The Herd: A Look at The Republican Vice Presidential Candidates. Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Bookmark and Share   The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential choices to be selected as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one the many Republicans which we believe will be at least considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to a biographical information and a brief assessement of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Mitt Romney, White House 2012’s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at Tennessee Representative, Marsha Blackburn. 

Tennessee Congressman Marsha Blackburn

Born Marsha Wedgeworth (1952-06-06) June 6, 1952 (age 59) Laurel, Mississippi
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Charles “Chuck” Blackburn
Children Mary, Morgan, Ketchel, Chad Blackburn
Residence Brentwood, Tennessee
Alma mater Mississippi State University
Occupation Retail Marketing
Religion Presbyterian

Rep. Blackburn is n0t an obvious choice.  She is from a state Republicans will not need a lot of help winning  and she is far from a household name that will automatically inspire millions to flock to the G.O.P..  But she could prove to be an effective choice.

First she is a she and a woman on the ticket has value.  Even though hypocritical liberal  activists despise strong conservative women, those who tend be more apolitical, especially Independents, do respect strong women and Marsha Blackburn is indeed a strong woman.

Blackburn is a fiscal and social conservative who has not participated in the earmark process since 2007 and she is a  leading opponent of Obamacare which she describes as “a government run, government ensured, government financed, government delivered healthcare system”.  She has been described by many as a woman with all the attributes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann but without any of  their negatives or polarizing baggage.  And like Palin and Bachmann, Blackburn is a darling of the TEA movement.

If there is one candidate that Blackburn would be a perfect running mate for, it is Mitt Romney.  He more than any of the presidential contenders needs to firm up his support from the South.  Blackburn helps him do that.  Romney must also firm up his support from the TEA Party,  Here, Marsha Blackburn helps him too.   And insofar as her lack of name ID goes, it could prove to be a plus.  While she has been around for a while, she will be a fresh face to most voters.  That freshness affords her a perfect opportunity to make a positive impression on voters.  Yet at the same time she has experience and clout.  During her time in Congress she has held several leadership positions including that of  Deputy Whip.

While Blackburn is a good fit for a Romney ticket, the question is will she be picked?  Who anticipated the selection of Sarah Palin (besides me) in 2008?  And did anyone really expect the nomination of New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro in 1984?  Rep. Blackburn, who by the way prefers to be called Congressman rather than Congresswoman, may not be that unlikely a choice but she is not exactly the “safe” choice that I would expect from Mitt.

Pros:

  • Is a fiscal conservative witha background in business that can be attractive on the hot button issue, the economy
  • She can help Romney with evangelicals
  • A stong speaker
  • Blackburn can help to bridge Romney’s standing among women voters
  • Blackburn helps Romney among conservatives who are not entirely convinced that he is genuinely committed to his opposition of abortion

Cons:

  • She is not well known
  • She does not have any immediate widespread appeal
  • Blackburn hails from a state that Republicans are not likely to lose
  • Lacks executive political experience
  • Open to incredible criticism and attacks from conservatives and liberals on the issue of censprship for initially C0-Sponsoring SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act)

Overall Assessment:

Blackburn is a solid leader, but like all others, she has not been perfect and although she is competent, qualified, and someone who could probably do great justice to the job of Vice President, there is little to suggest that, if the need arises, she would make a better President than any number of other potential nominees.  That, combined with her limited popularity and electoral influence and does not make Blackburn a very likely choice.

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