Vice Presidential (VP) candidates seem to get vetted more than Presidential candidates, which amuses me. People being considered for VP have to provide information to the party’s nominee about all sorts of private information that could become an issue after the convention: tax returns, medical records, lawsuits/criminal convictions, psychiatric or substance-abuse problems, credit reports, accusations of plagiarism or doctored résumés, stories of family scandals, etc. They’re asked about any little thing that could become an issue.
Does anyone remember George McGovern’s first choice for VP, Tom Eagleton? After he was chosen, it turned out he had gone through electro-convulsive therapy (aka electroshock treatments) for psychiatric problems, which might have included depression and/or nervous exhaustion. McGovern dropped him and switched to Sargent Shriver (Maria’s father). I still think McGovern would have been 100 times better than Nixon. That was the first time I volunteered to work on a campaign. Oh well. Sometimes we Democrats lose the election.
More below the orange madeleine of temps perdu.
I’d like to know if Romney is asking the people on his short list for their tax returns. He should. He wouldn’t want any nasty surprises. When McCain was vetting Romney as a possible VP, he asked Romney for his tax returns. And Romney provided them.
I’ve been thinking about who Romney might pick for VP. He could select one or more of several strategies:
The Geographic Strategy: Pick someone from a state with a decent number of electoral votes that is not solid red or solid blue. In other words, go for a high value state that might otherwise vote for Obama. Maybe FL, NC, VA, PA, OH, MI, WI, or MN. A state with at least 10 electoral votes. Not Wyoming or Maine. Not California (too blue) or Texas (too red).
The Demographic Strategy: Pick someone who might appeal to voters in the same category as the VP choice. Maybe a woman or a Hispanic or an African-American (yeah, good luck with that) or someone with an East-Indian heritage (which I suppose would be have to be either Bobby Jindal or Nikki Haley). Picking a woman didn't work out very well for McCain.
The Debate Strategy: Pick someone who is smart and eloquent, who could argue with Joe Biden in the one televised debate (two at the most). Someone who could give good speeches and make jokes and not sound completely idiotic (which means not Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle or anybody like that).
The Lunatic Strategy: Pick someone who’s an insane tea-party Ayn Rand or Ron Paul guy or a zany fundamentalist Christian, who will mollify the right wing of the Republican Party and shore up the old white guy vote.
My words are just dust in the wind. Romney will use whatever criteria appeal to him and he will pick someone for VP and pundits will call him either idiotic or brilliant. And then we’ll have the election and Romney will lose. But it’s kind of interesting to think about who he will choose.