FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
McCain campaign requests “personal documents” from Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) for potential VP vetting
Let's make this the weekend Veepstakes open thread
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Chief Deputy Minority Whip, has been asked to provide “personal documents” to McCain vice presidential vetters, according to a report made this afternoon.
“Cantor through a spokesman declined to comment,” said the AP report. “McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the campaign would have ‘no comment on anything related to the vice presidential issue.’” Further, McCain representatives neither confirmed nor denied to me that Cantor is being seriously considered as the presumptive Republican nominee’s running mate.
Eric Cantor is certainly an intriguing potential pick. Like Tim Kaine, whose name has come up more and more in talks about Barack Obama’s potential running mate, Cantor is from the battleground state of Virginia – a state that is quickly bluing, to the point many expect it to be solidly Democratic by next election.
Cantor is not the most well-known of the House Republicans, but he has risen quickly, both through ability and through his dedication to conservative principles. Initially elected in 2000, Cantor has been Chief Deputy Minority Whip, the third-highest leadership position in the Republican caucus, since the Democrats took control of the House in 2006.
Cantor is a consistently vocal proponent of outer continental shelf drilling for oil, and he is champion of human life who opposes (and has voted against) everything from late-term abortion to embryonic stem cell research (he has received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee and a 0% rating from NARAL), just to name a pair of issues.
The AP’s Bob Lewis writes:
Cantor has strong support among the party’s conservatives, perhaps comforting a segment of the base of the GOP that has been reluctant to embrace McCain, who has promoted himself as a maverick.
Cantor is also Jewish and would could bring an important segment of the electorate behind the Republican ticket. If McCain wins with Cantor as his running mate, Cantor would be the nation’s first Jewish vice president.
Cantor is certainly a stealthier pick than other names that have been bandied about, like Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney. At 48, Cantor is young, but perhaps not too young to be Vice President (especially if Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal are not to be considered too young).
Elected in 2000, Cantor has exactly twice the amount of time in the House that Barack Obama, the head of the Democrat ticket, has in the Senate — a number that grows to four times the experience if the last two years Obama has spent campaigning for a promotion, rather than actually working day to day in the Senate, are taken into account.
That experience gap only widens when Cantor’s quick rise through the ranks and time in leadership are contrasted against the fact that Obama never made it off the Senate’s back bench before he abandoned the chamber in search of a deed to the house down on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Cantor is certainly capable of performing the duties required of the Vice President — championing causes, acting as, for lack of a better phrase, the administration’s “attack dog,” and building and utilizing alliances with Republicans in government.
Cantor has fought the good fight in Congress, and has done so as well as any conservative leader there. In all, I think this could potentially be a very good choice.
Further, even if he is not chosen, a little buzz about Eric Cantor can only be a good thing. More people, especially on the right side of the aisle, should hear about this Virginia Representative and what he has been doing in Congress for the last seven years.