Who’s Your Veep?

WHO’S YOUR VEEP?….Assuming that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama chooses the other as their running mate, who would be their top choice? Lee Sigelman has applied Science™ to this question and concludes that the first pick for both candidates is…..

Ohio governor Ted Strickland.

The implicit electoral cynicism of this choice is pretty overwhelming, but still, I guess I’ll buy it. A lot of people assume that one of the primary also-rans is the most likely choice, but in fact winning nominees rarely choose one of their erstwhile competitors. Kerry did it in 2004 and Reagan did it in 1980, and then you have to go all the way back to 1960 to find another example. That’s a grand total of three times in half a century.

FWIW, Sigelman figures that Obama’s top three choices are Strickland, Sam Nunn, and Jim Webb. Clinton’s top three are Strickland, Sam Nunn, and (in a tie) Jim Webb and Mark Warner. (I assume that “John Warner” is just a typo….) He also notes that in his model, neither Joe Lieberman nor Dick Cheney made it into the top dozen in 2000. “One could take that as an indication of the weakness of our model, or — my preferred interpretation — as proof (as if further evidence were needed) that both presidential nominees that year chose the wrong running mate.”