Image via the Associated Press
Spoiler Alert! I have no idea who Mitt Romney is going to choose as his running mate but that will not stop me from speculating along with every other armchair pundit in these great United States. I often think of it as some absurd math probability type thing where every possible pairing is imagined. From the far out (Condoleeza Rice has said numerous times that she doesn’t want to be Vice President but far be it for us to, you know, LISTEN) to the more likely (Rob Portman! He’s a white male from a midwestern state! He’s boring! He’s perfect!). I’d be remiss not to mention that anyone reading this site has a pretty decent memory of what happened when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his number two so I can definitely say that the choice of number two will make or break a campaign.
I remember thinking that we - Democrats - were screwed when Palin was picked. She’s a woman. She will easily split the voting bloc of what is normally viewed as the Democratic base of women voters. She’s a mother from a fairly conservative state. THERE IS NO HOPE. Then she...well...perhaps the vetting wasn’t done as best as it should have been because Sarah Palin helped to sink that ticket. Right now every Tom, Dick and Harry on the right thinks that they can give Romney the boost he needs to cross the November 6th finish line. Most think of him as far too moderate thus unable to be the effective, Medicaid slashing President of their dreams. He waffles too much, the public still feels they don’t know anything about him and let us not forget that a vote for Mitt Romney isn’t so much for Romney but against President Obama. Romney needs a strong surrogate who can bring Republicans and conservatives together. One that will hopefully appease his currently unhappy base. Below are the folks who are at the top of Team Romney’s VP list:
Rob Portman: junior United States Senator from Ohio; won in 2010 with 57.25%; fiscal conservative who was selected by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to participate on the failed ‘SuperCommittee’ that was charged with reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion; well-liked in his home state of Ohio which Team Romney will look at as a major plus in their quest to defeat President Obama.
Tim Pawlenty: former Governor of Minnesota; former 2012 candidate for President; his campaign ended after coming in third in the Ames Straw Poll in August 2011; after withdrawing from the race Governor Pawlenty immediately endorsed Governor Romney; blue-color “Main Street” Republican who often criticized Mitt Romney’s immense wealth; fiscal conservative who rejected federal funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Kelly Ayotte: junior United States Senator from New Hampshire; former New Hampshire Attorney General; pro-life except in cases of rape or incest; opposed to marriage equality and adoption by same sex couples; against TARP and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Marco Rubio: junior United States Senator from Florida; Tea Party darling; son of Cuban immigrants; opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable care act; favors a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution; in favor of making cuts and major changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Bobby Jindal: Governor of Louisiana and former member of the House of Representatives; pro-life and opposes all abortions (including in cases of incest and the health of the mother); opposes marriage equality; was opposed to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; in 2011 Jindal was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award by the American Legislative Exchange council and organization composed of conservative legislators and business which promotes free-market and conservative ideas.
Paul Ryan: Congressman from Wisconsin; Chairman of the House Budget Committee; has credited Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged for getting him involved in politics; responsible for the ‘Ryan Budget’ a budget plan passed in 2011 and 2012 that would dismantle Medicare, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and make drastic cuts to domestic spending in all areas except for defense.
Others mentioned: Condoleeza Rice - former Secretary of State for George W. Bush, "mildly" pro-choice, some would say that she’s not conservative enough and Chris Christie - current Governor of New Jersey; faux of organized labor.
Reports - specifically “friends of Romney’s” have said that he has, in fact, made a decision and it could be announced at some point this week. We will see. Whoever it is, they have their work cut out for them, that’s for sure.