Romney will pick Huckabee as VP
If Mitt Romney does win the GOP nomination, who will he pick as Vice President? He will float a number of names for political reasons. His list will surely include Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rob Portman, Sara Palin, Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie. All with good reasons.
Consider this, the home states of several of these men, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey are swing states.
Ryan, Rubio, Santorum, Gingrich and Christie are Catholics. He will need that Catholic vote. And his list will be loaded with Catholics since he isn’t going to pick one of them. Well wait, if the race for the nomination should encounter a hiccup at this late date, he will have to take Rick Santorum anyway, to guarantee that he has enough delegates. A situation he wants to avoid. But don’t count on it.
He will have Sarah Palin on his short list because he needs a woman and he needs to shore up his relationship with born again Christians. But he doesn’t need too many born again Christians on his short list because he is going to choose one of them anyway.
The choice of Rand Paul is a no brainer for the list. His father and presidential contender, congressman Ron Paul, has great appeal to three critical constituencies, youth, Hispanics and Independents. Paul typically won the youth vote in the GOP primaries and caucuses and his appeal to Hispanics was a surprise to the Party. For example, in Clark County, (Las Vegas) Nevada he won 52% of the Hispanic vote while three other candidates split the rest. A recent CBS survey found him even beating Obama with Independents. Let’s see, youth, Hispanics, Independents? That’s not only the future of the Republican Party, that’s the only way to beat Obama this time. Rand would actually make a good choice.
He will probably throw in Newt Gingrich’s name too. Just to heal some old wounds. After all, Gingrich, not Santorum, was the real threat all along. And Gingrich was the target of most of his millions of dollars of negative attack ads.
But these are only names that will be on his announced short list. He will not actually pick any of the above.
Marco Rubio, governor of Florida? He may be a Catholic but he was baptized as a Mormon. His grew up in a family of Latter Day Saints. It would be too weird having a Mormon on the top of the ticket and a former Mormon as the second. It would be like a Catholic picking a Catholic or an Hispanic picking a Hispanic. Besides it would remind evangelicals of their worst fear, that the whole government will be forever loaded with Mormons too. That Mormons will be running the IRS and auditing their churches.
Romney, if he has any chance of winning at all, will pick former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, as his running mate. Because Huckabee is a born again Christian who is vetted. Two very big factors. Now if Huckabee were only a woman and an African American there wouldn’t be any doubt about it. But the Romney campaign has been pretty stunning in its missteps. So there is no guarantee that it will pick Huckabee. People do stupid things. Especially Romney. And then, gas prices may climb to $8 a gallon and then he can pick whomever he wants.
Consider, 48% of the nation claims to be born again Christians. If even a fraction of them sit at home, the South, bulging with African American voters for Obama, will tilt to the Democrats. Huckabee can help Romney carry the South. And all of the other VP candidates will have surprises in the closet that will come out. Huckabee too had some of those surprises but they are old news. And they are manageable.
The first rule of choosing a VP is do yourself no harm.