Some folks are begging for it. Others are doing silent appeals. But likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney is surveying the GOP field, looking for that oh so special running mate who can bring him more votes, take on the notorious talker Vice President Joe Biden in a debate, and manage to not embarrass the ticket, all at the same time.
Yes, it is a pretty tall order.
Romney swears there isn’t a short list. But if there was, you have to bet Florida Senator Marco Rubio is on it. But when appearing with Romney, Rubio remained mum. Rubio, as a young, charismatic, Hispanic GOP Tea Party star from the must-win state of Florida, would be a logical and highly prized pick.
But what if you could still have the state of Florida and the support of the Republicans and Tea Partiers, plus the backing (and money) of the GOP machine to boot? No wonder Bush family scion and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is being discussed. And Jeb has made it clear he’d be open to the possibility.
“Insiders” are saying the most logical, qualified vice presidential pick would be Sen. Rob Portman, helping to secure the Ohio vote and establish that the Romney campaign is focusing on the economy, and only the economy. Portman is considered “safe” and knowledgeable. On the other hand, he creates little excitement and is unlikely to wow a conservative wing that’s already unhappy being forced to settle for “most likely to beat Obama” versus most likely to champion their causes.
But as the theme of what women need continues to frame this election, I think it’s likely that a woman is going to be on the ticket. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should be the easy choice — a marriage of diversity, strong conservative background and strong foreign policy chops. But will the party stand for someone not completely rigid on outlawing abortion? If not, expect the honor to go to New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte. Roll Call dubs her the “strongest” of the female potentials, and the amount that she is in front of cameras battling the message that Republicans are declaring a war on women not only shows how few GOP women there are to defend the party, but also that she’s being told to get used to the limelight.
Ayotte, Rubio, Bush, Rice, Portman, in that order.
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