VP Speculation Reaches Fever Pitch

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If media reports are accurate, we are getting close to the moment when Mitt Romney will announce his choice for vice president. The campaign has said Romney would announce his pick before the Republican National Convention kicks off Aug. 27. The New York Daily News contends that one choice has already been made, according to “insiders”: the VP will be a male. NBC News takes it one step further, claiming they can say “with a high degree of confidence” that the campaign has winnowed the final choices down to three people: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Yet doubters remain. The Washington Post plays the elimination-by-logic game, noting that many of the previously presumed candidates, namely Condoleezza Rice, Mike Huckabee, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Rick Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, have been scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. Getting a speaking slot at the convention ostensibly eliminates them from consideration. Yet they add two names to the list of possibles compiled by NBC: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The campaign has done its best to keep such speculation at a fever pitch, in order to maximize attention. Part of that speculation includes the idea that Romney might announce his pick during his bus tour through four swing states of Virginia, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina this weekend. Yet the only concrete statement by Romney was intentionally cryptic. Last Sunday he told CNN’s Gloria Borger that “by the third day of the Republican convention, we will nominate a Republican VP.” For those with a burning urge to know, the GOP nominee’s campaign is promoting a “Mitt VP” app that will notify Romney’s choice to users before an announcement is made to the media. CNN also contends that Wikipedia activity can spike for the chosen candidate the day before his name is officially announced. Yet the Wall Street Journal likely has the best take on the time frame: it speculates that the pick will not be made prior to the end of the Olympics August 12th, again in order to maximize exposure.

What campaign insiders are currently saying (read: teasing) is that the VP pick will have to meet the following criteria: he will have to have the capacity to be president, as well as be ready to rule right now;  he will be a “safe” choice, yet more likable and more conservative than Romney; and he will be a true “second banana” who will not outshine his boss. Who fits the bill? An analysis of each candidate may offer clues:

As a former state governor, Tim Pawlenty brings a level of executive experience to the mix, as well as solid blue collar credentials that could offset Romney’s elitist background. He is the son of a truck driver from a former meatpacking town whose mother died when he was 16. He is also the first college graduate in his family, a big hockey fan, and comfortable with the kind of pop culture references that likely elude Romney.

On the baggage side, Pawlenty is likely to irritate some conservatives for supporting a tax on cigarettes he labeled a “health impact fee.” In theater parlance, that’s a two-fer: conservatives dislike both higher taxes as well as anything that smacks of Nanny Statism. He also has very little charisma, indicated by the fact that he was the first declared presidential candidate to withdraw from the 2012 race. Nor is it likely he has anything resembling a high level of name-recognition. Pawlenty makes for a great “second banana,” but he is not a man likely to shake up the election campaign.

Rob Portman is a former House member who worked in both Bush administrations, and he brings solid policy credentials to the mix, highlighted by expertise in spending and budgets, as well as experience in international trade. He has already traveled extensively in support of Romney, stumping and raising money for the campaign in North Carolina, New Hampshire and Ohio, where he maintains an extensive political organization in that critical battleground state.

Yet Portman strikes some as a “conciliatory conservative,” without a lot of working class appeal. Both are two of the primary knocks against Romney. Furthermore, his stint as budget director under President George W. Bush would be red meat for an Obama campaign that continues to “blame Bush” in order to divert attention from the president’s own economic failures.

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  • WildJew

    Romney needs a pick who will energize the conservative base. Romney needs to pick someone who is (unlike himself) a solid conservative.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      I don't talk to anyone who looks forward to Romney's choice. They know it will be someone that the conservatives have to tolerate in order to boot Obama.

    • Goemon

      Ya. If he doesn’t pick a true believer in the constitution then I surely wont be voting this election.

  • Chezwick

    Rubio doesn't want the job….but if he could be prevailed upon, he would be the optimum choice. He could help deliver Florida, he could pull in Hispanic votes around the country, he's intelligent and articulate, a good family man, and has appeal to both moderates and conservatives alike.

    • WildJew

      I have a neighbor who does not trust Rubio. Illegal immigration is her issue and she thinks Rubio wants to give illegals amnesty. Because immigration is not my priority issue, I gave Rubio the benefit of the doubt, that is, until he joined John McCain condemning Michele Bachmann and her Congressional colleagues because she / they are asking for an investigation of Muslim Brotherhood influence at the highest levels of government.

      • Chezwick

        Rubio's not perfect, but defeating Obama is priority ONE. Rubio would give us the best chance to do so. Unfortunately, he doesn't appear to want the job.

  • Steve Chavez

    Of the three listed, it MUST be Paul Ryan. The man has been visible and is a known fighter now that he and Romney MUST take off the Mittens and put on BRASS KNUCKLES to fight "OBAMA'S A HOOD!"

    "SWITCHING FOR ROMNEY." (A CAMPAIGN SLOGAN.)

    An interesting poll was taken and a larger percentage of 2008 Obama voters WERE SWITCHING FOR ROMNEY than McCain voters switching for Obama. A PUSH NEEDS to be made to convince others to SWITCH! With those switching, 2008 Obama voters not as interested and will stay home, too lazy now that they are hooked on his welfare, and other factors, a few percentage points of those SWITCHING, ON TOP OF TEA PARTY AND REPUBLICAN EXCITEMENT LIKE IN THE HISTORICAL 2010 ELECTION, the win could be for ROMNEY-RYAN.

    I also just love that the Democrats immediately ATTACKED PAUL RYAN'S BUDGET PLAN when they have never proposed one. WHAT'S THE DEMOCRAT GAME PLAN? Don't propose anything so nothing can be criticized.

    PART TWO: "25 REASONS: Time for a SWITCH." A take on Obama's slogan, which is all he's good at coming up with, and a way to get Democrats who have seen their party taken over as their moderate positions are now more like the Republicans who have a wide variety of positions in their political spectrum. "From Bachmann to Ron Paul." Republicans need to be proud of such wide views.

    • Steve Chavez

      Hispanics, Blacks, and minorities are born Democrats just like most Hispanics are born Catholics who are a very conservative people. Now the Democrats are the leading anti-every religion force as they excuse and legitimize every type of immorality which is opposite Catholic values. Democrats take their vote for granted and any one of these groups that defects to the Republicans is ridiculed and called “Oreo’s, Uncle Tom’s” and all types of names making those people stay in the Republican closet. Now that Obama, Hollywood, and the Democrats are coming out of the numerous closets they were hiding in, it is time for Closet Republicans and Moderate Democrats to come out too. HOW? HERE IT IS!!!

      1. If you think your Party has been taken over by Far-Left Progressives, and beyond, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH! (Reagan did!)
      2. If your moderate views are not being heard by those who have closed their ears, but they're still wanting you to open your wallets, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      3. If you were fooled and tricked by empty promises, fancy language, and catchy slogans repeated so many times that you actually believed them, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      4. If all the “Change” you have left in your pockets are Abe Lincolns, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      5. If your vote is taken for granted because of your race and/or gender, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      6. If you think America is being forced, slowly but surely and in the dark of night, into the proven failure of Socialism/Communism, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      7. If you're afraid of losing your 2nd Amendment right to protect your home, family, and yourself, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      8. If you're tired of those who normalize and moralize immorality, then it's TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      9. If you are too feminine for feminists, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      10. If you're tired of being taxed here, taxed there, taxed everywhere, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      11. If your centuries old Constitution is called “outdated,” as its freedoms are now being used to overthrow it by the decades old Rules for Radicals and the Communist Manifesto, and if Washington is thrown under the bus for Alinsky and Marx, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      12. If you’re tired of our soldiers getting spit on, even as those very soldiers put their lives on the line in order to protect our right to spit on them, then it's TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      13. If you’re tired of going in the Red filling up your car, blackmailed by the oil dictators who hate us, and by hypocrites who fill up their gas tanks to drive, or to fly in their private jet, to a Green protest against oil and gas, and you want to “Drill Here, Drill Now” instead of imposing moratoriums, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      14. If you feel your race is continuously, and purposefully, kept in a perpetual cycle of poverty and government dependability, as they are addicting you to themselves therefore requiring you to vote for them in order to get your fix, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      15. If you feel jobs are being lost because of the anti-Capitalist “Workers of the World Unite” and if you are passed over for a job, raise, or promotion due to your political beliefs, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      16. If your moderate and traditional moral and family values are now the extreme, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      17. If they say and think “The World First” instead of “Country First,” then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      18. If you’re tired of “Blame America and Apology Tours,” then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      19. If you’re tired of Leftist indoctrination and brainwashing in our schools, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      20. If you’re tired of the P.C. Police handcuffing your rights, your way of life, your thoughts and words, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      21. If you’re tired of being ridiculed for trying to be, or being, successful, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      22. If you’re tired of feeling guilty for the car you drive, the toys you own, the home you live in, the food you eat, and the amount of money you make, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      23. If you want a secure border and all immigration laws, that are on the books now, to be enforced, then it's TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      24. If you’re tired of “Do as I say, not as I do,“ hypocrites controlling your life, then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!
      25. If you’re afraid and ridiculed for believing in, and for writing or saying “God” or “Christmas,” then it’s TIME FOR A SWITCH!

      REAGAN SWITCHED AND HE TURNED OUT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST PRESIDENTS EVER.

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Romney must be tuned into your thinking Steve, cudos………………..William

  • Guy Green

    The logic that a particular candidate will be a "dog whistle" for Leftist attack is totally empty. BEING ALIVE is enough for any conservative to qualify for Leftist attack. Romney MUST pick a candidate who is willing to FIGHT, and begin an all-out attack mode himself. ALL Republicans are already homophobes, Islamophobes, bigots, McCarthyites, birthers, racists, child eaters and religious zealots clinging to ancient superstitions like The Constitution and God. When Reagan got the nomination to run against Pat Brown in California, the establishment told him to move to the center. He told them to pound sand and won huge by selling conservative principles. When Peter Robinson wrote the great line, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" the establishment told him to take it out of the speech at the Brandenburg Gate. The rest is history. The Republican establishment has LOST the war with political correctness and Alinskyite tactics. Romney will LOSE if he listens to the establishment and ignores the Tea Party that is winning primaries across the country. Bring on Allen West or Andy McCarthy or Bobby Jindal. ANYBODY with more backbone than Mitt has shown thus far. The election is, once again, the evil of two lessers. Our motto must be: "Honey, I'll paint the living room. Just as soon as I get the rattlesnake off the sofa!" If Romney is lucky enough to win, we must make absolutely certain he does not "reach out to the center." The Democrats are a criminal enterprise. You don't compromise with that. You DEFEAT that. Totally and finally. As Dutch put it: "We win. They lose." It's as simple as that.

  • BLJ

    Let's face it anyone Romney chooses will be attacked by the Dems and their MSM lackeys. Part of the game and to be honest who really cares? The future of this Republic is on the line and Comrade O has to go (nice slogan huh?).

    I would like to see Rubio. . I think Ryan is needed in Congress. Petreaus would be a curve ball, but a person really has to want to get in the political arena and I am not sure he does.

  • patroitwork

    Steve Chavez: if your post isn't the best one I've ever read, it is as good as the best.

  • Bright Knight

    At least Chris Christie (or how I call him: Islam Islamie) is not longer on top of the list, because if Romney would pick this GOP-version of Huma Abedin (with Moochelles butt) as his VP, we would would just replace one Islamic Terror Organisation with direct access to the White house by another: Obama is friend of the Muslim Brotherhood, Christie/Islamie has very close ties to Hamas (which is basically not such a big change, because the MB are the mother organization of the Hamas). Whether Christie is too stupid to know about Islam or ignorant or he supports the Islamic agenda, he is not fit for a position in the administration because he's not ready, willing and/or able to defend our country against one of the two major threats: Islamism (the other is Socialism).

  • WilliamJamesWard

    "Huckabee"………bring in the Christian vote, appeal to those who would not vote otherwise. There
    are still millions who seem to think that the Nation deserves to go to hell for electing Obama
    and those who voted for him deserve the catastrophy that has been unfolding. Huckabee can tie
    up all loose ends and is intelligent and capable. Rubio attacked Bachman with Allahu Akbar McCain,
    that shows stupidity and ineptness and worse RHINO blood…………………..William
    However his is picking Paul Ryan, so it goes, Obama must be defeated to save the Nation.

  • Trueblue

    We shouldn't be speculating on Romney's VP choice. We should instead be working to persuade Romney to drop out of the race because the only reason he is the presumptive nominee is because the conservative vote in the Republican primaries was split between Santorum, Bachmann, Gingrich, etc. (That was probably no accident. The party's moderates know that splitting the conservative vote is the best way for their moderate to win.) If Romney is president, that's going to be a disaster (though probably somewhat less of a disaster than Obama). We don't need a flip-flopping, morally challenged president. Under Romney's watch, for examples, and despite what he says (which you can take with a grain of salt), I bet we'll see not only homosexual marriage but polygamous marriage. Recall that the strange Mormon religion has a history of accepting polygamy and right now some polygamists are in court using the same silly arguments homosexuals use to try to win "polygamous rights." Bottom line, let's not be manipulated again (and again and again) into supporting a wishy-washy moderate. Enough is enough. When you add up the votes that went to conservatives in the primaries and compared that total to Romney's votes, conservatives won the day. Let's act like winners not losers. Let's take charge.

  • Asher

    Romney has picked a Grassroots Conservative…Paul Ryan, a serious candidate to fix a serious problem…the out of control spending, and lack of a fiscally responsible budget by the Obama administration is rendering the US on the verge of collapse…all on purpose so that we become insignificant and a 3rd world country. Ryan is very popular with people his own age, and has an iron will to balance the budget..We need strength and leadership. Ryan is a big military and defense guy too, he knows our enemies smell Blood in the Water and weakness!

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    I predict Romney will pick Paul Ryan.

  • poetcomic1

    ELECT ROMNEY AND RYAN AND GET RID OF ROMNEY and just maybe…we can make it.