Running mate: Part 2
By Paul Moomjean 05/10/2012
The last time we talked, I explained the undeniable importance of who Mitt Romney chooses to be his running mate, because no matter who he picks, that person will most likely become part of the American culture if we like him or her or not. Whether Romney wins the national election or not, the running mate of his choice could either become an embarrassing mouthpiece (Sarah Palin) or bring disgrace through other means (John Edwards). With that being the obvious observation, the less obvious is who will actually become the right-hand man or woman. There are plenty of solid candidates, and if Camp Romney wants to give itself a real chance at beating Obama, Mitt and his men will have to select someone who brings whatever he lacks to the ticket. As of right now, Romney lacks the passion to ignite voters, the evangelical vote, the common man persona, and a diverse and progressive platform to restore our country’s greatness.
The best choice would be Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. While he is new to the national scene, he is by far the best candidate. His take-no-prisoners approach to debate and discussion would be a perfect counter to Romney’s quiet and less passionate approach to conservative values. He has already gone on the attack concerning President Barack Obama: “Insisting that we must tax and take and demonize those who have already achieved the American dream, that may turn out to be a good re-election strategy for President Obama, but is a demoralizing message for America.” This type of language is what Camp Romney needs more than anything else.
If Camp Romney can’t get the flavor-of-the-month Christie, then he is going to need to find someone who will bring in the evangelical vote. Let’s be honest; mainstream Christianity is very worried about a Mormon president. They can take Glenn Beck as a political commentator, but they want nothing to do with a Mormon leader. Mormonism is seen as a cult by most evangelical Christians. To fix this, Romney should consider Mike Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor and current Fox News TV personality is about as perfect a choice Romney could find to counteract the perception that he’s a member of a weird religious cult. Huckabee is well-loved by conservatives, and though he lacks that fire and fierceness many believe Romney needs, he’s a rock-solid conservative and Christian leader many Republicans yearn to vote for.
Obviously, Christie and Huckabee are the all-star dream team members, but while they are both fantastic candidates, Romney needs to find a common man to reach out to the average blue-collar worker. A few people come to mind, and while I despise guys like Rick Santorum, I feel that a Marco Rubio is the best “rags to riches” story Camp Romney will find. He also brings some much-needed diversity to a party that tends to like voting for rich old white men. Florida’s newest senator came from humble beginnings and adds some real life experience. “It doesn’t escape me that less than half a decade ago, my family lived very different circumstances. My dad was a bartender. My mom was maid,” he told The Inquisitr, a political magazine. “It was unimaginable that anybody in the next generation would be able to obtain [this level of success].” This is exactly the story a Republican needs to share with other lower-income and middle-class Americans, and Romney could bring some of the Latino and younger vote as well with Rubio.
But the real challenge for Camp Romney is to show how he’s not just a suit. Why not look at some TV and radio personalities like Dennis Prager, Laura Ingraham, or Larry Elder? They are beloved in conservative circles, and their popularity shows how they could attract independents and Blue Dog Democrats. Sadly, I don’t think a woman will be considered after The Sarah Palin Experiment (a great name for a band, by the way), and a big military guy will just remind people about the wars of the past Republican era.
The choice is yours, Mitt. Just don’t McCain it up.