By Mary Kate Cary |
Former Gov. Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick matters not because it will deliver the winning votes in the strategic states of Florida or Ohio—I doubt if the number two on the ticket ever provides such a difference—but because it will be the first presidential decision the presumptive nominee makes of his possible presidency. His choice of a running mate will demonstrate something about the kind of "decider" he will be for the nation, perhaps how he views the presidency itself, maybe the role of the vice presidency, and some reflection of the policy perspective he will carry to the Oval Office.
Former Governor Romney should pick the person most qualified to be president in the event something happens to him. A senator from Florida, or governor from Ohio, or a popular person within a certain sector of the electorate—whether it is within independent, liberal, or conservative quarters—who supports Romney will likely do everything possible for the nominee with or without the VP nod either out of conviction, interest in a cabinet position, or professional/re-election calculus. Governor Romney's decision will only matter if that person has the experience, knowledge, and skill to make a difference. His vice presidential selection will reflect his seriousness of purpose and policy conviction in someone who he believes could be our president someday. The best political decision will be a man or women who can take over on a moment's notice, who has the confidence of the people, and who reflects the presidential nominee's true instincts as a leader.
About Michael Marshall Policy Adviser and Communications Director to Former Sen. Bob Dole
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
David Crockett Author of 'Running Against the Grain: How Opposition Candidates Win Presidential Elections'
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College