Despite Ben Rogers' advocacy of a Condoleeza Rice nomination as Republican VP on CentreRight yesterday, there is zero prospect that this will happen. As my Henry Jackson Society colleague Timothy Stafford pointed out in an excellent article last week, Rice blew her chances some time ago because of the disconnect between what she purports to believe in and what her actions have belied.
However, one news story rapidly gaining prominence Stateside at present is that John McCain is strongly considering Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor for his VP pick. A slew of reports led by the Associated Press, and quickly seized upon by other sources which provide additional background, indicate that McCain has called in Cantor's papers for vetting.
What is particularly incredible about this is that Cantor - a virtual unknown outside of the US despite being the Deputy Whip in the House - has only come to prominence as a possible candidate in the last few weeks, perhaps indicating Republican frustration with the selections hitherto being considered such as Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, Bobby Jindal (whose star has dimmed because of flip-flopping problems in Louisiana) and Tom Ridge.
Certainly Cantor ticks a number of key boxes regarded as essential for a McCain VP: he's young, a traditional conservative, noted as an excellent fund-raiser and from a key state which analysts have suggested could fall into the Democrat column for the first time since 1964. The internet campaign for his candidature has also raised eyebrows given its novelty, and with Barack Obama widely perceived as having whipped the McCain campaign online, the Cantor support base might also help rejuvenate the Republican web campaign strategy.
With Barrack Obama also considering a Virginia option in the form of Governor Tim Kaine, could the Old Dominion end up in the unlikely position of providing both VP picks?