In the next few weeks, John McCain and Barack Obama will both announce their selections to round off their presidential tickets as they enter their conventions.
There is a lot of media pundits guessing as to who will be selected. A few weeks ago, I heard WABC radio report that McCain's choice was definitely Huckabee, today the pundits are announcing Mitt Romney is the top choice.
There is no way of telling whom they will select. The history of VP selections have paired people on a ticket that disliked each other so much you wouldn't have normaly found them in the same room. There was no love lost between JFK and LBJ. Kennedy selected him as a politically shrewed move to help him carry the south. Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush intensely disliked each other when Reagan asked him to be his VP. Over the years, they became friends.
The last few elections have been so "hanging-chad" close, I believe both of the VP selections will be heavily influenced by looking at the electoral map.
A great political Web site, Real Clear Politics, has an updated Electoral Vote Map for the 2008 Election. In looking at it, some states, and their VP candidates, become very important very quickly.
The two biggest prizes in play right now could yield the Vice President choices.
McCain, surprisingly, does not even have Florida leaning towards him. It is in play. Republican Presidential candidates usually carry Florida and Texas, Democratic ones carry New York and California. If just one of these states flip to the other party, the election is over. McCain needs Florida to have a chance. His selection should be Governor Charlie Crist from Florida. He is popular and will carry the state for McCain. He is also noted as a great fundraiser and McCain is trailing Obama in war chests. He recently flip-flopped on offshore drilling in FLA, which some saw as trying to align himseld with McCain - - a bid to be named VP.
Obama should pick Ohio's Govenor Ted Strickland. Ohio's 20 EV are in play, and if Obama gets them he would then be at 258 total EV's, a hiccup from the Presidency. Also, no Republican candidate has ever won the Presidency without carrying Ohio. By every historic standard, carrying Ohio would cement the Presidency for Obama . Strickland is a former preacher that will position Obama better with the faith-based voters he desperately needs, and has been courting recently.
Politics makes strange bedfellows. When looking at electoral votes, the bedfellows become less strange.