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The Veepstakes June 11, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in 2008 Presidential Primaries.

Sanford and Huckabee


FITSNews – June 11, 2007 – S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford likes to feign indifference when confronted with rumors that he’s on several Republican Vice Presidential shortlists. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, doesn’t have to feign anything when similar rumors surface about him. After all, he’s running for the top job – and doing pretty well for himself considering the GOP behemoths he’s up against.

Anyway, with two Northern Republicans (former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney) currently enjoying the rarified air that is the top tier of 2008 GOP presidential hopefuls, it’s not surprising that both Huckabee and Sanford are being discussed as possible Vice Presidential contenders. Nor is it surprising that rumors are being floated on an almost daily basis about both politicians and which tickets they might end up on.

For example, just last week we heard a rumor here at FITSNews that Gov. Sanford had agreed to endorse Giuliani sixty days prior to the Republican primary in exchange for the No. 2 spot on Hizzoner’s national ticket. The rumor – reportedly from one of the governor’s closest friends – came just a few days before someone spun us the yarn that Sanford would remain neutral throughout the race and allow his governor … sorry … his wife, Jenny Sanford, to endorse Romney in an effort to get her tanned husband on the national flipper … er, ticket.

Huckabee’s name has also reportedly been floated as a veep prospect on both the Giuliani and Romney campaigns, in addition to the campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain.

Is there even a shred of proof in support to support either of these rumors at this point? Of course not. Just sources talking in confidence to reporters. But there’s no proof that vice presidential horse-trading isn’t happening, either. And why not? Sanford’s status as perhaps the only major political player to remain uncommitted in an early primary state like South Carolina gives him clout, and if Huckabee continues to shine among the second tier candidates his VP stock could rise appreciably.

As we’ve written before, we think Sanford has about as much of a chance making it onto a national ticket as John Candy has of coming back from the dead.

Sure, he looks good and has a pulse – which are the job’s most important requirements – and both he and Huckabee as Southern governors would provide geographic balance (if not electoral votes) on either a Giuliani or Romney ticket. There’s even a chance Sanford’s impressive fundraising network could be competitive in fulfilling a VP nominee’s other primary chore – raising money.

But as far as we can tell there’s no chance Sanford will ever make it through the exhaustive VP vetting process, and even less of a chance that he’d be able to keep it between the lines in the unlikely event he finds a way to bury the skeletons in his closet.

Plus, there’s the looming question of accomplishments – namely, does Sanford have any? And if so, what are they?

Huckabee, who has drawn some strong criticism from fiscal conservatives, would be a much more natural fit for Giuliani. Given the latter’s lack of ideological alignment with many social conservatives, having a former Baptist minister in the number two slot would go a long way toward shoring up his right flank. Sanford meanwhile – assuming he could actually get on a ticket – would seem to mesh better with Romney, who has spent the majority of his time recently zeroing in on social conservative issues that Sanford has paid little more than lip service to over the course of his political career.

On the record, neither side is talking about the speculation game. Romney’s campaign was unavailable for comment, while Giuliani’s man with the plan in South Carolina, Jason Miller, would only say that “Mayor Giuliani has the utmost respect” for both Sanford and Huckabee.

Stay tuned to FITSNews for more on the developing Veepstakes …



1. Sir Andrew - June 15, 2007

Duncan Hunter would be an excellent VP or Secretary of Defense.

Tancredo would be a great Secretary of Homeland Security.

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