Mitt Romney VP pick: Convention speaker list offers fresh tea leaves
Pressure is mounting on Mitt Romney to 'go bold' with his VP pick, even if the assumption is that he'll play it safe. A three-day bus tour at week's end is being eyed as a good time to make an announcement.
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He's been under some pressure from fellow conservatives to go the latter route – most notably with a plea over the weekend from Weekly Standard editors Stephen Hayes and William Kristol that urges Romney to "go bold!" (Of course, bear in mind that Mr. Kristol has was also one of the earliest, most ardent promoters of another "bold" VP pick that in retrospect seems to have been a mistake: He pushed Sarah Palin for vice president before many Republicans had heard of her.)Skip to next paragraph
Amanda Paulson is a staff writer based in Boulder, Colo.
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In their article, they tell him to, "Go bold, Mitt! Pick Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s intellectual leader, the man who’s laid out the core of the post-Obama policy agenda and gotten his colleagues in Congress to sign on to it. Or pick Marco Rubio, the GOP’s most gifted young politician, the man who embodies what is best about the Tea Party and a vision of a broad-based Republican governing majority of the future."
They go on to lay out a case for Senator Rubio (energizing Hispanic voters nationwide, but particularly in Florida, where they are a key demographic in a must-win state) and Congressman Ryan (energizing conservatives and Midwestern voters).
Even one of the people mentioned on most veep short lists, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, made a case for Ryan as vice president over the weekend, speaking at the Red State Gathering in Jacksonville, Fla.
“I think picking somebody like a Paul Ryan would send a very powerful message that this administration was serious about Medicare reform, entitlement reform, shrinking the size of government, and doing so in a courageous way,” Governor Jindal said.
Still, conventional wisdom is that Romney is likely to play it safe and will go with someone, like Portman or Pawlenty, with whom he gets along well and who is unlikely to overshadow him.
Especially after John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin in the last election – which added initial excitement but then came back to haunt him – Romney seems likely to go with a candidate who seems ready for the presidency and is more of a "do no harm" pick than a bold one.
At this point, the Romney campaign is only fueling speculation about the pick – including unrolling a new app, called "Mitt's VP," through which supporters can supposedly learn about the pick before anyone else.
Whether or not Romney's campaign manages to control the news so tightly that it actually breaks via smartphone app, of course, remains to be seen.