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
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