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If you can get beyond the 'gee, anyone would want this honor and chance to serve my country', I think it's worth looking at what the possible VP candidates must be thinking.

Here are some of questions for them to answer:

1.  Will we win?

Question 1 is tough, but seriously, it's getting less and less likely every day. Even with all the garbage that the Obama campaign (and others, like us!) have beein digging up and dumping on Romney, one MUST believe that the Obama campaign hasn't fired its heavy artillery yet. The economy isn't going to get markedly better in 3 months, but it isn't going to get markedly worse, either, so that's not a real player.
The worst part for a potential VP candidate is contemplating joining a campaign that is just plain HORRIBLE! These people can't get their foot out of their collective mouths, can't get their strategy straight, and persist in insisting on letting Obama and his campaign define not only their candidate, but also direct the entire tone and content of the election. So who wants to joing that traveling circus?

2.  What happens to me if we don't?

Question 2 isn't a happy one to contemplate. Consider:  Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, Lloyd Bentson (had to look that one up!), Dan Quayle, Jack Kemp, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Sarah Palin....... Not one of those august collection did anything after their losing VP effort.

Simply put, the losing VP candidate will have committed political hari-kari. Maybe, just maybe, Paul Ryan or Bobby Jindal are young enough to recover some national mo-jo in 20 years, but is that what they are really aiming for?

3. Can I make the difference?

Historically, probably not. Consider: George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden.... how many of those guys really turned the elections(s)? That would be a subject for an interesting debate, but nobody on that list jumps out of the screen, does it?

4. What happens if we WIN?

Same list as in #3 above. Other than HW, nobody went anywhere, even after winning. (Agreed, not a very large sample - feel free to push this analysis further into the past, but I don't think results more than 40 years ago really reflect the current political landscape.)

So based on those 4 questions, here is my handicapping on the current 'conventional wisdom' Romney short list:

Rob Portman - Age 55 or so, won't get any higher if he doesn't take the VP slot (other than perhaps a cabinet slot), can keep his Senate seat if they don't win. Not much to lose. Might help win Ohio, but not a slam-dunk.... Romney can't win without Ohio, but can't win with only Ohio (out of the swing states). Won't help much outside Ohio, but other than the stain of being Bush's budget director, won't hurt much, either. Wouldn't be a dynamic candidate to succeed Romney if they did win.

Tim Pawlenty - Age 51, unlikely to win anything in the future on his own, so nothing to lose. Won't help Romney win any state, but - being boring like Portman - probably won't hurt either. Wouldn't be a dynamic candidate to succeed Romney if they did win.

Paul Ryan - Age 42 - Probably wants to be President himself. Won't help Romney carry any state. Touted as the best person to be able to explain the 'Ryan' budget, but seriously... how can anyone make that case? Would take 20 years to recover from losing - probably willh have to give up House seat to run and lose. Could use a win as a springboard to succeed Romney, but hard to believe he wouldn't get bored to death as VP.

Bobby Jindal - Age 41 - Would love to be president. Won't help Romney carry any state, could hurt the campaign. Has the 20 years necessary to clean up the stain of losing. Hard to envision as a presidential candidate.

I'm not going to handicap Christie, Rubio, Ayotte or McConnell, or any of the others... feel free to give your own input.

So out of this list of 4, my take is that Portman or Pawlenty have nothing to lose by accepting, but Ryan and Jindal have everything to lose.

Cheers.

Poll

Who will accept Romney's invitation?

34%22 votes
23%15 votes
10%7 votes
1%1 votes
4%3 votes
0%0 votes
9%6 votes
3%2 votes
12%8 votes

| 64 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think they are down to one question. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, Smoh

    Who hurts us least?

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:29:54 PM PDT

  •  I really think its gonna be Pawlenty (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nailbanger, bongojazz, sunbro, Sue B, Smoh

    Going Clinton-Gore - two compatible politicians (Governor's of blue states) -- Pawlenty can't hurt, is squeaky clean and is a hell of a lot more likeable than Romney - while Portman is probably about as likeable as Romney.  

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:30:57 PM PDT

    •  Going w/little Timmay as well. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro, theKgirls, Smoh

      Although more likable?  Timmay is...weird?  maybe. But likable?  "Obama is all froth and no beer".  what does that even mean?  Timmay is king of the dorks...I would love to see little Timmay and Rmoney together trying to be "jus' folks'.  could you even imagine.  It would be like something out of "The Office".

      I'm just wasting a great big Corporation and the entire fund. The girders of Wall Street And the temples of money. And the high priests Of the expense account. And Im wasting the whole thing. J. Strummer

      by bongojazz on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 10:06:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He'll pick Ann Romney (9+ / 0-)

    She's stuck with him anyway -- and she's the only one that he can justify not asking for tax returns.

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:35:04 PM PDT

  •  Ryan is very young. He has a very (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    influential position in the House.  Would he have to resign to run, or only if Romney wins?  I don't think he'd give it up to run with a loser like Romney unless he could retain the seat.  

    Portman is a possibility.  Pawlenty probably wants it pretty bad.  

    After all the embarrassments of recent weeks, and right-wing tv pundits going negative on him, I think Romney has to choose a Bagger-friendly veep nom.  

    And that's just to stay halfway competitive.  

    Anything that doesn't thrill the Bagger types means they don't show up in winning numbers.  Romney's ego won't let that happen if he can help it.  

    I'd guess Romney's short list is expanding to include people even crazier than the ones in your poll.  

  •  If I had to guess, I'd go with T-Paw as the choice (7+ / 0-)

    He's got no political future in his home state and his Presidential race fizzled out, so he may see this as the last chance he has, even as bad as things are looking right now.

    Plus, if Mitt want a "boring white guy," you can't do much better than T-Paw. Boulders look charismatic next to him.

  •  not w's brother? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    it was his turn darn it!

    •  W's brother has aspirations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crystalboy, Smoh

      Even if he doesn't have aspirations for 2016, he almost surely would refuse to allow his last campaign be the utterly depressing Romney campaign.

      Besides, how likely is it that he would be appropriately deferential to the Big Boss?

  •  don't think they can't win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    chances are low but Bush a second time.  Anything is possible.

    As as the days get closer to the election, the GOP and supporter will get more desperate.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:54:12 PM PDT

  •  If I had to guess, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    I would say it's going to be a lilly-white, middle-aged or older, fundie x-tian man, with all the charisma of a tapir, and the integrity of a parasitic worm.  The only thing I can't say for sure is whether he'll be fat, but I think not.  I suspect Romney is also a bit of a dick in that regard.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 09:56:54 PM PDT

  •  Since zombie Ronald Reagan is ineligible, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Andrew F Cockburn

    I'm going with zombie Joseph Smith.

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 10:08:29 PM PDT

  •  Sarah Palin: Fox gig (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, DRo, Smoh

    Sarah Palin got a tremendous benefit from the VP nomination. She got national exposure; opportunity to go around the country (on somebody else's dime) to build her fan base; and new clothes. Lotsa new clothes.

    •  Same with Lieberman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Smoh

      He's been a pain in all our asses for the past decade.  It's only literally this year that maybe, just maybe, his influence is finally waning.

      -----
      Tom Smith Online
      I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

      by filkertom on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:19:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But Palin did do what I said... (0+ / 0-)

      she committed 'political hari-kari', in the sense that she's NEVER going to be elected to any political office again, particularly one higher than she previously held.

      Basically the same for Lieberman, although he was re-elected to the senate in 2006. He had to become a 'man without a party' to do it, which didn't do anything for his stature in the party, senate or country.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:48:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Portman: foreign policy wizard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, Smoh

    Portman isn't really a foreign policy wizard, but he was the U.S. Trade Representative (or something like that) for a brief while in the Bush Administration.

    Given Romney's shortcomings on the foreign policy front, this might be the best he can do in this area.

  •  It's looking like Medicare killer, Paul Ryan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    Mitt has no choice at this point, after Erick Erickson, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter lost their shit over Andrea Saul.

    But with the exception of Marco Rubio, who has the most to lose being Willard's running mate, most of the people above would accept.

    •  I don't think they're that dumb. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PorridgeGun

      I think they know the only national voter constituency they have left is over-65 whites who, since roughly 83% of over-65s are white, represent the group most directly impaired by any chitchat of messing with Social Security and Medicaid.

      And, by the way, it is Medicaid that matters - the long-term care provisions, specifically. they are fast becoming THE dominant expense portion of the budget...and two-thirds going on three-quarters of this $100+ billion a year sum (on track to triple over the next two decades) involve senior  voters.

      But that's the ugly side of Ryan plan; kick everyone else's benefits to the curb...to keep all the goodies for a staunchly GOP constituency.

      I know folks here like to appeal to general human decency but I have yet to see anything in older Americans' voting behavior that is especially noble.. nor especially selfish.

      Yet people do vote their self-interest.. and they do it all their lives.

      Yet what really catches my eye is every time the Dems have said, sure, GOP - let's do this with regards to entitlement reform, the GOP has blinked.

      They've blinked when offered everything they've asked for.

      Which suggests to me, despite everything said above, that the Republicans know they can't sell this much selfish not even to their single most dependable bloc of voters.

      And that speaks better of the GOP base than just about anything I've seen in a long, long time: that they actually do care about their families. Not necessarily anyone else's... but they do look after their own and in this instance that's driven the GOP to treat entitlement reform as nothing but a game.

  •  Liz Cheney (0+ / 0-)

    Another 'game changer'! Beloved of the hard core right, with national recognition and followers (unlike Palin), a woman to sew up the lady vote, a member of a political dynasty, a link to the beloved Bush Presidency and a reminder of the good times of war and massive profits and handouts to the ultra-wealthy - and I'm sure this will be pleasing to the puppet master. It's a 'can't lose'!

    Romney 2012 - Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentation of their women!

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:17:31 AM PDT

  •  Scott Walker. (0+ / 0-)

    He's clearly bucking for national office AND he can't afford to bide his time (see: investigations).

  •  Dick Cheney. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:46:42 AM PDT

  •  Michelle Bachmann! (0+ / 0-)

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 08:07:34 AM PDT

  •  It's going to be a woman (0+ / 0-)

    Either Kay Bailey Hutchison, Susana Martinez or Marcia Blackburn.

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