Romney’s Veep Pick?

Four years ago,  I correctly predicted Republican presidential nominee John McCain would select Sarah Palin as his running mate.  Seriously.   I shared my thoughts with my wife, co-anchor, some colleagues and friends.  I told them McCain needed to make an historic choice to counter Barack Obama’s historic candidacy and a woman seemed the way to go.   At the time there were three female Republican governors, including Connecticut’s Jodi Rell, but I felt Palin would be more appealing to conservatives.   I made this prediction a week or two before the surprise selection of an obscure governor from Alaska was announced.   

This year, I’ve been urged to make a prediction and announce it publicly.     My gut tells me Mitt Romney is not going to select one of the people pundits believe are among the leading choices:  Ohio Senator Rob Portman,  former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, or Florida Senator Marco Rubio.      I really think Romney’s running mate will be a woman.   

Romney is trailing President Obama among women in the polls , and he is being attacked by some prominent women’s groups.    MSNBC routinely runs a banner at the bottom of their screen, with the headline “War on Women,” and Democrats rarely miss an opportunity to talk about the “Republican war on women.”    I can’t see the all white male ticket happening this year.

Romney also has to be prepared for the possibility that President Obama could replace Vice-President Joe Biden with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, should the president fall behind in the polls.     

The  women reported to be on Romney’s list of potential running mates include New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.    All were elected in 2010, and their selections would immediately invite comparisons to Palin, who also had been in office for less than two years when tapped to be McCain’s number two.   I’d be very surprised if Romney picks  from that group.

I have a hunch former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of Romney’s top choices, and she is the runner-up to my prediction.    Rice would appeal to black, women and conservative voters, and bring foreign policy expertise to the ticket, much like Biden did for then Senator Obama.     A Rice selection would mean former President Bush would be prominently featured in Democratic attack ads, and that’s the biggest con to what would be a bold, historic choice.

My prediction for Romney’s running mate is someone who has not been publicly identified as a potential choice, but I believe she’s on the short list:   Congressman Marsha Blackburn.      Blackburn is a conservative from Tennessee, who calls herself a congressman rather than congresswoman.    The arguments against her seem minor:  she is a from a state that go will Republican and she’s not well known.     In a way,  Blackburn has already been vetted through the media, as she has been a guest on Meet the Press, and other political programs and from what I’ve read, seems widely regarded in her party.   Blackburn is a tea party favorite and one of the leading voices for the repeal of the President’s health care program.

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8 Responses

  1. If she’s a Tea Party favorite, that’s Strike 1……

  2. I think that Condi Rice has a better chance than your Blackburn. I don’t believe the Bush connection would be a major problem. She proved to be able to hold her own by being Secretary of the State and has her own record to run on. She is a smart & intelligent woman who would make perfect sense to be the first choice.

  3. Why would a nominee select someone who’s been front and center already?
    The lessons of 2008 shows the short term Governor’s, while principled, may be unfortunately poorly vetted. Its ironic when in an age we all want elected leaders alot like us, but when we find them, we feel them unqualified.

    Your comments about Joe Biden are particularly interesting. Last week I thought about how little attention he’s had and switching up the running mate would be beneficial for Obama. Biden has had his gaffes, but they haven’t received much coverage. As Barack anticipates a more productive and legacy second term, it would benefit him to choose someone with much more intellectual gravitas.

    Yet, I don’t think Clinton makes the cut. While her experience and personality would be perfect for the job, her role as Sec State seems to be somewhat separated from the mission of President. More importantly, he seems nervous that her persona would overshadow him. I bet he selects another male from a MidWestern state.

  4. Dennis, I am a super conservative woman from CT and I totally agree with your idea that Romney will pick a woman. His choice needs to be one that will appeal to a wide range of voters that may be undecided. The ball is in his park right now and the choice he makes will decide weather he will be the next occupant of Pennsylvania Avenue. I think Condoleezza RIce would be that person. She is intelligent, non abrasive and well known, and I don’t think the media will have too much negative to say about her. She is one class act.

    • She’s also a war criminal. But let’s continue to allow the concept of “country first” to forgive the commission of evil acts. Encouraging policies of mass slaughter in the name of nationalism does not excuse that bloodletting. Condi RIce has blood on her hands, and should be tried in the international criminal court for her support of the illegal, immoral invasion of a soverieng nation.

      • Ken, she’s a war criminal the same way FDR was. I think Rice’s experience, brilliant mind and calming personality would be perfect as a running mate. With your way of thinking we’d all be talking German or Japanese as our native language now.

  5. I was hoping he would pick Governor Christie.

  6. Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension., Supplemental Appropriations, Patriot Act Extension, Debt Deal, South Korea Trade Agreement, Omnibus Appropriations, Line-item Veto, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)..

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan, Libya Troop Withdrawal, Libya. stopping Indefinite Detention.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :
    http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congressman-marsha-blackburn-votes.html
    Mickey

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