Now that we have a clear winner on the GOP side, who’s Romney going to pick as his veep?
I figure there are a few basic criteria:
- It’s got to be someone who has cred with the wingnut base;
- It can’t be someone who’s a general embarrassment, along the lines of Sarah Palin;
- it can’t be someone who’ll hurt him with independents and/or the pundits; and
- the nominee has to feel he’s got more to gain than lose by being on the ticket.
The betting at Intrade gives Marco Rubio about a 25% chance, and then there’s a tier of prospects with chances rated at between 8% and 11%: Chris Christie, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Susana Martinez, and Bob McDonnell. They’re the only ones given more than a 4% chance.
People given between a 2% and 4% chance include Mitch Daniels, John Thune, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Jim DeMint, and (?!) Condi Rice.
If the veep comes from that list, I’d say it’s down to Rubio and Ryan. Portman, Daniels, and Thune are too Establishment; once you look past his hippie-bashing, Christie’s got a lot on his record that will make the wingnuts apoplectic; Gov. Ultrasound has already done his damage; Jindal and Haley aren’t up to prime time; Jim DeMint would rather be a kingmaker than a #2; and it just won’t be Condi.
I suppose it could be Susana Martinez, but she’s been governor of one of our smallest states for about 15 months, and before that she was a county D.A. I just doubt Romney will pick a running mate that unseasoned. While Rubio has been Senator for the same length of time that Martinez has been governor, he was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives for four years before that. He’s got major wingnut cred, and while he wouldn’t be that much of an asset with non-Cuban Hispanics, he probably wouldn’t do any damage to the ticket either. Though the ‘son of exiles’ bullshit might hurt his credibility somewhat.
Paul Ryan, of course, has been representing the First District of Wisconsin for seven terms in the U.S. Congress, and has buffaloed a lot of people into thinking he’s a serious policy wonk. He’s got solid wingnut cred, the pundits love him, but he’d enable Obama to wrap the Ryan budget around Romney’s neck even more than he can now.