Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who Will Be Mitt's VP Choice?

By Alan Caruba

It’s still early in the Republican primary season and Rick Santorum has done very well in the Midwest, so it is time to ask, who will be Mitt Romney’s vice president choice? Okay, so some of you are saying Mitt will not be the GOP choice, but play along with me just the same.

Newt Gingrich/Rep. Ron Paul: Neither of these candidates would be a good VP choice because Newt is currently self-destructing and said vicious things about Romney. Paul is essentially a political sideshow whose appeal is mostly to the young who are not famous for turning out to vote.

Sen. Rick Santorum: At this point Santorum would appear be a good choice because he did well in the Midwest, but he has been lackluster in the other primaries and the likelihood that he will win enough delegates before the Tampa convention is slim. He is a good campaigner and a genuine conservative.

Sen. Marco Rubio: He is a very appealing young man and is a leading Hispanic Republican, but he has a constitutional eligibility problem similar to Obama in that his parents were born in Cuba and does not qualify as a natural born citizen to be President. Democrats are not likely to raise this issue, but serious-minded Republicans would.

Gov. Mitch Daniels: The Governor of Indiana, like Santorum, would arguably draw Midwestern voters, but he is a low-key personality who is not likely to excite voters from the East and West Coasts. He has a good record of governance, but the presidential ticket is as much a popularity contest as a political one.

Rep. Paul Ryan: He’s another young man with real potential in the years ahead. In debates he could eviscerate Obamacare and explain complex economic issues, but Ryan is more valuable in his present role in Congress now and into the near future.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi is a good campaigner and would likely bring much of the South to support the ticket. He has one of the best political minds in the party which he formerly led, but it is likely that he would be seen as a man whose time has come and gone.

Gov. Sarah Palin: Been there, done that. She is far too polarizing despite her appeal to Tea Party voters. She did not prove that helpful to the McCain ticket and is “old news” so far as most voters are concerned.

Gov. Jeb Bush: This is kind of a wild card choice. He has an excellent record as former Governor of Florida, but he is a Bush and that might prove to be a drag on the ticket for many who mistakenly blame Bush43 for the 2008 financial crisis that occurred just before the end of his second term.

Donald Trump: He is another wild card and despite his endorsement of Romney, Trump is all about Trump and is not a politician. In a race that will involve lots of class warfare, his wealth would be a liability. Let him raise money and fire away at Obama from the sidelines.

This brings me to two choices that would animate the Republican presidential race in ways that would benefit the laid-back Romney.

Gov. Chris Christie: He is a dynamite campaigner with a short, but good record as Governor of New Jersey. He has a national reputation and wide appeal. He might, if offered, join the ticket.

Rep. Allen West: In my view, he would be an excellent choice. Charges of Republican racism would be rendered moot. He has a strong military background and is a solid conservative. In addition, he is a great campaigner and he too comes from Florida. He would bring some real dynamism to the ticket.

We already know that Joe Biden will remain on the Democratic ticket and, if that isn’t a liability, I do not know what is.

All this is, of course, pure speculation, but it is fun, isn’t it?

© Alan Caruba, 2012


LarryOldtimer said...

Normally, the choice of a vice-president is a leading politician who is well-liked in a large electoral vote state or region, with voters who don't like the nominee all that much.

I would say that Gov. Perry would be such a person.

Anonymous said...

What makes you so certain that Mittens will be the nominee?

Harry Dale Huffman said...

So, how about you (or someone "in the know") do a short series of posts, with a photo of Mitt Romney and one of the "Romney VP contenders" photo-shopped in next to him--to show how they would look side by side, give people a feel for that--with a short text describing (comparing and contrasting) their records and public styles? This might really help the electorate make up its mind (well and comfortably ahead of the Republican Convention).

Alan Caruba said...

@TexasFred: I think Mitt will win the nomination for a combination of factors, not the least of which is a well funded and organized campaign.

Alan Caruba said...

@Harry: I am too technologically illiterate to photoshop anything, but it is an interesting idea.

Ronbo said...

First of all, the Man With The Perfect Haircut And Who Believes In Nothing But Himself - Mitt Romney - doesn't have the GOP nomination in bag.

But if Romney does carpet bomb his way forward to become the Republican Standard Bearer with attack ads on the opposition, Obama will nuke him in the presidential election on the basis that Massachusetts RomneyCare was the inspiration for National ObamaCare.

However, if by some miracle, such as Obama foaming at the mouth while attempting eat the Oval Office carpet on live prime time television, Romney wins in November, then what?

Atlas will shrug as Ayn Rand predicted in 1957.

sykes.1 said...

As long as Rubio was born in the US, he is eligibile to be President and Vice President.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution opens with the following sentence: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside."

The status of his parents is totally irrelevant. Rubio, like Obama, is a "natural born Citizen" and satisfies the requirement of Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the Constitution.

In fact, a clever lawyer could argue that because the 14th Amendment modifies every previous provision a naturalized citizen like Arnold Swarzennegger is eligible.

The same issue was raised regarding Goldwater because he was born in a Territory not a state. Juan Williams is a citizen despite the fact that he was born in the Canal Zone, because the US had sovereignty there.

Alan Caruba said...

@Ronbo: You are making too many assumptions too early in the game. My article is all about the "what if's" and doesn't pretend to predict anyhing.

We have nine months to go and a lot can happen to sink Obama...including his latest attack on religious liberty.

Alan Caruba said...

@Sykes. I stand corrected.

Ronbo said...


We are on the same page.

Like a weather prediction for the First Tuesday in November of this year - There are simply too many factors involved to announce with authority what will happen on that date.

But we do know this for certain: Both the hardcore Left and Right will make a maximum effort to elect their respective candidates come November.

This may be the most important presidential election since 1860 and the victor totally unacceptable to millions of Americans.

cmblake6 said...

Sarah Palin was the reason for well over half of what votes the McPain ticket got. Hell's Bells, I voted for HER, not for him.

James Graham said...

At the Washington & Lee mock convention (largely ignored due to competition from C-PAC and actual primaries/caucuses) they nominated Romney and as his VP, VA Governor Bob McDonnell.

Alan Caruba said...

@James: I think we are seeing a trend.