Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Named Chairman of The Republican National Convention Platform Committee

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

Bookmark and Share  Every four years, in addition to nominating a President and Vice President, the quadrennial Republican National Convention is also responsible for hammering out a platform which is meant to explain what the Republican Party truly stands for.  The process is often contentious and at times the most suspenseful, but largely behind the scene, aspect of the convention and in many ways is every bit as important as the process to nominate our presidential ticket and this year conservative Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been given the responsibility of constructing this all important platform.

The announcement came late today from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  In it Priebus  also declared that Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota and Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee will serve as Co-Chairmen.

The move is one which is likely to please the conservative base of the Party who largely trust the conservative credentials of all three members of the newly established platform leadership committee.

But the announcement also probably signals that Bob McDonnell is out of the running for Vice President.

For many months now, the popular Governor of the important swing state of Virginia has been considered a top contender for the vice presidency.  But with his new position on the critically important Platform Committee, that would seem highly unlikely.  And the same goes for Marsha Balckburn who White House 2012 has also considered a vice presidential contender.

The prominent responsibility¬†of defining all that the G.O.P. stands is always a difficult task that walks a fine between attempting to articulate a platform¬†that accomplishes a nearly impossible goal……….¬† unite the nations while taking strong stands on some of the most polarizing issues in the nation.¬† Such a goal¬†can often be just as a difficult among partisan Republicans as it is among partisan Republicans and Democrats.¬† And this year, Republicans can anticipate at least few attempted floor fights on several planks, especial those dealing with spending.

Ron Paul supporters have already vowed to employ¬†their traditionally obnoxious behavior to try to help assure that the G.O.P. platform adopts some of their messiah’s irresponsible views.¬† Such fights are not likely to get very far considering that Ron paul has a grand total of 158 delegates compared to Romney’s 1,512, but thew will certainly receive a great deal of attention from a national and international¬†media that will be doing¬†it’s best to to cover any of the rare unscripted moments at the convention.¬†¬†¬† All this means that as Chairman of the Platform Committee, Bob McDonnell will go into the convention as a figure who could become embroiled in some of the most controversial aspects of the national convention and that is not the type of figure that Romney will want to nominate as his running mate.

On the flip side, while McDonnell supporters may be disappointed in the downgrading of his chances to be nominated Vice President, conservatives can rest assured that 2012 Republican platform will reflect an authoritative, right of center based explanation of what it means to be a Republican.

According to McDonnell;

“I look forward to hearing from voters across the country as we seek to give voice to the concerns, priorities, and values of the American people. This process is about more than writing; it is about listening. Voters deserve a party who listens to them.¬† The Obama presidency has been a difficult time for Virginians and for Americans. Our Platform will outline the way forward for our economy and a new and better direction for our country.”

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The VP Matrix

Excitement continues to brew about who Mitt Romney might choose as his Vice President.  Today a story hit the news circulation that Marco Rubio is not being vetted, but Tim Pawlenty is being given serious consideration.  Romney found himself on the defensive this evening.  But before you get too excited about a Marco Rubio candidacy, or too upset about it, you may want to take a breather and consider who Romney is and what kind of campaign he is running.  Flash and splash are not the orders of the day.

Mitt Romney’s campaign need do no more than promise a stronger economy and let Obama continue to create a weaker economy.¬† In fact, Mitt Romney’s tour through small town USA promoting the private sector and values of competition is exactly where he needs to be.¬† Obama is spouting a controversy mixed with a gaffe every day.¬† Why jump in front of a train wreck?¬† Romney’s VP choice will be about as blockbuster as a sandwich from a WaWa vending machine.

Get out your VP scorecards and consider the following:

Mitt’s VP choice will not be a fresh face.

Mitt Romney is not looking for a candidate with little national experience.¬† Nor is he looking for a candidate who everyone on the far right loves.¬† Romney doesn’t need a shot of adrenaline or steroids.¬† The last thing he needs is someone who is going to distract from the national disaster of the Obama Presidency.¬† Romney does not need a divisive TEA party figure.¬† He certainly doesn’t need someone who could be perceived as inexperienced.¬† If Romney picks a veteran, the media will be cautious about trying to embarrass them as a rookie.¬† But media types smell blood in the water when there is fresh meat.¬† Even a studied, prepared candidate might not be able to field a trick question like “do you support the Bush doctrine”.¬† However, a veteran is less likely to be asked that question.

Obama’s inexperience took a back seat in the media when McCain brought in Palin

This is bad for Allen West, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Susana Martinez, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan.  Could be good for Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, or Rudy Guiliani.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be old and tired.

The death knell for a Republican candidacy, fair or not, is being old and grey.¬† Nothing plays into stereotypes of Republicans more than an old, grey haired, slow talking wrinkly man.¬† While Romney doesn’t need a shot in the arm, he also doesn’t need something contributing to the stereotypes more than he does already.¬† Right now Romney is Reaganesque in his looks and style.¬† But an older veteran running mate would turn his campaign into the old rich white people’s ticket.¬† Again, it may not be fair or right, but don’t expect a VP over 55 years old.

Don’t expect Newt Gingrich, Fred Thompson, or Rob Portman.¬† Could be good for Bobby McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie

Jack Kemp and Bob Dole combined had nearly two centuries of experience

Mitt’s VP choice may not be female or minority.

There is this idea that the only way to defeat Barack Obama is by running a female or minority VP candidate.¬† Aside from that strategy failing miserably with Sarah Palin, the problem is that Republicans pay far less attention to race and gender than Democrats do, and Democrats virulently hate conservative women and minorities.¬† We have seen in recent years just how much visible hatred has been directed toward Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Allen West, Nikki Haley, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, etc.¬† There is a clear desire on the left for female and minority Republicans to fail.¬† In Mitt Romney’s case, he is not looking for diversity for diversity’s sake.¬† That’s not to say he won’t pick a female or minority candidate, but if he does it will be someone respected by both sides and unassailable.

This makes Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez less likely.¬† However, it doesn’t necessarily knock Condoleeza Rice out of the running, although she will carry the stigma on the left of being chosen for diversity’s sake.¬† Again, might not be fair, but since when were politics fair.

Mitt’s VP choice will not be controversial.

It’s bad when your VP candidate has almost as many quotable gaffes as Joe Biden

Mitt Romney is not looking to cause trouble for himself.¬† He doesn’t need a loudmouth or a controversial character.¬† Don’t expect any candidate who is going to make serious waves.¬† As I said before, Romney doesn’t need a distraction from the freak show of the Obama economy.¬† Expect a well respected candidate who is as smooth politically as Romney himself.

You can scratch the Donald, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Allen West, and Newt Gingrich off your list.  This is a strike against Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice as well.  But it favors Mitch Daniels, possibly Bob McDonell, and John Thune.

Expect a strategic pick.

Romney’s not going to choose a popular governor from a red state.¬† But he might choose a popular candidate from a purple or blue state.¬† And there are a few to choose from.¬† Rubio would lock of Florida.¬† Bob McDonnell could secure the nearly must win blue state of Virginia.¬† Tim Pawlenty could inspire votes from the teetering Great Lakes states.¬† Rick Snyder of Michigan could really bring in some blue states, but he is likely disqualified for being old and a fresh face at the same time.¬† Brian Sandoval might help swing Nevada to Romney while also providing the opportunity to highlight Harry Reid’s role in the destruction of our economy.

This set of criteria will hardly provide a definite pick.  In fact, some points are contradictory.  But it should provide some ideas for people who are looking at the potential VP picks.  I could hardly make a prediction even based on this criteria.  But I do believe it comprises the factors that Romney will be looking at when making his pick.

Romney-McDonnell: White House 2012 Looks at the Potential for Bob McDonnell Being Nominated Vice President

Bookmark and Share The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious potential names for Mitt Romney to choose from when picking his vice presidential nominee.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe will at least be considered for for the vice presidency by the now inevitable Republican presidential nominee.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment 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 and records.

Today White House 2012 takes a look at the Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell.

Born Robert Francis McDonnell (1954-06-15) June 15, 1954 (age 57) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Maureen Gardner; 5 children
Residence Executive Mansion
Alma mater University of Notre Dame (B.B.A.) Boston University (M.B.A.) Regent University (M.A., J.D.)
Profession United States Army Officer Businessman Attorney at Law Politician
Religion Roman Catholic

`

Political Career:

  • 1992 ‚Äď 2005:¬† Virginia House of Delegates
  • 2006 ‚Äď 2009:¬† Virginia State Attorney General
  • 2010 ‚Äď Present:¬† Governor of Virginia
  • 2011 -Present:¬† Chairman of the Republican Governors Association

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Bookmark and Share¬† During a February 21st, 2011 television interview, when asked‚ÄúWhat if the party‚Äôs nominee.. came to you and said for the betterment of your Party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate. Wouldn‚Äôt that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?‚ÄĚ McDonnell replied simply, ‚ÄúProbably.‚Ä̬† Thus prompting White House 2012 to add Bob McDonnell to what was an already early and premature list of possible running mates for whoever the nominee was going to be that we first created and posted in December 0f 2010.¬† You see, even back then, there were certain outstanding individuals who many understood, were natural and logical potential vice presidential nominees, simply because they were exceptional leaders.

Today, with Mitt Romney’s selection of a vice presidential nominee soon approaching, McDonnell is still a natural and logical choice for Mitt Romney to nominate  for Vice President.

Bob McDonnell is a solid choice. He carries little baggage, is on the right side of all the issues that the G.O.P. base wants covered and is a strong speaker who would add a level of confidence and competence to the ticket. The greatest criticism might be that he has only been Governor for what at the time will be slightly over 2 in a half years. But Barack Obama was a Senator for less than that amount of time and it was good enough to elect him President. So for a Vice President , that should be no big deal, even though it seemed to have been a big issue when Sarah Palin was nominated for Vice President in 2008..

McDonnell’s establishing himself as a potential Vice President and ultimately maybe even President, did not come over night.  Getting to that point was a journey through decades of personal growth and accomplishments that really began after he graduated from University of Notre Dame on an ROTC scholarship, with a B.B.A. in management.

Upon leaving Notre Dame in 1976, McDonnell  joined the service where he served as a medical supply officer in the United States Army for four years.  Two and half of those years included posts in medical clinics in Germany, and for a year a half, in Newport News, Virginia.   During that time, McDonnell’s never ending drive for knowledge and self improvement compelled him to obtain a Masters of Science in Business Administration earned  by taking night classes from Boston University.

Upon leaving active duty service in 1981, McDonnell continued his military service as a reservist in the U.S. Army but as for a regular job, he took his young family to Atlanta where he was hired for a Fortune 500 Company named American Hospital Supply Corporation.  His work soon earned him a rapid succession  of promotions and after a year, American Hospital Supply Corp. transferred McDonnell to the company’s headquarters in suburban Chicago. The following year they put McDonnell in charge of their multi-million dollar custom  products regional division, based in Kansas City, where he managed the corporation’s  Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas  City offices.   But feeling personally unfulfilled by his work, McDonnell took advantage of his Vietnam-era G.I. Bill benefits that were to cease to exist in 1989, and decided to to go back to Virginia where he enrolled in Regent University in Virginia Beach to seek a Masters Degree in Public  Policy.  Then when the young university opened a law school, McDonnell took advantage of that to also obtain a law degree.

To say the least, it was a rather hectic and sleepless period in McDonnell’s life.  Others may not have been able to carry the burden of  simultaneously attending  law school, while pursing a Master’s Degree in  public policy, and doing so while supporting his family  as a sales manager for The  Virginian-Pilot newspaper, and serving in the active reserves of the Army with the 18th Field Hospital in Norfolk. In total,  McDonnell would serve 21 years in the U.S.  Army reserves until he finally retired as a Lt. Colonel, the same rank as his father, in 1997.  During these years, part of McDonnell’s pursuit of his law degree led him to also do an internship on Capitol  Hill with the House Republican Policy Committee for California Congressman Jerry Lewis, and it was here that McDonnell’s personal journey took him in a direction different than his previous private sector path.

So in 1989, with his degrees in hand, McDonnell took a job as a prosecutor in the Virginia  Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and in 1991 he ran for the seat representing Virginia Beach in the House of Delegates from the 84th District. He won and was reelected to the seat, six more times.

Here, as was the case with every other position and job McDonnell took responsibility for, he excelled.

Some of the  most prominent bills he drafted, sponsored and shepherded through the state legilature included Virginia’s historic Welfare Reform legislation, the reform of  Virginia’s drunk driving laws, legislation to abolish the death tax and to rewrite and improve  Virginia’s Public Private Partnership Transportation Act.  He was all the prime sponsor of Governor Allen’s Juvenile Justice Reform  Initiative.

In short time McDonnell rose through the House of Delegate’s political ranks and became Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman  of the House Courts of Justice Committee and along the way, in 1996 he was named the Network of Victims of Crime Legislator  of the Year in 1996.  In 1998 he was named The National Child Support Enforcement Association National  Legislator of the Year and  The Family Foundation of Virginia’s Legislator  of the Year.  He was again named The Family Foundations’ Legislator of the Year  in 2001, and in 2005  he received the honor of becoming the Virginia Sheriff’s Association Legislator  of the Year.

Then in 2006, McDonnell decided to run for Attorney General and after election results that were initially disputed, he was declared the winner by 323 votes.

As Attorney General of Virginia, McDonnell went right to work.¬† He established a ‚ÄúSenior Alert‚ÄĚ to assist in locating missing seniors¬† with mental deficiencies, created a state of the art Sex Offender Registry, strengthened Virginia‚Äôs mental¬† health laws, and provided new tools for law enforcement involved in online investigations of¬† identity theft, sexual predators, and other 21st Century criminals. McDonnell¬† also created and led Virginia‚Äôs Youth Internet Safety Task Force, which was credited with improving online¬† safety, and establishing the ongoing Attorney General‚Äôs Task Force on Regulatory¬† and Government Reform. That task force made over 300 recommendations to¬† streamline Virginia‚Äôs Administrative Code, and reduce burdensome government¬† regulation.

But in 2009, McDonnell resigned as Attorney General in order to spend all his time and effort on running for Governor, a job he won in a landslide which saw him receive more votes than any candidate for  Governor in Virginia history.  McDonnell’s landslide also helped to sweep many new Republicans in to the Virginia state legislature.

Upon becoming Governor, McDonnell inherited a $6 billion deficit but in a year’s time he turned it in to a $400 million surplus.  And he did so after defeating a proposed $2 billion increase in the state income tax, and keeping the state’s existing car tax relief.

But perhaps the most profound immediate positive impact McDonnell has had was his ability to in less trhan two years, take Virginia’s unemployment from 7.2% to 5.6% after creating 111,900 new jobs in the state.

All this is probably why in 2011, McDonnell’s Republican colleagues chose him to be the Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.  It is also one of the reasons why Bob McDonnell is seen as an obvious choice for Vice President.

Pros:

  • McDonnell is a skilled campaigner and legislator whose talents can only help the ticket
  • ‚ÄúIf‚ÄĚ this a close presidential election, Virginia is a state that Romney must win in any formula that allows him to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House.¬† Bob McDonnell can deliver Virginia to the Republican column
  • McDonnell can help Romney among evangelicals who he needs to cast their ballots for him in record numbers.
  • McDonnell can help Romney in the South where he needs bridge the enthusiasm gap that exists for Romney
  • McDonnell‚Äôs record on jobs, energy, budgets, and deficits is an invaluable asset that will help draw sharp contrasts with Obama‚Äôs record
  • His experience in law and law enforcement, and on matters concerning the Constitution is unparalleled by most other likely contenders for the vice presidency and it helps to call in to question the credentials of the Obama Administration concerning ther Adminsistrations many legal challenges to states and their sovereignty

Cons:

  • McDonnell‚Äôs addition to the ticket does not bring the type of diversity which other potential candidates like Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice or Susana Martinez can, and that diversity might be needed to help win in key battlegrounds states like Ohio and/or Florida
  • McDonnell signed an executive order removing anti-discriminatory protection for gays and lesbians in Virginia, rescinding a 2006 order from Gov. Kaine which had prohibited discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.¬† This will mobilize liberal gay activists to the point where they may get some mileage from attempts to paint McDonnell and by natural extension, the Republican ticket,¬† as out of touch, right wing extremists
  • Governor McDonnell issued a proclamation designating April 2010 as Confederate History Month and the initial proclamation left out any anti-slavery language.¬† McDonnell rectified this¬† but the issue is one which the left may try to exploit
  • McDonnell signed in to law a measure that mandates ultra sounds for pregnant women seeking an abortion.¬† The measure came after McDonnell initially supported an earlier bill requiring¬† women to get an intravaginal ultrasound before an abortion procedure
  • Lacks any immediate foreign affairs experience

General Assessment:

McDonnell has his fingerprints are all over the solutions to the most critical problems ailing the nation. On an issue such as energy, he has led the way in making Virginia an national resource for natural energy with his support drilling for oil off of the coast of Virginia while simultaneously developing new technologies for wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable energy resources and expanding investments in renewable energy sources while also incentivizing¬† green job creation.¬† On the issue of jobs, CNBC named Virginia ‚ÄúThe Top State for Business‚ÄĚ in the country and while the nation has been focussed on not counting the number of people who have dropped out of the job market, since taking office McDonnell has has created 112,00 net new jobs and the number of unemployed Virginians has decreased by 21%.¬† That‚Äôs¬† a reduction in unemployment obtained by counting new jobs not by stopping to count the number of people who gave up looking for jobs.

On budgetary matters, while the nation lost its AAA bond rating, and the deficit has ballooned at an unprecendented rate, McDonnell took his state from one with a record deficit, to where now each year he has been in office, it has a surplus.

As one newspaper put it On those issues important to¬† all ‚Äď taxation, jobs, schools, ‚Äď Bob McDonnell did not disappoint.¬† ‚ÄúPriorities were set and addressed.‚Ä̬† And that is exactly what people want in a Republican presidential ticket and why McDonnell is only a logical choice.

However Mitt Romney may find that he can select others who have similarly positive but are more established.  Like Indiana’s Mitch Daniels.  Or that he could find some of similar accomplishments but unlike McDonnell, could also bring diversity to the ticket.  Names like Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Mexico’s Susana Martinez come to mind.

Romney may also want to try to get someone whose record lacks the type of controversial social issue positions that McDonnell has brought to the table.¬† The thinking there is that Romney does not want to give President Obama and the left, the opportunity to focus on things will distract from the G.O.P.‚Äôs ability to get voters to focus on the Obama record and the Obama economy.¬†¬†¬† With McConnell‚Äôs decisions regarding things like issuing a proclamation designating a Confederate History Month,¬†¬† removing so-called anti-discriminatory protections from¬† gays and lesbians, and the decision mandating ultrasounds before a women has an abortion, Romney may fear that McDonnell could be ‚ÄúPalinized‚ÄĚ and that those issues will can become the distraction that Democrats want.¬† But such can be done with the record of any conservative.¬† Or liberal for that matter.

So it is hard to say with any certainty that Romney will tap McDonnell for Vice President.  But you can bet that McDonnell’s name is one of the top five on the short list for the job.

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Recent Key Votes

Legislation¬† (Veto)¬† ‚Äď April 9, 2012
Legislation¬† (Veto) ‚Äď April 9, 2012
Legislation¬† (Veto) ‚Äď April 9, 2012

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Bob McDonnell on the Issues

Foreign Policy Gun Control Budget & Economy Education
Homeland Security Crime Government Reform Civil Rights
War & Peace Drugs Tax Reform Abortion
Free Trade Health Care Social Security Families & Children
Immigration Technology Corporations Welfare & Poverty
Energy & Oil Environment Jobs Principles & Values

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Endorses Mitt Romney

Bookmark and Share   Early this morning, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who once declared that he would not be endorsing a candidate in the Republican presidential contest has seemingly reversed course and thrown his considerable clout behind Mitt Romney for President.

McDonnell¬†called Romney a “results-oriented conservative” who can appeal to Democrats and independents and he told CNBC that his message is that¬†if you want to win the race in November, vote for Mitt Romney.

On Fox News, Governor McDonnell stated that Romney has a proven record in the public and private sector of getting things done and argued that there are only three issues that will really matter in the election………. one being job creation, another being¬†the need to get rid of “this crushing national debt” and finally, leadership.¬† And it is on those issues that McDonnell says Romney can win.

While McDonnell’s support has some value, the most interesting aspect of the endorsement is the timing.¬† It comes one day¬†before what could be a¬†game changing result in the South Carolina Primary.¬† It is pretty clear that the Romney camp, which has¬†mastered much of the art of¬†political campaigning,¬†has begun to sweat and so they decided now was the time to unleash the endorsement of¬†the popular Southern Governor in the hopes that it will help stem the perceived¬†surge that Newt Gingrich is riding as the race in South Carolina¬†wraps up.

In case you haven’t heard, timing is everything and its not any different in politics.

If you recall, back¬†in December, Newt Gingrich flew to the front of the then crowded G.O.P. field.¬† The problem was timing.¬† He peeked¬†too¬†early and in the¬†two weeks leading¬†up to the¬†Iowa Caucuses, he saw that rapid rise to the top erode and ceded ground to¬†Mitt Romney and¬†Rick¬†Santorum.¬† This time, in South Carolina, thanks to¬†Newt’s ability to catch the crest of his wave at just the right moment, combined with a few well timed¬†breezes at his back which consisted of Sarah¬†Palin’s quasi-endorsement, Rick Perry’s suspension of his own campaign and endorsement of Newt’s, and two well executed debate performances, Gingrich¬†looks like he is peaking just in time to be¬†the first one to ride his wave across the Palmetto State finish line.¬†¬† All of these conditions which have been beyond Romney’s control have forced him to play some cards that he has been holding close.¬† In this case, it is obvious that Gingrich’s success has Romney sweating enough to have forced his hand and play the McDonnell card.

How much it will help is questionable.

McDonnell promises to spend the closing hours of the campaign stomping in South Carolina, but Mitt already has the personal and organizational support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the insularly access to support from the state Party apparatus that comes with her.  And at the moment it is not stopping Gingrich from pulling ahead in the latest polls.

In my own estimation, I have concluded that even though McDonnell is a rising conservative star and a positive name to have your on side, in the case of Mitt Romney, McDonnell’s endorsement will actually benefit Newt Gingrich more than Mitt.¬† As the perceived “establishment” candidate, getting the endorsement of another elected ¬†“establishment” politician, will help urge still undecided voters from among the large anti-establishment voting bloc, to move more Newt’s way than Mitt’s way.

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McDonnell, Christie, and Rubio Make Romney’s Short List for Being Palinized

Bookmark and Share    At a private $1,200 per plate fundraiser in the home of Virginia State Senator Jeff McWaters, Mitt Romney declared that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio are on his short list of possible running mates. The remark was essentially an innocuous statement of the obvious. For many conservative voters, Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio are on the short list of preferred candidates for President not just Vice President. Unlike many of the leading Republican candidates for President, including Romney, much of the conservative base of the G.O.P. are excited about the promise of Christie, McDonnell, and Rubio.

So for Mitt to suggest that he would consider all three men for the job of Vice President should not come as a surprise. The surprise would be that he wasn’t considering them. Such a surprise would also be a sign of some problematic political instincts. Any Republican who is serious about winning the White House in 2012, would be crazy not consider the governors of New Jersey and Virginia and the Senator form Florida.

However, would any of the three want to tie their future to Mitt Romney? Or for that matter would any of them want to tie their futures up with any of the current Republican presidential candidates?

If anyone of the three men in question were seeking the nomination, there would be none of the current chatter about a perceived lack of enthusiasm for the Republican field. Each of them would energize the base, excite those within the TEA movement, and even appeal to more independent minded Republicans. But Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio are not looking to be flashes in the pan. They are each in this for the long haul. Each of them are focusing on the still relatively new jobs that they have gotten and neither of them want to be palinized or quayled.

Those of us who were following Sarah Palin prior to her being picked as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, while we were pleased to see McCain pick her for Vice President, we were not pleased by the price she paid for accepting the nomination. After feeling threatened by the energy Palin brought to the otherwise lackluster ticket, the left pounced on her relentlessly. Combined with her relatively short political record and her inexperience with the constant political game paying of national politics, Palin’s image was not helped by the assistance she provided the G.O.P. in 2008. The same could easily happen with Marco Rubio who has not been in the U.S. Senate for even a year yet and Governors Christie and McDonnell who have served just about as much time in their current positions as did Palin when she was nominated.

As for Chris Christie, just yesterday, he again confirmed that he does not feel that the time for him to run for President is right and that he is personally not ready for to pursue the job. Ironically, he made that statement in Iowa, the hotbed of presidential politics which holds the first presidential nomination contest. But Christie was there as a guest of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a forum on education, not to run for President.

In the case of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, back in February, when asked ‚ÄúWhat if the Party‚Äôs nominee.. came to you and said ‚Äėfor the betterment of your party and your country, I need you to serve as my running mate‚Äô. Wouldn‚Äôt that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?‚ÄĚ, McDonnell replied, ‚ÄúProbably”. But other than that, the Virginia conservative has shown no interest in possibly giving up his job prematurely.

In regards to Marco Rubio, here is a young conservative who became the youngest Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and after being term limited, ran an incredible come from behind, against all odds, anti-establishment, race for the United States Senate. Before doing so, many urged him to wait. They asked him to pay his political dues and get in line in order to allow the traditional succession of the political hierarchy to tell him when it was his turn. Instead Rubio told the political hierarchy to get behind him. Eventually they did. Now Rubio’s future is still tied to no one. That is one reason why although he is a leading force in support of the principles held by the TEA Party movement, he did not join the Senate’s TEA Party Caucus. This was a bright strategic move that allowed him to create some distance between him and the type of hyperbolic rhetoric that the mainstream media uses regarding those connected with the TEA Party. While he adheres to the TEA Party agenda and in many ways leads it, the left does not have the opportunity to describe him as a radical, card carrying member of the TEA Party Caucus.

So Rubio is looking out and while being on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee in 2012 will undoubtedly be most beneficial to the chances of the Party’s winning the presidency, it may not be so beneficial to Rubio and the nation. The chances of being palinized for the sake of the vice presidency is not worth the risk. Win or lose, either way, for a talent like Rubio to be wasted on the vice presidency would be a conservative political travesty. And I believe Rubio knows that he is a future President, not a future Vice President.

Nonetheless, those who are running for President in 2012 need all the help they can get right now and not attempting to recruit the help of Rubio, McDonnell, and Christie would be stupid. The only question I have is why Mitt did not include New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on that list. In my estimation, each of those women are on a plane equal to that of McDonnell and Christie and almost equal to that of Marco Rubio.

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