Neither of our major party candidates have chosen an appropriate running mate. On the Democratic side, you saw a race where Democrats split their votes nearly evenly; but, as in Highlander, "there can be only one." It seems to me that in this circumstance, the consolation prize for the second place finisher should be the VP spot. Obama couldn't choose Clinton, though, because it would undermine his message of change.
On the Republican side, McCain chose a candidate that has helped energize his base, and may propel him to victory; but, Palin in clearly not qualified to be president. This judgment has become even more solidified in my mind after watching her ABC News interview with Charles Gifford. She could not identify the Bush Doctrine, a topic that could be found in any introductory US government textbook for the last five years.
The problem, as I see it, is giving the candidates the responsibility of choosing their VP in the first place. In the midst of an election, these candidates are thinking about winning, not governing. In choosing candidates that will help them win, rather than help them govern, they make poor choices.
My simple proposal, therefore, is to take the choice out of the hands of the candidates and give it to the voters. Let the candidate with the second-most delegates become the VP nominee. By taking the choice out of the hands of the candidates, the veep choice is not likely to effect the outcome of the election. Which is, I think, how it should be.
An additional benefit to my proposal is that it would make the primary season last longer. This year was unusual in that we had a candidate willing to stay until the end. Usually, the party's nominees have been decided before most states have even had a chance to vote on the party nominees. If we make the nomination contests a race for first and second place, the race will likely last much longer and more states will have an opportunity to have an impact.
Another nice attribute of my proposal is that it won't take an act of Congress. All that needs to change is for the RNC and DNC to change its party rules.