Republican VP Pick: Who? Why?

It’s a slow week in Georgia, and many (not me, sigh) are taking a week of downtime.  Bully for them.

For the rest of us, let’s have a discussion about possible V.P. picks.  Just throw out our usual Georgia politics format for this thread and go full national.  It’s craziness around here, you know.

My column today is on Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee.  You can argue that fact if you so choose in a couple of hours.

For this thread, please indicate who you think should be the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans and why.



  1. CobbGOPer says:

    They’re not taking ‘downtime’, Charlie. They’re all at The Masters drinking for free on Georgia Powers’ dime.

  2. TPNoGa says:

    I know it’s the obvious “establishment” choice, but I would be thrilled with Marco Rubio. He’s from Florida, Hispanic, Conservative, Catholic, he is the best choice to win IMO. If not Rubio, I guess my second choice would be between McDonnell, Jindal, Martinez, Sandoval.

  3. ricstewart says:

    As I’ve posted here before, Rubio would be a politically stupid pick for VP. He wouldn’t attract independents, swing voters, or Latinos.
    His only benefit to the ticket would be the same effect Palin had in 2008: firing up the base and raising money.

    • TheEiger says:

      So you are saying a Latino on the ballot wouldn’t attract any Latino votes? Yeah, that makes since.

      • ricstewart says:

        That’s exactly what I’m saying. If we were talking about a Latino running mate whose political views resonated with the majority of Latino voters in America, then he or she would attract Latino voters; most Latino voters do not identify with Rubio’s views.
        Latino voters are not as homogeneous as, say, African American voters. Their voting habits differ by geographic location and the nations from which they or their families migrated. Cuban-American voters (i.e., Rubio) are typically very conservative, Puerto Ricans are generally liberal, Mexican-Americans are somewhat moderate, and so on. Latinos in states where Republican leaders have traditionally been more welcoming to immigrants often see more Latinos who vote Republican.
        It’s no wonder that Cuban-American Rubio was popular with Cuban-American voters in Florida. That does not mean he’s popular with Latinos in the rest of the country. (Rubio won 55% of Florida’s Latino vote; Sandoval won only 33% of Nevada’s) I know a LOT of Latinos of all political stripes (GOP, independents, libertarians, and Dems) and I can’t think of one who likes Rubio. Whether Republicans want to admit it or not, immigration is a huge issue for Latino voters. 90% of Latinos support the DREAM Act. Rubio opposes it. Rubio’s policies on immigration rub most Latinos the wrong way. If the GOP really wants to attract Latino voters, they’ll nominate someone whose policies – not skin color – they can identify with, regardless of that person’s race or ethnicity.

        • TheEiger says:

          The point is to win Florida. So if attracting Latinos in Fl is the goal you made my point for me. Also, please read the article I attached in my comments below about the DREAM Act. you are making all my points for me on why Rubio should be the VP. Thanks.

          • ricstewart says:

            IF the point is to win Florida, okay. Fine.
            But the comment that I was responding to said nothing about Florida. Your comment was in reference to the notion that a Latino candidate will automatically attract Latino voters.

            Secondly, Rubio’s version of the DREAM Act is very different from previous proposals. It provides no pathway to earn citizenship. It’s too early to tell how most Latinos will feel about Rubio’s proposal, but based on past proposals of legalization with a permanent roadblock, it probably won’t go over well.

          • kyleinatl says:

            I didn’t think Rubio was particularly popular with Latinos in Florida, especially nowadays.

    • TheEiger says:

      Also, with Romney seen as the moderate in the GOP race wouldn’t we want someone to fire up the base as you say? Romney will get the independents and swing voters. Rubio will make sure the Tea Party shows up to vote and he makes a state that Obama won in 2008 very competitive. Makes since to me. There are others out there that would be good picks too, but Rubio is at the top of the list.

      • ricstewart says:

        As I said, if the goal is to fire up the base, then Rubio will do that. But he won’t attract minorities or independents in large numbers.

        • TheEiger says:

          Again, that is not the role of the VP spot this go around. We have a moderate as the nominee. We need some that can help win a major swing state (Florida), Rubio can do that. We need someone that can make sure the base turnouts nationwide. Rubio can do that.

          This isn’t the same situation as 08 with Palin. That was a desperation pick. Rubio is a smart calculated decision that will only help.

    • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

      With that kind of logic, I guess we need a VP candidate to attract the Mormon vote 😉

    • drjay says:

      well, i’m not sure rubio is as obvious a pick as everyone seems to think either–but i would think at the very least he would help with florida–which is must win and can be swingy…

  4. debbie0040 says:

    1. Marco Rubio
    Young , charismatic, strong tea party conservative that would energize conservatives. Has great ideas. Would bring Florida into the R column and would divide Hispanic vote.

    2. Alan West
    Strong passionate leader that understands national security issues and the danger America is facing . Would excite tea party/conservative base and bring Florida into the R column. Would possibly siphon off some disgruntled African American voters from Obama.

    3. Gov. Bobby Jindall
    Strong, unwavering conservative that has great ideas he is implementing in Louisiana. Would excite the conservative base..

    • Engineer says:

      I gotta agree with you, West is a strong choice, but I think two other people you didn’t mention would be good choices for a VP spot.

      1. Rand Paul
      While, probably not the Paul you might have expected me to mention, he does share his father’s libertarian streak, it isn’t quite as uncompromising as his father. Bringing in somebody like him would likely bring in folks with a more libertarian leaning stance and might patch up some relations with Paul (Ron Paul) supporters.

      2. Condoleezza Rice
      While she lacks experience running for office, she makes up for it in her past experiences on foreign and domestic policy issues while working under G.W. Bush’s administration as a National Security Advisor and as Secretary of State. Much like West, she would likely draw in disgruntled African American voters and likely have an added draw for women voters.

      • ryanhawk says:

        Rice is the ideal VP candidate in my mind for the reasons you mention. She would certainly help close the gender gap, and would continue to break down the psychological barrier which prevents many black voters from voting as the conservative Republicans they are.

    • kyleinatl says:

      Agreed on Jindal, 100%, but West? I feel like you have another Palin on your hands there…except with military experience.

  5. ricstewart says:

    Also, the same allegations of inexperience that were used against Obama and Palin in 2008 will be used against Rubio, Martinez, and Sandoval. (Probably Christie or McDonnell, too)
    Let’s try to choose someone who has finished at least one term.

  6. CobbGOPer says:

    I won’t offer any names, but I would have to assume it will be a Southerner. Someone will have to help Romney turn out apathetic southerners, the vast majority of whom voted for someone else.

    • TPNoGa says:

      I disagree. Southerners will turn out to vote against Obama. He is very unpopular, and face it, voting against someone is just as motivating (or more) than voting for someone.

  7. Baker says:

    I honestly can’t think of one person who I think the timing is right for: Rubio, Christie, Martinez should all be left in their respective places to affect long-term change there and show voters in their areas what a real Republican is like. Rob Portman, Jon Kyl, lots of other dudes, are old and boring (although Portman’s not really old). Romney is boring which is fine, but the VP should not be boring. I’ve heard Condi mentioned but I think that’s gonna be too much of a connection to Bush.

    If I had my druthers: Bobby Jindal (but also boring).

  8. AMB says:

    The way I see it is the GOP has a real problem. If you trot out a fresh face, then you get hit with inexperience. If you trot out a veteran, they are likely to have so many issues, gaffes, and to have ticked off women, Hispanic, and moderate voters already.
    It is a conundrum.

  9. Max Power says:

    The answer is as obvious as the hair lacquered on Mitt’s head.

    Mike Huckabee. He’s principled, southern, conservative, evangelical, likable, he’s everything Mitt’s not.

  10. Nixonstheone says:

    “Would possibly siphon off some disgruntled African American voters from Obama.”

    I’d venture to say not enough to make a difference.

  11. drjay says:

    read an interesting article recently about how the pick should really be someone “boring” that historically the winning ticket actually has a boring vp–now the reason for that are obviously multi factorial–but seasoned pols generally end up as vp (gore, hw bush, cheney, biden) whereas “exciting” picks like palin, ferraro, or edwards that are relatively inexperienced don’t become vp…with that in mind someone like john thune or rob portman probably make the short list…

  12. Howard Roark says:

    Dick Cheney has a new heart. He could be tanned, rested and ready in a couple of months.

  13. I Miss the 90s says:

    What all of you are missing is that Romney will have to flip-flop a lot to win a general election given how far to the right he has strayed during this primary. VP nominees are no longer about geography, they are about ideological balance and any one of the GOP contestants will need a centrist to balance out the ticket.

    I say Olympia Snowe, maybe even a Tom Ridge would be all right (Jon Huntsman would be better if he were not a Mormon) . It is not like it really matters at this point…Obama is probably going to win reelection.

      • ted in bed says:

        Come January she will be unemployed.

        YEH … YEH…. Good riddance and take your RINO buddies with you.

        • I Miss the 90s says:

          Well, Ted, when one is worth $2omillion one is not concerned with employment. She will be replaced by a Democrat or another RINO.

          -1 for the GOP in the Senate.

      • I Miss the 90s says:

        The goal of a campaign is to win, not make a statement. Snowe is highly experienced, extremely intelligent, female, wealthy, extremely popular nationwide, and a centrist…maybe even slightly left of center.

        Guess what? Regardless of who the GOP nominee ends up being (Romney) they will have no shortage of right-wing voters behind him in November. What he lacks already is support from the center and he will need to flip-flop on several issues to get there. This is an area where McCain fumbled. He had the center and lost it by selecting a radical, inexperienced, stupid bimbo as his running mate.

        General elections are about uniting voters. Divide and conquer strategies are good for primaries, but not general elections. Even the most right-wing of republicans will vote for Romney for the same reason they voted for McCain. He is a republican, he is not a democrat, and/or Obama is not white. Romney will have a lot of, what I call, negative support in November (people will vote AGAINST Obama rather than FOR Romney). He can afford to take the right-wing for granted. As of now, though, he has a lot of ground to cover before he can even convinced the median voter to pull the lever in favor of any GOP candidate for President.

        • Engineer says:

          Indeed, you have a point there. Obama won by a sizable margin in population and electoral college numbers. In order to win, you at least have to bring some of those people over to your side, not push them away.

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            Yeah, Republicans have what right now looks like to be a WORSENING problem with women and Latinos, two crucial groups of swing voters.

            If the Romney and the GOP does not find a way to bring those two groups into the fold by November the GOP could be looking at a very ugly result in an election that should be a gimme.

  14. frankriccard says:

    This may be an unpopular opinion with some of the tea party/social conservative crowd, but I believe that if Romney picks a VP candidate to appease that subsection of the party, Obama can go ahead and start planning his second inaugural address. If the numbers being floated about are truu, he has serious ground to make up with women voters and picking a hard line social conservative would only make it worse. I’m not saying the social conservatives and tea partiers aren’t an important part of the party, because they are, but let’s be honest, they’re going to vote for the GOP ticket anyway. This election is going to be won or lost by attracting support from the middle of the political spectrum and the VP pick can help a bit in that regard. If Romney goes too far to the right with the pick, he’s toast in November. If he goes with a more moderate pick, as I think he should, I hope he doesn’t get lambasted by the far-rights in our party. It may not be their ideal choice, but if the ultimate goal is to get President Obama out of office for all of us, I think this would help.

  15. xdog says:

    Those are some sad names. Not as sad as McCain mentioning Palin this morning, but sad.

    I suggest Curt Schilling.

  16. Harry says:

    Condi Rice. She’s a good counterpoint to Biden. I don’t agree with all aspects of her record, but she’d be good.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      She’d be good, but she’ll never, ever accept. I’m pretty sure she’s had her fill of public service.

  17. ted in bed says:

    The pick will be boring ….. er pawlenty … and with that choice we will end up losing the election

    Mitt should pick allen west. Rep. West would bring out the Tea Party, gun, right wing, etc. folks. People that view Mitt skeptically.

    Rand Paul and Marco Rubio need to stay in the Senate to push conservative positions and control the remaining go-along get-along republicans such as Issakson, Chambliss, Lugar, and Collins.

  18. AMB says:

    As a moderate, this person is who I would consider voting for: the wisdom and gravitas of Lincoln (that lets out showboaters like Palin and Santorum), the ecological ideals of Teddy Roosevelt ( that let’s out any global warming deniers, evolution skeptics, friends of polluters types), and the distrust of Eisenhower against the misuse of our military and use of our national treasure for the military/industrial complex. They would also have to be in the 21st century as regards women’s rights and concerns.
    Y’all got anybody like that?

  19. 1) Mitch Daniels. I wish he was at the top of the ticket… A true, conservative leader from a Midwestern state. A pioneer of the common sense cause in spite of liberal opposition.

    2) Paul Ryan. Young, grounded, intelligent. Need I say more?

    3) Jon Huntsman. This man would out-debate Joe Biden any day of the week. A brilliant man and policy maker that could prove invaluable to the future of United States diplomacy.

    4) Tim Pawlenty. Had he stayed in the race, he would have likely surged after Gingrich, giving him the win in Iowa and, ultimately, the nomination. Of blue collar origin, roots similar to Santorum without the social baggage, he could appeal to the same base that Santorum appealed to in Michigan and Ohio before he crossed into the “untouchable zone” of social conservatism.

  20. analogkid says:

    My list, in order, is: Mitch Daniels, Condoleeza, Jon Huntsman, and Joe Lieberman.

    Huntsman will never happen because he is also a mormon. Lieberman will also never happen, but I like him, and he is who McCain wanted to pick (and should have).

    As Kyle Constable said above, Daniels should have been at the top of the ticket, but I’ll settle for veep. I think he’s eyeing 2016 though, and while a VP nom could help him there, I’m not convinced he will agree to run this go round.

    Which leads us to Condi. Not a bad place to be.

  21. ricstewart says:

    Veepstakes would be a lot easier if Romney wasn’t the nominee.
    You can’t pair him with a moderate running mate because he’s already seen as too moderate for some.
    You can’t pair him with a far-right running mate because he’s spent too much time pandering to the far-right to make people forget about being too moderate.

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