Should McCain choose a black VP?

No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, John McCain will also be competing against a Historical Moment. Either it will be the first woman nominated or the first African American, versus a guy who looks like he'd fit right in with the framers of the Constitution.

Which is why some Republican pundits are urging McCain to select a VP of color, or ideally, the twofer known as Condi Rice.

In an op-ed published in today's New York Times, William Kristol puts forth a list of untraditional choices, including one pube-hair loving Supreme Court Justice:

Perhaps the most obvious way McCain could upend the normal dynamics of this year’s election would be a bold vice presidential choice. ... He could persuade the most impressive conservative in American public life, Clarence Thomas, to join the ticket.

The most impressive conservative in American public life?! That's heady praise for a man whose greatest accomplishment seems to be keeping his yap shut for two years straight.

Meanwhile, in this New Yorker column, Henrik Hertzberg suggests Condoleeza Rice as a VP choice that would allow McCain to have his base and eat it too:

If McCain really wants to have it all—to refurbish his maverick image without having to flip-flop on the panderings that have tarnished it; to galvanize the attention of the press, the nation, and the world; to make a bold play for the center without seriously alienating “the base”—then he can avail himself of a highly interesting option: Condoleezza Rice.

Of the two, I think Condi is the better choice, both individually and demographically. But the funny thing about such speculation is that it shines a spotlight on how old, white, and male the Republican party continues to be compared to Democrats. I mean, can't the Republicans find a Conservative African American without having to poach the one from the Supreme Court? What's Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire up to these days?

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