The best choice is Marco Rubio because (1) he is a good conservative; (2) he is of an ethnicity that would be a first that can attract swing voters as four years ago, Barrack Obama becoming the first African American president, and (3) he has good repot with the religious right. The problem is you cannot make him say yes. Many Republicans want him to get more experience and Rubio himself wants to serve a full six-year term as Florida’s first Hispanic senator. This makes the decision not so easy and is compounded by the fact that many establishment Republican conservatives may not want to run with him knowing he is not as conservative as they would like.
If not Marco Rubio, then who? The first direction is to do what John McCain did four years ago and put a woman on the ticket. Not a bad idea. In 2008 we elected the first African American President, now perhaps it is time to make history again and with Obama’s failed leadership in several areas, why not conquer another milestone and now elect the first woman vice president? There are some good Republican women, both tea party and non tea party out there. The only hang up is the party in executive party (this year, the Democrats) have the last at bat as they hold their convention after the Republicans. It is the Democrats that can pull off that walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth. If there is a woman on the Romney G.O.P. ticket, Obama can dump Biden and put Hillary Clinton on the ticket. Then history would be made either way and there would be no reason for any Democrats to cross party lines and it would not have allure swing voters. The Democrats do not at this time have a Hispanic anywhere near as charismatic as Marco Rubio.
Another possibility as suggested by a Republican strategist who guest starred on Mike Huckabee’s program on Fox News said he should choose his running-mate based on whether or not he is winning, tied, or behind. If he is winning, he could go with a Chris Christie or a Tim Pawlenty, neither one really wants it, or our good friend Rick Santorum; the idea being if he is way ahead in the polls, there is no sense of urgency for a VEEP to attract swing voters. I disagree with this—remember Dewey in 48; you play nine innings or four quarters depending on the game—never sit on a lead. If tied, go off the board for someone like Nikki Haley who is a tea bagger with India Indian in her ethnicity. If behind, perhaps a Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. If you are going to do this, assume you are behind and go with a real impact person, preferably a woman of a unique ethnicity or someone more conservative than Mitt who can bring the religious right to vote for him and not stay home on Election Day as they disagree with Romney’s stands on abortion and same sex unions.
The third direction, which I discussed when it was still possible for a brokered convention, is for Romney to do what Adlai Stevenson did in 1956 and let the delegation at the convention decide for him. Estes Kefauver was selected by the Democratic delegation at that convention. Stevenson ran with John Sparkman in 1952 and with the failure of that ticket to defeat a war hero, Adlai decided to defer to the delegation in 1956 and although Ike won again in 56, it was an interesting concept. The number one reason a majority of Republican across the nation selected Romney, not because he was their first choice politically, but because the number one thing they wanted out of their candidate was the ability to beat Barrack Obama. I personally am not sure that makes him the right choice and I believe if Rick Santorum did not have to answer the call to be by his ailing daughter’s side, he would have ultimately been the nominee and he would have defeated Obama. A Romney-Santorum ticket makes sense politically, but I am not sure he can make a difference playing second fiddle getting any specific swing group to cross the line and vote for Romney. Under different circumstances, he would be a great choice and I think Rick Santorum will be president someday, just not in 2012.
For now, we will just have to take a wait and see approach.