GOP VP Buzz

Posted by Katherine | July 23, 2008 – 5:28 pm
Cookie decorated with Romney portrait
Romney on a cookie [David Reeves / Flickr]

There’s lots of chatter that McCain might announce a VP pick this week. Whether or not that’s likely, the vice presidential betting steamed up recently, centering on Mitt Romney or Bobby Jindal. Jindal backers will be sad to know that he just announced he won’t be McCain’s running mate.

Chris Beer certainly won’t be a happy man tonight. He’s 26, and after living all over the world is now in Fairfax City, Virginia. He feels he was “born to be a Republican.” Almost two months ago, he was already fixated on Bobby Jindal — as complement to McCain and adversary to Obama (thanks, Misa Dayson).

Jindal has accomplished more in his 36 years on Earth than nearly every member of the US Senate, and certainly moreso than the do-nothing junior senator from Illinois. While Obama speaks of change in our politics, Jindal has lived it. […]

Jindal compliments McCain in every way, while remaining reformers. Where McCain is old, Jindal is young; where McCain is a maverick, Jindal is a dedicated conservative; where McCain is Protestant, Jindal is Catholic; where McCain is strong on foreign policy, Jindal has mastered domestic policy; and finally where McCain attracts moderates, Jindal will fire up conservatives because they will be making him the next nominee. Most importantly, Jindal is all the best conservative politician in the country. He’s proven, a real conservative, and he fosters an excitement and optimism in Republicans that we really need right now.

Patrick Ruffini, one of the founders of the probutcool group blog The Next Right, is an online political strategist in the DC area who knows politics from the inside and as an observer. He’s puzzled by Romney’s apparent willingness to take the VP slot. Ruffini explains that Romney shouldn’t want it because VPs — especially if they end up on a losing ticket — rarely get elected president. He wonders whether Romney might be faking his enthusiasm:

[I]t can be quite advantageous to be talked about as a potential Vice President without getting the nod. VP buzz is what separates promising future candidates from the pack of senators and governors. […]

VP buzz gets Romney headlines and speaking engagements around the country without being overshadowed and having to share in the downsides of an uphill Presidential campaign. But it’s still unlikely he would get picked because of the questionable personal chemistry between the two men, and Romney has to know this. But as a high level surrogate, Romney gets to travel around the country making the case for McCain better than McCain himself and leaving the base hungry for more.

Best case scenario: After November people say “If only McCain had picked Romney…”

Shay from Chicago, who blogs at Booker Rising (where the platform is “fiscally conservative, socially moderate, and foreign policy moderate”), appears to be an undecided voter. She says the VP candidates will be a “big factor” in her vote:

Picking Mr. Romney would probably excite conservative Republicans, but it wouldn’t excite this moderate-conservative independent. However, Romney is not a hell-no pick for me, like picking Mike Huckabee would be for me. Announcing his VP pick while Sen. Obama is overseas ain’t gonna help Sen. McCain, because the mainstream media overall is so in the tank for Obama. Sen. McCain should wait. My top VP pick for Sen. McCain would be Gen. Colin Powell, but that ain’t gonna happen.

Orange and Blue from a “little corner of heaven” in central Florida goes for the dark horse. He thinks it’ll be Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota. His reasoning? The “conventional wisdom that McCain’s candidacy hinges on his running mate selection.” Orange and Blue singles out three main reasons for this: McCain’s age, his failure to rally the conservative base, and his lack of executive experience.

Picking Pawlenty would answer all these criticisms. He’s young (for a politician of his caliber). He’s a CONSISTENT conservative. And, he’s done a great job picking-up the pieces up in Minnesota since Jesse “The Body” Ventura left the governor’s mansion in St. Paul.

Add to that the fact that the GOP convention is being held up there this go-round, and you’ve got all the key ingredients.

Do you think McCain will be maverick-y on this one?

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