PJ Media reports that a consensus among inside GOP political operatives exists which concludes that Mitt Romney will pick Rob Portman as his vice presidential running mate. The report however based on the hearsay of anonymous sources, including what is described as a prominent GOP Super PAC insider who wants to remains anonymous.
According to PJ Media upon asking this unnamed Super PAC leader about their thoughts on Portman as a potential vice presidential nominee, an email reply from them stated the following;
He could bring Ohio!!! And he is very experienced and he won’t spend $100,000 on clothes in two months! The goal this cycle is “safe, not sorry. But win Ohio!”
Now I do not question the credibility of PJ Media, I do question the intent of this unnamed insider who feels the need to, out of nowhere, come out and take a foul, unjustified, and totally senseless shot at Sarah Palin for circumstances that were not of her own doing and which she rectified.
I also question whether or not this so-called consensus among G.O.P. operatives about Portman being Romney’s pick has anything to do with knowing what only a select few under Romney’s Senior Advisor Beth Myers, know and are discussing amongst themselves?
Myers served as chief of staff during Romney’s term as Massachusetts governor and managed his 2008 presidential campaign. She is now overseeing Romney’s vice presidential selection process and is undergoing a vetting process that involves only a select few Romney confidants who discuss aspects of the vetting process among only themselves. And any discussions of the process among this small group of trusted advisors, is done only on a need to know basis. Which is why there have not yet been any leaks which have led to the upping or lowering of the odds for of being picked among any of the known potential nominees. The Romney team is probably one of the most talented and professional political or for that matter, non-political organizations there has ever been. It is a consequence of Romney’s own managerial expertise and Midas Touch. Say what you want about Mitt but he knows how to run things and get a job done. And so the only way that a leak about who has picked for Vice President would come about is if it was intentional. And this “consensus” based declaration about Rob Portman was not sanctioned by Team Romney.
Furthermore, I doubt that the leader of a Super PAC, even a pro-Romney Super Pac, would be privy to such insider information. In addition to it being questionably illegal or at the very least, unethical for such communications between the Romney campaign and any Super PAC, it would not benefit Team Romney to exercise the type of loose lips that would give away a secret as big as this one.
So while I do not wish to call in to question the credibility of the claim that Rob Portman is going to be Romney’s running mate in November, I must do exactly that.
Portman could very well be the individual Romney picks but only a select few know how truly likely that is and they are not talking.
Speculation about who the Romney’s running mate will be is the last big question that remains in the race, aside from who will ultimately win. And the suspense is just killing most political junkies, myself included. However it must be understood that any public discussion about who Romney will pick is simply conjecture on the part of conducting the discussion. In the case of the latest scuttlebutt concerning Rob Portman, it would seem to be based mainly on his ability to deliver Ohio for Romney in November. But it has been my sense that Portman is not necessarily established well enough to be counted on for that purpose. That sense of mine was only verified when a recent Quinnipiac Poll concluded the following;
The presidential race in Ohio remains too close to call as President Barack Obama gets 45 percent to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney, with a 45 – 45 percent dead heat if the GOP adds home-state Sen. Rob Portman as Romney’s running mate.
That poll was taken just two weeks ago but it is safe to say that those numbers have not changed much since then and it led Politico to report a story entitled “Poll: Rob Portman no GOP boost in Ohio”
As indicated in an abbreviated White House 2012 Vice Presidential Contender page prepared for for Bob Portman back in April, historically, the vice presidential nominee only affects the presidential election results in their home state by no more than four percent. If that were to hold true here, according to the closeness of the race in Ohio so far, Portman could actually put Romney over the top. But the polls do not yet bear that out and even if they did, we are long way from Election Day and the Obama campaign will not give up Ohio easily. As such, in my opinion, the Obama campaign’s ruthlessness and billion dollar campaign war chest will simply inundate every media source with an endless array of stories focussed on destroying the record and reputation of Bob Portman.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe Portman is exceptionally qualified and although he is not my first choice to be the next in line for the presidency, I can easily support him. His record of fiscal responsibility is far superior to most political leaders out there and he is extremely competent in other areas of concern too. But Portman’s ties to the G.W. Bush Administration will be exploited by the Obama team in a way that will take on a life of its own and the lies about him will have a way of becoming true in the subconscious of an ad weary electorate.
Such was the case in 2008 with Sarah Palin.
In a documentary entitled Media Malpractice, one is taken on a step-by-step walk through of election history that documented what I call the palinization of Sarah Palin. It was a process that showed how the left inundated our world with an endless array of salacious stories about Sarah Palin. Every day some new liberal inspired charges or unseemly story was leaked and for days, each one captured the headlines. As the documentary then shows at the very end, when asked what was true and what false during the campaign, voters got each answer wrong.
For instance, when asked which person running on either of the major presidential tickets pretended that their daughter’s son was their own, all those questioned answered Sarah Palin.
However, in that same documentary when asked which candidate on either of the major presidential tickets had to drop out of a previous race for President because they were caught plagiarizing the speeches of a British Labor Party leader, voters again answered Sarah Palin.
In both cases the answers to those question were wrong. As most of us know, Sarah Palin did not pretend that her daughter’s child was her own and as for the candidate who dropped out of a previous race for President in disgrace because of plagiarism, the answer of course is not Sarah Palin. It’s Joe Biden.
But politics is perception and the Obama campaign successfully created false impressions about the Republican ticket which casual voters believed to be true.
This can of course be done to any candidate, and with Team Obama it will be done. It will be done to Mitt Romney and whomever he nominates for Vice President. The problem is that given how pivotal Ohio may be “if” this election is as close as many think it will be, the Obama campaign will invest so much time and money into Ohio and into destroying Portman that in the end, even Ohioans will be embarrassed to support Portman on a presidential ticket. I say this not because Portman will not be able to defend himself. He will. I state this simply because Portman is not yet the kind of established figure in Ohio who I believe can withstand the type of relentless assault upon him that the Obama strategists will engage in.
Bob Portman has not yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done regarding his record. Ohio voters are not yet so familiar with and loyal to Portman that they embrace him as one of their own in a way that they did other Ohio politicians such as the legendary Robert Taft or even more recently, John Glenn. Those were leaders so loved by Ohioans that if they were put through the type of character assassination attempt that Portman will experience, it would backfire. But that is not the case with Rob Portman. At least not yet.
So I would not bet the farm on Rob Portman.
As for myself, I have used White House 2012 as the platform for a series called The Herd. It explores a herd of 25 names which I believe are being or should be considered for Vice President by Mitt Romney. Each day, in alphabetical order, one of those names is discussed. We are currently up to the “M’s”.
In each of those profiles, I present a case for why each person is being or should be considered and address the pros and cons of their potential presence on the Republican presidential ticket. In creating this series, I have established my own assumptions as well as my own preferences. But deep down I know that in trying to predict who Mitt Romney will actually nominate, no matter how much I try to put myself in his position and try think to like, I know that I am not Mitt Romney and that even after studying Romney’s personal history and management style, no matter how in tune I may think I am with his thought process, I know that only Mitt Romney knows who he will choose and at the moment I do not even think Mitt Romney yet knows who that will be.
But stay tuned because once The Herd has posted the profile of each of those names that we believe are in contention, I will offer my best guest as to whom Romney might pick, as well as the name of the person I believe he should pick and who this conservative wants to see him pick.
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