Friday, July 13, 2012



A long and good friend sent me a brief e-mail today contending that Condoleeza Rice will not be asked to be on the ticket by Mitt Romney and, if for some reason she is asked, she will turn it down. I concur, and I think my readers would like to see some of my thoughts, so below is my reply to my buddy, edited to remove some things and add some others:

I agree on Condi Rice; Romney appears to be too cautious a man to put someone with so much Bush baggage on the ticket. The Journal listed some other reasons today that she will likely not be on the ticket: abortion, never having run for office, having angered Cheney, and ticking off some "conservatives" for being insufficiently tough on Iran and N. Korea. I suppose I agree, to varying degrees, with those assessments, but I think the big thing for the cautious Mr. Romney will be the Bush legacy. And I see very little upside in nominating Condi. Further, selecting Professor Rice might, and only might, force Obama's hand on putting Hillary on the ticket, which would be a huge boost for the Obama candidacy.

While I can't get inside Romney's (or anyone's, other than my own, and that is quite scary) head on this, if I were a betting man I'd put my dough on Portman and, if I could get the odds, Ryan. Portman, of course, has some Bush baggage himself, but since he was director of OMB, an office most Americans don’t know exists, he is much less clearly identified as a Bushite than Condi, who, as a supposed architect of the Bush foreign policy, is directly associated with the most salient of the Bush Administration’s myriad failures. Further, Mr. Portman might help Mr. Romney pick up a very key state. But who knows what Mr. Romney will do? We tend to get surprises when it comes to selecting the VP candidates.

I still think Romney SHOULD pick Tom Coburn (See my 3/20/12 piece, TIME FOR THAT QUADRENNIAL PARLOR GAME “WHO GETS THE WARM BUCKET OF (SPIT)?”), but never thought he would. For a number of reasons, I would LIKE Romney to pick Chris Christie. If Coburn or Christie were on the ticket, I might in the case of Coburn and would in the case of Christie alter my usual strategy of voting Libertarian (Gary Johnson this year, the Party's best and most legitimate candidate since Ron Paul in '88) and vote for a Romney/Coburn or a Romney/Christie ticket. But neither is going to happen.

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