Matt Drudge stimulated lots of speculation this week by posting on his site that Condoleezza Rice was one of the front runners to be selected by presumptive nominee Mitt Romney as his running mate. While it is possible that Condoleezza becomes the Vice Presidential Nominee, she has stated several times that she is not interested in the position. Nevertheless, speculation continues to build. Here at Politifik we find it unlikely that she will be selected, primarily because of her self described slightly “Pro Choice” stance on abortion, a real enthusiasm killer for a large portion of the Republican base.
So we decided here to put together a list of who we think are the top five VP candidates on the table and rank them according to whom is most likely to be selected.
1. Tim Pawlenty – Former Governor of Minnesota. Pros: Solid credentials with experience as a State’s chief executive. He fills the number one requirement for a VP, which is do no harm. He is acceptable to the Republican base. Cons: No one is going to get excited over Tim Pawlenty.
2. Rob Portman – Current Junior Senator from the State of Ohio. Pros: Was Bush’s former Budget Director showing he has the chops to take over should there be a need. His home State of Ohio is one of the two State that will swing this election. Cons: Ties to the Bush administration set him up as a target from the Obama camp as going back to policies perceived as failures. Among conservatives ties to the Bush budgets also hurt him as conservatives generally view Bush as a big spender.
3. Marco Rubio – Current Junior Senator from Florida. Pros: Seen as a rising star among conservatives. He would be the first Latino from either party to be on a Presidential ticket, hopefully drawing more the the key Latino demographic into the Republican party. He comes from the other of the two States that will swing this election, Florida. Cons: He is relatively young and untested, could he stand up to the pressure? Outside of Latino’s, would he bring in the coveted independent vote?
4. Paul Ryan – Current Congressman from Wisconsin. Pros: He has developed the “Ryan Budget” which is a serious attempt to address our out of control National Debt. He will excite the Republican base. Cons: His budget would be targeted by the Obama team as extreme. A debate over his budget could overshadow the real race, which is between Obama and Romney.
5. Condoleezza Rice – Former Secretary of State (Yes, she still has a shot!). Pros: She is widely respected and is considered extremely well credentialed. She is an African American woman who could not only help close the gender gap, but also break down the Republican stereotype of stodgy old white males. She is considered a moderate politically and would help draw in the independent vote. Cons: She again comes from the Bush administration setting herself up for attacks from the Obama team. Her moderate stance on social issues, including being slightly pro choice on abortion, would hurt her among the Republican base a group Romney needs to unite. She has said over and over in no uncertain terms that she will not serve as a Vice Presidential Nominee.
Others possibilities include Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Governor Chis Christie, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.