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Mitt Romney running mate: Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin – or Paul Ryan? (+video)

Sen. John McCain joked that Sarah Palin might make a good vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney. Palin said Romney should 'go rogue.' But Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan might be the best choice, says DCDecoder.

By DCDecoder / April 4, 2012

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, (R) of Wisc. introduces Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Milwaukee, Wisc.Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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Sen. John McCain joked on CBS "This Morning" Wednesday that Sarah Palin might make a good vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney. On Tuesday, Sarah Palin suggested that Romney ought to "go rogue" and pick Florida Rep. Allen West for his veep.

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Sen. John McCain talks about Sarah Palin and other vice presidential running mates on CBS Wednesday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is still the heavy favorite to be the Republican vice presidential nominee - at least, according to the online betting site Intrade. Rubio’s odds are currently hovering at around 27 percent, far ahead of all other names being bandied about, such as New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (10 percent), Ohio Sen. Rob Portman (9 percent) and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (6 percent).

But while Rubio may still be the conventional wisdom candidate of choice, we think Ryan, the House Budget Chairman, may actually have surpassed him as the real favorite among GOP insiders right now.

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More than any other, Ryan seems to embody the right combination of seriousness, impeccable conservative credentials, and a useful regional affiliation. He is safer than Rubio or Martinez but not as boring as Portman or Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell; he would complement Romney (and this is, of course, assuming Romney is the eventual nominee) without overshadowing him. Perhaps most important, Ryan would bring an authenticity and a kind of political courage to the ticket - embodied in his willingness to make tough choices when it comes to entitlement reform - that Romney has seemed to lack. 

One piece of evidence that Ryan’s vice presidential stock is indeed rising: President Obama is attacking him. In remarks at an Associated Press luncheon Tuesday, excerpts of which were released in advance by the White House, Obama ripped into Ryan’s budget plan as “thinly-veiled Social Darwinism.” Obama surrogates have begun referring to the “Romney-Ryan budget,” while the DNC released an online attack ad putting the two men in a Valentine’s heart to a spoof of the tune “That’s Amore.” (For what it’s worth, the ad uses Ryan’s comments from his appearance at a recent Monitor breakfast, in which he praised Romney’s entitlement speech as “very good.” )

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