwed by the Dubya machine in 2000, is as anti-Bush as Kerry.
I find it hard to believe that such a partnership could happen but if it did then the current price on Kerry for the White House would ridiculously good value.
There’s a long time to go. A decision need not be announced until the Democratic Convention in New York in late July. So far none of the UK online bookmakers is offering a market on Kerry V-P choice and Tradesports in the US does not offer this as an option. But the Iowa Electronic Exchange price, (see previous posting) has Bush and Kerry much closer than UK bookmakers. At the time of this post the UK best price on the Democrats is 13/8. The Iowa quote is the equvalent of 11/10. But note that the Iowa price is based on who get the highest popular vote – not who wins. In 2000 Gore backers would have won.