The Ideal Running Mate

When Slate launched the ” Choose Your Own Running Mate ” game two weeks ago, we invited readers to nominate their favorite candidates and write a few sentences about why they felt their pick would be an ideal campaign-trail companion for John McCain or Barack Obama.

Below, the thousand-plus reader comments are arranged as tag clouds, with the size of the word proportional to the frequency with which readers used them to describe their ideal running mate. 

While words like experience and American cropped up frequently in both Democratic and Republican nominations, readers tended to focus their choices on people with qualities complementary to Obama and McCain.

Words that derive from the same stem— economic and economy , for example—are combined here. In the case of white , the word was referencing the White House in 25 of the 89 uses for Obama’s recommended running mate and seven of the 14 uses for McCain’s.

Barack Obama’s Running Mate

John McCain’s Running Mate