(CNN)Sometime this week — maybe as soon as today! — Joe Biden will announce his vice presidential running mate. Until that moment, the speculation over who he might pick (and why) will run rampant. And the vast majority of it will be totally wrong.
Why? There’s no part of politics and campaigns more dictated by arcane conventional wisdom than the veepstakes.
That conventional wisdom goes like this: The presidential nominee is primarily guided by the electoral map when making his (or her) pick. The person who winds up as the choice is someone the presidential candidate believes will help him deliver a particular swing state or an area that the ticket badly needs in order to win.
The problem with that thinking? A vice presidential pick hasn’t been the critical piece of carrying a state or a region since — wait for it — Lyndon B. Johnson, when John F. Kennedy picked him as VP in the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy needed the South to win and, as a senator from Massachusetts, there was massive skepticism about him despite the solidly Democratic voting nature of the region. LBJ, a senator from Texas, was a known and trusted commodity in the South and, […]
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