Add Another Biz/Tech Exec to McCain's Veep List


It's a Beltway custom every four years: endless speculatation about who will be picked to run with each party's presidential nominee. And in recent weeks, a number of tech-savvy executives have been mentioned as players in the 2008 Republican veepstakes. Not too long ago I wrote about a Wall Street Journal piece highlighting former HP CEO Carly Fiorina's strong stumping for presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, further spurring talk that she's on his VP shortlist. (Also mentioned in the WSJ article were eBay ex-CEO Meg Whitman and Cisco chief John Chambers.)

Jonathan Martin of the Politico adds another business/tech visionary to the list: FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith.

It doesn't seem likely that Smith would meet the needs McCain's camp envisions in his pick for a running mate; Martin himself calls it "the longshot of longshots." But with the economy topping public interest in the 2008 race, it's no surprise that rumors are swirling about the possibility of a private-sector pick. (If not VP, Smith has been rumored in the past and present as a solid pick for secretary of defense or commerce.)

FedEx's innovative prowess, emanating straight from Smith's office, has long been touted as one of the most successful creative engines in the business. (IT execs: Smith's go-to guy for IT, CIO Rob Carter, shares some lessons from FedEx's experience on how IT shops can get the buy-in from their bosses.)

So while Fred Smith might not be taking the oath of office next January, business and tech visionaries like him are likely to play a big role if McCain is elected.

Fiorina seems like the most likely of any of the aforementioned to join the ticket, but time will tell. Stay tuned to for more as the race moves on.

Worth reading as well are Ed Cone's piece, Election 2008: The Internet Campaign and CIO Insight contributor David Carr's new article, The BarackObama.com Difference.


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