Lingle was not an option
If John McCain was looking for a Republican woman governor and former small-town mayor from an isolated state to become his surprise running mate, he had more than one choice.
Why not Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle?
Like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Lingle is her state's first female governor who upset established politicians in her rise from mayor (of Maui County) to the state's highest office. Lingle also claims statewide popularity after she won every county in elections two years ago.
"The similarities were striking," said Jerry Coffee, Hawaii chairman for the McCain campaign. "People in Hawaii can appreciate how efficient and effective a woman can be as a governor, or even for higher office. ... I wouldn't be surprised if Sen. McCain consulted with Gov. Lingle in the process of making his decision."
Lingle brushed off questions yesterday on whether she was considered in the running for the Republican vice presidential spot.
"I let it be known very early on that I had no desire or willingness to run for vice president," Lingle said in her office. "It's a great honor to even be talked about in those terms, but my commitment is to the people of Hawaii."
Lingle said Palin's experience as a governor gives her executive decision-making skills that neither Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama nor vice presidential nominee Joe Biden has.
"Neither Obama nor Biden has ever run anything. They've never been a mayor, they've never been a governor, they've never run anything. They've only been on the legislative side," Lingle said. "All governors feel it's important to have someone with executive-side experience, and she has."
She did not mention that McCain also has no experience running a government.
Lingle has been in office three times as long as Palin. Lingle is in her second term after being elected in 2002, while Palin has served less than two years.
Palin also has a Hawaii connection. She briefly attended Hawaii Pacific College -- now known as Hawaii Pacific University -- as a freshman in the business administration program in 1982. She stayed one semester and transferred to North Idaho College.