Unconfirmed Reports Say that Chris Chrisite Will Be the Keynote Speaker at the Republican National Convention

Let the Speculation Begin.

  Bookmark and Share  New Jersey Republican activists can hardly contain their excitement over the fact that their Governor has been selected to give the all important keynote address at the Republican National Convention.  New Jerseyans are bursting with pride over the thought that our Governor will be given the national spotlight and be called upon to articulate the Republican case and cause before the nation and the world.  But the reports have not yet been confirmed by either Governor Christie, Governor Romney or the Republican National Committee.  According to the Washington Post;

“Republicans say that, contrary to media reports, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has not been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Neither the Romney campaign nor the Republican National Committee would confirm those reports.

‚ÄúYou”ll have to stay tuned,‚ÄĚ Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said on MSNBC Wednesday afternoon.

Sources with the campaign say Romney is not prepared to announce any speakers yet. The New Jersey State GOP Committee said they knew nothing about it.‚ÄČ

‚ÄúI’ve gotten no invitation to do anything like that,‚ÄĚ Christie told NBC.”

These unconfirmed reports amount to nothing more than speculation but if true, the decision to make Christie the keynote speaker opens the door for additional speculation.  So here goes.

If it is true that Christie¬†is the RNC’s¬†2012 keynote speaker, it will signal the G.O.P.’s¬†obvious desire¬†to highlight the message of a figure who has established¬†a reputation for being blunt about what needs to be done to get our nation on a track to economic responsibility and prosperity.¬†¬† It would also signal the G.O.P.’s desire to appeal to fiscally conservative independent voters, a segment of the voting bloc which could be critical to who wins the presidency in November.

Picking Christie¬†to be¬†the keynote speaker could also be a signal of several other things to come such as who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate.¬†There has been a wide range of¬†Republicans who would have liked to see freshman Florida Congressman Allen West deliver the keynote address.¬† West¬†has proven himself to be¬†a¬†powerfully articulate¬†speaker who inspires the conservative base while also firing up the TEA Party which Romney needs to bolster his standing among.¬† Christie¬†tends to enjoy similar¬†popularity within those same groups but West brings additional¬†positives¬†that Christie¬†doesn’t.¬† Unlike Christie¬†who comes from a state that Republicans feel is so hard to win that they have written it off in most of their campaign plans, Rep. West comes from a critical swing state that is well within the reach of Republicans to win.¬†¬†Additionally, West¬†is African-American, and those two factors would have made West¬†a prime pick for giving the keynote address.¬† But giving that honor to Christie¬†instead of West could be a sign that Mitt Romney has picked a running mate of color and so the need to highlight ethnic diversity¬†during a high profile, primetime, keynote address may not be as necessary¬†as it once was.¬†¬†If true, that person of color who Romney may be¬†ready to pick¬†could very well be¬† former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who many have suggested that Romney is quite enamored with and whom¬† in national polls,leads all other potential vice presidential choices Romney may have.

But to read too much in to any decision would be wrong.

While Chris Christie¬†is liked¬†for the breath of fresh air that his brutal honesty and bluntness brings to the table, his abrasive¬†nature does not fit well with the more diplomatic, less confrontational approach to politics that Mitt Romney is comfortable¬†with.¬† The same goes for West who may seem like a good choice for Vice President for Romney but like Christie, neither man can be¬†described as having the ‚Äúsame personality type‚ÄĚ as Mitt, a factor¬†that Anne Romney once described as a key¬†consideration in her husbands decison¬†on who he will nominate¬†for Vice President.¬†¬† Yet there is no denying that Christie’s¬†approach has been popular and as such, there may be¬†no other suitably prominent role for¬†Christie¬†to play in the Romney campaign other than allowing him to be¬†a surrogate¬†speaker and what more suitable platform can there be for such a surrogate¬†than keynote speaker?

This of course does not leave West out in the cold.  Many other primetime slots are still available.  They include the highly coveted opportunity to be tapped as the lucky individual who gets to make the speech that nominates the presidential candidate, a role that West would fit quite well.

All of this is speculation though.¬† The only thing that is not speculation¬†however is the fact that if it is true that¬† Christie¬†is the keynote speaker,¬†you can rest assured that¬†he is definitely¬†out of the running to be Romney’s Vice President.

On that front, until now, speculation about who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate has of late been superseded only by the speculation over when he will publicly announce who that person will be.¬†¬†¬† Today’s Wall Street Journal writes;

“It appears unlikely now that Mr. Romney will name his selection before departing next week for a trip abroad.”

At the same time, The New York Daily News writes;

“Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has¬† been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and¬† conclude Aug. 12 ‚ÄĒ two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa.”

Yet amid that media speculation comes a Tuesday tweet from National Review political reporter and CNBC contributor Robert Costa in which he writes:

“A Republican strategist close to the Romney campaign tells me veep announcement may come Friday”

Meanwhile, in an interview taped for ABC earlier today, Ann Romney claims that¬† her husband is “not quite there yet”¬†on a final decision regarding who he will nominate for Vice President.

Not long after that interview, while attending a town-hall event in Bowling Green, Ohio, Mitt Romney answered a a¬†question from the audience regarding who he will pick by confirming that¬† he has “not chosen the person” who will be his Vice President.

What this all means is anyone’s guess but to confuse matters even more, as noted¬†in a previous White House 2012 post, Tim Pawlenty, the former Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has decided to retool his website, TimPawlenty.com.

Currently TimPawlenty.com has been replaced by a ‚ÄúComing Soon Page‚ÄĚ that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read¬† ‚ÄúPlease come back later.‚Ä̬† Normally such an event would not mean very much but at a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, every move of every individual¬†who might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen¬†as a signal.¬†¬†¬†In this particular case though, having been a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw’s¬†decision to finally¬†retool his website and put in its place a ‚ÄúComing Soon‚ÄĚ page that urges people to come back and revisit it, appears at the same time that Mitt Romney‚Äôs decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also ‚Äúcoming soon‚ÄĚ.

Coincidence?  Speculation?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

You’re guess is as good mine.

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Is Tim Pawlenty Preparing His Website For The Vice Presidential Nomination?

¬†Bookmark and Share¬† Most people have little if any reason to visit TimPawlenty.com, but if you are one of the very limited stream of visitors to the official website of the former Minnesota¬†Governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, than you have been surprised¬†to find that the long standing¬†platitudes¬†for conservatism, apple pie, coffee, and all things American , have been replaced by a “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read¬† “Please come back later.”

Whether Pawlenty is just conducting some useful site maintenance¬†on his otherwise useless website, or handing control of the site and its future content to the campaign of Mitt Romney in preparation of¬†Pawlenty’s accepting Romney’s vice presidential nomination is unknown.¬† Calls from White House 2012 regarding¬†the status of the site that were made to several aides and former staffers of Pawlenty’s presidential campaign and his Nation First PAC have received a range of inconclusive responses that claimed the “Coming Soon Page” is up as the site undergoes some retooling.¬† However; attempts to determine¬†exactly what it is being retooled¬†for remains undetermined.

At a time when who Mitt Romney will pick as his running mate remains the only cause of suspense left in the presidential campaign, aside from who will the election, every move of every¬†individual¬†who¬†might be under consideration for Vice President will be seen as a signal but in this case, one can’t help but question the timing.¬† Almost a year since he dropped out of the race for President, T-Paw finally decides to retool his website and put in its place a “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit, appears at the same time that we all know Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Now this could very well be coincidental but my political experience has taught me that in politics coincidences are¬†events which politicians actually put on their schedules.¬†¬†In politics, coincidence is a convenient¬†excuse which¬†allows the most¬†unlikely¬†set of circumstances to come together and seem like the most natural ¬†string of events.¬† That stated, even though I have recently indicated that I am of the opinion that Mitt Romney will pick South Dakota Senator John Thune as his running mate, I can’t help but wonder if the coincidental timing of Tim Pawlenty’s “Coming Soon” page and Mitt Romney’s “soon to come” decision on a running mate is a more definitive indication of who that running mate will be than is my personal sense of who it will be?

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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‚Äôs Planning Commission by then Mayor Vic Ellison
  • Elected to a term on the City Council
  • Campaign advisor for Jon Grunseth‚Äôs 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‚Äôs budget deficit, requiring visa expiration dates on driver‚Äôs licenses, a 24-hour waiting period on abortions, implementing a conceal-carry gun law, and changing the state‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúooh, ooh‚ÄĚ 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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