By Derek Evans
Mitt Romney says he is in the process of choosing his vice presidential nominee. Like always there are rumors of who it might be; but those rumors proved to be insignificant in 2008. I don’t think one single rumor had John McCain’s V.P. nominee being Sarah Palin.
In reality the vice presidential pick really doesn’t have a huge impact on the election. Voters vote for a president, not vice president. Nominees do, however, prove to be interesting fodder for the media.
Romney will pick someone – but can any of us predict whom? No. Here are a few people I think would be the most likely choices. For one there is Ohio Congressman Rob Portman. Portman might be a safe pick for Romney since he’s from an important swing-state Ohio. He also wouldn’t outshine Romney. It was hard for journalists to ignore Palin in 2008.
Portman does have some baggage, however, because he served in the George W. Bush administration. He was U.S. trade representative under Bush from 2005 to 2006 and director of office of management and budget from 2006 to 2007. I don’t think Romney should choose anyone with any ties whatsoever to Bush, since he was a widely unpopular president. Another possible pick is Florida Congressman Marco Rubio. Rubio seems to be a young growing star in the Republican Party, much like Barack Obama was before the 2008 election. There is a caveat – I think Romney would look very hypocritical if he picks Rubio. In 2008, Republicans attacked Obama for lack of experience and being a one-term senator. Wouldn’t you know it, Rubio would also be a one-term senator, if selected. If Romney thinks simply adding Rubio will get him the Hispanic vote he is gravely mistaken. It might actually hurt him more with Hispanics, since they might see through the vapid and unmistakeable ploy. Romney’s ‘camp’ (volunteers and organizers) might think simply running with an Hispanic will get him the Hispanic vote and could be strongly urging him to consider Rubio. Another possibility might be Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Much like Rubio, however I don’t think Jindal is ready at all. And again, like Rubio, he could possibly run for president in 2016 if Obama is reelected. There is also New Hampisher Sen. Kelly Ayotte, but after Palin I highly doubt the Republicans would choose another woman. Another possibility I see is New Jersey Gov. Chris Chirstie; but I think he is too happy with his current job to leave. I beg the question, does any Republican really want to be Romney’s VP nominee that bad? If Romney losses it might kill his running mate’s political career. ¶