Dear Senator John McCain,
As a military man you know the new guy in a squad is always the target of criticism but mostly adapt to their comrades. The "new guy" is also a topic of speculation and mystery when a position needs to be filled. Obviously I'm talking about your pick for a Vice-Presidential candidate... Here's a couple names that have been floated that just plain won't work: Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge.
Here's Why: If there is one thing that has united the Republican Party through thick (Reagan) and thin (Nixon), it is the focus of the Republican Party on conservative social values. I'm talking about the biggies here: abortion, death penalty, and gay marriage. The Republican Party's answers to those issues have been No, Yes, and No, respectively. Now, of course, different brands of Republicans have succeeded in reaching the country's highest elected office but they have all shared those values. Some Presidents have had new or different views of domestic policy or foreign policy or both and the media as well as political commentators have chided each as "breaking" party unity or "gutting" the party's core, so far they haven't really quite got it. There are many simple people who just want to vote based on one thing, God. They believe that as long as the President doesn't like abortion, likes the death penalty, and is opposed to homosexual marriages nothing can penetrate or corrupt the invincible American fortress. You and I know that these people are wrong but these people vote and sometimes you gotta give the people what they want.. especially if you agree with those positions.
Back to the Vice-Presidential pick, both of the politicians I mentioned are not pro-life, Lieberman is neither anti-death penalty nor anti-gay marriage. In fact if we rewind just eight years there is a plethora of sound bites, articles, quotes, interviews, op-eds, and press releases stating those positions very strongly and attacking George W. Bush for supporting these conservative values. Now I don't agree with you at all about the way you believe the War in Iraq should be run or where the course of US Foreign Policy is headed but as a person who gives a great deal of weight to values.. you've stayed in tied as my top choice for President (the other being Senator Obama). If you decide to choose either Lieberman or Ridge my confidence in your ability to stick to your own morals will be shaken and possibly completely broken. I would rather have a person with a strong character that I respect than a politician with a weak character in the White House. It is character after all that is truly tested in trying times of crisis.
Many people who are in politics are mere politicians, those people who make plays for power, and some are statesmen and stateswomen who do what is best for their country given all the information they have. These statesmen and stateswomen don't come from a specific party but they share many character traits amongst them a firm understanding of when to change their positions based on facts and reality and when to stand tall and stick to their ideology no matter how popular it is. Picking someone who is pro-choice to attract centrists and blue dog democrats would be a clear example of being a politician first and a statesman last. Please do not do this.
Conservatives upset over abortion rights VP contenders - CNN