When it comes to the women's vote, Barack Obama is getting support along his party's lines. Among woman who are independents, Obama is not doing as well (See Full Story).
I am probably wrong but, I think that both Barack Obama and John McCain "might" take a woman as their V.P. choice because of Obama's weakness in this area. The Obama team might do this to win-back those women who might be resentful of Hillary's loss and resentful of how Hillary, the woman, was treated during the Primary season. McCain may also take a woman V.P. to take advantage of Obama's weakness among women voters.
Woman represent more than half the electorate in this country. They tend to vote more consistently and more often than men. To me, bringing in a higher rate of the women's vote into a campaign is more important than selecting a V.P. who can deliver any specific State like Florida or Ohio or for the reason of bringing a specific skill-set, like economics or military prowess to the ticket.
Historically, the V.P. choice has always been a psychological, team-strengthening move by any Presidential candidate. By picking a woman, the women of American can "see a path" to a woman finally being a President of this country. While not guaranteed, history does show that an incumbent V.P. has a better-than-average "chance" at the Presidency; once a popular President leaves office. By not picking a woman, women will see the door being slammed for at least 4 years for a an unpopular, one-termed President; and, up to 16 years for popular, two-term President who picks a male V.P. and that V.P. successfully gets elected for two terms.
Hillary Clinton's campaign proved that both women and men are ready for a female President in this country. Let's not forget that Hillary got nearly half the votes during the Democratic primaries/caucuses. Further, there were no resounding wins in the last half of the Primaries for Mr. Obama. Both John McCain and Barack Obama would be remiss in not understanding this.
Earlier in this year, I said that I thought Barack Obama will pick a woman (See Full Story). I still believe this is true (for the reasons above) and, as earlier written, I still think it will be Kathleen Sebelius. If he does, it might be all over for McCain.
For McCain, I have made no such prediction in the past. However, I think, now, that McCain should pick Alaska's current Governor, Sarah Palin. She is contrastingly young at 44 years of age. A good communicator. Like McCain, she is concerned about Global Warming (an issue with the Democrats) and is a tepid environmentalist; rational and not radical. For that reason she is for drilling in Alaska. In other areas, like abortion and same-sex marriage, she strictly follows the Republican views. She is very popular and has an approval rating of 84 percent from the people of Alaska.
McCain has the advantage on the Veep front. By the sheer fact that the Democratic Party's Convention is before the Republican Convention, Barack Obama is forced to pick his V.P. first; unless McCain decides, for some unknown reason, otherwise. If McCain has properly done all his "what-if" work in response to whoever Obama picks as a V.P., he will have a strategic advantage in "countering" anyone that Obama picks. If Obama picks a woman, I don't think that McCain will have any other choice than to pick a woman. If he doesn't, he better hope that Obama seriously "screws up" before the November election.
Just my opinion.
Image by eszter's photostream on Flickr with Creative Commons Licensing with remix/adapt/modify permission (Click to View Other Works). The image specifically modified for this blog entry by Cranky George.