Eric Cantor, a U.S. Representative from Virginia and Chief Deputy Republican Whip, has become the media’s latest political celebrity over the weekend when he was asked to submit documents to the McCain campaign’s vetting committee. Now, there are reports that McCain plans to make his announcement this week, possibly Wednesday, and it is unlikely that they would be asking for documents this close to the announcement, so, there are a few possibilities:
1) McCain has not yet made a decision, and Cantor is in the running. If this is the case, there will likely not be an announcement this week.
2) McCain has made a decision, there will be an announcement this week, and Cantor is being used to distract the media while McCain makes final preparations for an announcement.
3) McCain plans to wait until after Obama announces, and Cantor is being considered as the pick if Gov. Kaine is Obama’s Veep.
In any case, I do not believe Cantor is a good pick for McCain. Its true that he is a strong Conservative, and a younger one at that – which could help to ease fears about McCain’s age and political positions. However, Cantor has only ever served in the legislature, and, without either a national profile or executive experience, he appears to fail McCain’s own test of “can he lead on day one?” Cantor also lacks significant economic experience, which could hurt McCain, who has admitted his lack of knowledge on the issue. But perhaps his biggest weakness is his lack of experience in a difficult campaign. Cantor, as I said, has only had to campaign in one electoral district, and a solidly Conservative one at that – compare that to Governor or Senator who has to campaign on a state-wide level, or a former Presidential candidate who campaigned in several states.
McCain could do a lot worse than Cantor, but he could certainly do a lot better too.