The Democratic Ticket Will Be: Obama / Napolitano.
However this is “political science,” it’s not nerdy stuff, it’s common sense calculations.
AZ = 10
CO = 9
NM = 5
NV = 5
FL = 27
OH = 20
PA = 21
Do the math. The total of the four American Southwest states’ electoral votes equals 29. That’s more than Florida, more than Ohio, more than Pennsylvania. And all four of the previously GOP-leaning are very much in play for the Democrats this November. The first three, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, even have Democratic governors. And in 2006, Jim Gibbons just barely defeated his Democratic opponent.
The American electoral college scheme — You don’t get a president with the scheme you want, you get a president with the scheme you’ve got (unless and until the Supreme Court appoints otherwise) — is winner take all. Fifty percent plus the tiniest plus is all that it takes to take all of each of them.
This brings me to Janet Napolitano, or, Arizona Governor Napolitano to you, and why I’m putting all my chips on her as Senator Obama’s running mate. And never, ever, ever begin to suppose that American presidential politics is not the highest stakes poker game there is. Corporations, individuals and PACs don’t ante up those hundreds of millions on a Tuesday night, nickel-ante game among buds. As to the poker analogy, ain’t no other game on earth more decidedly poker-like than a presidential election contest.
The GOP ticket that’s announced in the Minneapolis convention the first week of September will be McCain/Palin. Sarah Palin is Alaska’s distaff governor; youthful, attractive, bright, smart and highly polished as a public speaker. McCain’s got to choose her, or risk the old and very tired GOB (Good-ol’-Boy) image of rich white country-clubbing men being super-glued to the GOP, a party that’s pretty much in disarray when the country is demanding change, even if the change it says it’s demanding is superficial. (While McCain might want Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US Senator from Texas . . . You ever heard her speak? Paid attention to any of her votes? Or how the only two women on earth closer to W were Laura and Condi? Good ol’ all-gussied-fer-all-wie-et-church, Suthin Countreh-club Society white bread doan git no watter nor Suthin nor country club than Kay. And ceppin fer the gender part, McCain’s already got the rest covered.)
Remember how you were taught as a very young child how good always wins over evil, in the end? Those who tried to get you to believe that were lying to you. (And if you still believe good always prevails, email me, and I’ll put you in touch with this guy who has some waterfront property he wants to sell at a great price.) We can know Republicans have demonstrated over the past several elections their orientations are an icon of evil. But they’re also pretty damn smart. They’re shrewd. And they damn sure are hell bent on winning. Keep this in mind.
One of the lessons that Senator Clinton’s campaign has shown conclusively is that there is an extraordinary chunk of the population that thirsts, that hungers, that is salivating for a ticket where at least one member has the XX chromosome. Call this sexist. Call it cavalier. Call it condescending. While I intend none of such nonsense, call it whatever you wish, but at least recognize it as a political fact of life. Also, do not pretend Republicans — despite all their crazy machinations and bungling of policy, once they are in office — are not amazing students of politics. They’ve watched. They’ve learned. They know.
But the Republican convention is in September. The Democratic Party is holding theirs in Denver, in the last week of August, before the GOP’s. That means Obama has to up the ante, force the Republicans to show their cards, and to mix a metaphor, beat the GOP to the punch, with every combination of punches in the book, as well as with some that might not be in the Marquess of Queensberry rulebook.