Sources familiar with the vice presidential vetting process for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s ill-fated 2012 presidential campaign have confirmed that long-time Romney associate J.P Morgan-Chase is being thoroughly vetted for the number 2 spot on the ticket.
The news came as no surprise to those closest to the candidate, many of whom were quick to point out that Mr. Romney often describes Chase as, “Not just a long time business associate, but a close friend and one of my favorite people in the world.”
M. Eileen Travers, who co-authored Gov. Romney’s semi-autobiographical children’s book ‘My Imaginary Friend is a Foreign Entity’, is among those who would not be surprised if Romney gave the nod to his old Wall Street buddy. “With the economy being such an important issue in this election, a President Romney would sleep much better at night knowing that if anything were to happen to him, Chase would be in charge.”
But while experts point out the importance of choosing a vice presidential nominee with whom the candidate shares a deeper, more personal bond than others in their administration – and all agree that Chase would certainly fit the bill in that regard — the consensus among Beltway insiders is that we should not expect to see a Romney-Chase ticket in November’s general election.
When approached for comment, Chase executive Weir Dippeschitz echoed the sentiments of several members of Congress — also currently employed by Chase — who don’t believe the banking giant would accept the position if it were offered. “I just think that becoming Vice President would require that Chase cede too much power in Washington.”
According to Newton Toomey, a senior Romney staffer who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the vetting process, “While Chase has been a willing participant in the process, there remain some details his people are reluctant to share. For example, while we were provided with our mandatory minimum of 12 years’ worth of tax returns, the copies we received contain many parts that have been heavily redacted with the words ‘trade secret’ written in the margins. We find that somewhat disconcerting.”
Perhaps, but pressure may come from the Romney campaign that even Chase could have trouble resisting. According to one recent poll, 87% of Americans agreed with the statement, “When I think of ‘Number 2’, the first name that comes to mind is J.P. Morgan-Chase.”