Unconfirmed Reports Say that Chris Chrisite Will Be the Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention

Let the Speculation Begin.

  Bookmark and Share  New Jersey Republican activists can hardly contain their excitement over the fact that their Governor has been selected to give the all important keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  New Jerseyans are bursting with pride over the thought that our Governor will be given the national spotlight and be called upon to articulate the Republican case and cause before the nation and the world.  But the reports have not yet been confirmed by either Governor Christie, Governor Romney or the Republican National Committee.  According to the Washington Post;

“Republicans say that, contrary to media reports, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Neither the Romney campaign nor the Republican National Committee would confirm those reports.

“You”ll have to stay tuned,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon.

Sources with the campaign say Romney is not prepared to announce any speakers yet. The New Jersey State GOP Committee said they knew nothing about it. 

“I’ve gotten no invitation to do anything like that,” Christie told NBC.”

These unconfirmed reports amount to nothing more than speculation but if true, the decision to make Christie the keynote speaker opens the door for additional speculation.  So here goes.

If it is true that Christie is the RNC’s 2012 keynote speaker, it will signal the G.O.P.’s obvious desire to highlight the message of a figure who has established a reputation for being blunt about what needs to be done to get our nation on a track to economic responsibility and prosperity.   It would also signal the G.O.P.’s desire to appeal to fiscally conservative independent voters, a segment of the voting bloc which could be critical to who wins the presidency in November.

Picking Christie to be the keynote speaker could also be a signal of several other things to come such as who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate. There has been a wide range of Republicans who would have liked to see freshman Florida Congressman Allen West deliver the keynote address.  West has proven himself to be a powerfully articulate speaker who inspires the conservative base while also firing up the TEA Party which Romney needs to bolster his standing among.  Christie tends to enjoy similar popularity within those same groups but West brings additional positives that Christie doesn’t.  Unlike Christie who comes from a state that Republicans feel is so hard to win that they have written it off in most of their campaign plans, Rep. West comes from a critical swing state that is well within the reach of Republicans to win.  Additionally, West is African-American, and those two factors would have made West a prime pick for giving the keynote address.  But giving that honor to Christie instead of West could be a sign that Mitt Romney has picked a running mate of color and so the need to highlight ethnic diversity during a high profile, primetime, keynote address may not be as necessary as it once was.  If true, that person of color who Romney may be ready to pick could very well be  former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who many have suggested that Romney is quite enamored with and whom  in national polls,leads all other potential vice presidential choices Romney may have.

But to read too much in to any decision would be wrong.

While Chris Christie is liked for the breath of fresh air that his brutal honesty and bluntness brings to the table, his abrasive nature does not fit well with the more diplomatic, less confrontational approach to politics that Mitt Romney is comfortable with.  The same goes for West who may seem like a good choice for Vice President for Romney but like Christie, neither man can be described as having the “same personality type” as Mitt, a factor that Anne Romney once described as a key consideration in her husbands decison on who he will nominate for Vice President.   Yet there is no denying that Christie’s approach has been popular and as such, there may be no other suitably prominent role for Christie to play in the Romney campaign other than allowing him to be a surrogate speaker and what more suitable platform can there be for such a surrogate than keynote speaker?

This of course does not leave West out in the cold.  Many other primetime slots are still available.  They include the highly coveted opportunity to be tapped as the lucky individual who gets to make the speech that nominates the presidential candidate, a role that West would fit quite well.

All of this is speculation though.  The only thing that is not speculation however is the fact that if it is true that  Christie is the keynote speaker, you can rest assured that he is definitely out of the running to be Romney’s Vice President.

On that front, until now, speculation about who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate has of late been superseded only by the speculation over when he will publicly announce who that person will be.    Today’s Wall Street Journal writes;

“It appears unlikely now that Mr. Romney will name his selection before departing next week for a trip abroad.”

At the same time, The New York Daily News writes;

“Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has  been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and  conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

Yet amid that media speculation comes a Tuesday tweet from National Review political reporter and CNBC contributor Robert Costa in which he writes:

“A Republican strategist close to the Romney campaign tells me veep announcement may come Friday”

Meanwhile, in an interview taped for ABC earlier today, Ann Romney claims that  her husband is “not quite there yet” on a final decision regarding who he will nominate for Vice President.

Not long after that interview, while attending a town-hall event in Bowling Green, Ohio, Mitt Romney answered a a question from the audience regarding who he will pick by confirming that  he has “not chosen the person” who will be his Vice President.

What this all means is anyone’s guess but to confuse matters even more, as noted in a previous White House 2012 post, Tim Pawlenty, the former Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has decided to retool his website, TimPawlenty.com.

Currently TimPawlenty.com has been replaced by a “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read  “Please come back later.”  Normally such an event would not mean very much but at a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, every move of every individual who might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen as a signal.   In this particular case though, having been a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw’s decision to finally retool his website and put in its place a “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit it, appears at the same time that Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Coincidence?  Speculation?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

You’re guess is as good mine.

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Is Tim Pawlenty Preparing His Website For The Vice Presidential Nomination?

 Bookmark and Share  Most people have little if any reason to visit TimPawlenty.com, but if you are one of the very limited stream of visitors to the official website of the former Minnesota Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, than you have been surprised to find that the long standing platitudes for conservatism, apple pie, coffee, and all things American , have been replaced by a “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read  “Please come back later.”

Whether Pawlenty is just conducting some useful site maintenance on his otherwise useless website, or handing control of the site and its future content to the campaign of Mitt Romney in preparation of Pawlenty’s accepting Romney’s vice presidential nomination is unknown.  Calls from White House 2012 regarding the status of the site that were made to several aides and former staffers of Pawlenty’s presidential campaign and his Nation First PAC have received a range of inconclusive responses that claimed the “Coming Soon Page” is up as the site undergoes some retooling.  However; attempts to determine exactly what it is being retooled for remains undetermined.

At a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, aside from who will the election, every move of every individual who might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen as a signal but in this case, one can’t help but question the timing.  Almost a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw finally decides to retool his website and put in its place a “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit, appears at the same time that we all know Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Now this could very well be coincidental but my political experience has taught me that in politics coincidences are events which politicians actually put on their schedules.  In politics, coincidence is a convenient excuse which allows the most unlikely set of circumstances to come together and seem like the most natural  string of events.  That stated, even though I have recently indicated that I am of the opinion that Mitt Romney will pick South Dakota Senator John Thune as his running mate, I can’t help but wonder if the coincidental timing of Tim Pawlenty’s “Coming Soon” page and Mitt Romney’s “soon to come” decision on a running mate is a more definitive indication of who that running mate will be than is my personal sense of who it will be?

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Senator John Thune Tops “The Herd” of White House 2012’s Potential Vice Presidential Picks for Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today, in it’s final installation of the series, White House 2012 offers a look at Senator John Thune of South Dakota.

South Dakota Senator John Thune

Born: January 7,1961(age 49), Murdo, South Dakota

Spouse(s): Kimberly Thune

Children : Brittany and Larissa

Residence : Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Alma mater: Biola University

Religion: Evangelical Christian

` Political Career :

  • Served as a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Abdnor.
  • Was an appointee of President Ronald Reagan to the Small Business Administration.
  • Was appointed Railroad Director of South Dakota by Governor George S. Mickelson and served from 1991 to 1993.
  • From 1993 and 1996, he worked as a member of the South Dakota Municipal League.
  • In 1996, Thune was elected to South Dakota’s at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He won reelection in 1998 and in 2000 was reelected with over 70% of the vote. Thune supported term limits and promised to serve no more than three terms in the House.
  • Keeping his pledge, Thune instead ran for the United States Senate, challenging Senator Tim Johnson in 2002. Democrat ran scandal which saw Party officials pay for on Indian reservations placed the results of the election in doubt. But Thune decided not to mount a legal challenge by filing any objections and accepting a questionable and close loss by 524 votes (0.15%).
  • Between 2002 and 2004 Thune worked as a lobbyist for the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad.
  • In 2004, he again ran for the Senate, this time challenging incumbent Tom Daschle, at the time the United States Senate Minority Leader and leader of the Senate Democrats. It is rare for for the Party’s legislative leaders to lose an election but after overcoming Daschle’s early 7 point lead, Thune defeated Daschle by 4,508 votes.

John Thune sits on the following committees:


Thune is an attractive, young, conservative with heartland values that would be a big help to a candidate like Mitt Romney.  Yes, I know we have had seemingly similar people who fit that same description, but John Thune is no Dan Quayle.  The only drawback in picking Thune is the fact that South Dakota is going to go Republican in the presidential election no matter what and even if the G.O.P. did not have a lock on South Dakota, the benefit that comes with the advantage of Thune being that state’s favorite son is a miniscule 3 electoral votes.

But if the basis for chosing a vice presidential running mate is that of someone who he is capable of being President at a moment’s notice, than there is no reason for a Republican not pick Thune.  He is a solid conservative, not perfect, but solid, and he is well spoken, levelheaded, quite friendly, knowledgable on the issues and his legislative record is one which is rich in common sense solutions that most conservatives and common sense Americans would find quite appealing.   Add to that the regional appeal that Thune has and what you have is someone who is an almost perfect vice presidential nominee.

Part of the importance of Thune’s Midwest appeal is the neighboring swing state of Iowa, a state President Obama won in 2008.

In 2012, John Thune is much more popular among Iowa voters than is the President.  It is a fact that the Romney campaign used quite well after Thune became an early supporter of Mitt Romney and began campaigning with Romney in Iowa during the state’s presidential caucus.  Thune’s regional appeal could help make two typically solid blue states, Minnesota and even Wisconsin, far more competitive than they might be without Thune on the ticket.

Aside from the possible effects that John Thune could have on the electoral college, the two term conservative Senator meets all the basic criteria that Mitt Romney seeks.  Most important is Romney’s level of comfort in his running mate.  Like Romney, John Thune is firm, methodical, deliberative, not abbrassaive, and non-controversial.    This makes Thune a a safe choice for Romney among the conservative base that still doubts the depth of Romney’s committment to the conservative ideology.  Yet at the same time, John Thune lacks the ire of the left that would make him the type of lightning rod for their hatred that others such as Chris Christie or Michelle Bachmann would be.  That lack of hatred which is often exhibited fby the left means that the addition of Thune to the G.O.P. ticket will not provide the left with the degree of motivation that would be required to use Thune as a distraction from the issues.

Thune is a productive legislative leader, and a bright youthful, inoffensive, consistently conservative consideration for Vice President and is certainly on Romney’s shortlistt.  In recent days, Senator Thune has admitted that he has met with Beth Meyers, the woman heading up Romney’s search for a running mate, but he has not confirmed whether or not the Romney campaign is still vetting him.

However; I maintain that because of Thune’s overall record, his personal attributes, the unlikely acceptance of other individuals who may be up for the job, and the circumstances confronting Romney in the existing political environment, I believe John Thune is probably the person most likely to be picked by Romney.  While he may not excite the ticket with a sense of history and diversity because of his color, gender or lack of a Hispanic background, all o which would help bolster the G.O.P.’s much needed support from various blocs of voting groups, he is a competent and reliable selection who can offer a degree of balance that Romney needs in order to keep together his conservative base, motivate fiscal conservatives, and still be able to compete for the pivotal independent votes that will be needed to win the presidency.

Thune was considered a possible presidential candidate and even gave the idea of running for president some serious thought of his own until he decided against it in late spring of 2011.   But running for Vice President is a different story, and if asked to run, I really don’t see Senator Thune refusing the nomination.  Being Romney’s running mate will be a no risk proposition for Thune that will produce high yields for his political future.  Having been reelected to the Senate in 2010, Thune will not have to give up his senate to run for Vice President and if a Romney-Thune ticket did happen to lose in 2012, Thune will continue to serve in  the Senate and he will do so as a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.  That scenario dovetails quite well with Thune’s support for term limits.

When he served in the House of Representatives, Thune limited himself to three two year terms.  Now as a Senator, it is safe to say that he will limit himself to two six year terms.  As such, a run for President would be the perfect next step.  So for Thune, there is no reason to say “no” if asked to be Mitt Romney’s running mate

Thune is a productive legislative leader, who is youthful, bright, inoffensive, consistently conservative, and a good man in his own right.  Thune is certainly on Romney’s shortlist and if the nomination of the Vice President becomes contentious, John Thune would be the perfect compromise candidate.  And for all the right reasons.


  • Thune is positioned well to attract independent voters
  • Can appeal to younger voters
  • Helps Romney in the Midwest, specifically Iowa, Minnesota, and possibly even Wisconsin
  • Thune has the capacity to be the articulate and credible attack dog that the G.O.P. will need on the ticket
  • Thune was a strong opponent of certain economic recovery and stimulus spending bills in 2008 and early 2009 and subsequently voted against many of those measures
  • Thune has played a leading role in formulating energy policy and was instrumental in passing a comprehensive energy bills in 2005 and 2007


  • Although Thune now states he is disappointed in the way the money from the first  Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008 was spent, Thune did vote for it
  • Thune may be vulnerable to attacks based upon distortions of his work as a lobbyist for for the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad
  • Thune does not help to guarantee Republicans that they will any of the electoral rich states like Ohio or Florida  that may be pivotal in the Electoral College.
  • Thune’s support for earmarks that went to South Dakota will be exploited by the left


Thune is one of the more relatively exciting safe choices that Romney can make.  He is a relatively young, fresh political face, with a fairly solid conservative record and he can help Romney appeal to independent voters and voters in several upper Midwest state that Romney could use help in.  Since 2011, I have felt that John Thune is Mitt Romney’s most likely choice for Vice President.  Thune is a perfect fit for Romney in the sense that Thune is a comfortable match for Romney.   With names like Rubio and Daniels supposedly out of the running because of their claims to not want the job, unless Romney is prepared to make a bold choice and pick a running mate that could be viewed as a game changer, I believe that Thune is more likely to picked by Romney than other so-called safe choices such as Ohio’s Rob Portman or Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty.

While Pawlenty is a solid and safe choice, he has never been very popular and if his own campaign for the Republican presidential nomination proved anything, it is that voters couldn’t care less about him.  As for Rob Portman, his addition to the ticket does not necessarily guarantee that he will deliver Ohio to the the Republican ticket but it does help tie Romney to the Obama Administration because of Portman’s past position as the Director of the Office of management and Budget under Bush.  That combined with the longer history of accomplishment that Thune has over Portman in the Senate makes John Thune a vice presidential pick for Romney that has more potential and less baggage than Portman will.

Will Romney pick Thune?  I have no idea if that can be answered in the affirmative or the negative but I have a personal sense of things that tells me Romney is leaning towards making John Thune his running mate.


Bill Sponsorship & Co-Sponsorship

Some of Thune’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)


Recent Key Votes

More Key Votes


Thune On The Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values


Click here for John Thune’s Facebook Page

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Rob Portman Reported to Be Mitt Romney’s Pick for Vice President

 Bookmark and SharePJ Media reports that  a consensus among inside GOP political operatives exists which concludes that Mitt Romney will pick Rob Portman as his vice presidential running mate.  The report however  based on the hearsay of anonymous sources, including what is described as a prominent GOP Super PAC insider who wants to remains anonymous.

According to PJ Media upon asking this unnamed Super PAC leader about their thoughts on Portman as a potential vice presidential nominee, an email reply from them stated the following;

He could bring Ohio!!! And he is very experienced and he won’t spend $100,000 on clothes in two months!  The goal this cycle is “safe, not sorry. But win Ohio!”

Now I do not question the credibility of PJ Media, I do question the intent of this unnamed insider who feels the need to, out of nowhere, come out and take a foul, unjustified, and totally senseless shot at Sarah Palin for circumstances that were not of her own doing and which she rectified.

I also question whether or not this so-called consensus among G.O.P. operatives about Portman being Romney’s pick has anything to do with knowing what only a select few under Romney’s Senior Advisor Beth Myers, know and are discussing amongst themselves?

Myers served as chief of staff during Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor and managed his 2008 presidential campaign.  She is now overseeing  Romney’s vice presidential selection process and is undergoing a vetting process that involves only a select few Romney confidants who discuss aspects of the vetting process among only themselves.  And any discussions of the process among this small group of trusted advisors, is done only on a need to know basis.  Which is why there have not yet been any leaks which have led to the upping or lowering of the odds for of being picked among any of the known potential nominees.  The Romney team is probably one of the most talented and professional political or for that matter, non-political organizations there has ever been.  It is a consequence of Romney’s own managerial expertise and Midas Touch.  Say what you want about Mitt but he knows how to run  things and get a job done.  And so the only way that a leak about who has picked for Vice President would come about is if it was intentional.  And this “consensus” based declaration about Rob Portman was not sanctioned by Team Romney.

Furthermore, I doubt that the leader of a Super PAC, even a pro-Romney Super Pac, would be privy to such insider information.  In addition to it being questionably illegal or at the very least,  unethical for such communications between the Romney campaign and any Super PAC, it would not benefit Team Romney to exercise the type of loose lips that would give away a secret as big as this one.

So while I do not wish to call in to question the credibility of the claim that Rob Portman is going to be Romney’s running mate in November, I must do exactly that.

Portman could very well be the individual Romney picks but only a select few know how truly likely that is and they are not talking.

Speculation about who the Romney’s running mate will be is the last big question that remains in the race, aside from who will ultimately win.  And the suspense is just killing most political junkies, myself included.  However it must be understood that any public discussion about who Romney will pick is simply conjecture on the part of conducting the discussion.  In the case of the latest scuttlebutt concerning Rob Portman, it would seem to be based mainly on his ability to deliver Ohio for Romney in November.  But it has been my sense that Portman is not necessarily established well enough to be counted on for that purpose.  That sense of mine was only verified when a recent Quinnipiac Poll concluded the following;

The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call as President Barack Obama gets 45 percent to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, with a 45 – 45 percent dead heat if the GOP adds home-state Sen. Rob Portman as Romney’s running mate.

That poll was taken just two weeks ago but it is safe to say that those numbers have not changed much since then and it led Politico to report a story entitled “Poll: Rob Portman no GOP boost in Ohio”

As indicated in an abbreviated White House 2012 Vice Presidential Contender page prepared for for Bob Portman back in April, historically, the vice presidential nominee only affects the presidential election results in their home state by no more than four percent.  If that were to hold true here, according to the closeness of the race in Ohio so far, Portman could actually put Romney over the top.  But the polls do not yet bear that out and  even if they did, we are long way from Election Day and the Obama campaign will not give up Ohio easily.  As such,  in my opinion, the Obama campaign’s ruthlessness and billion dollar campaign war chest will simply inundate every media source with an endless array of stories focussed on destroying the record and reputation of Bob Portman.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Portman is exceptionally qualified and although he is not my first choice to be the next in line for the presidency, I can easily support him.  His record of fiscal responsibility is far superior to most political leaders out there and he is extremely competent in other areas of concern too.  But Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own and the lies about him will have a way of becoming true in the subconscious of an ad weary electorate.

Such was the case in 2008 with Sarah Palin.

In a documentary entitled Media Malpractice, one is taken on a step-by-step walk through of election history that documented what I call the palinization of Sarah Palin.  It was a process that showed how the left inundated our world with an endless array of salacious stories about Sarah Palin.  Every day some new liberal inspired charges or unseemly story was leaked and for days, each one captured the headlines.    As the documentary then shows at the very end, when asked what was true and what false during the campaign, voters got each answer wrong.

For instance, when asked which person running on either of the major presidential tickets pretended that their daughter’s son was their own, all those questioned answered Sarah Palin.

However, in that same documentary when asked which candidate on either of the major presidential tickets had to drop out of a previous race for President because they were caught plagiarizing the speeches of a British Labor Party leader, voters again answered Sarah Palin.

In both cases the answers to those question were wrong.  As most of us know, Sarah Palin did not pretend that her daughter’s child was her own and as for the candidate who dropped out of a previous race for President in disgrace because of plagiarism, the answer of course is not Sarah Palin.  It’s Joe Biden.

But politics is perception and the Obama campaign successfully created false impressions about the Republican ticket which casual voters believed to be true.

This can of course be done to any candidate, and with Team Obama it will be done.  It will be done to Mitt Romney and whomever he nominates for Vice President.  The problem is that given how pivotal Ohio may be “if” this election is as close as many think it will be, the Obama campaign will invest so much time and money into Ohio and into destroying Portman that in the end, even Ohioans will be embarrassed to support Portman on a presidential ticket.  I say this not because Portman will not be able to defend himself.  He will.  I state this simply because Portman is not yet the kind of established figure in Ohio who I believe can withstand the type of relentless assault upon him that the Obama strategists will engage in.

Bob Portman has not yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done regarding his record.  Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with and loyal to Portman that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn.  Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire.  But that is not the case with Rob Portman.  At least not yet.

So I would not bet the farm on Rob Portman.

As for myself, I have used White House 2012 as the platform for a series called The Herd.  It explores a herd of 25 names which I believe are being or should be considered for Vice President by Mitt Romney.  Each day, in alphabetical order, one of those names is discussed.   We are currently up to the “M’s”.

In each of those profiles, I present a case for why each person is being or should be considered and address the pros and cons of their potential presence on the Republican presidential ticket.  In creating this series, I have established my own assumptions as well as my own preferences.  But deep down I know that in trying to predict who Mitt Romney will actually nominate, no matter how much I try to put myself in his position and try think to like, I know that I am not Mitt Romney and that even after studying Romney’s personal history and management style, no matter how in tune I may think I am with his thought process, I know that only Mitt Romney knows who he will choose and at the moment I do not even think Mitt Romney yet knows who that will be.

But stay tuned because once The Herd has posted the profile of each of those names that we believe are in contention, I will offer my best guest as to whom Romney might pick, as well as the name of the person I believe he should pick and who this conservative wants to see him pick.Bookmark and Share

A Large and Diverse Field of Potential Republican Vice Presidential Nominees Wait In The Wings

Bookmark and Share  With the nomination of Mitt Romney all but official, the next most anticipated stage of the election is well underway.  Speculation about who Mitt Romney will select as his Vice President is slowly but surely picking up momentum  So much so that the mainstream media has already largely settled upon whom they believe is a likely choice—– Ohio Senator Rob Portman.  The media’s general consensus about Portman is arrived at mainly because Portman is from an important swing state that no Republican was ever elected President without winning. (In 2008 John McCain lost Ohio with 46.80% of the vote to Barack Obama’s 51.38%). 

Then there are a number of political pundits and analysts who swear that Condoleezza Rice will be Romney choice and at least one poll contends that in the eyes of voters, she is the chosen one.

The selection of  Rice, an extraordinarily accomplished African-American woman, is on the surface a home run.  But  although Condi would probably be the most qualified of any of the candidates on either of the two main Party tickets, her ties to the Bush Administration and Iran and Iraq might concern some when it comes to the prolific propaganda that liberals would promulgate with such a selection.  Still, I am confident that the former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State could hold up well to the libel of liberals and I would find her to be an inspiring choice.

As for myself, I am not so sure Portman or Rice will get the nod.  I believe that while the very admirable and accomplished freshman senator from Ohio is worthy, I am not so sure Mitt Romney believes that Portman is as proven and tested enough, is the best person to compensate for his own shortcomings, or that Portman can definitely deliver Ohio to the G.O.P. in  November.  In the case of Condoleezza Rice, I am far from as certain that she will be chosen by Romney than others are.  One of the main reasons for this is her lack of anti-abortion credentials.  The abortion issue is one that Romney can not afford to not be fully committed to.  Anything that would create doubt about Romney’s true position on abortion could force too many pro-life voters to stay at home on November 4th.  Whether or not it enough would stay at home to cost Mitt the election is something he would have to strongly consider.

Of course the obvious choice for Vice President is Marco Rubio, the young, talented, Tea Party supported, conservative Hispanic from another critically important swing state —— Florida.  Like Portman, Rubio is a freshman and he too is not quite as tested as others.  However he not only has more potential for delivering Florida to Romney in November than Portman does with Ohio, Rubio also has a bit more national appeal and can make inroads within the Hispanic community that many belive Republicans will need to get 40% of the vote from to win the election.

While I most certainly approve of a Rubio vice presidency (mainly because I approve of a Rubio presidency even more so than a Romney presidency), I have a feeling that Marco is serious about not wanting the job.  All indications are to me that Rubio does not intend to be a flash in the pan.  He does not seek to be the next Barack Obama….. young, arrogant, ignorant, and more concerned with having power than what he will do with it.  Marco Rubio knows that if he does his job and focusses on that instead of his next election, he has a bright future of constructive conservative leadership to offer our nation and maybe even someday becoming President,  when he knows it’s right.   That is not to say that Rubio wont be Romney’s running mate.  The pressure placed upon him to take on the responsibility could  be overwhelming.  At some point, the powers that be might just be able to convince Rubio that he owes it to the country and given that he has nothing to lose because he will still be in Senate for at least four more years if Romney loses, Rubio could possibly be convinced that not answering “the call to duty”, would be disturbingly selfish of him and something he could come to regret.

The truth is, I have no idea who Mitt Romney will choose and who will accept.  Anyone who tells you they do know is lying.

However; I do know what the political landscape looks like and I have some insight as to how Romney thinks.

Mitt is is very methodical and he has a long history of making right decisions by taking every factor into consideration and effectively prioritizing them. Additionally, he does not surround himself by yes men and appreciates differing opinions, so long as those who offer those opinions are armed by solid facts that they can back up.  This habit provides Mitt with a healthy, choice of appropriate options that more often than  not, he makes the right decision from. Romney has also been known to acknowledge his own weaknesses and to compensate for them.   This is something that he did with great success at Bain, the firm which he built.

This understanding leads me to conclude that some names are more likely vice presidential choices for Romney than others.  But given my admitted limited personal knowledge of the inner workings of Mitt Romney and his 2012 campaign strategy and team, with all things considered, there is one name that I keep coming back to.

John Thune.

John Thune is a relatively safe choice, something which Romney is instinctually inclined to favor.  But more than that, he is safe for all the right reasons.  Senator John Thune is a solid conservative voice and in addition to being more than qualified to step in to the shoes of the President if the need arises, Thune can go a long way in compensating for Romney in several areas of perceived weakness.

Thune is respected by conservatives, he does not offend TEA Party activists, is a favorite of social conservatives and the Evangelical Christian  base whose confidence Romney must gain.  As the Senator from South Dakota, John Thune also has significant sway in several important Mid-West, states including Iowa and through it all, Thune also appeals to the always critical independent vote.

Does this mean that Senator Thune will be the nominee?  Not at all.  It is however my own hunch.  The very fortunate problem though is that there is an abundance of very attractive, highly competent, and deserving potential running mates for Romney.

Two of my of my favorites are former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Thompson can go a long way in helping to get the critical Southern Republican base out to vote for a Romney ticket, he appeals to evangelicals, has better conservative bona fides than most other public figures, and is quite articulate in a very appropriate, homespun, down to earth manner, that allows him to appeal to independents and can make both Obama and Biden look like dumb little dunces sitting in the corner.   Thompson also brings a hint of the anti-establishment image that the Romney image could use some help with.  Thompson could be a game changer, but  the question here is more would Thompson accept the nomination than would Romney pick Thompson?

Mitch Daniels has a different style than Thompson but shares some of the endearing homespun finesse that Thompson has.  And while the selection of Thompson by Romney would be more bold than safe, the selection of Mitch Daniels would be more safe than bold but still quite powerful.

As a highly successful and popular Governor of Indiana, along side of Romney, Daniels would help to project a level of competence and experience that will be dramatically contrast with the level of incompetence displayed by the Obama-Biden ticket, especially in regards to the still stagnant and suffering economy.

Another very appealing name is of course Virginia’s Governor, Bob McDonnell., even though I am pretty sure that Romney will win Virginia handily, even without McDonnell on the ticket.

The variables are infinitesimal though, so much so that I am persuaded to give realistic consideration to many other likely names.  So White House 2012 has compiled a list of  “some” of the most reasonably logical choices that are likely to surface as the selection process continues to unfold.   The names on this list have earned their place here for numerous reasons but the one thing they all share in common is a record that has shown them to be exceptional leaders who in addition to bringing their own unique set of positive characteristics to the potential G.O.P. ticket, have demonstrated an undeniable ability to serve our nation well if called upon in the capacity of President.

Names that are not included on this list but must still be considered are former rivals of Mitt Romney like, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Tim Pawlenty.  And then there is also a very outside chance of a wildcard pick who was a rival of Mitt Romney in 2008……… Mike Huckabee.

Of course events could change the political and force other names to rise to the surface, but in the meantime, this list it is a reflection of the extensive pool of exceptional leaders that the G.O.P. has to choose from and each one of these names would prove to be far superior to the current Vice President.

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Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Rep. Blackburn is n0t an obvious choice.  She is from a state Republicans will not need a lot of help winning  and she is far from a household name that will automatically inspire millions to flock to the G.O.P..  But she could prove to be an effective choice.

First she is a she and a woman on the ticket has value.  Even though hypocritical liberal  activists despise strong conservative women, those who tend be more apolitical, especially Independents, do respect strong women and Marsha Blackburn is indeed a strong woman.

Blackburn is a fiscal and social conservative who has not participated in the earmark process since 2007 and she is a  leading opponent of Obamacare which she describes as “a government run, government ensured, government financed, government delivered healthcare system”.  She has been described by many as a woman with all the attributes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann but without any of  their negatives or polarizing baggage.  And like Palin and Bachmann, Blackburn is a darling of the TEA movement.

If there is one candidate that Blackburn would be a perfect running mate for, it is Mitt Romney.  He more than any of the presidential contenders needs to firm up his support from the South.  Blackburn helps him do that.  Romney must also firm up his support from the TEA Party,  Here, Marsha Blackburn helps him too.   And insofar as her lack of name ID goes, it could prove to be a plus.  While she has been around for a while, she will be a fresh face to most voters.  That freshness affords her a perfect opportunity to make a positive impression on voters.  Yet at the same time she has experience and clout.  During her time in Congress she has held several leadership positions including that of  Deputy Whip.

While Blackburn is a good fit for a Romney ticket, the question is will she be picked?  Who anticipated the selection of Sarah Palin (besides me) in 2008?  And did anyone really expect the nomination of New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984?  Rep. Blackburn, who by the way prefers to be called Congressman rather than Congresswoman, may not be that unlikely a choice but she is not exactly the “safe” choice that I would expect from Mitt.


Former FL. Governor Jeb Bush

(Click here for Jeb’s White House 2012 page)

I know, I know, not another Bush.  But you know what?  Get over it.  Take a look at the record, not the name.  If we are so prejudiced that we can’t get over a name, then we have much bigger problems than we realize.  Besides, we elected a man whose middle name is Hussein, for Christ’s sake.  So you can live with the name Bush again.  And if you are capable of getting past the name, you will see that Jeb is probably the most truly conservative of all the Bushes to come before him and of all the politicians out there today who claim to be conservative.

Beyond having an exceptional record during his two terms as Governor Florida, Jeb is experienced, innovative, steady handed and politically savvy.  And he would be sure to deliver Florida to the Republican side of the electoral ledger.  That in and of itself is enough to get him a spot on someone’s ticket.

However, not only do I believe that Jeb has no deep desire to be Vice President or President, at least not in 2012, I also believe he is more likely to become the next Secretary of Education.

Jeb’s work on behalf of education is unprecedented.  He has delivered innovation and exceptionalism to educating our children and the next generation of Americans to enter the American workforce.  And if the next President does not intend to abolish the Department of Education, Jeb Bush will do the job justice.   Jeb probably won’t run for President or accept the vice presidency until he has fulfilled his role as Educator-in-Chief.


Majority Leader Eric Cantor

(Click here for Cantor’s White House 2012 Page)

Eric Cantor represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional and is currently the number two man in Congress.  He is a considered a hardline conservative and has lately been rumored to be preparing to oust  the number one person in Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner.  Many conservatives who are ideologically aligned with Cantor have to come believe that Boehner is too willing to compromise with President Obama on key matters effecting the federal budget and spending and have more faith in Cantor’s willingness to hold the line against the President.

While such rumors may or may not be true, the basis for the rumor matters much when considering a potential Vice President for the Republican ticket.  In this case the basis is that Cantor is a real and reliable conservative.  That in and of itself is enough to make him a strong possibility for the VP slot.  Then there is the effect of insider politics that a possible challenge to Boehner could bring to the forefront.

Behind the scenes, deals are often cut for some of the most shallow of reasons.  In this case, a deal proposing that Cantor be tapped for V.P. could be forced on to the Republican presidential nominee, for no other reason than to get him out of the picture and avoid his challenging Boehner for Speaker come next January.

Insider politics aside, Cantor is a certainly qualified for the job of Vice President.  As a former small businessman, Cantor came to Congress and emerged as a leading voice on the economy and job creation, two very critical issues in the 2012 presidential election.  Furthermore; in Congress, Cantor has become known for his work to lower taxes, eliminate excessive regulation, strengthen small businesses, and encourage entrepreneurship.  All of which will play an important role in any Republican campaign for President.

Cantor could be a perfect running mate, but not necessarily a perfect one for Romney.  In addition to coming from a state the G.O.P. can not afford to lose in 2012, he is also Jewish and in 2012, President Obama is going to need to keep the traditional Jewish base of the Democrat Party together and behind him if he wants to be sure to win several states that he needs to reach the 270 electoral votes required for reelection.  Having Cantor appeal to Jewish voters for Republicans, makes it all the more harder for President Obama, to keep his lock on that Jewish vote. However; at the same time, with Mitt Romney as the nominee, as a Mormon, Romney may be forced to balance his ticket with a running mate that represents the evangelical Christians whom he is having trouble with.  Sadly, religious bigotry is a factor and unfortunately, for many, a ticket with a Mormon and a Jew on it may not be very popular.  In 2008 we proved that we have been able to break the color barrier, but we have yet to prove that we can break some religious religious barriers in America.  So while Cantor may have been a good choice for someone like Santorum or Gingrich, but for Mitt Romney, as unfair and distasteful as it may be, selecting Cantor might make it harder for some to embrace a ticket which is led by both a Mormon and a Jew.

Would Cantor be a good choice?  He would make an excellent President, but not the most likely  running mate to help get a President elected. Cantor has little appeal to Independents on a national level and his leadership role in the House Republican caucus will be ripe for criticism and distortions.  Based upon the ugly realities of electoral politics, with Romney as the nominee the presidential nominee, Cantor is not likely to be the person who gets the nod.


NJ Governor Chris Christie

(Click here for Christie’s White House 2012 page)

Governor Christie decided not to run for President in part because he felt that this was not the time for him to do so and also because he wants to see through with his committment to the people of New Jersey who elected him two years ago.  Logic would dictate that those same reasons would apply to accepting a spot on the presidential ticket as Vice President.   But stranger things have happened and if Christie seems to be the magic elixir for an apprehensive electorate that wants a strong fiscal conservative who stands up to the establishment, then the pressure to run will be put on Christie.    In the end I still don’t see him accepting the nomination. Besides, it should also be noted that even if he were on the ticket, Christie is unlikely to have the ability to deliver New Jersey’s electoral votes to Romney.

But for reasons that are obvious, he will be at least said to be on the short list.


Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

(Click here for Mitch Daniels’ White House 2012 page)

By all rights, Mitch Daniels have been the frontrunner, not just for Vice President, but for President.  He has sailed Indiana through the tough seas of a terrible national economy and created a state that is one of the three best to do business in and for job creation.   He came in to office with an $800 million deficit and by the time he was running for reelection in 2008, that deficit was turned in to a $1.3 billion surplus.

That is one reason why he won his 2008 reelection by an 18% margin. Not a bad margin of victory, especially when you consider the fact that at the same time, while a majority of Indiana voters pulled the lever for Barack Obama for President, Mitch Daniels received more than 20% of the African-American vote for Governor. That is an unusually high percentage of the black vote for any Republican, anywhere. But on top of that, the makeup of Mitch Daniels reelection victory was comprised of 51 percent of the youth vote, 67 percent of the elderly, 57 percent of independent voters and even 24 percent of the Democrats in the state. All of which means that Mitch Daniels has crossover appeal.

And like John Thune, Daniels has that Middle American appeal that can allow him to connect with Midwest voters, including and especially those in his own state of Iowa and neighboring Illinois and even the more important delegate rich state of Ohio.

While this Harley Davidson riding governor is understated and even meek, when he starts talking you know you are dealing with a man who like Newt Gingrich, is the smartest person in the room.  But unlike Newt, Mitch Daniels’ homespun, midwestern, charm puts you at ease and makes you realize that while he is smart, he is not an elitists.  He’s the type of guy who never forgets that he puts his pants on one leg at a time.  While some like John Thune may be considered consistent conservatives, Mitch Daniels is consistent but comes across as more of a commonsense conservative.   He has an uncanny dry wit, that will slowly rise and surprise you with a  slew of knee-slappers.  Mitch is both a policy wonk and people person.  And what is probably most important of all is that his area of expertise is in the budget…….the budget that has now reached a crisis level, something which Mitch has repeatedly warned us about.

After coming close to running for President but deciding against it largely due to concerns about the pressure on his family, it is unclear if Mitch Daniels would suddenly believe that the pressure will be any less if he runs for Vice President.  But you never know.  Combine that with the fact that he would be a balancing force on any ticket, and has the experience and ability to lead our nation in the right direction and what you have is absolutely no reason why Mitch Daniels should not be on anyone’s short list.


Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Fallin was elected Governor of Oklahoma in 2010 after spending two terms in Congress and prior to that three terms as the state’s Lieutenant Governor.  She is seen as strong willed, conservative and in her first year in office she streamlined and modernized state government, reformed education, and reduced health care costs in the State. In that first year, she also sought out to make up a $400 million budget deficit through a combination of a 5% across-the-board agency budget cuts,and  increased tax enforcement.

Fallin is not an immediate addition to any list of potential vice presidential candidates but any process that is designed to take a comprehensive look at the best possible prospects, would have to conclude that Mary Fallin has to considered.

While Oklahoma is not a swing state that has a chance of going for President Obama in 2012, Fallin’s appeal on a wider scale can not be denied.  However, much like several other potential running mates, Fallin has yet to really prove herself as an executive political leader.  If given the chance though, she can confidently articulate the issues and lay out her vision in a way that can help prove she is to up job.  The only real immediate drawback to her candidacy is the fodder that an old incident might become in a national election.

In December 1998, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol bodyguard for then Lt. Gov. Fallin, resigned after admitting to unprofessional conduct. One week before that disclosure, Fallin filled for divorce amid allegations by her estranged husband that she had had an affair with a bodyguard. During this time, the trooper who admitted to “unprofessional conduct” resigned but never claimed that his conduct involved any sexual activity with Falin.

The relevance of that really only lies in how much traction as a distraction it could become in the election and if Republicans can afford to or want to contend with it possibly becoming an issue.  Then again, few thought that Newt could make it as far as he did in the presidential contest and he has been accused of multiple affairs.  So if ones personal relationships are not the focus of national politics in 2012, Fallin has a fair chance of winding up on the long list of potential running mates.


Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno

(click here for Fortuno’s WH2012 page)

Luis Fortuno’s name is not just one of those names , it is undeniably one of the most likely names to come up in the veepstakes, even if just briefly.

Largely unknown to most Americans, Governor Luis Fortuno has been on White House 2012′s radar for over two years now. Many have mocked such talk, ( you should see the comments on his WH2012 page) , but White House 2012 may very well have the last laugh. Take that from a friend of White House 2012, Adam Brickley. Adam recently told WH12 that although it may sound “off the wall”, consideration of Luis Fortuno for VP is very possible. Who is Adam Brickley? Adam is the man who created the Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President effort in 2008. He began the effort before we knew John McCain was going to be the nominee, well before most Americans heard of Sarah Palin, and long before John McCain even considered her for the job. So Adam has a good sense for these things.

As Governor of Puerto Rico, the first remarkable thing about Luis Fortuno was that he got elected. He is the first Republican to be elected Governor of Puerto Rico since 1969 and only the second one since 1949. The second remarkable thing about Fortuno is the way in which he has handled Puerto Rico’s budget. Between Fortuno’s ability to appeal to those beyond the Republican base, his fiscal conservatism, and his Hispanic ethnicity, he could make for an interesting choice for a Republican Party that must appeal to the rapidly growing Hispanic vote in the United States.

And when it comes to the primary issues facing our nation, limited government, less spending, and controlled federal budgets, Adam Brickley describesFortuno to White House 2012 by saying “It’s like he’s the love child of Chris Christie and Marco Rubio.”

Lastly, as for those of you who claim a native citizen of Puerto Rico can’t be eligible to be Vice President or President of the United States, it must be understood that all persons born in Puerto Rico between April 11, 1899, and January 12, 1941, are automatically conferred citizenship as of the date that such law was signed by the President on June 27, 1952. Furthemore, all persons born in Puerto Rico on or after January 13, 1941, are considered natural-born citizens of the United States.


South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley came to office as Governor of South Carolina as a TEA movement favorite known for her record of fiscal conservatism, a record she accumulated as a state representative.

That record is one which has yet to be tested as an executive officeholder but she remains a promising conservative who is leading a state which has an approximate 10% unemployment rate and is by many, considered to be under direct attack of the federal government.  As such Haley and her state has challenged everything from South Carolina’s plight for voters to provide identification before voting, to their enforcement of anti-illegal immigration laws, and even the state’s right to work laws.

This puts Nikki Haley on the frontline of many of the hot button, conservative issues and that in turn makes her a prominent name to be considered for Vice President.  However, Haley has really yet to cement her reputation as a fiscal conservative and with less than two years in office, it can be said that there are better choices to go with.  Especially when you consider the fact that South Carolina is not likely to vote for President Obama.   And at the moment, Governor Haley is not the most popular politician in her state.  But she still remains a potential candidate for the long list of vice presidential options.  It is also worth noting that Nikki Haley was a prominent early supporter of Mitt Romney who even though he lost the state’s primary to Newt Gingrich, is certainly appreciative for her help.

Between her personal story as the daughter of Indian immigrants and her being the first woman Governor of South Carolina, she would bring to the G.O.P. ticket an interesting demographic which Republicans must considered.


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

(Click here for Jindal’s White House 2012 page)

Bobby Jindal is considered one of the most energetic, effective, popular, and conservative Governors in America.  He has led Louisiana through natural and manmade disasters, balanced budgets, cut taxes, reduced spending, improved education, and developed and applied innovative new solutions to old problems.  The people of Louisiana found him so superior to other leaders, that when it came time to nominate their two candidates for Governor in their unique runoff election system, they gave Jindal such a wide margin of victory that it became unnecessary to hold a general election.  In other words, Louisiana voters did not doubt for one moment that they wanted Bobby Jindal to continue on as their Governor.

And the reputation he established in his state preceded him throughout the South and much of the rest of the nation.

For all these reasons, Governor Jindal, like Marco Rubio, is a surefire name for any Republican presidential candidate’s vice presidential shortlist.  But also like Marco Rubio, Jindal is not likely to want to accept a vice presidential nomination.

As is the case with Nikki Haley, Jindal’s Indian-American background has a unique appeal to the Indian-American minority community in the United States but while that community has numbers large enough to be of influence in states like New York and New Jersey, it is still not as large a minority community as the Hispanic voting bloc that can influence the results in many other states and which can be tapped in to with the likes of Rubio, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval, or Luis Fortuno.  However; based purely on talent, ability, and competence, Jindal is unmatched and therefore can not be left off of any legitimate list of very possible candidates for Vice President.


New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

Martinez is a strong, Thatcher-like, conservative, woman who in 2010 handily won her election and became the first female governor of New Mexico, and  the first female Hispanic governor in the United States.  Beyond both the appeal of the balance she would bring to the G.O.P. as both an Hispanic and a woman, Martinez is simply a strong conservative leader with solid conservative positions and a powerful conservative agenda that translates into the type of solutions that New Mexico requires.

Martinez has pursued an aggressive approach to the problem of illegal immigration in her state, and as a four term district attorney, Martinez she has a powerful law and order agenda.  She has sought to repeal state laws that provide illegal immigrants access to driver’s licenses and to deny children of illegal immigrants access to higher education through the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship  Ironically Martinez has admitted that her paternal grandparents were illegal immigrants.  While that may become a laughing point for the left, it does however give Martinez a unique ability to lead on the issue.

Governor Martinez has also been a leading “good government” advocate who has pushed for transparency in government every step of the way.  This probably stems from her years as a prosecutor in which she focused on cases involving public corruption.  And when it comes to fiscal conservatism, Martinez is a trim, female version of Chris Christie. While far more attractive than Christie, she shares his approach to budgetary matters and has proposed to reduce New Mexico’s debt  without increasing taxes, and by proposing state spending reductions and agency budget cuts.  Martinez has also called for pension reforms, that have reduced the state’s pension contribution and required their beneficiaries to pay an additional 2% into their pension funds.   In other areas Martinez has promised to revamp the state’s education plan by investing in private education

Martinez is pro-life and is opposed to elective abortion. She supports parental notification laws for minors under 13-years-old who seek an abortion. She is also opposed to same-sex marriage. Martinez supports a balanced budget and lower government spending. She also favors putting taxpayer money into a rainy day fund, and refunding taxpayers to attempt to stimulate growth.

If tapped for Vice President, the left will surely try to palinize Martinez.  Like Palin by the time of the 2012 election she will have served only half a term as Governor and many will draw comparisons between Palin and Martinez.  But such comparisons would be a mistake.  The two are very different people, with similar conservative solutions but with distinctly different personalities and approaches.  Martinez could be a strong running mate for any presidential nominee.  But her willingness to accept the VP slot if asked is in great doubt.  Voters of New Mexico were not very happy with their last Governor when he briefly ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.  Governor Bill Richardson was term limited and could not seek reelection but New Mexicans were still not happy with the time he spent running for office instead of running the state.


Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

During a February 21st, 2011 television interview, when asked“What if the party’s nominee.. came to you and said for the betterment of your party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate. Wouldn’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?” McDonnell replied simply, “Probably.”

Bob McDonnell is a solid choice. He carries little baggage, is on the right side of all the issues that the G.O.P. base wants covered and is a strong speaker who would add a level of confidence in competence to the ticket. The greatest criticism might be that he has only been Governor for what at the time will be slightly over 2 in a half years. But Barack Obama was a Senator for less than that amount of time and it was good enough to elect him President. So for a Vice President , that is not a big deal.


Kentucky Senator Rand Paul

Rand Paul is a typical political compromise option.  So far his greatest claim to fame is that he is the son of Congressman, and messianic cult of personality, Libertarian hero, Congressman Ron Paul.  That should not take anything away from the vast potential that is Rand Paul.  So far he has been an extremely solid, principled, and consistent conservative voice and there is nothing to indicate that he will continue to be anything other than a solid conservative voice.  The problem is, Republicans hope that this apple fell far enough from the tree to come out of the shadow of his fathers reckless isolationist, foreign  beliefs.

If Rand Paul, can demonstrate that he is not as on the margins as his famous father is, the Republican presidential nominee could find themselves in a position where the need for Ron Paul’s supporters to get behind them will make the difference between winning and losing, will force them to tap Rand Paul as their running mate because he has the potential to establish a decent compromise ticket that could seal the deal.

However, I do not believe that Ron Paul supporters will matter quite as much as many fear.  A vast majority of Ron Paul voters proudly extol the battle cry “Ron Paul or Bust!”   These are people who are were not and are not going to vote for a Republican presidential candidate unless that nominee was Ron Paul.  Therefore I see no value in selecting Rand Paul simply because he is the son of Ron Paul.

Additionally, Rand Paul can only help to deliver Kentucky to Republicans and that state is already in the G.O.P.’s pocket.  But the greatest reason for there being no need to pick Rand Paul, is the fact that there are many other freshmen and senior U.S. Senators who are even more qualified than Rand and have strong, established, proven records that can appeal to a much broader portion of the electorate than he can.  Still, given the fear factor created by the cult-like following of Rand’s father, weak-kneed Republicans could easily turn to Rand Paul out of what they believe to be a need to unite Republicans and unrealistic, dissatisfied, radical, libertarians together in the hopes of hammering together a winning coalition in November.  I do not believe it would achieve that, but I am also not the person at the top of the ticket who will be making that decision.  Therefore, I must conclude that  it is possible that Romney may consider Rand Paul for Vice President.


Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Casual observers of politics may not be very familiar with the name Bob Portman, but in the world of economics Portman is highly regarded as a leading budget hawk, a reputation he established during his 6 terms as a Congressman and as a former Director of  Management and Budget.  His leadership has been marked by  by proposals for a balanced budget, fighting against irresponsible earmarks, attempts to put in place new transparency for all federal spending, and when Director of Management and Budget, for reducing the size of the federal deficit by more than half of its size at the time.

Prior to becoming the cabinet level Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Senator Portman held another cabinet level post as U.S. Trade Representative.  There, Portman implemented and enforced trade policies that successfully reduced barriers to U.S. exports and increased enforcement of trade laws which helped to level the playing field for American farmers, workers and service providers. That is an accomplishment that could have significant appeal to many pivotal, farming oriented states.

Another point that could have vast electoral appeal is that under Portman’s leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought its first successful legal case against China.

Through it all, while Portman closely adhered to conservative orthodoxy, he still managed to establish another reputation for himself as successful bipartisan leader and through his bipartisan efforts effectively maneuvered legislative initiatives through Congress which increased retirement savings, reformed the IRS and added over fifty new taxpayer rights, curbed unfunded mandates, reduced taxes, and expanded drug prevention and land conservation efforts.

Now entering his second year as United States Senator representing the important swing state of Ohio, Portman’s reputation and proven record could make him a prime target for any Romney if he wants to balance the ticket with a solid conservative who has particular expertise with the budget matters that play such a critical role in this election, and who is not seen as an overly partisan politician, while at the same time can make the difference between winning and losing Ohio in the general election…….a factor which could very well mean winning or losing the presidency of the United States.

All things considered, Senator Portman is probably one of the safest, least controversial, and most  logical choices for any Republican presidential nominee to select as their running mate and therefore, like Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree, John Thune,  Portman becomes a leading contender.


Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

In mid December a Washington Times opinion piece stated that Dr. Rice was ”quietly positioning herself to be the top choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to deliver bona fide foreign-policy credentials lacking among the candidates.” They added “The 56-year-old has recently raised her profile, releasing her memoir in November and embarking on a monthlong book tour”.   Whether it is true or not that Rice has been “quietly positioning herself”  for a vice presidential nomination is questionable.  This very humble, renaissance woman with above average intelligence, an unmatched resume, and wide range of interests has previously claimed that she would much rather serve  a stint as the Commissioner of the National Football League than another stint in politics.

But minds do change and Condi could actually be floating the idea by sending some behind the scenes signals that she would be willing to be the running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  She would certainly be an excellent choice.  Even though her presence on the ticket may initially draw some negative perceptions of the Bush Administration, Condi’s record is one that is strong enough to diminish such perceptions. Furthermore,  in addition to her ability to bring strong foreign affairs credentials to the ticket and bolster voter  confidence in the Republican  ticket with it, she adds a combination of troubling fear factors to the Obama relection campaign.  In addition to being African-American, she is a woman and while these are politically shallow reasons for electing our nation’s leaders, they are also very real and very undeniable political inroads in to the critical female and black voting block.  All things considered, Condoleezza Rice is an automatic addition to any Republican presidential nominee’s short list.

Except Mitt Romney.

Romney can not afford to seem to equivocate on the issue of abortion.  He will have hard enough time convincing conservatives that now that he has changed his position from pro-choice, to right-to-life, he is committed to to the sanctity of life .  Rice is pro-choice.  It is something which can only be overlooked by many conservatives if the candidate who picks her, has a solid, 100% reocod of committment  to ending abortion.


Florida Senator Marco Rubio

(Click here for Marco Rubio’s WH2012 page)

When it comes to Marco Rubio the question isn’t will he be on anyones shortlist for VP.  The question is who in their right mind would not pick Marco Rubio to be their Vice Presidential nominee?  The forty year old Floridian is probably one of the three most conservative legislators in both Houses of Congresses, he comes from a critical swing state, and is the most popular elected figure in the state.

Given that President Obama is unlikely to be able to get re-elected without Florida, getting Rubio on the G.O.P. ticket would greatly limit the number of mathematical formulas that will be available for the President to reach the 270 electoral votes needed.  But if that wasn’t good enough reason to have Marco as your running mate, his Hispanic background is a major plus too.  Born to Cuban immigrants, Rubio has the ability to connect to the increasingly important and growing Hispanic voting bloc in America.  Winning the Hispanic vote or at least a decent portion of it, will mean the difference between winning the presidency and losing the presidency for Republicans.  Rubio’s appeal would help in several states with large Hispanic populations, including the important swing state of New Mexico.

Beyond that, Rubio is bright, levelheaded, articulate, passionate, personable, and polished.   Some of that polish came from his years as the youngest person to have ever served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.  And when it comes to putting that political polish to work in a campaign, you must realize that we are talking about a man who was only 39 years old when he decided to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida  and to do so by running against the state’s popular incumbent Republican Governor who also wanted the nomination.  Governor Charlie Crist had been considered the next Senator even as Rubio began his underdog campaign.  But in time the underdog turned the tables around so quick, that Governor Crist dropped out of the Republican primary, because he knew Rubio was about to beat him the primary.  In the end Rubio was handily elected and along the way, he became a hero to the TEA movement and shot of life in to the G.O.P.’s conservative base.

The only problem is, Marco Rubio has made it clear that he will not run for Vice President in 2012.  But that can’t exactly be written in stone.  If duty calls, it is hard to say no.  However, Rubio may just stick to his guns. He knows that he will someday be President, so long as he plays his cards right.  I believe that Rubio wants to be sure that he paces himself.  He does not intend to be a quick flash in the pan, and as such I really believe that he does not want to play second fiddle to anyone as their Vice Presidential running mate.  He is waiting for the day when he picks the person that he wants on his presidential ticket.


Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan

(Click here for Paul Ryan’s White House 2012 page)

After his 2011 delivery of the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address and his presentation of the 2011 Republican budget proposal, “A Path to Prosperity”, no matter who the Republican presidential nominee is and no matter whether he likes it or not, Paul Ryan will be on a short list of names to be considered for Vice President on the 2012 presidential ticket.

Ryan has already expressed no interest in the number two spot for Republicans in 2012 but f the call comes, the pressure is put on, and the political climate continues to echo the need for economic leadership, the times will dictate that Paul Ryan accept such an offer. For no man who truly loves their country can refuse to serve it when they are convinced that duty calls. And right now America calls out for the type of leadership and fiscal understanding that Paul Ryan brings to the table and possibly to the presidential ticket.

Paul Ryan is young, confident, humble and uses soft spoken words to convey hard hitting facts as he avoids demonizing the opposition. This along with his record of competence and passion for a budget that deals with the problems of today while addressing the needs of tomorrow, will make Paul Ryan the type of running mate who does not outshine the top of the ticket but provides superior support from the bottom of the ticket by being a seemingly non-partisan, down-to-earth, friendly, likeable family man, who can relate to voters and still make them feel confident about his ability to step into the presidency if the need arose. All that is in addition to his coming from an important swing state and his mastery of issues that will still be a top priority in November of 2012,——— the federal budget and national economy.

The greatest obstacle to Ryan’s being asked to run  for Vice President comes from the mileage that Democrats may be able to gain from painting Ryan as a heartless conservative whose budget plan attempts to destroy Americans by cutting everything from Social security benefits to the elderly to slashing assistance for the impoverished.  To succumb to the potential of liberal propaganda would be a mistake though.  If the left seeks to paint Ryan in such a way, the G.O.P could actually carve out a path to victory that addresses the divisive class warfare charade that liberals are trying to wage and combining it with the cold hard facts of mathematics, the mathematics of our ballooning deficit and weak economy.

But perhaps the greatest hurdle to Paul Ryan being selected as Vice President is the specter of losing his leadership in Congress as the House Budget Committee Chairman.  it is one of the ten most powerful important, powerful, and influential positions in America and a president Romney would have to ask himself, does he want to lose the responsible and competent leadership that Paul Ryan brings to that position?


Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval

Sandoval is another name White House 2012 couldn’t deny early placement on the Vice Presidential Contender list. This man is a former State Assemblyman, federal judge, State Attorney General, Chairman of the state Gaming Commission and now the Governor of the rapidly growing state of Nevada.

Not only did he handily defeat an incumbent Republican Governor in a primary, he went on to trounce into the ground his Democrat opponent for Governor, Rory Reid, the son of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Whispers about his potential place on the GOP presidential ticket made its way through the political echo chamber early on. And for good reason.  Being of Hispanic descent, In addition to his probable appeal to the Hispanic-American community, Sandoval is from an important swing state, is a charismatic, energetic, conservative with working class appeal and is a top notch campaigner.

While Sandoval is not a frontrunner for a spot on anyone’s short list for VP, he is a contender and Nevada could prove to be a crucial swing state in November 0f 2012.  Thus making Sandoval a good name to consider.


Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson disappointed many in 2008  with a late entry in to the Republican presidential race and only a half-hearted attempt to win the nomination.  Some have suggested that he only ran as a favor to John McCain in an effort to split the conservative and Southern vote enough to allow McCain squeak by both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.  Thompson denies such charges, but regardless of the real reasons for his brief bid for President in 2008, it is important to remember that the only reason conservatives were disappointed is because they liked Fred Thompson, what he stood for, and the way he presented and fought for the conservative cause.   Today, if given the chance, they still would like it.

That’s why although Thompson is not likely to be on the ticket in 2012, he must still be considered a possibility.  For a candidate like Romney, Fred Thompson could help shore up many of Mitt’s weaknesses, especially in the South where enthusiasm for him leaves a lot to be desired.  If given the chance, Thompson would be a strong running mate for just about any nominee at the top of the ticket and he is one of those unique figures who could be a very unifying force within the G.O.P. if they are still fractured prior to, and during the Republican National Convention.

I had strong reservations about including Fred Thompson on this list.  I know that his is not a name that would automatically come to mind for the job in 2012 and he has taken his candidacy on the ticket off the table.  However; if his name is interjected into the debate about a good vice presidential nominee in 2012, I am confident that it would go over well.  So between that and my personal appreciation for Fred Thompson, I think his is a  name to consider and to watch out for.


 South Dakota Senator John  Thune

(Click here for Thune’s White House 2012 page)

Thune is attractive, young, conservative with heartland values that would be a big help to a candidate like Mitt Romney.  Yes I know we have had seemingly similar people who fit that same description, but John Thune is no Dan Quayle.  The only drawback in picking Thune is the fact that South Dakota is going to go Republican in the presidential election no matter what and even with the advantage of Thune being the state’s favorite son, South Dakota only brings 3 electoral votes to the table.  But if the basis for chosing a vice presidential running mate is that of someone who he is capable of being President at a moment’s notice, than there is no reason for a Republican not pick Thune.  He is a solid conservative, not perfect, but solid, and is well spoken, levelheaded, quite friendly and knowledgable on the issues.   Add to that the regional appeal that Thune has and you have someone who is an almost perfect vice presidential nominee.

Thune was considered a possible presidential candidate and even gave the idea of running for president some serious consideration of his own.  But Senator Thune decided against running in late spring of 2011.   However, Vice President is a different story, and if asked to run, I really don’t see Senator Thune refusing the nomination.

Thune is a productive legislative leader, youthful, bright, inoffensive, consistently conservative, and a good man in his own right.  Thune is certainly on Romney’s shortlist and if the nomination of the Vice President becomes contentious, John Thune would be the perfect compromise candidate.  And for all the right reasons.


Florida Congressman Allen West

Is Allen West a most likely choice for Vice President in 2012?

When it comes to conventional wisdom, maybe not.  But in case you haven’t realized it, unconventional is in right now.  Add to that the factors such as qualifications, talent, ability, and political considerations such as geography, ethnicity, and the influence of the TEA movement and what you find is that Lieutenant Colonel Allen West is indeed a perfect choice.

Congressman Allen West is only entering his second year in Congress and does not have a lengthy legislative record to rest on.  But the fact that he is not a career politician is appealing to many and as a popular TEA movement figure, that lack of a political record is a plus.  Unlike Rand Paul though, West has a military record that to a degree, compensates for that record among those who want some type of public service history to refer to.

Beyond that Allen West is a powerful speaker in the mold of the once popular Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain, and in many ways he is more knowledgeable on the issues than Cain was.  Other obvious and important factors from a purely political  standpoint include West’s possible appeal to the African-American community and his ability to call the important swing state of Florida his home.  All of this makes Congressman, Lt. Col. Allen West a very plausible vice presidential contender.

This is especially true for Mitt Romney.

West has strong ties to and support from the evangelical community of which Romney needs help with and he is also considered a solid, consistent conservative, who is a strong, lifelong opponent of abortion and has the ability to inspire people with his conservative vision for America.  All of this compensates for many of Romney’s perceived political weaknesses among the G.O.P. base.

So while this first term Congressman may not seem like an obvious choice for Vice President, I dare suggest that if he had run for President, he would have given Romney a good run for his money.

Although selecting West as a running mate might be seen as Hail Mary pass by some, you have to consider how many games have been one by similarly well played Hail Mary passes.

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