The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt 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 White House 2012 takes a look at Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Born (1954-12-09) December 9, 1954 (age 57) Warrensburg, Missouri, U.S.
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Joseph Fallin (1984-1998)[2] Wade Christensen[2]
Residence Governor’s Mansion
Alma mater Oklahoma Baptist University University of Central Oklahoma Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

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Fallin was elected Governor of Oklahoma in 2010 after spending two terms in Congress.  Prior to that she served 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 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 be considered.  In other words, would she be a competent President if the need arises and can she bring something to the presidential ticket that can go a long way in  helping to win the presidential election?

The answer is probably not.

Still though,  for the purpose of exploring viable options for Mitt Romney’s selection of a Vice President, it must be understood that 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 not yet really shined as an accomplished political leader on the executive level. 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 to the 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 Fallin.

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 one’s 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, even if it is for no other reason than to hope that Fallin can  ensure that the Republican base in the South, comes out to vote for Romney and prevents any upsets by President Obama among the Southern electoral vote count which a Republican presidential victory relies upon quite heavily.  As Duane Shepherd, a Conservative Republican from Oklahoma City put it in an interview from Examiner.com;

“If Romney gets the nomination and wins and she was the vice-president, maybe she could help rein in his liberal tendencies. He is much to liberal for most Republicans and she would help balance the ticket.”

Pros:

  • Can help improve Romney’s standing among women voters
  • Helps Romney among evangelicals and shores up his opposition to abortion rights

Cons:

  • Has not established herself as a powerful force nationally or regionally
  • Has not yet been vetted to any great extent
  • Has some dirty laundry that will be aired in any national campaign and could become too much of a distraction
  • In office as Governor for only two years but has served multiple terms as Lt. Governor

Assessment:

While there is nothing that should preclude Fallin from the ticket, there is also not much to push her ahead of others who have accomplished more and are also on a long list  of very prominent leaders.  She does not have any single claim to fame or immediately outstanding expertise in any area of concern in this election and she does not yet have a vast regional following in the South yet. However, any negatives regarding Fallin are overshadowed by the positives in her record and as such she may help to energize some of the uninspired voters within the Southern base of the G.O.P.. and she could be a decent compromise candidate. However, she remains an longshot.

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Recent Key Votes

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Mary Fallin on The Issues

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessement of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt 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 White House 2012 takes a look at  Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

Born: April 7, 1949 (1949-04-07) (age 61), Monongahela, Pennsylvania

Spouse(s): Cheri Lynn Herman Daniels

Children : Meagan, Melissa, Meredith and Margaret

Residence : Governor’s Residence, Indianapolis, Indiana

Alma mater: Princeton University, Georgetown University Law Center

Profession: Businessman (pharmaceuticals)

Political Career :

  • Worked on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of William D. Ruckelshaus.
  • Interned in the office of then-Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar.
  • Worked on Lugar’s re-election campaign, joined then Mayor Lugar’s staff and soon became his Chief of Staff.
  • When Lugar was elected to the U.S. Senate, Daniels joined him in Washington as an administrative assistant and eventually as one of his top aides.
  • Daniels went on to become executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee,
  • He was also the campaign manager of three successful Senate campaigns for Richard Lugar.
  • In 1985 Daniels became a part of the Reagan Administration when he became chief political advisor and liaison to President Ronald Reagan.
  • In January 2001, Daniels accepted President George W. Bush’s invitation to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where He served from January 2001 through June 2003 and in that role after proving to be a real cutter of budgets, he earned the nickname “the Blade”
  • Daniels also served as a member of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
  • In 2004 and 2008, Daniels was elected Governor of Indiana.

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

By all rights, Mitch Daniels should 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.

Pros:

  • A highly successful, popular two term Governor
  • The favorite son of a state Republicans need to win the 270 electoral votes required to take control of the White House
  • His expertise on the economy and budgets will help dwarf any claim of expertise that the Obama Administration will boast
  • Has great appeal in the all important Midwest region
  • Executive experience
  • Considered a budget hawk
  • Has proven to appeal to African-American voters, even winning a majority of them in his state during the same 2008 election that saw Indiana voters elect Barack Obama President

Cons:

  • Daniels’ marriage, divorce, and remarriage to his wife may be come an issue and the Daniels’ are discouraged to seek higher office because of the lack of privacy that would come with such an office
  • Evangelicals were turned off by remarks Daniels made suggesting that social issues needed to go on to the back burner until we resolved our economic problems
  • Daniels is not a firebrand that typically fires up the forces
  • His position as Budget Director for G.W. Bush will provide the opposition with powerful rhetoric linking the economic downturn to Bush, Daniels and ultimately Romney.

Assessment:

Mitch Daniels is one of my prefered candidates for the job. The only thing that would make him the perfect composite for all that the G.O.P. could want their vice presidential nominee to be would if Mitch Daniels was actually Mitchie Danielsita, a Latina Governor of Florida or Ohio.  But shallow demographics aside, not only is Mitch Daniels one of the most responsible choices a presidential nominee can make, he would be a strong and effective voice on economic matters, and has a way of being able to bridge the political divide without caving on conservative principles. He is a solid, stable figure who is methodical, efficient and innovative.  Despite small pockets of criticism to the contrary, his credentials are impeccable and he is an extremely intelligent and likeable fellow. Mitt Romney may be inclined to pick Daniels for many reasons including his gravitas on the economy, his expertise in matters of budgets and his handling of Indiana’s budget, his strong and consistent anti-abortion record and his political demeanor. But criticism about Daniels comment suggesting that social issues must take a backseat to economic matters, may cause Romney to seek a running mate that could help bolster his own standings among social conservatives who still view Romney with great skepticism. Another hitch in this nearly perfect picture is Mitch Daniels relationship to the Bush Administration.  Having held that position, the left will paint him as the architect of the existing federal budget deficit and economic problem we’re in.  However Daniels served only 29 months as Budget Director and in that time most of the cuts Daniels proposed were not passed by Congress.  Such was the case in 2001.  when he helped craft the Bush tax cuts. At that time , the $2.13 trillion budget that Daniels submitted to Congress included deep cuts in many agencies in order to accommodate for those tax cuts.  But against Daniels’ own judgement, very few of the spending cuts were actually approved by Congress.     But try to explain that to the nation when President Obama is pumping a billion dollars into an effort that tries to deny those facts and to make Mitch Daniels the fall guy.

It’s a close call but if Mitt is not afraid of how the left will try to distort Daniels’ record during his time at OMB, Romney’s proclivity for playing it safe may just make Mitch Daniels his near perfect running mate.  I for one will be ecstatic if Mitt picks Mitch.

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Recent Key Votes

SB 1 – Authorizes the Use of Force Against Law Enforcement Officers in Certain Situations

Legislation (Sign)

March 20, 2012

HB 1269

Legislation (Sign)

March 19, 2012

HB 1149 – Prohibits Smoking in Public Places

Legislation (Sign)

March 19, 2012

More Key Votes

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Mitch Daniels on the Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social 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

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Veepstakes. Today’s Potential Nominee — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt 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 White House 2012 takes a look at House majority leader, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Born: September 6, 1962 (age 47), Newark, New Jersey

Spouse(s): Mary Pat Christie

Children : Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridget.

Residence : Mendham Township, New Jersey

Alma mater: University of Delaware, Seton Hall Law School

Religion: Roman Catholic

Profession: Attorney

(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 his time and also because he wants to see through with his committment to the people of New Jersey who elected him three 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 seemingly stands up to the establishment, then the pressure to run will be put on Christie. In the end I still don’t see him being nominated for Vice President by Romney nor do I see Christie accepting the nomination if Romney did pick him. 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.

Christie’s popularity among conservatives nationally is high.  His say it like it is, shoot from the hit approach to the tough issues is something that many people find refreshing in politics and those who see it that way like Chris Christie a lot.  But those who do not see it that way find Christie to be a blowhard and a bully.  Those on the right think the New Jersey Governor is a no-nonsense leader who is more concerned with getting government spending under control, lowering taxes, and as someone who would rather say “no” because because it’s proper public policy than say “yes” because its politically expedient.

On the other hand, those on the left see Christie as an insensitive, and abrasive thug who likes to call people names and is unconcerned with with the needs of working class Americans.

I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusion because if you’re on the left you will believe the latter and if you’re on the right you will believe the former and nothing I say will change your opinion.  But that might be just one of the reasons why Christie will not be on the presidential ticket.  He is a polarizing figure who you either love or hate and as such, it is hard to say which way independent voters will fall on Christie as a voting bloc, and that independent voting bloc is critical to winning the election in November.  If Christie proves to poll well with independent voters, and that somehow his number two spot on the ticket has the ability to win enough of them over to influence their voting Republican in key battleground states like Ohio and Florida, then Christie could be  a must for Romney.  But that is not very likely in 2012.

Pros:

  • His hard hitting, say it like it is, approach is viewed as politically courageous and refreshing.
  • He is far from what anyone can call a career politician
  • He has positive national name ID
  • Christie might be able to appeal to independent voters who like his blunt style
  • He would energize much of the conservative base and even some of the T.E.A. activists
  • He could make Joe Biden look like a comedic sidekick
  • Christie’s presence on the ticket could force the Obama-Biden campaign to invest more time and money in New Jersey, a state they anticipate winning easily

Cons:

  • He has only been in office for almost three years
  • Even if he is on the ticket, Christie may not even be able to carry New Jersey for Romney
  • Christie has not been fully vetted yet and under intense scrutiny his clean record may be tarnished by some minor political indiscretions
  • Conservatives leery of Romney will not appreciate what some may consider to be two Northeast Moderates on the ticket
  • Independents might tend to see Christie as too abrasive

My Assessment:

Christie is certainly a viable option. However his two most appealing qualities, his bluntness and his newness on the political stage, may just be the very same things that cause Mitt Romney to look elsewhere. That in addition to both men being known as Governors from the liberal Northeast, could make several other candidates from outside of the Northeast much more attractive to the Romney campaign. But Christie’s ability to inspire and energize the base might just be what Mitt Romney needs to help avoid any McCain-like voter apathy. In the end, I think Romney will pass on Christie and go for a running mate who is safer, lacks Christie’s confrontational political personality and who has a much stronger and more proven ability to win over independent voters.

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Recent Key Votes

S 1 – Authorizes Same-Sex Marriage

Legislation (Conditional Veto)

Feb. 21, 2012

S 317 – Relating to Contractors

Legislation (Pocket Veto)

Jan. 17, 2012

More Key Votes

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Chris Christie On The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social 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

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The Herd: A Look at the Possible Republican Vice Presidential Nominnees: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt 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 White House 2012 takes a look at House majority leader, Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor.

Born: June 6, 1963 (age 47), Richmond, Virginia

Spouse(s): Diane Fine Cantor

Children : Evan, Jenna, Michael

Residence : Richmond, Virginia

Alma mater: George Washington University, William and Mary’s, Marshall Wythe School of Law, Columbia University

Profession: Lawyer

Religion: Jewish

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

Eric Cantor is a lifelong resident of the Richmond, Virginia  area, where he got his start in politics as a driver for Congressman Tom Bliley’s re-election campaign.  But in time, he went from driving the Congressman Biley, to becoming Biley successor and being in the driver seat of Congress.

After getting elected to succeed the retiring Biley, Cantor gained a reputation as an innovator in health care who fought  for greater choice for families. He eventually went on to author the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which made it easier for families to save for their health care needs through Health Savings Accounts. The legislation became law in late 2006.

Cantor is also known for his focus on promoting a strong national defense and for providing more resources for our nation’s military and intelligence communities and as a former Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, few have done more in this area than him.

In general, Cantor has most famously become a strong voice for fiscal conservatism in Congress and is seen as a rare leading congressional figure who understands how to compromise but also understands that certain principles are more important to fight for than to cave in on.

Eric Cantor could be a perfect running mate, but not for Mittr 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, could make  it all the harder for President Obama to maintain a percentage of the Jewish vote that is large enough to swing states liker FLorida his way.

Another important factor is the state that Cantor represents.

The race between Obama and Romney is said to very close in Virginia and Republicans can hardly afford to lose it.  If it is determined that Virginia is even more important to reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win and the hope is that by having a favorite son  from the state on the ticket to achieve that goal, Cantor could become a consideration.;  That is especially the case if Virginia’s popular incumbent governor, Bob McDonnell refuses any vice presidential nomination.  But it is doubtful that Cantor’s presence on the ticket could generate half as much enthusiasm for the Romney ticket as McDonnell’s presence on the ticket would.

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 of the religious barriers that exist in America. So while Cantor may have been a good choice for someone like Santorum or Gingrich, for Mitt Romney, as unfair and distasteful as it may be, selecting Cantor might make it harder for some voters 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.

Pros:

  • Cantor’s presence on the ticket could play an important role in helping to attract the traditionally Democratic Jewish vote away from the Obama -Biden ticket, which is something that President Obama can hardly afford
  • Cantor’s overall record on matters concerning the budget would help bolster Romney’s image as a fiscal conservative.
  • If Virginia is in play for Democrats, Cantor’s representation of the state could help win the state back for Republicans

Cons:

  • Having a Mormon put a Jew on the same presidential ticket could alienate evangelical Christians who hold extreme religious biases and already view Romney with great skepticism.
  • Cantor’s leadership role in Congress could be used to paint him as part of the problem as the majority leader of a branch of government that has a lower approval rating than lawyers and used car salesmen…..excuse me, I mean “pre-owned” car salesmen.
  • Cantor lacks executive political leadership
  • Cantor is involved in an internecine Republican Party battle that pits good government PAC’s against the Party establishment and he is even involved in a few incumbent versus incumbent battles. These political battles may make Cantor persona non grata by Romney. On the other hand, getting Cantor nominated Vice President it may be a convenient way for establishment Republicans to remove Cantor from the House.

Overall Assessment:

While capable and competent, Eric Cantor does not bring to the ticket the type of gravitas or enthusiasm that many others can. And as a leader of one of the most hated institutions in the nation, the rhetoric and imagery that can be used by the opposing campaign could take the Republican ticket off message with far too many distractions.

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The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Florida Governor Jeb Bush

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessement of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt 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 White House 2012 takes a look at the former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush 

Born: February 11, 1953 (age 57), Midland, Texas

Spouse(s): Columba Bush

Children : George Prescott, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush, Jr

Residence : Coral Gables, Florida

Alma mater: University of Texas

Profession: Banker, Realtor

Religion: Roman Catholic

(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, articulate, 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.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election.  The last time it did make a difference was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate.  That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led  attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won be stopped.  In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally.  But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P.  candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent.  Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why Jeb Bush must be considered as very real potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

If Marco Rubio, the perceived favorite of most Republicans, holds true to his word and refuses to accept any nomination for Vice President in 2012, Jeb Bush will be the only figure from Florida whose “favorite son” status is so powerful that he could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney.  Therefore, when it comes to Jeb being on the ticket, never say never.

That stated,  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 than he is to become the next Vice President.

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.

Pros:

  • Bush can go a long way in helping to carry Florida, a major swing state that the G.O.P. can not afford to lose
  • Jeb Bush’s presence on the ticket would help energize a large segment of conservatives who are unenthusiastic with Romney
  • Bush has been vetted far more than most other candidates
  • Has executive political experience
  • Is articulate, passionate, and a seasoned campaigner and vote getter
  • Is a proven vote getter among Hispanics
  • Will be a prolific fund raiser for the presidential ticket
  • His record on economic issues as Governor of Florida will allow a Romney-Bush ticket to espouse the the type of masterful economic stewardship for the nation that Bush practiced in the Sunshine State.

Cons:

  • His last name

Overall Assessment:

Despite his last name, Jeb Bush is probably one of the finest choices there is but since politics is more perception than  reality, Jeb’s last name will probably preclude him from being selected even though his record and personal political history would make him the strongest choice that Romney could make for Vice President.  Unfortunately, the Bush name is something that Republicans are too afraid of having to contend with so Jeb is most likely not the one to expect to see running in November. However, in 2012, the selection of a Vice President and where that vice presidential choice comes from, could effect the election far more than it has in the past and if it is determined that winning Florida is the key to winning the election and that the only way to win it is by having a favorite son of the state on the ticket, then Jeb is a very real option.  Especially if Marco Rubio refuses to accept the nomination.

Ultimately I do not believe that any Republican is brave enough to pick Jeb Bush because of their fear that the Bush name will hurt them.  And that is shame.  But while I am pretty sure Jeb Bush won’t be on the Republican ticket in November, I am quite certain he will be in the cabinet of the next Administration.  Most likely as Secretary of Education.

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Jeb Bush on The Issues

International Issues Domestic Issues Economic Issues Social 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

The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessement of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt 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 White House 2012 takes a look at Tennessee Representative, Marsha Blackburn. 

Tennessee Congressman Marsha Blackburn

Born Marsha Wedgeworth (1952-06-06) June 6, 1952 (age 59) Laurel, Mississippi
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charles “Chuck” Blackburn
Children Mary, Morgan, Ketchel, Chad Blackburn
Residence Brentwood, Tennessee
Alma mater Mississippi State University
Occupation Retail Marketing
Religion Presbyterian

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.

Pros:

  • Is a fiscal conservative witha background in business that can be attractive on the hot button issue, the economy
  • She can help Romney with evangelicals
  • A stong speaker
  • Blackburn can help to bridge Romney’s standing among women voters
  • Blackburn helps Romney among conservatives who are not entirely convinced that he is genuinely committed to his opposition of abortion

Cons:

  • She is not well known
  • She does not have any immediate widespread appeal
  • Blackburn hails from a state that Republicans are not likely to lose
  • Lacks executive political experience
  • Open to incredible criticism and attacks from conservatives and liberals on the issue of censprship for initially C0-Sponsoring SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act)

Overall Assessment:

Blackburn is a solid leader, but like all others, she has not been perfect and although she is competent, qualified, and someone who could probably do great justice to the job of Vice President, there is little to suggest that, if the need arises, she would make a better President than any number of other potential nominees.  That, combined with her limited popularity and electoral influence and does not make Blackburn a very likely choice.

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