Greetings, Donklephant Readers! This is Jennn Fusion, reporting in from to bring you the latest in the oft-overlooked, very underestimated Veepstakes. As you can see, Justin’s a very busy guy, so I’m on the VP Beat to help him out. I bring to you my obsession — err expertise — that is the cumulation of a Journalism degree and hours of reading about vice presidents (past, present and future). Without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest scuttlebutt regarding the 2008 race…

What are Ticket Brands?

By now you’re probably familiar with the basics on picking a #2. Traditionally, analysts emphasize the importance of selecting a nominee that balances geographic location, age and/or ideology. However, VP expert Dan Coen says these days it’s more about picking a running mate that will fuel a “Rock Star Tour.” The nominee should be someone who emphasizes the good qualities to build a brand and captivate the electorate.

The Huckabee-McCain Ticket Brand:

This week Mike Huckabee ups the stakes by declaring his intention to become John McCain’s #2. On Sunday, Huckabee appeared on NBC’s  “Meet The Press” to say, “Running for Vice President is not something one does…” But “There’s no one I would rather be on the ticket with than John McCain,” which makes one wonder if there’s some secret discussions taking place on the Straight Talk Express. “Whether I do the best for him is something only he can decide,” he adds. He also gives us a hint as to what the GOP attack strategy will be like if Obama takes the nomination: In a time of crisis, we need a reliable president, not a test drive.

McCain once said it was imperative that his #2 take a pro-life stance (which, of course, rules out Lieberman but boosts Huckabee). The Huckster is certainly forthcoming about his Evangelical beliefs, which could assuage the fears of Christian Conservatives who are still on the fence, feeling shunned by the McCain camp thus so far. A McCain-Huckabee ticket exudes: a forthcoming, transparent, “trust-me” sort of government, as well as a more balanced agenda that not only addresses foreign policy concerns but also progressively deals with immigration and economic reforms back home. They’re both affable characters that tempt many fence-sitting Independents or Democrats who’d feel bitter if their candidates didn’t win the nomination.

Politics The McCain-Huckabee Brand