Monday, July 16, 2012

Thoughts on Possible VP Picks

Typically VPs are sought for electoral reasons.  Sometimes the VP is picked becasue he might put a state into play or keep a borderline state out of play.  Sometimes the VP is picked to compensate for deficiencies of the president.  Cheney brought experience to the the ticket.  Biden is a white male.  There are a lot of areas where Romney needs "balance".  Romney is a mormon which presents an unfortunate ick factor for most Americans regardless of party or religiosity.  Romney is also a bit aloof and out of touch with the every man (I suppose this is an organic result of being worth a quarter billion).  These two factors have many suggesting Tim Pawlenty as a running mate.  Pawlenty is certainly the "right" religion to reassure the base and he is a natural born retail politician.  That said, there are a couple of areas where Pawlenty concerns me as a potential veep.  I am no expert on Minnesota affairs but it is not clear that Pawlenty excelled in any particular area as a govenor and one can argue that he was not a very good govenor.  But, more troubling is something that is beyond his control and is ultimately unfair.  Pawlenty is a white male.  The Republican party is just now beginning to cultivate political talent from a broader demographic spectrum (I might add, this I think was the only clear positive of Palin's presence on the ticket in 08, an overwhelming positive given the fact that McCain didn't have a chance in hell).  Pawlenty is not going to put Minnesota in play.  Portman probably won't move the needle on Ohio.  Romney is going to win or lose because the economy is perceived to be getting worse or better.  With that in mind, Romney can afford to take a long view and to continue the process of cultivating political talent outside of white males within the Republican party and to truly make it a big tent party*.

*Obviously things like not gay bashing and talking about rounding up immigrants and deporting them would help too, but...baby steps.

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