Over the RidgeJohn McCain may have ruled out former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as a running mate on Monday:
After visiting a GE locomotive plant here today with Tom Ridge, the state's
former governor, McCain took questions from some of the plant's employees -- one
of which was about what his plans were for his first 90 days in office.
"To call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he is taking
and get him down there and get him to work," McCain joked, subtly suggesting
that Ridge wouldn't be his running mate in November.
Whether McCain may like it or not, both he and his top campaign advisors know that if Ridge were nominated as McCain's Vice, McCain simply could not count on shoring up the conservative base of the GOP in November. Perhaps John McCain was once under the illusion that he could win without substantial conservative public support, but the way the electoral map is shaping up, conservative support is going to be critical in some States if McCain is to win the election.
McCain may not have wanted to hear that reality, but I'd wager that his inner circle has let him know that insofar as it is possible for John McCain to do so (and for McCain it is a difficult task), he must play ball with conservatives.
If McCain's Monday statement can be read as a rejection of Ridge for the Vice Presidency, it may be an indication that he is ready to pick a conservative so that he can attempt to win in November.