Sunday, April 1, 2012

Romney Veepstakes

A couple of articles floating around the blogsphere this weekend talking about Romney's VP pick--so it looks like all the cosmic tumblers are beginning to align to bring this GOP primary to a close.  If Santorum gets trounced in three states Tuesday (which I predict---whoops, two states and a federal district), he'll need to think really, really hard how getting beaten in his home state would look in 2016.

Here's a little ditty from the Washington Post on the Romney VP pick.  Chris Cilizza of the Post looks back in history and sees "ideological balance" as being the default approach from GOP nominees, which then would suggest a "conservative" pick for Romney.  He's solid on Rubio and Bobby Jindal, but even a cursory bit of research would have revealed that Chris Christie is NOT a conservative.  He's a fun, blustery guy--but he's NOT a conservative.

So if Cilizza is right--he's overlooked Mitch Daniels--who has huge Tea Party Cred--and he's overlooked the slam dunk, no joke, savior of the conservative wing of the Republican Party--Jim DeMint.

But, what would a strong conservative do on the ticket?  Romney is already going to win the Southern states that Santorum was beating him in, because voters there are not going to vote for Barack Obama.  So, clearly a conservative on the ticket isn't going to help him there.  Where a conservative COULD help out is in swing states where Romney and Obama will contest for independents.  The question for Romney's team will ultimately be--will they get more votes in those states by picking a strong conservative, thereby hoping to increase conservative turnout?  Turns out, I think the answer is no.  I think Romney needs to go after a VP who helps him with moderates--I know, I know--my Tea Party readers are coming out of their chairs.   But one can't forget the electoral college.  Romney has got conservative states locked up.  He needs to win swing states.  Three are a lot more voters in the undecided/independent category than three are voters who will stay home because the ticket is insufficiently conservative.

Marco Rubio's a bit of a two-fer though (and my favorite for the spot).  He's very conservative, he's got ethnic flair, and he's from a HUGE swing state.  Plus, women seem to dig him.  That said, talking with the Kitten yesterday, she said that his looks won't move independent women nearly as much as a woman on the ticket would.  When I mentioned Condi Rice as a possibility, my little lefty love-bug said, "I would have to consider voting for them in that case."

This is gonna be fun.


Mark Gorenflo said...

I think Rubio would be the Sarah Palin of 2012. There is just too much we don't know about him. Like his real immigration story. And his youth years as a Mormon. And his spending as Speaker of the Florida House. He will be crucified by the Obama opposition researchers. He MAY help in Florida. As a Cuban, he does NOTHING for the rest of the Hispanic vote.

I was surprised both you and Cilliza left out McDonnell. He's done well as a conservative-ish Governor of Virginia who doesn't scare the bejesus out of independents. He may help in Virginia.

A safer choice is Portman, who may help in Ohio (and definitely did help Romney win the primary there). Plus, he's got real policy credibility, though maybe not with the Tea Party.

JRBA said...

Here's another who might just think about it with Condi. Might.

Sally said...

I really like the Condi Rice idea too. Not only for the foreign policy cred which Mitt needs, but because it would be priceless watching the press try to figure out how to take her down.

CGBerube said...

I'm not sure if any VP nominee has brought any positive electoral advantage since LBJ in '60. It's been a mixed bag on whether they even win their own states if contested.

Bryan said...

I agree with Mark. Rubio does not help significantly help with the Hispanic vote. He is also an inexperienced, untested quantity. And unlike Palin, he doesn't have a University of Idaho education to fall back upon.

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