May 10, 2012
Handicapping The GOP Veepstakes: Possibilities, Long Shots and REJECTS
Now that Mitt Romney has secured the GOP nomination, political speculation has turned to whom he will pick as his running mate.
In the overall scheme of things the selection of a running mate only really matters if the choice is a disaster--remember what Senator Eagleton did to McGovern’s candidacy?
More recently the selection of the gaffe prone Joe Biden didn’t hurt Barack Obama and Sarah Palin helped McCain. Palin energized the base. Once her selection was announced, McCain surged ahead in the polls and he stayed there until his awful response to the financial crisis, proving that, in the end, it’s the person at the top of the ticket that matters.
The mainstream media is trying to anoint one person or another as Romney’s choice, but it is all speculation. Nobody knows who the pick will be, not even Romney.
Romney’s team is going through the process of vetting all possible choices. For the next step, Romney will whittle down the list and interview his top choices. More vetting and even more interviewing follow that. Sometime between August 1st and the first day of the convention on August 27th, Romney will make up his mind.
Romney needs a running mate who will balance out his perceived weaknesses: an inability to relate to the “regular Joes,” possible bigotry related to his Mormon faith, and a conservative base of the party who still mistrusts him. His choice must handle the traditional VP candidate role of attack dog and most importantly must be perceived as someone who can assume the role of President.
Most of the names below are on Romney’s long list of choices. Some of them he should explore fully, others he should ignore.
Bobby Jindal: The Governor of Louisiana would ignite the base; he is a fiscal and social conservative and understands our energy needs. After all, Louisiana is an oil drilling state. Jindal deftly managed the BP oil spill cleanup and at times made the Obama administration look silly.