Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The GOP VP Rumor Mill

Bob Novak says he's miffed that the GOP was planning on using him as a rumor outlet for a possible McCain VP pick; I think the real reason he's annoyed is they ended up not going forward and he lost his scoop.

Ever since he got into the illegal business of outing CIA agents I haven't had a lot of respect for Bob Novak, so I'm not too worried about his sensitive feelings. But since this particular announcement was supposed to rain on Obama's parade so much, I wonder quite cynically (in terms of political strategy): does this mean we're looking at a black VP candidate in the McCain camp? I would quite enthusiastically support a McCain-Powell or McCain-Rice ticket. Again being strategically cynical, McCain-Rice would pull some women voters away from Obama.

Let's look at my little Google News metric. A couple times before (here and here and here) I've discussed McCain's VP strategy (as in, don't pick Jindal or we might as well stay in and have a beer on November 4); and I've tracked the hit rate for McCain [potential VP surname] to compare candidates at a given point in time - but I hadn't looked at trends.

Caveats: for all but Jindal and Pawlenty the hit rate on the middle date is inferred by assuming a linear trend between 3 June and 22 July. Of course, these folks can be in the news for reasons other than being mentioned as VP (and Powell has come up more than once as an Obama VP).

That said, I still think it's very interesting that Rice has bay far the steepest upward line on this graph, particularly in light of that supposed VP rumor.

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