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.

“You”ll have to stay tuned,” 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. 

“I’ve gotten no invitation to do anything like that,” 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 “same personality type” 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 — 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 “Coming Soon Page” that features a blank white screen with four small words that simply read  “Please come back later.”  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 “Coming Soon” page that urges people to come back and revisit it, appears at the same time that Mitt Romney’s decision on who his nominee for Vice President will be is also “coming soon”.

Coincidence?  Speculation?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

You’re guess is as good mine.

Bookmark and Share

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?

Bookmark and Share

The Republican Veepstatkes…. Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Bookmark and Share Roll Call recently rolled out its list of 14 members of Congress who will be in the running for the Republican presidential veepstakes. The article has been getting a lot of play from other media outlets, so not wanting to be left out of the discussion, White House 2012 adds its own two cents on the topic (and believe me, thats all the money WH12 has).White House 2012 has been trying to overcome the temptation to start thinking about running mates at the bottom of the G.O.P. presidential ticket when we are still not sure of who is or isnt running at the top of the ticket. But that did not stop us from setting a Vice Presidential Contenders page back in November of 2011. It also has not stopped us from listing some names that we believe will be in the long list of whomever the presidential nominee ultimately is. From my perspective, there are some shinning stars that have qualities and benefits that are so generic and all encompassing, that regardless of who Republicans choose at the top of the ticket, they will in one or another strengthen the chances of winning in the general election. They are names which would be solid choices that compensate for general Party weaknesses.

The first three names on our list include Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno. Visit here to see why.

As for Roll Calls list of Congressional Republicans that will be in the running for Vice President, White House 2012 concurs with many of the names they put forward. In fact many of the names Roll Call throws out exist as people who were at one time another Contenders for the presidential nomination. They include John Thune, Marco Rubio, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint.

Other names which Roll Call consider early veepstake candidates include New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Massachusetts Sen.

Scott Brown, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem, Texas and perennial presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Pennsylvania Sen. Pat ToomeyOf those names, the ones likely to make to WH12s list of vice presidential contenders is Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, and Rob Portman. Each of these three would be highly acceptable among the TEA Party while at some point also offering the G.O.P. base things to be enthusiastic about. That is especially the case with Rob Portman who is unknown by the casual political observer, is an asset on matters such as the budget and the economy, two issues which are widely expected to still be in the forefront of the 2012 elections. Each of these three also come from swing states that will or may be critical in adding up to the 270 electoral votes needed to be elected President. Even though it has 4 electoral votes, that goes for Kelly Ayottes New Hampshire as well as Ron Johnsons Wisconsin and Portmans critical Ohio. Republicans lost New Hampshire to Obama in 2012 and if there are several close election models which could allow as few as 4 electoral votes to make the difference between winning and losing.

As for Ron Paul, while he would certainly be able to fire up a portion of the electorate which Republicans have no chance in ever motivating to them, it would have to take a pretty overly confident presidential nominee to pick him as their running mate. Paul would be a bold choice but at 75 and with a record that could easily be painted as outrageously extreme, he is not likely to be on any long or short list.

As for Kristi Noem, I totally disagree with the possibility of her being considered for VP in 2012. While Noem is intelligent and promising, she is also tarred by a colorful past filled with numerous speeding tickets which a sense of being above the law, allowed to go unpaid until warrants were out for her. Unfortunately, I believe Kristi would be too easy a target to poke fun at and provide too much fodder for the opposition.

The other name on Roll Calls list which WH12 thinks is unlikely to become Vice President in 2012 is Pennsylvanias Pat Toomey. Toomey would actually be a superb running mate and he is from an important swing state with a lot of electoral votes. But Toomey. He is also quite capable of being President if the need arose. But what Toomey has, others that are more popular and bring more regional appeal, have too. But Toomey can easily make it on any presidential candidates long list.

In the end, many factors will play a role in deciding who the Republican vice presidential nominee will be. Depending on who the presidential nominee is, even such things as vanity could play a role. For instance, if the nominee is not necessarily a particularly charismatic figure, they might be afraid of being overshadowed by stars such as Marco Rubio. But no matter what there are some names that even at this early juncture in the evolving Republican presidential campaign, cant be denied consideration for Vice President when the time comes.

Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: