Rick Perry declines Romney’s vice president slot, so who’s left?
August 4, 2012 by Beatweek
Texas governor Rick Perry, who had his eyes on the White House before suspending his Presidential campaign earlier this year amid flagging performances in the Republican primaries, says he has no desire to get there by riding sidecar in Mitt Romney’s campaign. In other words he’s declining the Vice Presidential nomination before it’s even been offered to him (or not offered, as may have been the case). “As long as it’s not me, I’ll be cool” said Perry this week according to The Hill, in a speech where he also told various lies about President Obama while praising the Tea Party. Now that Perry has checked himself out of the running for the VP slot, the remaining field of candidates is as puzzling as ever. Here’s breakdown:
Rick Santorum – he talks incessantly about his own Christian religion, which may help him with evangelicals who are leery thanks to Romney’s Mormonism. But his admission that he would put his own religious beliefs ahead of the Constitution could make him a lightning rod among moderates who might be more inclined to vote for Obama than stay home if the alternative is allowing a religious ideologue to become vice president. Also, Santorum was famously quoted as saying that Romney was the “worst republican” to face Obama, and while the true intention of his words has been debated, they would surely be thrown back in Romney’s face if he now picks Santorum. So who else is on the table?…
Social issues: B-
Condoleezza Rice – she’s viewed as smart and capable, but many will forever tie her to the failed administration of George W Bush. In fact the “Bin Laden to attack United States” report was on her desk as National Security Advisor when the 9/11 attacks happened. Many also believe she flat-out lied under oath during 9/11 congressional hearings in order to protect the reputation of Bush and Cheney. Tactically speaking, Romney may believe he can gain an advantage with black and female voters by picking her. But thus far no prominent members of the Bush administration have been tapped by any current republican for anything of note. Also, she’s said she doesn’t want the job.
Marco Rubio – Romney has struggled with the Hispanic vote thus far, and has declined to state a position on Obama’s immigration reform for fear of alienating Hispanic voters. Picking the Puerto Rican Florida Senator Rubio as vice president could seek to ease that hesitancy. However, Rubio’s reputation in Florida is a mixed bag thanks to what was perceived as dirty campaign tricks, and the freefall of failed fellow Florida republican and governor Rick Scott can’t have helped Rubio’s reputation in the state. There’s also the tricky issue of Rubio being a former Mormon; Romney may be hesitant to present evangelical christian republican voters with a ticket which features two guys with a Mormon background. Also, he’s said he doesn’t want the job either….
Michelle Bachmann – the Tea Party views her as an even more ideal version of Sarah Palin, while the rest of America almost uniformly thinks she’s mentally handicapped and/or mentally ill. Nevermind.
Someone you’ve never heard of – as Rick Perry pointed out this week, the vice presidential choice is rarely the defining issue in a Presidential election unless the pick is a disastrous one (see Palin). So Romney may end up picking someone with a low profile who has no baggage and can get through the VP debate without accidentally setting his or her podium on fire. As far as we know, there’s no truth to the rumor that Romney will pick Exxon-Mobil as his vice presidential running mate, despite his assertion that “corporations are people.” Of course his vice president may need to finish out his term for him, if he does down in the brewing tax scandal.