Recently, John McCain mentioned that there were about 20 names on his list of potential VP candidates. He also hinted that he would like to make the decision sooner, rather than later, perhaps to take advantage of the fact that the Democrats don’t even have a nominee yet.

In anticipation of the Veep Power Rankings, I’m going to introduce my own system of rating the contenders – The Kaiser-scale.

The Kaiser-scale is a descendant of the Kerry-scale I introduced several months back, but I’ve taken the K.I.S.S. approach with this one.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

The Kaiser-scale is a simple thumbs-up and thumbs-down to a potential Veep based on my personal opinion. And to personify this system, I’ve chosen two use two former opposing VP candidates who squared off in debate and gave us one of the greatest single “zing” moments in debate history.

Those men would be Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle.

Who could forget the classic moment in the 1988 Vice Presidential debate when Quayle compared his record to Jack Kennedy when JFK ran for President?

Bentsen laid the smack down on Quayle.

So with the system explained, I plan to give Bentsen Awards (thumbs-up) and Quayle Awards (thumbs-down) to potential candidates over the next few months. Feel free to disagree.

I’ll throw a couple of names out every few days with some pros and cons, along with the Kaiser-scale rating.

Let’s start with the top two also-rans from the GOP primary.

Mike Huckabee

Pros – He’s got a ton of support from the evangelical vote, who really have no appetite for McCain. He proved himself to be personable on the stump and an excellent debater.

Cons – Has some neo-con and just plain not conservative baggage from his days in Arkansas and his support for the “fair tax”.

Kaiser-scale decision:

Quayle Award

Mitt Romney

Pros – Strong economy cred, which McCain does not have and could be a huge factor in the general. Looks presidential, lots of money and roots in Michigan and Massachusetts, which are traditional Democratic strongholds.

Cons – Conservatives are already plotting against him, using the same ammo that McCain felled him with – flip-flopping on social issues.

Kaiser-scale decision:

Quayle Award