Who Should Be Romney's VP Pick?

Who Should Be Romney's VP Pick?


So Mitt is it. But who will be his #2?

Names being floated? Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Governor Bobby Jindal. I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind right off the bat.

Personally, I think McDonnell and Daniels are out right away. Although McDonnell would make sure Virginia is locked up, he’s just not very compelling. And Romney won’t lose Indiana. Plus, Romney is the old, boring white guy in the race. He doesn’t need another one.

That leaves the other old white guy, Chris Christie. He’s certainly charismatic, but he has gone off script a couple times as a Romney surrogate and nobody wants a rogue VP again. Palin spoiled Christie’s chances.

Ryan is out because, respectfully, he’s a nerd. Nobody wants a nerd for President. Plus, he looks like he’s 28.

Jindal wouldn’t be a bad pick in theory, but he has had the national stage before and he just doesn’t have very much charisma either.

But who should Romney pick?

Mike Huckabee. Why? Because if Huckabee had ran this year, he’d be the nominee.

Think about it. Huckabee has Santorum’s evangelical bonafides, Gingrich’s conservative credentials and a likability that Romney simply doesn’t have. I know a bunch of Dems and Indies who don’t necessarily like Huckabees politics, but like him as a person. He would have won Iowa no problem, and most likely would have won South Carolina too. Gingirch wouldn’t have had a chance. And then it would have been Romney vs. Huckabee. Think Huckabee could have won all of the states Santorum won…and then some? I do.

But back to the Veep speculation. What the Repubs desperately want this election cycle is for Dems and Indies who turned out in 2008 for Obama to stay home because a) they wouldn’t mind having Romney/Huckabee as president and b) they’re not passionate enough to drive down to the polls. Also, a guy like Huckabee would wipe away any question the base has about Romney’s religion, stance on abortion, etc. All of that goes away.

So that’s my guess. What’s yours?

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    I think the best shot Romney has to win is with Marco Rubio. He locks in the Florida electoral votes, has solid tea party conservative cred, and he’ll pull Latino and Indy votes.

    Huckabee is old news, and he’ll alienate Indies. Maybe Romney will take him, but it will be a mistake.

    BTW – I have a comment on your last post that has been languishing in Moderation Purgatory for 24 hours.

  • mdgeorge

    Be careful about assuming that because Rubio is Latino that he will get “the Latino vote”. He is Cuban-American which IIUC is a pretty different culture than most Latino cultures; the Latino population is not monolithic. Nor is it really a good idea to assume that “other people” vote based on race, although I think race does play some role).

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    I agree. I’ve always taken strong exception to the “Demographics Uber Alles” perspective on American electoral politics. But, as you say, it is a factor and I’m just saying that Rubio would significantly help the ticket with the Latino vote. They certainly are going need it. As I recall GWB got about 40% of the Latino vote and McCain around 30%. If Rubio can help keep it at the McCain levels or slightly above, it might be enough for Romney. Particularly in light of the erosion of support among Indies for Obama since 2008.

    I also don’t buy the “Western/Mexican-Americans” won’t vote for “Southern/Cuban-Americans” that has been making the rounds in recent weeks. I’ve not seen anything that resembles empirical support for that assertion. It looks more like self-serving Democrat political spin / framing/ wishful thinking to me. Maybe even a deliberate attempt to undermine a Rubio selection.

  • cj

    You make a good point about Huckabee. Romney has many good choices. It will be a tough decision. Here is a good short list:
    M. Rubio, Gov. Susana Martinez, Paul Ryan, Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal. I think I’m leaning toward Jindal. Very bright personable leader with a great cross-section of successful experience. What do you think of him and this list?

  • mdgeorge

    I don’t really know anything about Latino cultures other than what I’ve heard, so you’re probably right that it is all spin. With that caveat, I agree and wouldn’t buy ‘“Western/Mexican-Americans” won’t vote for “Southern/Cuban-Americans”’, but I would buy ‘“Western/Mexican-Americans” aren’t more likely to vote for “Southern/Cuban-Americans” than they are to vote for anyone else’, which is all I was trying to claim.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    Yeah… there is no disagreement. I just think it would help the Romney ticket on the margin with a demo where the GOP needs a lot of help. Steadfast Democratic partisans are not going to vote for Romney no matter who is on the ticket. It is the characterization of “Western/Mexican-Americans” as a monolithic Dem voting block that I find objectionable. It has not been in the past and does not have to be in the future.

    As an fyi… his is an example of the kind of article I was referencing in my comment.

    It’s probably moot. If we take Rubio’s comments at face value, he is not in the running anyway.

  • Exasperated

    Susana Martinez has also been mentioned although she says she would delcine, but than so has Nikki Haley.

  • khaki

    I think Rubio is a shoe in. My partner is Domincan and has no love for Mexicans, but he was excited when Bill Richardson was a contender. Native Spanish speakers are diverse, but shared language trumps everything when it provides a chance to be heard in a dominant Anglo culture.

    As has been said here, Rubio ticks a lot of very important boxes: Latino (which also ticks the “historic” box), Florida, young, good looking and hip (compared to Romney he’s a rock star), fresh, tea-party, Indy.
    What’s not to like?

    I don’t see anyone who comes close to balancing out Romney’s long list of deficiencies like Rubio.