Romney as McCain’s VP?

Just when you thought you wouldn’t have to read any more posts on Mitt Romney and the 2008 campaign, this report surfaces that McCain is being pressured to name Romney as his VP candidate.

Let me point out from the beginning that if I were a betting person I would not bet on Mitt being McCain’s running mate. But this development gives me an excuse to discuss who McCain may choose.

First off, I think Mitt is a better choice than some others who have been mentioned. He certainly has street cred with economic conservatives. But Mitt and McCain running together does not solve the “how do you mobilize social conservatives and evangelicals to get out to vote issue.” Mitt doesn’t really add much geographically either, although he does help with Michigan and helps shore up some western states like Colorado and Nevada, which the Dems think they can win in 2008.

One of the worst names that has been mentioned is Florida governor Charlie Crist. Supposedly the rumor is that Crist endorsed McCain after being guaranteed a VP spot, and Crist’s endorsement was key to McCain winning Florida. I’m not sure I believe that. Crist adds absolutely nothing to the McCain effort. Polls show McCain way ahead of Obama and Hillary in Florida, so he doesn’t need Crist to win there. Crist is very unpopular with social conservatives and would be a horrible candidate on the national stage. There are many, many rumors that he is gay (not that there is anything wrong with that), but his bachelor lifestyle and moderate Republican policy positions would simply not be acceptable to social conservatives, and Crist does nothing to help McCain in swing states like Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Personally, I think McCain would best be helped by two candidates: Bobby Jindal, the new Louisiana governor, or Condi Rice. Both are solid conservatives, both of them help with the diversity issue with Obama and both are good, articulate people who have been vetted.

So, let’s see how this all plays out in the months to come.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

20 thoughts on “Romney as McCain’s VP?

  1. I think Condi would be an excellent choice, especially if Obama gets the democratic nomination. Of course, regardless of Condi’s race, liberals will skewer her and she will be accused of betraying black people by being Republican.

  2. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, he will have the “diversity” vote wrapped up. Nobody is going to be impressed by the diversity offered by Jindal or Rice (except maybe Indian-Americans). They will, however, note that Jindal has roughly the same level of experience as Obama, and is just as likely to be Muslim. Rice would carry all of W’s baggage into the general election.

    I am on the record at Council of Fifty as betting on Rob Portman. He is from a swing state (Ohio), has conservative voting record combined with a bipartisam legislative style, and a solid background in economic policy (compensating for McCain’s most conspicuous weakness). As a Democrat who can see many upsides to a McCain presidency, Portman would almost seal the deal for me (despite his ill-advised performance with that block-headed talk-show host last week).

  3. LL, interesting comment on Rob Portman. I would certainly welcome him on the ticket, but I’m not sure how much of a national profile he gives McCain. He’s young and conservative and has bona fides with economic conservatives, but he also has the ring of Dan Quayle for some people, I’m sure (although he’s much more experienced and more articulate). He helps McCain in Ohio, which is important, however, but McCain also needs help in some other states.

  4. I think Rice brings along too much Bush baggage. Huckabee seems to be popular with the segment of Evangelicals that don’t know anything about him other than he likes God. Wouldn’t he be a smart choice?

  5. Huck as veep would pretty much guarantee that i’d vote Democrat. he may carry some southern states, but he’s heavy baggage in the West.

  6. I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Rudy yet. When he dropped and and conferred with McCain, I thought maybe that’s what they were talking about. ‘Course, if it were my choice it’d be Condi all the way. She’s my Capitol Hill pinup girl.

  7. One problem with Condi that I failed to think about–she is pro-choice and McCain is pro-life! That would probably not sit well with conservative voters.

  8. I don’t think it is such a great idea to select someone who has never held elective office as a VP candidate. You tend to end up with figures who are more in tune with the establishment than with the electorate – often a particularly big problem with (former) secretaries of State.

    Condi has stated she will not be a VP candidate. Romney is the best choice. He will be the only person to bring enough strength to McCain’s ticket to defeat the democrats in Nov. We need Romney for VP, and then President in 2012!

  10. Romney would be the one thing McCain could do to win my support.

    McCain has dilemma here, though. He’ll either be running against a woman or a black man. He’s old and white, and he will no doubt be tempted to try and mitigate that by picking a woman or minority for a running mate. Romney’s my man, but it would be a bad call, PR-wise, because then it’s an old white guy and a slightly less old white guy- the stereotypical GOP ticket.

    Romney would be the best choice, but I doubt McCain will go that route.




  12. I think I can go on a limb and say that Romney will NOT be on McCain’s ticket. For one thing, such a ticket would lose the Evangelical vote in the deep south–making room for Obama to be the first non-southern Democrat to win there (Obama speaks the Evangelicals’ language!–And he has the Black vote sewn up!).

    On the other hand, Coleeeen is right that Huckabee would cause the GOP to lose the western USA–all the Democrats need to do is to plaster that NY Times article all over the place–and broadcast his campaign manager’s inane comments.

    To avoid losing the South or the West, McCain needs to pick a popular Evangelical conservative who has a record of being pro-LDS. It would be better if this person can help in "Blue States."

    I DON’T see that happening, though. Too many Evangelicals have painted themselves into a corner by endorsing Huckabee–and they’re not about to accept anybody else.

  13. It seems like Romney as V.P. would really help to unify the party–except for some of the die-hard Evangelicals. A lot of folks are getting pretty scared about the economy right now too. I think Romney would add a lot of credibility to McCain’s candidacy on that point. And you know what? Money trumps all. When people are concerned about not losing their job or paying the mortgage or putting food on the table they’ll look past race, gender or religion.

  14. I agree about Romney if he would accept it. He has the economic background when the country says economics is first. I do wonder how he and McCain could iron out their differences, and if they win what baggage could be left with Romney for the next election. I also feel that the evangelicals would probably come around with Romney once they got to know him better. He has strong religious values that speak to them. We’ll see.

  15. Mitt Romney would be the best vp pick. His family values and economic background round out the ticket with McCain’s national defense experience. He would also carry the vote of 6,000,000 mormons and between him and McCain they would carry the majority of the evangelical vote. There would be a small percentage of evangelical diehards that will vote for no one except Huckabee whether he is on the ticket or not, but not enough to make a difference in the general election. I also take with a grain of salt all of this talk of the rift between McCain and Romney. I don’t think it is as intense as the media makes it out to be. Besides, if it makes for a winning ticket in 2008, any differences that they might have will fall by the wayside. I am holding out for the "M and M" ticket.

  16. I think Romney’s enjoying being a skiing grandfatherly money-farmer again. He’s struck me as the kind of guy who knows how not-fun being the President is, and I really can’t understand why he’d want the job of Vice President.

    I suspect it’ll be someone relatively unknown, and probably not any of the front-runners from the primaries (i.e. Guiliani, Romney, Thompson, Huckabee and, it is to laugh, Ron Paul.) VPs seem to help most when they’re strong regionally but lack national baggage: Rudy Guiliani’s negatives in my part of Ohio are almost as bad as Hillary Clinton’s (though apparently hers aren’t bad enough to keep Republicans from voting for her just to make Obama lose.) Thompson would be the strongest out of that group, and would bring a welcome dose of “likable grown-up” attitude to the mix, but he won’t help on the age/gender/race side of things.

    For what it’s worth, I could write almost the exact same paragraph about the Democrats. Look for another set of Jack Kemp/Al Gore candidates for the VP slots. Though if Clinton’s the nominee, I’d be comfortable speculating that her running mate will have rock-solid “MoveOn.Org Approved” credentials.

  17. Pingback: Is Governor Romney The Best V.P. Pick For McCain? « New Republican Party Blog

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