There are many good choices that Mitt Romney can make in picking a partner to lead our nation with. But there is one strategic line of thinking that could lead Romney to a pick that would be so game changing that it will turn the 2012 presidential election in to an entirely different race than it it now is.
It is an option that does not seek to win by playing on the politics of ethnicity or gender. It does not seek to play on geographical politics or the assurance of winning any one particular state. It seeks to cross the divisions of sex, color, religion, class, geography and even the lines of political Party. It is a strategy that ignores the desire to pander to women on the basis of sex or Hispanics on the basis of ethnicity. It is a strategy that, if it focuses on anyone, it focuses on the small percentage of independent voters in the handful of battleground states that will determine who will be elected President in November.
It is strategy that would shock the political world, put Republicans in control of the headlines and in charge of the political agenda that dominates the remaining weeks of the presidential campaign, and it is an option that seeks to do all that President Obama promised but failed to deliver………unite us instead of divide us.
It is a strategy that begins with Mitt Romney allowing all the speculation over who he will nominate to continue consuming the news cycles until the second day of the Republican National Convention. By allowing the buzz over who Romney will pick to remain a hot topic, and even manipulating the media by allowing some certain names to leak out every few days, Team Romney is assuring that Team Obama will have to share any of their own campaign’s distractions and distortions about Romney with each media outlet’s desire to make sure that they are in the forefront of covering the biggest news of the election to date…….. who Mitt Romney’s running mate will be. Holding off on announcing who the nominee will be also insures a greater national focus on the Republican National Convention, an event that is so scripted that it is spells suspense “P-L-A-N-N-E-D”.
Allow there to be some suspense. Give the news all the help it needs to generate ratings for their stations by forcing them to use the suspense over Romney’s vice presidential pick by covering the convention from gavel to gavel.
Then on the evening of Monday, August 28th, the first night of the Republican National Convention, Team Romney announces that on Tuesday, afternoon, Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, will be holding a rally outside of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the Democratic National Convention which will be held the following week.
This will immediately lead to an unfettered frenzy of speculation over Romney’s announcement of his vice presidential nominee and while this fevered pitch over who the nominee will be, provides the backdrop for the events and speeches at the first night of the Republicans national nominating convention, allow each speaker who comes before the national primetime audience to stress two things—- national unity and the united resolve to address the worst economy since the Great Depression, and to do so as one people, the American people, a people who have always valued a life of independence over a life of dependence.
With the stage now set, on Tuesday afternoon of August 28th, amid thousands of Republican activists who have been rapidly mobilized by the RNC and by local and state Republican organizations throughout the Carolina’s and neighboring states, an array of distinguished speakers begins to address the large audience in attendance and the even larger national audiences witnessing the event on every channel and internet stream available to them. Let each speaker fire up the audience with remarks about everything from the need for a President who unites us rather than divide us, to the need for an end to an Administration that is hell-bent on waging class warfare and a war on capitalism.
The long list of speakers at this rally would have two purposes. In addition to preparing the crowd for Romney and to help set the tone for his announcement, it will help to throw the media off the scent. Have people like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Congressman Allen West there. Have Tim Pawleny, Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio , South Dakota Senator John Thune, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman all there. Have New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayote and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal there. Even have Sarah Palin there to address the people and make it impossible for the media to determine who the nominee is based upon which one of them is jopining Romney at this announcement. Let each of these fine people promote the Republican cause and most of all, make it impossible for the media to scoop Mitt Romney’s ability to capitalize on the shock value of his announcement.
Then comes the moment of truth. Marco Rubio steps up to the mic and after hammering home the theme of a nation tackling our problems together as one people, he introduces “the next President of the United States…. Mitt Romney.”
To the roar of the crowd, with a sea of signs and American Flags waving, Romney steps out on to the stage, hand in hand with his wife Ann, and the rest of his family behind him.
Romney thanks everyone for coming together on such short notice. He hits upon the theme of his campaign, one of which is that we the people are in this together and that the only way out of the depths of our dreary economy will not be found by splintering ourselves by sex, orientation, faith, color, or class and how we certainly can’t find economic recovery by dividing ourselves along Party lines. And in his own words Mitt Romney says the following;
“Today, America will take a step towards ending the traditional partisan political paradigm that has divided us. Today I propose that we bridge the political divide by demonstrating a willingness to solve our American problems with American solutions. Not partisan solutions that are based on foreign political ideologies. But it is important to understand something. It is important to understand the difference between Party and ideology. Ideology is a closely organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas forming the basis of a social, economic, or political philosophy or program. Political parties on the other hand, are typically motivated more by the desire to seek to influence government policy by consolidating power for themselves. And in that search for power, we often see the issues and even ideology, take a back seat to each parties desire to dominate the process.
But what if we the people, took the partisan power trip out of the equation? What if our nation focussed on chosing an ideology instead of just one Party? Today I come before you in an attempt to lead us based on ideology not Party. My ideology, the conservative ideology, seeks to retain traditional institutions and supports the most minimal influence and control of society through government.
This ideology is a basic philosophy that comes to us from the founding principles of our great nation. And these founding principles transcend Party lines. They lie at the heart of my vision for America, a vision quite different than that of our current President.
While our current President seeks to increase the size and scope of government, I seek to lead an America of less government, less taxation, less spending, and more freedom. And that goal is not limited to me. It is the goal of millions of Americans. Including Democrats.
Democrats, like Republicans, have all suffered from the failures of the current Administration. Democrats, like Republicans, have suffered from the longest period of sustained high unemployment in history. Thanks to the liberal tax and spend ideology, like Republicans, Democrats have been forced to endure the weight of our national debt becoming so burdensome that it is now a national security issue. Democrats and Republicans are having to face the fact that for the first time in history, we are about to leave our children with a nation that is worse than off than it was for the generation before them.
That is why millions of Democrats are just as unhappy with the way our nation is going, as Republicans are. That is why we are in this together. It is why I know the only way out of this is to work with all Americans. Instead of making the wealthy the enemy of the poor, we need to strengthen the system that built this country so that it can continue creating wealth and opportunity for all. It is why instead of limiting our potential by focussing on consolidating partisan political power, I choose to work with Democrats and Republicans alike.
For too long we have seen both Republican Presidents and Democrat Presidents fail to reduce our debt. For too long we have seen a government divided by Party, fail to unite the people behind the solutions that we need. Today, I seek to unite us all by uniting the parties behind a vision for America, a vision that is shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.
I choose to break us out of the boundaries of partisan politics that restrict us and limit us by focussing not on Party, but on the endless opportunities that the conservative ideology which founded this nation can provide for all Americans. And I choose to lead by example. That is why today I am proud to keep my promise to you. I promised to pick a running mate who is conservative. And today I proudly deliver on that promise by nominating a conservative…… a conservative Democrat……….. North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler“.
Now back to reality.
Shuler, a former first-round selection in the 1994 NFL Draft, who was taken by the Washington Redskins and later played for the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders, is a competent campaigner and powerful speaker and while picking him to be Vice President is probably not in the cards for Mitt Romney, it is a choice that is well worth exploring.
The selection of a conservative Democrat as Romney’s running mate would be a game changing choice that upends every potential angle to the 2012 presidential that has been discussed to date. While much of the focus has been on Romney nominating a running mate who can fire up Republicans or increase his support among some key voting blocs such as women or Hispanics, by picking a conservative Democrat as his running mate, Romney will be focussing on the one group of voters that encompasses not only women, or Hispanics, but people of both sexes, all ethnicities, all religions, all states, and all colors……. independents. These voters are more important than any other single voting bloc. They are the only voters who reamin unpolarized and who will ultimately determine the winner of every battleground state that Obama and Romney will endlessly court. They are the voters who will determine who is elected President in November.
By picking a conservative Democrat, Romney will take control of the political agenda, capture the imaginations of voters, especially independent voters, and change the dynamics of the entire election.
The move would help breakthrough the polarization that has locked Republicans out of contention in many states that are now consideredd to be solidly in President Obama’s column.
It will also put President Obama on the defense.
In 2008 President Obama promised to be a uniter. Yet in the years since then, we have seen him do nothing but divide us. He has claimed Republicans are waging a war against women. He has told the poor that we must target the rich. He has essentially belittled entrepeneurs and claimed that government control is more valuable to the American people than American entrepreneurship. And if this them versus us strategy of divide and conquer isn’t enough to demonstrate that he is anything but a uniter, since taking office, President Obama’s legislative agenda has been nothing but a display of totalitariansim and partisan politics. In addition to his unilateral appointment of an endless array of unelected and unnaccountable czars designed to circumvent Congress and the voters, President Obama has led by dicatating executive order s and the by getting legislation passed through entirely partisan deal making that were conducted behind closed doors.
By nominating a Democrat, a conservative Democrat, Romney will be able to exploit that record to the fullest.
Independent voters who consistently claim that the answer to our problems is having Democrats and Republicans work together will begin to at least find hope in Romney’s attempt to finally make that solution possible.
Picking Heath Shuler will not suddenly make liberals vote for Mitt Romney. Indeed most Democrats won’t cross lines to cast their ballot for a Romney-Shuler ticket. But given the extraordinary political polarization that we are experiencing at this juncture in our political history, nothing will make that happen. However; by picking a Democrat as his running mate, Romney will help to reverse the troubling polarizing that we are experiencing in this election cycle. And by picking Shuler, Romney will appeal to at least some Democrats, including those in his native state of North Carolina, a state Democrats are hoping to win but are quickly losing that hope in. He will also be able to appeal to Democrats elsewhere and he can do so with far more success than President Obama and Vice President Biden would have if they were to campaign among Republicans.
Heath Shuler can campaign for the Republican ticket in blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and attract more Democrats to the Republican ticket than Obama and Biden would be able to among Republicans in redder states such as Indiana, Virginia,. And in swing states like Ohio, and Florida, the appeal of Heath Shuler among Democrat voters could make the difference between winning and losing the election.
But how would Republicans take to the idea of Mitt Romney, a candidate whose conservative credentials they already call in to question, picking a Democrat, even a so-called Blue Dog, conservative Democrat?
Not very well and therein lies the downside to this strategy.
Many conservatives will initially feel betrayed. They will claim that Romney can’t be trusted and that he is selling conservatives out. However, by the time Heath Shuler accepts the nomination, thanks to the magic of politics, the power of symbolism, and the increased prospect of victory, many of those minds will be changed.
Shuler who is not running for reelection to his seat in Congress, has voted against Obama’s additional $825 billion economic recovery package. He voted “No” on on the 2008 $15 billion dollar bailout for GM and Chrysler and has supported Truth in Spending legislation that would force the government to show real costs vs. planned costs. On the issue of abortion, Shuler is a staunchly opposes the practice and opposes any and all federal funding of the practice. Such fine points may not prove that Shuler is as conservative as a Jim DeMint or a Rick Santorum. But a look at the record shows that Shuler is certainly not a traditional Democrat and he is certainly not a liberal. Shuler’s histroy also demonstrates that he has even been willing to stand up to his own Party and defy its liberal inclinations. In 2010, after Democrats were brutally rejected and found themselves in the minority in the House of Representatives, Heath Shuler stood up for conservatism within the Democrat Party, and took it upon himself to challenge the liberal leadership of Nancy Pelosi by opposing her for House Minority Leader. That in and of itself is a powerful image to use among conservatives.
Still, the truth is that promoting Shuler as a conservative based on the entirety of his record, especially in the area of taxes and the environment, will be a tough sell. But not an impossible one.
The question is, would the conservative base be willing to concede the need for political compromise on their presidential ticket in order to achieve a conservative victory?
Picking Shuler would be a big gamble for Romney. It would force Romney to risk the support of the Republican base which remains leery of him and which he can’t afford to lose. But polls currently show that Romney is consolidating that base behind him. That consolidation of support may have more to do with a growing disapproval of President Obama among conservatives than out of a love for Romney among conservatives. However, if President Obama continues to demonstrate that his vision for America is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles, and Romney can hammer that point home along with the fact that President Obama’s policies have failed us, Romney will have wiggle room and picking Shuler will provide Romney with a perfect opportunity to move this election away from the proformer Democrat versus Republican paradigm and turn it into a referendum on two different ideologies and visions for America. It would be a bold move that leave a partisan President Obama defending his divisive tactics, party politics, failed record and tax and spend vision, against that of a bipartisan ticket united behind a vision of less spending, less government, and more independence.
Will Heath Shuler be nominated for Vice President by Mitt Romney? Most likely not. But it is an option worth exploring.
Filed under: Heath Shuler, The Herd, Vice Presidential Contenders | Tagged: 2012 Presidential Election, 2012 presidential election news, Anthony Del Pellegrino, can heath shuler be nominated for vice president by Mitt romney, election news, Heath Shuler, Heath Shuler bio, Heath Shuler for Vice President, Heath Shuler on the issues, heath Shuler voting record, kempite, long list, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney Heath Shuler, Mitt Romney Heath Shuler 2012, Mitt romney vice presidential screening process, mitt Romney's short list, North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler, potential Republican vice presidential nominees, race for the white house, Republican, republican election news, Republican National Committee, Republican National Convention, republican vice president, republican vice presidential long list, Rob Portman, Romney, Romney 2012, Romney Shuler 2012, romney's vice presidential screening process, Romney-Shuler, sarah palin, Susana Martinez, United States, veep watch, vetting a potential vice presidential nominee, vice presidential candidates, vice presidential choices, WH12, White House 2012, whitehouse12.com, who will mitt romney pick, who will mitt romney pick to be his running mate, will democrat Heath Shuler be on the republican presidential ticket, will Heath Shuler accept the Republican nomination for Vice President, Will Mitt romney pick a democrat for vice president, will mitt Romney pick Heath Shuler, will Rand Paul run for vice president | 1 Comment »