Eric Cantor for VP?

Reps Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Howard P. Buck McKeon (R-CA) give a news conference in the House Raido and TV Gallery on \Eric Cantor, a fourth-term Congressman from Richmond, Virginia, is being strongly considered as John McCain’s running mate, Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin report for Politico.

Cantor, 45, has provided records to the running-mate search team of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the adviser said.

With a Southern lilt and that belies his talent for raw politics, Cantor is one of the nation’s most prominent Jewish Republicans, and has impressed the McCain team by becoming a prolific fund-raiser for the campaign.

A young fiscal conservative who could help keep Virginia from tipping blue, Cantor could also be an asset in such battlegrounds as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He has shown appeal to the party’s base as well as to independents, and would be an unconventional choice at a time when McCain is looking to add excitement to his campaign.

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Known on Capitol Hill as squeaky clean, Cantor has successfully campaigned and raised money in key states like Missouri, New Jersey and New York.

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Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and one of the nation’s most influential evangelical leaders, recently praised Cantor as a potential McCain running mate, calling him rock-solid on social issues—a huge concern for Christian conservatives with the maverick McCain at the top of the ticket.

Amid hothouse speculation throughout the party, Cantor joins a tiny list of Republicans known to be under real consideration by McCain. The Republican convention runs from Sept. 1-4. Other contenders include former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rob Portman of Ohio, former congressman, White House budget director and U.S. trade ambassador.

Cantor is a rising star, having achieved the number three spot in the House leadership after a single term, and may well be a fantastic campaigner. Still, given that McCain is running a resume campaign, it makes little sense to pick someone with only slightly more experience than Barack Obama and with no executive skills. On paper, at least, Romney, Pawlenty, and Portman all make much more sense.

Photo credit: John Shinkle/Politico

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. jeff b says:

    He certainly seems a lot more appealing than the guy at the top of the ticket.

  2. BraD says:

    Met Cantor in New York, great speaker, really fired up the crowd. He is good on taxes, guns, life and Israel, that works for me.

    The others are milk-toast conservatives-and turn me off

  3. Bithead says:

    From what I know of him, he seems a reasonable choice.