Politics

The Strategic Timing of McCain’s VP Announcement

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The Vice Presidential gamesmanship is fully underway. Reports out of the John McCain campaign indicate that the Arizona senator will hold off announcing his running mate until after the Democratic convention. By waiting until that moment, McCain should be able to seize headlines immediately following Barack Obama’s nomination.

A secondary scenario has McCain waiting until the convention actually begins and then announcing his running mate following President Bush’s speech on the opening night. That would help deflect coverage away from the president and onto the McCain campaign.

Both scenarios show what kind of bind McCain is in. He’s not only competing for attention against the crowd-pleasing Obama but must also try to deflect the negative attention generated by an unpopular sitting president. Whether McCain will pick a vice president that can make any difference remains to be seen. But at least he should be able to schedule that announcement in a way that benefits his campaign.