It’s always interesting, no make that fascinating, to read what the other side thinks about Romney and his
purchase pursuit of the White House. The conservative Talking Heads and their V.P. hypotheticals are almost as entertaining as Romney’s campaign himself.
In a recent such musing on Fox “News” in May, Chris Stirewalt posited an interesting theory on the V.P. choice, namely that the choice would depend on Romney’s standing in the polls. His piece was enlightening not only for his view of the people he lists, but for reinforcing the fact that Conservatives still have no clue how their politicians play to mainstream America.
Here’s the possible scenarios as Stirewalt sees them:
- Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
- Gov. Mitch Daniels, R-Ind.
- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.
- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
- Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va.
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
- Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
- Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.
- Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark.
- Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.
- Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.
- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M.
And here’s how he explains it:
“If Romney is leading, he will play it super safe and choose someone well-vetted and non-controversial who doesn’t make news, just as George W. Bush did in 2000.
If Romney is still in a dead heat, he will focus more on the electoral map and reinforcing his own positives. That’s what Bill Clinton did in 1992.
If Romney is running behind by the end of this summer, he will do what McCain did and take a chance on a less conventional pick in an effort to shake up the race – the Hail Sarah pass.”
So let’s parse these theories, and take a look at the individuals on his list:
Rob Portman –
- White House budget chief under George W. Bush
- February 2008, tells Financial blog that United States’ fiscal health is “relatively strong.”
- “Has been a dedicated outsourcer throughout his career in Congress.’
- Called the plan to rescue General Motors a “lousy deal.” Today, claims he always supported the auto rescue.
- Called The Blunt Amendment a “legitimate issue” about “religious freedom.”
Mitch Daniels –
- Served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush
- Criticized public-sector unions, saying they should be eliminated entirely.
- Signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 (SEA 1) into law… strengthens the right of law-abiding citizens to defend their homes from intrusion, even in the event that the intruder is a law enforcement officer entering the home illegally. Claimed “Contrary to some impressions, the bill strengthens the protection of Indiana law enforcement officers by narrowing the situations in which someone would be justified in using force against them.“
- Ended collective bargaining rights for state workers on first day in office. In 2011, restricted teachers’ bargaining rights.
- Made Indiana the first state to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood.
- Policies enacted by the Bush administration while Daniels was OMB director added “trillions” to the deficit.
Tim Pawlenty -
- After working… for two years to combat climate change, abruptly reversed himself on the issue in 2008, just as his name was being floated as a possible presidential running mate for Sen. John McCain
- Cut a radio ad with Janet Napolitano calling for a federal cap on greenhouse gas emissions, now calls his work on climate change “stupid” and says the science is uncertain at best.
- In a Wall Street Journal op-ed in December, declared that “local, state and federal governments added 590,000″ jobs in the previous two years, … Government employment had actually fallen by 118,000 jobs.
- Pardoned a sex offender in October 2008, who was later arrested again for molesting his daughter more than 250 times in an eight-year span, including six years prior to his pardon.
- Co-authored the Defense of Marriage Act while a state legislator in Minnesota
Marco Rubio -
- Three months after Sen. Marco Rubio revealed he was working on an alternative to the Dream Act, triggering positive news coverage, he has yet to produce a written proposal. ”It’s one of the most hyped bills on Capitol Hill, and it doesn’t even exist.”
- Fined $8k for taking $210,000 in illegal contributions:
- Secured $20 Million for a hospital, then earned 8k-per-month as their consultant
- Argued to extend the Bush tax cuts claiming tax cuts pay for themselves … later admitted that tax cuts do not pay for themselves
- Voted against the American Jobs Act, which would have created 25,900 jobs for Florida
- Voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
- Fights to restrict women’s access to birth control
- Spent $2.5 million in tax dollars remodeling his office & hefty salaries for political allies.
Gov. Bob McDonnell -
- Signed a controversial mandatory ultrasound bill into law
- “Economically he’s been a mainline Tea Party right wing Republican.”
- Author of a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage
- Strongly urged Congress to stop EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
Sen. Pat Toomey
- Unveiled Republicans’ plan for cutting aid to the poor by $440 billion, saying the people “who really need help” in America make up a “small segment of our society.”
- Questions scientific evidence that manmade pollution from burning billions of tons of oil and coal is warming the planet.
- Would support legislation in Pennsylvania that would ban abortion
- Has fought for less regulation in the financial industry since the late 1990s
Sen. Kelly Ayotte -
- Against abortion rights
- Wants to slash taxes
- Endorsed by Sarah Palin (kiss of death)
- Original cosponsor of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act
Sen. John Thune -
- Has warned against jumping to the conclusion that the $2 billion loss JPMorgan Chase incurred on a risky bet means regulations need to be tighter.
- On December 9, 2010, Thune voted against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would have “provide[d] free medical treatment and compensation to first responders of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack.” Defending his vote to radio host Don Imus, Thune “explained that preserving the Bush tax cuts was more of a priority.”
- In 2005, supported a bill to save $40 billion in the federal budget by cutting back student lending, child support, and welfare programs.
Mike Huckabee -
- Echoes the myth that Mitt Romney created jobs while at Bain Capital and made it possible for more Americans to earn a living.
- “The idea that we can separate faith from freedom is a ridiculously naïve idea.”
- During a February 2011 radio interview, he repeatedly claimed that Obama had grown up “in Kenya.”
- Signed bill allowing judges to require divorcing parents to participate in divorce mediation (1999)
- “…that’s what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards.”
Susana Martinez -
- Pro-life and opposed to elective abortion
- Opposed to same-sex marriage and civil unions
- Endorsed by Sarah Palin (and just as inexperienced)
Condoleezza Rice, Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan -
I grouped these three together because it astounds me that they’re considered serious possibilities by most Conservatives.
Condoleeza Rice carries all of the Bush-Cheney-Iraq baggage with her, and Republicans don’t understand: that’s not a good thing.
Chris Christie, aside from being a heart attack waiting to happen, is the Ralph Cramden of politics; sloppy, loud, obnoxious, and pretty much disdainful of the public. He’s called constituents idiots, he told reporters that “someone should “take a bat” to a 76-year-old widow…who had the temerity to say she thought he had acted hypocritically”, and as the Huffington Post pointed out,
“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the embodiment of today’s Republican Party and everything it has come to represent. You name it, Christie’s got it: Disingenuous, smug, nasty? Check. Robotic servant of the corporate class, foisting its lobbyists’ prefabricated laws on an unsuspecting public? Check. Hostile toward women? Double-check.”
Yeah, voters will be flocking to the Republican ticket if that guy’s on it.
As for delusions of electability, Paul Ryan is currently one of the most polarizing members of Congress; eliminating open town hall meetings last year because of voter outrage over his sham of a budget. Now he’s also known as one of the major players in the plan to block every proposal made by the President.
Not one of these V.P. contenders is going to stand up to the future scrutiny.