Romney-Rice 2012: White House 2012’s “The Herd” Looks at the Possible Selection of Condoleezza Rice for Vice President

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by 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 offers a look at former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

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Born (1954-11-14) November 14, 1954 (age 57) Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Denver University of Notre Dame
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Professional Experience

  • Provost, Stanford University, 1993-1999
  • Professor, Stanford University

Political Experience

  • United States Secretary of State, 2005-2009 Appointed,
  • United States Secretary of State, January 26, 2005
  • National Security Advisor, 2001-2005
  • Senior Director/Director, Soviet and East European Affairs, National Security Council, 1989-1991
  • Special Assistant, Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1986

Click here for a detailed biography of Condoleeza Rice

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In mid December a Washington Times opinion piece stated that Dr. Rice was ”quietly positioning herself to be the top choice of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, ready to deliver bona fide foreign-policy credentials lacking among the candidates.” They added “The 56-year-old has recently raised her profile, releasing her memoir in November and embarking on a monthlong book tour”. Whether it is true or not that Rice has been “quietly positioning herself” for a vice presidential nomination is questionable. This very humble, renaissance woman with above average intelligence, an unmatched resume, and wide range of interests has previously claimed that she would much rather serve a stint as the Commissioner of the National Football League than another stint in politics.

But minds do change and Condi could actually be floating the idea by sending some behind the scenes signals that she would be willing to be the running mate on the Republican presidential ticket. She would certainly be an excellent choice. Even though her presence on the ticket may initially draw some negative perceptions of the Bush Administration, Condi’s record is one that is strong enough to diminish such perceptions. Furthermore, in addition to her ability to bring strong foreign affairs credentials to the ticket and bolster voter confidence in the Republican ticket with it, she adds a combination of troubling fear factors to the Obama relection campaign. In addition to being African-American, she is a woman and while these are politically shallow reasons for electing our nation’s leaders, they are also very real and very undeniable political inroads in to the critical female and black voting block. All things considered, Condoleezza Rice is an automatic addition to any Republican presidential nominee’s short list.

Except Mitt Romney’s.

Although she is remarkably diplomatic and inoffensive while at the same time possessing steel-like resolve and confidence, and while her incredibly articulate ways would be able to win more voters over than turn them off, Mitt Romney can not afford to seem to equivocate on the issue of abortion. After switching his position from pro-choice to right to life, he has a hard enough time convincing conservatives that he is sincerely committed to to the sanctity of life. And the problem is that Rice is pro-choice. It is something which conservatives can only be overlooked by many conservatives if the candidate who picks her, had a solid, 100% reocod of committment to ending abortion and even then the selection of a pro-choice running mate would raise much more than just eyebrows.

That said, while I am a conservative who believes that choice exists before the fact, not after the fact, and therefore stand in opposition to abortion, I myself would still be supportive of Condoleezza Rice for Vice President and by natural extrapolation, for President. I do not belive that Rice’s pro-choice position would compel her to move towars a repeal of existing restrictions, not would she propose expansion of the use of abortion as a common practice. Indeed, she is on record as being a strong proponent of restrictions on the use of abortion and wanting to promote a culture that respects life. And when it comes to the many other issues facing our nation, I am willing to trust the judgement of this otherwise conservative leader.

And in many ways, Condoleeza Rice transcends politics. She is more of a policy person than a political one. As such, I trust in her willingness to make political decisions that are driven by the best polices for our nation as opposed to policy decisions driven by the purpose of persoanl political pursuits. If pressed, I would equate Rice to another former Republican President —— President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was more leader than politician. He was more public policy than partisan politics and he was more concerned with the plight our nation’s economy and security than the cause of partisan pandering. Such is the case with Condi Rice.

Such thinking may not please fellow Republican activists such as myslef but I am confident that making the best choices for our nation, also makes for the best positioning of our Party and Condoleezza Rice would make the right decisions for both.

But my sentimens do not change the reality of politics and unless Mitt Romney is willing to risk the support of the evangelical base that is already leerie of his conservtive convictions and committment to the right to life, Condoleezza Rice is not likely to make his final cut for Vice President. Between that and a Romney based fear that Barack Obama’s campaign will be able to use Rice’s leadership concerning the war in Iraq as a way to link the G.O.P. ticket to former President Bush and thereby create a distraction from the realissues in this election, will most likely doom Rice’s chances of being on the ticket.

Pros:

  • Condi Rice is one of those rare well known public fugures who if placed on the ticket, would probably be the one persona that the G.O.P. could nominate without offending a large portion of the left.
  • Her breadth of experience in foreign affairs would make the Obama Adminstration’s foreign and national security teams seem like high schools kids taking a summer course in history. Rice would be an an incredible force for Romney on such issues and could enable them to articulate the many weaknesses in that Obama policies have created for our nation throughout the world.
  • Has history of bipartisanship that can appeal to independent voters
  • McMorris Rodgers has a record that is quite appropriate for this election regarding her positions on fiscal policies, Obamacare, and government reform
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • Her relatively low profile makes her less a lightning rod for liberal attacks and her addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Has a pro-choice stance which could undermine Romney among the Republican base
  • Her ties to the Bush Adminstration will be exploited by the Obama campaign in an attempt to distract voters away from the Obama record

Assessment:

Despite my high regard for the former Secretary of State and regardless of my positive impression of the prospects of a Vice President Rice, my sentimens do not change the reality of politics and unless Mitt Romney is willing to risk the support of the evangelical base that is already leerie of his conservtive convictions and committment to the right to life, Condoleezza Rice is not likely to make his final cut for Vice President. Between that and a Romney based fear that Barack Obama’s campaign will be able to use Rice’s leadership concerning the war in Iraq as a way to link the G.O.P. ticket to former President Bush and thereby create a distraction from the realissues in this election, will most likely doom Rice’s chances of being on the ticket.

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Rice on the Issues

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White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Will Cathy McMorris Rodgers Be Romney’s Surprise Pick for Vice President?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by 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 offers a look at Washington state Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Born: Cathy McMorris (1969-05-22) May 22, 1969 (age 43) Salem, Oregon

Political Party: Republican

Spouse(s): Brian Rodgers

Children: Cole McMorris Rodgers (April 2007) Grace (December 2010)

Residence: Spokane, Washington

Alma Mater: Pensacola Chrsitian College, AB 1990, University of Washington, MBA 2002

Occupation: Orchadist

Religion: Christian

Professional Experience

  • Former Employee, Peachcrest Fruit Basket
  • Former Legislative Assistant

Political Experience

  • United States House of Representatives, 2004-present
  • Representative, Washington State House of Representatives, 1994-2004
  • Republican Whip Team
  • United States House of Representatives Former Minority Leader

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Cathy McMorris Rodgers is largely unknown outside of her district in eastern Washington state, but among conservative activists, she is a familiar name and appreciated for her conservative leadership.

With a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93.80 percent, McMorris Rodgers has a record that could only shore up Mitt Romney among conservatives who remain insecure about his committment to the conservative cause and at the same time, Cathy McMorris Rodgers lacks the type of knee jerk reaction from the left that would automatically lead them to make her the poster child for their hatred.

Now in her 4th term in Congress, McMorris Rodgers is seen as one of Eastern Washington’s chief advocates in the House of Representatives and within the G.O.P. she is considered a rising star. Since first being elected to the House in 2004, she has earned the trust of both her constituents and her Capitol Hill colleagues. So much so that her fellow Congress members have twice elected her Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference where she is the only woman and the youngest Member of the elected House Republican Leadership. That position also makes her the highest-ranking Republican woman on Capitol Hill.

Such power has afforded McMorris Rodgers the opportunity to accumulate some substantial clout in Washington D.C., and she has used that clout to become one of her Party’s most influential leaders on issues like international bailouts, earmark reform, and the fight against Obamacare, three issues that will happen to play a pivotal role in the 2012 elections, including and most especially the presidential election.

So it is for those reasons alone, that Cathy McMorris Rodgers becomes an obvious addition to Mitt Romney’s short list of possible vice presidential running mates. But to make her even more attractive as a potential vice presidential nominee are a mix of her gender, compelling personal life story, and her history of reaching across the aisle to lead bipartisan efforts that introduced such things as beneficial health information technology legislation.

McMorris Rodgers’ non-political experience is another important consideration .

She grew up on a family farm, worked at a small business, and later became a wife and mom. To one degree or another, each of these aspects of her life can resonate quite well among several critical segments of the electorate, including those of the Midwest farming communities, women, and those who can appreciate having political leaders that are familiar with the plight of small businesses in America, something that compliments and compensates for Mitt Romney’s experience with the more corporate side of business in America.

All things considered, Cathy McMorris Rodgers is an ideal running mate for Mitt Romney.

She is well spoken, strong in character, firm in conviction, confident in her beliefs, and unmistakably compassionate. And while she lacks the lightning rod characteristics of a Sarah Palin which could allow the Obama campaign to make her a useful distraction from the issues , being a woman, her presence on the ticket would add a valuable degree of historic intrigue that it would lack if a Rob Portman or Tim Palwenty were to be selected by Romney to be his Vice President. Yet at the same time Cathy McMorris Rodgers would not overshadow Romney and still bring to the ticket the type of legislative experience and stature that people expect from a Vice President. Of course the left will draw parallels between Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Sarah Palin. But they will do so at great risk.

Like Palin, one of McMorris Rodgers’ two children was born with Down syndrome. Like Palin, McMorris Rodgers is a mom, a wife, a conservative and a person of deep religious faith. And if the left wants to use any of these similarities in an attempt to palinize McMorris Rodgers, they better be willing to deal with a backlash from mothers and wives all across the nation because this time their attacks will be seen as nothing but personal and inappropriate.

Pros:

  • Can help bridge the existing gap in popularity that exists between Romney and Obama among women and would make the liberal charge of a Republican war against women far more unbelievable than it already is
  • With a a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 93.80 percent, McMorris Rodgers will be a choice that satisfies the conservative base that Romney needs to have show up to the polls in record numbers on November 6th
  • Has history of bipartisanship that can appeal to independent voters
  • McMorris Rodgers has a record that is quite appropriate for this election regarding her positions on fiscal policies, Obamacare, and government reform
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • Her relatively low profile makes her less a lightning rod for liberal attacks and her addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • Has not yet been intensely scrutinized by a merciless media and national liberal lynch mob
  • Is relatively unknown outside of Washington state
  • Does not bring to the ticket any vast popularity that can dramatically change the electoral college vote within a needed state or region

Assessment:

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not what you can call the perfect running mate for Mitt Romney. The perfect running mate for him is someone who won’t overshadow him, can win over a majority of women, and/or Hispanics and independents, lacks any of the baggage that liberals can use to create a distraction from the real issues with but has positive national name ID and could insure that Republicans win Ohio and or Florida.

The problem is that no one is perfect. If there was such a person, they would have been nominated for president by Republicans instead of Mitt Romney. But when it comes to Cathy McMorris Rodgers insofar as picking a running mate for Romney, she comes pretty close to perfect.

McMorris Rodgers is perfectly positioned on the issues important in this election, can help Romney among women, will appeal to independent voters, and in this largely out with the old, in with the new, anti-establishment electorate, McMorris Rodgers is a fresh face that helps generate a sense of fresh start in Washington, D.C.

And although she may not be the favorite son or daughter of a state that deliver a state like Ohio or Florida to the Republican’s electoral vote count, her appeal to a wide segment women and independent voters in those could be all Romney needs to win those states and others as well.

All of this makes McMorris Rodgers a bold but safe choice for Mitt Romney and “safe” is one of the things Mitt Romney likes the most. Which is why if Romney does surprise us by picking a running mate whose name has not already been widely discussed, it will be with the name Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 3541 – Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012 Legislation (Yea) May 31, 2012

H Amdt 1160 – Project Labor Agreements Amendment (Nay), May 31, 2012

HR 4310 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 Legislation (Yea) May 18, 2012

More Key Votes

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Bill Sponsorship & Cosponsorship

Some of McMorris Rodgers’s most recently sponsored bills include…

View All » (including bills from previous years)

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McMorris Rodgers 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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Will The Importance of Ohio in the General Election Determine Who Romney Nominates for Vice President?: The Herd Looks at Rob Portman

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by 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 offers a look at Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Ohio Senator Robert Portman

Born Robert Jones Portman (1955-12-19) December 19, 1955 (age 56) Cincinnati, Ohio
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane Portman
Residence Terrace Park, Ohio
Alma Mater Dartmouth College (B.A.) University of Michigan (J.D.)
Profession Attorney
Religion United Methodist

Professional Experience:

  • Owner, Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio,
  • Attorney, Squire, Sanders, & Dempsey
  • Attorney, Patton, Boggs and Blow
  • Congressional Aide
  • White House Aide

Political Experience:

  • Associate Counsel to the President, 1989
  • Director, White House Legislative Affairs, 1989-1991
  • Won, Special Election, United States House of Representatives, May 4, 1993
  • Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1993-2005
  • Senator, United States Senate, 2010-present

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Casual observers of politics may not be very familiar with the name Bob Portman, but in the world of economics Portman is highly regarded as a leading budget hawk, a reputation he established during his 6 terms as a Congressman and as a former Director of Management and Budget. His leadership has been marked by proposals for a balanced budget, fighting against irresponsible earmarks, attempts to put in place new transparency for all federal spending, and when he was Director of Management and Budget, for reducing the size of the federal deficit by more than half of its size at the time.

Prior to becoming the cabinet level Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Senator Portman held another cabinet level post as U.S. Trade Representative. There, Portman implemented and enforced trade policies that successfully reduced barriers to U.S. exports and increased enforcement of trade laws which helped to level the playing field for American farmers, workers and service providers. That is an accomplishment that could have significant appeal to many pivotal, farming oriented states.

Another point that could have vast electoral appeal is that under Portman’s leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought its first successful legal case against China.

Through it all, while Portman closely adhered to conservative orthodoxy, he still managed to establish another reputation for himself as a successful bipartisan leader and through his bipartisan efforts effectively maneuvered legislative initiatives through Congress which increased retirement savings, reformed the IRS and added over fifty new taxpayer rights, curbed unfunded mandates, reduced taxes, and expanded drug prevention and land conservation efforts.

Now entering his second year as United States Senator representing the important swing state of Ohio, Portman’s reputation and proven record could make him a prime target for Romney if he wants to balance the ticket with a solid conservative who has particular expertise with the budget matters that are playing such a critical role in this election, and who is not seen as an overly partisan politician, while at the same time can make the difference between winning and losing Ohio in the general election…….a factor which could very well mean winning or losing the presidency of the United States. It is that consideration which has led many political insiders to conclude that Romney will in fact pick Portman to be his rinning mate.

While too much weight is probably being placed on that for anyone to defintively state Portman will be the vice presidential nominee, the Ohio factor is certainly compelling.

Historically, the choice of a running mate has done little to affect the results of a presidential election. The last time it did come very close to making the difference in the presidential election was 52 years ago, when then Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy selected Texas Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson to be his vice presidential running mate. That decision helped to assure that the close election of 1960 (Kennedy defeated Nixon by 0.16% of the popular vote), would swing to Kennedy in the Electoral College where the final 303 to 219 electoral vote count was the closest since 1916. Kennedy and Johnson had no love for one another. In fact it was just the opposite. However, politics makes for strangebedfellows and so the Kennedy-Johnson alliance was born to insure winning the White House.

It is also worth remembering that the last time the state which a vice presidential running mate came from could have made a big difference was in the year 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Florida Supreme Court and order the Democrat led attempts to reinterpret voter intent in only those counties which Al Gore won, be stopped. In that election, had one of Florida’s favorite sons, Senator Connie Mack, accepted the offer from Dick Cheney to be George W. Bush’s vice presidential running mate, the results in Florida would not have been quite as close as they were, and the nation would have been spared the more than one month long anguish and uncertainty of who the next President was going to be.

Data indicates that the selection of a Vice President usually affects most elections by one percent or less, or by the most, two percent nationally. But the same data shows that the selection of a V.P. candidate can affect the vote in the home state of the chosen vice presidential candidate by as much as four percent. Given these facts and the very likely possibility for this election to be close, at least in the Electoral College, a swing of as much as four percent in a battleground state like Ohio or Florida, could make all the difference between winning and losing in the Electoral College. Which is why like Rob Portman in Ohio, Jeb Bush of Florida and Bob McDonnell of Virginia must also be considered as very real a potential running mate for Mitt Romney.

Given these facts and the fact that Republicans may not be able to win the White House without winning Ohio (no Republican has ever been elected President without it), Portman could be the only available favorite son from Ohio who could change that state’s popular vote so significantly that it could swing it and the entire election to Romney. Therefore, when it comes to Rob Portman being on the ticket, at some point the powers that be may decide that they can’t win the election without Portman helping to make sure they win Ohio. Personally I do not believe that Portman is as of yet popular enough in the Buckeye State to ensure a G.O.P. victory there but he also can’t hurt the chances of pulling out a G.O.P. victory there.

All things considered, Senator Portman is probably one of the safest, least controversial, and most logical choices for any Republican presidential nominee to select as their running mate and therefore, like Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree, John Thune, Portman becomes a leading contender.

Pros:

  • Portman might influence the results in Ohio by a margin that could deliver Ohio for Republicans and winning Ohio is practicial required in order for Republicans to win the White House
  • Could please conservatives who not yet sold on Romney
  • Portman corners the market for Republicans on the issues most critical in this election…. the economy
  • Is experienced in areas of trade, another important issue
  • He is not a lightning rod for liberal attacks and his addition to the ticket would not invite a litany of distractions during the campaign

Cons:

  • 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

Assessment:

While Portman is viewed as one of the most likely people for Romney to pick for Vice President because of his probable ability to put Ohio in the Republican electoral vote count, I do not beliueve that Bob Portman has yet established the type of bond with Ohioans that is necessary to overcome the type of treacherous rewrite of history that will be done by the Obama 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. And if Ohio is so pivotal, Team Obama will do all they can to assasinante the charachter of Rob Portman. And Portman’s short time as G. W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the basis for that character assasination.

Of course, Portman will easily and correctly be able to defend his record by making it quitre clear that most of his reccomendations whil Director of OMB were not followed up on by the Bush Administration, but in many regards, the Obama campaign will have the ability to create the false impression that Portman played a part in creating the current economic crisis.

Understanding that, it must also be said that the opposition will do the same with anyone who is nominated by Republicans. So from that perspective, Portman should not be denied the chance to defend his record, a record that is truly exceptional and could be incredibly helpful in allowing Mitt Romney to advance a powerful case for fiscal conservatism.

Ultimatley though, if fiscal conservatism and budgets are a selling point that Romney wants his running mate to well versed and experienced in, I see him more likely to select someone else. Possibly someone like Mitch Daniels who was also a Director of the Office of Management of Budget under G.W. Bush but has a stronger and nmore loyal following than Portman, and has his economic record as Governor of Indiana to point to when Obama tries to pin the Bush years on him.

Portman certainly is on the short list for Vice President and for good reason. But I do not believe that he will make the final cut.

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Recent Key Votes

S 2343 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Reid Bill)
Legislation (Nay), May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2107 – Authorizes Import of FDA-Approved Drugs from Canada
Amendment (Nay) May 24, 2012

S Amdt 2153 – Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill)
Amendment (Yea), May 24, 2012

More Key Votes

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Portman on The Issues

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

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The Herd: A Look at the Possibile Picking of Tim Pawlenty as Romney Vice Presidential Running Mate

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will  at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by 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 offers a look at former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty

Born: November 27, 1960,St. Paul, Minnesota

Spouse(s): Mary Pawlenty

Children :Anna, Mara

Residence :Eagan, Minnesota

Alma mater: University of Minnesota (B.A.), University of Minnesota Law School (J.D.)

Profession:Lawyer

Religion:Baptist

Political Career :

  • Appointed to the the Eagan city’s Planning Commission by then Mayor Vic Ellison
  • Elected to a term on the City Council
  • Campaign advisor for Jon Grunseth’s 1990 losing bid for Minnesota governor
  • 1992; Pawlenty was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and was re-elected to that seat five times
  • 1988; Pawlenty was elected House Majority Leader when the Republicans became the majority party in the State Legislature
  • 2002; Pawlenty campaigned and won on a pledge not to raise taxes to balance the state’s budget deficit, requiring visa expiration dates on driver’s licenses, a 24-hour waiting period on abortions, implementing a conceal-carry gun law, and changing the state’s education requirements. Pawlenty defeated 2 challengers in the GOP primary and eventually his opponents in the general election.
  • 2006; Pawlenty was reelected Governor of a margin of little more than 1%. This victory was despite DFL gains in both the state House and State Senate and a big gains for Democrats nationally.

(Click here to see Pawlenty’s White 2012 Presidential Page)

Pros:

  • Pawlenty could possibly make Minnesota more competetive for Romney than it currently is and without Minnesota in Obama’s column, it could be hard for Democrats to make up for that loss in the electoral college from another state
  • Pawlenty is a competent speaker
  • Pawlenty is a safe choice who has been somewhat vetted
  • His candidacy would not lead to any distractions from the issues or overshadow Mitt Romney

Cons:

  • Pawlenty does not fire up the base which Romney needs to energize

Overall Assessment:

There is no reason why Tim Pawlenty can’t be on the ticket. However; Pawlenty became one of the first people to declare their candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination and he became the first to withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And the same reasons which led to his withdrawal from the race may be the same reasons he is not nominated for the vice presidential nomination. Another reason he may not be on the ticket is because he has stated that he is taking himself off the list of candidates for Romney to consider for Vice President, and that he doesn’t even want to consider the position. Still, that doesn’t mean he is not being considered for the job or that he will reconsider his earlier stated thoughts.

Pawlenty campaigned long and hard. His campaign team was top notch and his campaign was initially financed fairly well and he did just about everything right. He had a good message, well done ads, and a good strategy. The only problem seemed to be the messenger. Tim Pawlenty seemed to be the kid in the classroom who always had his hand up while howling “ooh, ooh” but failed to interest anyone in what he had to say. So one day after the Ames Straw poll in Iowa, he dropped out of the race.

Despite those circumstances, Pawlenty is a top quality conservative leader with a great record on social and economic issues and he is an extraordinarily competent executive. Such qualities make Pawlenty a top contender for the vice presidential nomination, at least on paper. He is certainly not the type of running mate that any presidential nominee has to fear being overshadowed by. All this means that Mitt Romney could easily tap Pawlenty for Vice President. He comes from a state that the G.O.P. could use help with and which if they could win, would leave the Obama-Biden ticket in deep trouble. He also appeals to many Midwest voters and lacks much of the luggage that other potential running mates have.

But Romney may want and need a running mate who excites at least one demographic group far more than T-Paw does. Given that fact, even though Pawlenty is a safe choice and Romney likes playing it safe, there are several other potential running mates who are equally as safe as Pawlenty but bring a touch more excitement to the ticket than he does.

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White House 2012’s Series “The Herd”: Could Rand Paul Be the Ticket for Mitt Romney?

Bookmark and Share  The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President.  Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believethat  will be at least considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by 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 offers a look at Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Born Randal Howard Paul (1963-01-07) January 7, 1963 (age 49) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul Carol Wells Paul (parents)
Children William, Robert, and Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University (1981–1984)Duke University (M.D., 1988)
Occupation Ophthalmologist (Physician), Politician
Religion Presbyterian(baptized Episcopalian)

Rand Paul, the son of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, rode a wave of anti-establishment, T.E.A. movement sentiments in Kentucky that allowed him to defeat his establishment backed Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson by more than 20% in the state’s primary. Grayson was even backed by the state’s senior Senator, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Paul went on to win the senate against in a a hard-fought battle against Kentucky Attorney General, Democrat Jack Conway (D) by with a mix of his father’s Libertarian and continued energetic support from the T.E.A. Movement.

Rand’s swearing in to the Senate and his father’s swearing in to the House of Representatives marked the first time in congressional history that a child served in the Senate while the parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives but Rand soon set out to become his own man and make his own mark on politics. After being assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees, Rand established the Senate Tea Party Caucus and his very Paul’s first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. It included proposals This proposal include an 83% cut in funding of the Department of Education a 43% cut the Department of Homeland Security. Other measures in his spending bill included making the Department of Energy ia part of the Department of Defense and totally eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In total, his bill would dismantle seven more independent agencies, put an end to financial international aid spending, cut the food stamp program by 30 percent and reduce defense spending by 6.5 percent.

Since then, Paul was one of only two Republicans to vote against extending three key but controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, the provisions allowing for roving wiretaps, the search of business records and for conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”.

Later in the year Paul was one of only nine senators to vote against a bill designed temporarily prevent a government shutdown that cut $4 billion from the budget. His reasons for his opposition to the bill was based on his belief that it did not cut enough from the budget and a week later, Rand Paul voted against the Democratic and Republican compromise budget proposals to keep funding the federal government and On April 14, Paul was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

During the debt ceiling crisis, Paul stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted and became a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by the Democrats. On August 3, Paul voted against the inevitable bill that came before Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Some of Paul’s other initiatives in the Senate include calling for a no confidence confidence in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, blocking legislation that would have supposedly strengthened safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he felt the bill was not strong enough. he also blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, because he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green. Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.

Rand Paul is most certainly a promising figure, but at this point in time, much of his reputation is that of his father’s. For the anti-establishment, libertarian types, Rand Paul offers the hope that unlike his father, who has been in Congress for more than two decades and achieved absolutely legislative accomplishments to limit government in its size and scope, or to reduce spending, prehaps Rand Paul’s being one of only a hundred members of the U.S. Senate, will enable to actually put some of his promised and ideas in to action. That has yet to be seen and much like former Senator Barack Obama, with less than two years in office, it might just be prudent to give time the opportunity to tell us who Rand Paul really is and what he is actually capable of.

But Rand Paul’s popularity, especially among the T.E.A. movement types who Romney is not very popular with, could help Romney does make Rand Paul a real possibility for Romney to pick as Vice President. If Romney wants to win the presidency, he will need to get out the Republican in record numbers and Rand Paul could help do that. Another intriguing consideration is that the addition of Rand Paul to the ticket might just get many of Ron Paul’s lunatic fringe followers to actually vote for a Romney-Rand Paul ticket. Many Ron Paul who will not be voting for the Republican candidate, regardless of who it is or could have been, will think twice about throwing their vote away on the doomed to failure Libertarian ticket now being headed by former G.O.P. presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson.

But picking Rand Paul to get Ron paul voters to vote for him, would be a mistake for Mitt Romney.

While Rand Paul will help among fiscal conservatives and can add to the ticket a degree of the anti-establishment popularity that Romney lacks, Rand is still too untested for the national stage. Furthermore, despite what some believe, Ron Paul’s following is not quite as large as they would believe, which is perhaps why Ron Paul has failed to win the presidency as the Libertarian nominee in 1988, and has now twice failed to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Furthermore; Rand Paul has provided a lot of material of which the left will use to distract voters with He has given them plenty of material to exploit and dominate news cycles with in attempts to paint Rand Paul as an out of touch, extremist. Such a situation would end up creating a din of sensationalized headlines so loud and so often, that it would drown out such things as Romney’s proposals to tackle create jobs, grow the economy, cut spending, and tackle the enormous, Obama dominated spending deficit. Rand Paul’s record may be short, but it is rich with both scripted and unscripted, controversial remarks that would provide the left with an abundance of material to exploit and distract voters with. That combined with the fact that there are many more accomplished and experienced potential vice presidential nominees who can also appeal to the anti-establishment and T.E.A., movement voting blocs, and what you have is no real need for Romney to take a chance on Rand Paul.

Pros:

  • Rand Paul can attract support from among some Libertarians and from some of his father’s militant followers who would otherwise avoid voting Republican
  • Rand Paul’s presence on the ticket would add an anti-establishment flavor to the ticket that Romney sorely lacks
  • Rand’s nomination for V.P. would help assure conservatives that Romney is more open to reform and more committed to extreme actions to solve our spending and budget problems than he has demonstrated so far

Cons:

  • Rand Paul’s coming from Kentucky does not help to put a state in play for Romney. Kentucky has no chance of going for Obama in 2012 and even though Rand represents a Southern state, he has not yet established the type of popularity that would allow him to be a substantial regional influence for the Romney Ticket
  • Rand has been quite prolific when it comes to saying controversial things. Between those remarks and and his record, the left would be able to use Rand as a tool to distract voters with on a daily basis.
  • Rand Paul lacks legislative and foreign affairs experience
  • There are more accomplished and qualified potential candidate two can help the ticket far more than Rand Paul
  • Although not as isolationist as his father, some of Rand Paul’s positions significantly clash with basic conservative national defense positions

Assessment:

Thinking about picking Rand Paul for Vice President is more of a novelty than a serious consideration. This is especially the case when you realize that with no legislative accomplishments of his own yet, there are several far more deserving candidates who are just as strong on the same issues that make Rand Paul initially seem like a good choice for Romney.

Rand Paul presence on the ticket would also become more of a distraction than a benefit. A slew of controversial comments will be combined with his limited voting record and used by the left and the Obama campaign to try and make a Romney-Paul ticket look out of touch and extreme. And in doing so, each new news cycle would be dominated by a Paul oriented, liberal attack line rather than any focus of the Romney campaign to bring attention to the real issues and Obama’s record.

For example Paul recently voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Now he did not do so because he supports violence against women. Of course he doesn’t. But he voted against it because the bill contained langauge and measures that he believed were not appropriate and in some cases passage of the bill included passage of measures that were not germane to the issue. But take that vote and combine with something like the much discussed incident that came up in Paul’s senate race. The Aqua Buddha incident in which an anonymous woman claimed that back in college, Rand Paul and a friend tied her up, tried to force her to smoke pot, and then took her to a creek, where they blindfolded her and forced her to bow down and worship something they called the “Aqua Buddha.” That incident came out in the campaign and was discovered to have no truth to it, but since when did the truth have anything to do with news headlines and the impressions of others that liberals create? So just as an example, put those two stories together for a liberal media outlet and what you have is a false claim being combined with a false impression of Paul’s reasons for voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and a story that a Romney-Paul be spend three days explaining away and being taken off message.

For that and all the other reasons outlined above, Rand Paul is probably not even being considered as a viable option for Vice President by the Romney campaign. But that hasn’t stopped certain political circles and media outlets from declaring that Rand Paul is at least a possible dark horse nominee. So White House 2012 included Rand Paul in this series merely to address existing speculation. In the final analysis, Rand Paul has about as much of chance to be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney as does Hillary Clinton or Al Gore.

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Recent Key Votes

HR 2072 – Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Legislation (Nay), May 15, 2012

S 1925 – Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act

Legislation (Nay) April 26, 2012

More Key Votes

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Rand Paul On the Issues

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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 – 2005:  Virginia House of Delegates
  • 2006 – 2009:  Virginia State Attorney General
  • 2010 – 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“What if the party’s 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’t that be a difficult thing for you to turn down?” McDonnell replied simply, “Probably.”  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 “Senior Alert” to assist in locating missing seniors  with mental deficiencies, created a state of the art Sex Offender Registry, strengthened Virginia’s 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’s Youth Internet Safety Task Force, which was credited with improving online  safety, and establishing the ongoing Attorney General’s Task Force on Regulatory  and Government Reform. That task force made over 300 recommendations to  streamline Virginia’s 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
  • “If” 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’s record on jobs, energy, budgets, and deficits is an invaluable asset that will help draw sharp contrasts with Obama’s 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’s 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 “The Top State for Business” 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’s  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 – taxation, jobs, schools, – Bob McDonnell did not disappoint.  “Priorities were set and addressed.”  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.’s ability to get voters to focus on the Obama record and the Obama economy.    With McConnell’s 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 “Palinized” 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)  – April 9, 2012
Legislation  (Veto) – April 9, 2012
Legislation  (Veto) – 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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Frank Keating for Vice President? Will Mitt Romney Consider making the Former Oklahoma Governor His Runnig Mate?

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 of 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 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 former Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating.

Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating

Born Francis Anthony Keating (1944-02-10) February 10, 1944 (age 68) St. Louis, Missouri
Political Party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Keating
Profession Lawyer, Lobbyist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Frank who?

Many, non-Southerners may not know or remember Frank Keating, but they should because he’s worth remembering.   He is truly one of the most successful conservative leaders and genuinely nice guys politics has ever known. As such, those of us who do remember Frank Keating are stirred by feelings of respect and confidence, when we think about him. Which is why when considering people as prospective vice presidential nominees, Frank Keating should be considered by Mitt Romney.

Keating, a former two term Governor of Oklahoma began his career in law enforcement and his good work in that area eventually led President Ronald Reagan to appoint Keating to be the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, where he served with distinction from 1981 to 1984. In 1984 he ran for Congress in Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district and lost but came close to defeating House Budget Committee chairman Jim Jones

Following that loss, President Reagan appointed Keating to serve as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and later as United States Associate Attorney General, where he became the third ranking official in the Department of Justice. In these positions, Keating managed both the Justice and Treasury departments’ law enforcement agencies, as well as the U.S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and all 94 United States Attorneys.

Following the election of George H.W. Bush in 1988, Keating continued on in the Justice Department but in 1990 was elevated by the first President Bush to serve as General Counsel and Acting Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Jack Kemp. He began his work there in 1990 but on November 14th of 1991, Bush nominated Keating to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Keating stayed on as Acting Deputry Director at H.U.D as he waited for his nomination to be taken up the Senate, but with Democrats in control, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and their partisanship caused them to sit on the nomination and never bring it for a hearing and vote. This allowed incoming Democrat President Bill Clinton to nominate a fellow partisan Democrat instead. The Democrat controlled Senate did act on that nominee in a timely fashion. Keating finally left his post with H.U.D. in 1993, after the Clinton Admimistration replaced him in that job too.

Keating then headed back to Oklahoma where after a years in the private sector, he decided to run for Governor of Oklahoma and in November of 1994 he defeated his Democrat opponent by 17 percentage points.

Within just three months of taking office, on April 19, Governor Keating became a man in charge of what at the time, was the greatest single act of terrorism in the United States. It became infamously known as the Oklahoma City Bombing and ground zero was the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. One explosion ignited within the confines of a large U-Haul truck that was parked in front of the building killed 168 Oklahomans and injured 800. The blast tore down the Alfred P. Murrah Building and destroyed or damaged more than 300 buildings in the surrounding area, leaving several hundred people homeless and shutting down business.

Governor Keating orchestrated an unimaginable mobilization of relief and rescue teams to handle the tragic event. His leadership help coordinate the efforts of over 12,000 people in the days following bombing and his masterful handling of it all earned him worldwide attention for his efforts to help the victims and their families.

Aside from the testing of Governor Keating under fire through the tragedy of Oklahoma City, Keating undertook an aggressive political agenda that included environmental protection, road building, tougher law enforcement, economic development,education reform, public safety, tax relief. he even initiated the creation of an innovative public-private partnership that assured care for the indigent as well as a stronger medical education program. Passage of these initiatives was not east and despite several bitter battles with the Democrat controlled state legislature, most of Keating’s initiatives were passed.

His first major success was passage of the first welfare reform law in the nation in 1995. By y 2001, those reforms had reduced Oklahoma’s welfare rolls by over 70%., but it’s early success was so great that success made Keating’s reforms a national model that was mimicked by the historic welfare reform act of 1996.

From there, Keating moved on to other memorably successful efforts. As a law and order politician, Keating used his career in law enforcement to serve Oklahomans. He implemented tough parole policies and introduced the landmark truth-in-sentencing legislation. Keating also showed little amnesty when handling death sentence criminals, allowing many of those sentenced to death to be executed. Keating also raised the salaries of Oklahoma’s state troopers from the lowest in the nation to the 24th highest.

But the greatest success of Keating’s first term came in 1998 when he become the first Governor of Oklahoma in 50 years to successfully maneuver the passage of a cut in the state’s income tax. Something that was made all the more remarkable given the fact that he had already successfully reduced the states unemployment tax, sales tax, and estate tax. The sum total of these policies and cuts created over 130,000 new jobs in Oklahoma Oklahoma and amounted to the largest tax break in the state’s history.

In his second term Keating set four goals for Oklahoma for his second term:

  1. Ensure one out of every three Oklahomans has a college degree by 2010
  2. Decreasing Oklahoma’s divorce rate by 50% before 2010,
  3. Raising Oklahoma’s Americas College Testing scores to the national average by 2005
  4. Raising Oklahoma’s per capita income to reach the national average by 2025

This focus led to an agenda that focussed on education by introducing charter schools in to the system and by increasing spending on the enhancement of vo-tech and higher education facilities. It also led Keating confront the problems involving substance abuse , child abuse, and out of wedlock births.

Other extraordinary achievements of Keating included

  • A criminal justice bill that reformed Truth in Sentencing (TIS) to Oklahoma and ensure that violent and repeat offenders remained in jail
  • Overseeing the largest road construction project in Oklahoma history.
  • Leading his state through the historic and devastating tornado season of 1999
  • Raising more than $20 million in private money to replenish a state fund that went dry during WWI and was meant to complete the Oklahoma State Capitol with a dome.

Since leaving office, Keating has enjoyed much success in the private sector sector where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council of Life Insurers. In 2002 he wrote a children’s book about famous Oklahoman Will Rogers and in 2006 he authored another children’s book. This one was about Theodore Roosevelt. Then in 2008 came Standing Bear, his third book for children.

On January 1, 2011, Keating became president and CEO of the American Bankers Association.

During his post gubernatorial days, Keating flirted with the thought of running for President. However in 2008, he decided that compared to the earlier starts by the McCain and Romney campaigns, it was too late for him step in to the race.

Between his experience, personality and accomplishments, Governor Keating is probably more qualified to be President of the United States than any one who is or who were running for President in 2012. From a conservative standpoint, Keating is brilliant. From a non-partisan standpoint, Keating is a level-headed doer who looks beyond the obvious problems that needs fixing and dives full on in to a mission to fix them, but also has the vision to make sure that they won’t need to be fixed again in the future.

Governor Keating is a charming, inteligent, experienced, knowledgeable, accomplished leader who avoids partisan political bickering and reminds his colleagues that voters do not care about politics, they care about policies, policies that work. The type of Keating policies that increase, jobs, grows the economy, limits government, and is willing to accept the fact that government is not the answer to everything, but that government can help to unite the private sector in a way that allows them to do a better job than government ever could have.

Keating also has something that only a handful of other potential VP nominees have. Signature achievements that bring a level of undeniably proven credibility. The type of credibility that has also withstood the test of time. Frank Keating has truly walked the walk not just talked the talk. He has a proven record that if given the attention it deserves, could impress more than a few voters and make them say “we need someone like him to do for our nation, what he did for his state”.

It is simply a shame that Frank Keating didn’t become a candidate for President in 2012.

His record as Governor is one which not only demonstrates how good he was, it shows us a man who was ahead of the times. While many states are only now struggling with right-to-work laws, Frank Keating addressed them before they could become institutionalized problems in his state. While many states are finally trying to deal with the often tragic results of a lack of truth in sentencing, Frank Keating long ago solved that for the people of his state.

Be it matters of infrastructure, education, taxes, jobs, or the economy, Frank Keating has created road maps that have taken people in the direction before and there is no reason to believe why he can’t again. And he has even been successful at changing the dynamics of late which have people believing that all things must rely upon government. As Governor, Frank Keating was able to demonstrate the benefits of having government rely on the private sector and in so doing, proved that the private sector can do better than government. Between that and his having more hands on experience in the areas of public safety and law enforcement and what you have is a man who few are looking at now, but many could be wanting once they are reminded of who he is.

Pros:

  • Incredible experience in law enforcement
  • Has a record of governor that is full of reform, innovation, fiscal success, and managerial expertise, all of which touch upon important issues in this election.
  • Respected among the conservative base that Romney needs to excite and get behind him with enthusiasm

Cons:

  • Does not bring any needed extraordinary geographical pluses to the ticket
  • His post-gubernbatorial work in the private sector as a lobbyist for bankers and insurers will be turned in to something evil by the left
  • At 68, some may try to subtley use his age against him
  • His representation of Banks as the ABA President will be used to try paint a Romneky/Keating ticket as an out of touch, rich Republican team of banking and Wall Street special interests as a part of the ongoing liberal class warefare startegy

General Assessment:

Keating is everything that conservatives want and more. Not only has been there and done that when it comes to every issue that we are discussing today, he has taken those issues by the horn and in his state, solved the problems surrounding those issues. As a candidate, Keating would be a strong, articulate candidate who people could relate to and with whom they could connect. He also comes from a school of politics that when compared to today’s politics, is much more mature and non-partisan. And although many people might not exactly recognize the name, once his story is told, people will automatically respect him for both who he is and what he accomplished. However I do not think Mitt Romney wants to have to tell Keating’s story. Doing so would drive some unwanted contrasts between Romney’s record and Keating’s record that Mitt may not want to have to address. And finally, I think Mitt may want to try to bring a relatively fresher face to the stage.

But I could easily be, and in many ways hope I am wrong, because if anyone would make a good Vice President, it would be someone who would make an excellent President, and Frank Keating would make an excellent President. In the end, as much as glad as I would like to see Keating tapped for the nomination, I think he is a longshot for the job because of the lack of geographical electoral benefit he brings to the ticket and because of the propoganda rich image the left would be given because of Keatings representation of insurance interests and as the President of the American Banking Association, banking interests.

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Frank Keating On The Issues

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

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Other White House 2012 pages dedicated to potential vice presidential candidates include links to the websites, and Facebook pages of the candidate it focusses on. Keating’s lack of political inolvement since 2002 has left Keating without a need or desire for such pages so there were none to link to. Inlieu of such pages, we have instead provided several video interviews of the Governor.

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Recent Interviews of Frank Governors

Frank Keating, the former Oklahoma Governor who was named chief executive officer of the American Bankers Association, talks about his work on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s proposal for changes to the U.S. budget.

ABA CEO Frank Keating speaks at the ABA’s 2011 Convention about the Dodd-Frank Act and the importance of banks in building strong communities.

Former Governor Frank Keating talks about anger in America 15 years after the Oklahoma City Bombing with CNN’s John King.

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