Advice From James Baker on Selecting a Vice Presidential Nominee

James Baker, former secretary of state and long-time Bush family counselor, on the lesson to be learned from Bush 41’s selection of Dan Quayle:

The best way to handle a proposed vice presidential nominee who has not been tested in national or big-state politics or high appointive office — and I have the obvious benefit of hindsight — is to float the name a few weeks before the convention and let the games begin. By opening gavel, the candidate will have run the gauntlet of press scrutiny or opposition research, or have dropped out. This approach wouldn’t necessarily work in a contested convention, and, unfortunately, it eliminates the drama of dropping the name at the convention. But it would pretty well guarantee that the news from the convention would not be dominated by questions about the vice presidential selection.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008