FDRs second Vice President Texan John Nance Garner is credited for the pithiest commentary on the role of Vice President.
While it appears that Dr. Evil’s Number Two had more fun in the “Austin Powers” trilogy, now that the Republicans have rallied behind their apparent front-runner, next up will be the 24/7 hyperbole about choosing a vice presidential candidate.
And frankly, how can last time be topped?
Don’t believe me; reread “Game Change,” John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s polemic about the 2008 election which features an up-close-and-personal look at John McCain’s choice for the sacred slot, Sarah Palin. Reading that book was like watching your sister get a bikini wax, much too up-close-and personal.
ABC News revealed two days ago that long-time Romney advisor Beth Myers will lead the selection team.
So who wants to be a contender this time?
Of course, who would not want to see a Condoleezza Rice selected? But Rice has reportedly given thumbs down to the whole idea. Besides, wouldn’t choosing an African-American woman defeat the purpose of having an entire political party devoted to fat, white, older men? C’mon, people.
Here are the three names that are being bandied about.
Chris Christie—the Pillsbury Dough Boy of New Jersey seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. He’s on my list, too. Did I ever mention that I used to use the Indiana Governor’s helicopter to pick up my kid at Boy Scouts? Okay, I’m just kidding; I used a beat-up white Ford Windstar mini-van that looked like a bread truck.
Back to Christie: Governor Tastykakes has been controversial even among his Joisey constituents with many accusations about inappropriate financial management. Currently he’s been in the news for purportedly exaggerating what cost New Jersey would bear in the new tunnel between his state and Manhattan.
Christie will not, I believe, be selected because he won’t appeal to all the white bread folks who are your standard bearer Republicans (for example, most of my neighbors and relatives.)
Marco Rubio—an incumbent Senator from Florida, Rubio’s parents came to Florida after Battista’s ouster in Cuba and eventually became naturalized citizens. An interesting “factoid” is that while he was raised Catholic and married in the Catholic faith, the Rubios attended a Latter Day Saints church for several years during his childhood. I think this factor will cause Romney not to choose Rubio, because of the right’s suspicion of the LDS church as “not being Christian.”
However, today MSNBC reported on Dr. Robert Jeffress endorsement of Romney, despite calling Mormonism a “cult” at the Values Voters Summit last fall. Politico reported that, “But Jeffress says voters will have to choose between a Christian like President Barack Obama and a Mormon like Romney. He says the difference is that Obama embraces non-biblical principles while Romney embraces biblical principles like the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.
Given that choice, Jeffress says he believes Christians should support Romney in November "in spite of his Mormon faith."
The Jeffress endorsement comes on the heels of a poll released Tuesday that reported Virginia evangelical Christians would vote for Romney over Barack Obama by a nearly 2-1 margin. They weren't enthusiastic about the former Massachusetts governor, but the Roanoke College Poll found 83 percent said his religion made no difference in their vote and just 13 percent said it would make them less likely to vote for him.
As the Church Lady used to say, "Isn't that Special?"
Paul Ryan—I’m guessing he’ll be the one. US House of Representatives member Paul Ryan has been in the news a great deal over the past year with his “Ryan Plan” budget. A graduate of an Ohio University and from the Upper Midwest, Romney may see his boyish good looks and extremely fiscally conservative views as the perfect half of a winning Republican ticket. They almost look like father and son! Wouldn’t you want your daughter to marry one of those Pretty Boys?
Ryan has been witness to another Vice Presidential run, having served as a speechwriter for Jack Kemp in the 1996 Presidential election. In case you don’t remember, William Jefferson Clinton clinched that race.
Others mentioned by pundits include: Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. And don’t leave out Rick Santorum who certainly always made life interesting for those reporting on his campaign.
Time will tell. And if you give 50K or more to the campaign, you’ll be able to witness it all first hand at the Romney Inaugeral Retreat after a Romney win. Buzzfeed reported today that “Mitt Romney has offered access to a special "Inauguration retreat" for donors who give his campaign $50,000 or more, BuzzFeed reported, operating under the assumption that he will be elected President this November.
The high-rolling donors will "have preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat as well as yet to be determined access at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August," Richard Stormont, a top Republican supporter from Georgia, wrote to fellow Republicans in an e-mail obtained by BuzzFeed.”
Let the games begin.