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Last week, the Washington Post’s “In the Loop” column asked readers to predict who John McCain and Barack Obama would pick as their vice presidential nominees. The Obama contest is still open (and of course, Hillary Clinton still has an outside chance at winning the nomination), but the Post today published the list of picks for McCain’s veep.
Top choices include Michael Bloomberg, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Condoleezza Rice. Also tapped were Democrat Joseph Lieberman and, for obvious reasons, two top Republicans from Florida, Governor Charlie Crist and Senator Mel Martinez.
Here’s a name that didn’t come up in the Post’s poll, but which I heard a smart Democrat mention last night, and which was seconded as a strong choice by a Republican I spoke with this morning: Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania Governor and President George W. Bush’s first Office of Homeland Security Advisor. Ridge is close to McCain and was announced as one of his presidential campaign’s national co-chairman back in February of 2007.
Ridge is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, and hence plays to McCain’s preferred image as a national security hawk and solid commander-in-chief (the G.O.P. will seek to portray the Democratic nominee, particularly if it’s Obama, as inexperienced and untested during turbulent times. Finally, Florida is obviously a critical state, but so is Pennsylvania–which John Kerry won by a narrow margin in 2004.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.
Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:
Kentucky is the saddest state.
An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”