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.