Substitute for Another Guy

I may or may not have a penchant for using awesome song lyrics as post titles, but I feel like the Who pretty accurately describe the selection process for VP. Since I managed to get out my last post just in time for Santorum to suspend his campaign, I figured that now is as good a time as any to talk about Romney’s next great challenge: his Vice President.

The running mate is key in every election, because as we learned in 2008 they are “one heartbeat away from the Presidency.” His announcement today that he’s asked his Senior Advisor Beth Myers to lead up a VP search committee means that he’s on the prowl. Here’s what Mittens is probably looking for in a VP, who fills those needs, and who I think will be handed the best prize no one wants.

What Mitt Wants/Needs

Romney needs his running mate to be many things: from a swing state, solidly conservative, popular, exciting, and charismatic.

Swing State: This is in the hope that it will bring that state into his column on the Electoral College.

Solidly Conservative: He’s gotta shake off the “Massachusetts Moderate” label and his VP pick is a good way to solidify his conservative street cred. Also, he is the establishment figure, so he’ll likely pick someone who’s very popular with the most populists side of the GOP.

Popular: Mittens needs all the help he can get with this one. He needs to get someone a lot of people like in a position of trust (like VP) so that he can get their support.

Exciting: The biggest fear of the Romney campaign is that Republicans won’t turn out to vote in November and he’ll lose because he couldn’t rally enough passion from the electorate. He needs a VP that can rally the base, draw big crowds to events, and make him seem more human.

Charismatic: Mitt is a little stiff. He’s like those professors that make everyone fall asleep, no matter how hard you try, but is so interesting outside of lecture. He needs someone charismatic to balance out his ho-hum-ness.

Potential Candidates

Mitch Daniels: Governor of Indiana (swing-state) Darling of the Right. A lot of the GOP establishment wanted him to run for President, but his wife didn’t want him too (she didn’t want their family dragged through the mud). Would should be okay with a VP run? He often says what needed to be said, and typically those are uncomfortable truths neither side wants to confront.

Bob McDonnell: Governor of Virginia. This would probably be to get more Southern votes, and Virginia is a key swing state.

Marco Rubio: Senator for Florida. Young, Hispanic, and very popular with the populists in the party. He also has a gorgeous wife and adorable children.

Jeb Bush: yes, he’s a Bush. But he was the one most people thought would end up as President. Former Governor of Florida and polls pretty well nationally.

Who he will pick

I’m putting my money on Rubio. Mitt needs someone young and exciting, who just so happens to be Hispanic and from a swing state. He’s also very popular with the voters that Mitt needs to turn out to win.

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