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Posts Tagged ‘McDonnell’

Mitt Romney should be choosing his vice presidential running mate in the next month or so. Speculation swirls around Senators Rob Portman and Marco Rubio and Governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. It won’t be any of them. Rubio and Jindal are just a little too young. Portman is too closely tied to the George W. Bush Administration, which is still a political liability. Chris Christie, while seen by many as a potential president, isn’t really a #2 kind of guy.

I suspect the real attention in Romneyland centers on four candidates. In alphabetical order, they are:

1) Rep. Marsha Blackburn, 60, Tennessee – Smart, experienced and maybe the most conservative of the four. Would bring a historical element to the ticket. She would attract Tea Party support without losing the votes of suburban women to the degree Palin did. The story of how she led a conservative revolt against an income tax plan by a Republican governor will be gold to Tea Partiers, but it’s also a lesson in sunlight in politics that ought to have some appeal to moderates and independents.

2) Fmr. Gov. Mike Huckabee, 55, Arkansas – He’s already been vetted via his 2008 run. Would connect with evangelicals in a way Romney can’t. Problem is Romney and Huckabee appeared to dislike each other in 2008. Huckabee stuck around long enough so Romney couldn’t coalesce the anti-McCain vote to himself. Considering no Republican was going to beat Obama after the September 2008 financial meltdown, Huckabee may have done Romney a favor.

3) Gov. Bob McDonnell, 58, Virginia – Steady, competent, likeable. Has managed his state to a continued enviable business record. He is the only one of these four from a battleground state. His 21-year Army Reserve career gives him more military experience than the entire Obama national security team combined.

4) Sen. John Thune, 51, South Dakota – If Romney think he needs someone who intimately knows DC, the tall, telegenic Thune, having spent most of the past 25 years in the circus on the Potomac, fits the bill. Socially conservative, but may not be greeted with open arms by fiscal conservatives, since he voted for TARP and has requested a lot of earmarks. However, he does know a thing or two about running in tough races, having lost a Senate race by an eyelash in 2002 and coming back to beat then-Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.

Any of these four would be a solid nominee. More importantly, any of them could more than adequately fill the role of President should, God forbid, it become necessary. This is Romney’s first real Presidential decision. He needs to consider not just what is good for him in the political short-term, but what is in the long-term best interests of the country.

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