Prediction #2: Bob McDonnell will be the Republican nominee for Vice President.
I’ll start by saying that this is probably my most likely to be wrong prediction. I am not that familiar with the GOP’s “bench” of candidates beyond the field of Presidential candidates, so there may be some obvious choices I’m missing. Obviously the choice will depend greatly on who the actual nominee is – I’ll be assuming that Romney gets the nomination. If he’s not the nominee, obviously I’ll have to amend this prediction. I based this prediction on some press reports of who Romney is considering and my own evaluation of who Romney is going to need:
- Evangelical Christian appeal
- Tea Party support
- From the South or Southwest
Romney’s biggest problems in the general election will be his malleable record and his right flank. His VP candidate can’t do much about the former, but he will need to shore up his conservative credentials with his choice of VP candidate. I list the Evangelical movement and the Tea Party separately – because the two groups overlap, but should not be conflated. They have very different concerns – the Tea Party is primarily motivated economically, the Evangelical socially and spiritually. The ideal VP candidate for Romney will need to appeal to both groups. Romney’s Northeastern roots mean he will need to choose someone from the South to shore up his geographic diversity.
Bob McDonnell is from a Southern state that was a big win for Obama in 2008 – taking it out of play would be a huge electoral win for Romney. McDonnell has a seemingly solid conservative record and hasn’t been tainted by anything during this extended primary campaign. My reasons for rejecting some of the other possibilities are below:
Rick Perry- His recent debate performance probably sinks his Presidential nod, but not for VP. I count him out due to the seeming personal animosity between Perry and Romney.
Michelle Bacman/Sarah Palin- Palin had her chance as VP in 2008. Michelle Bachman appeals to a very similar demographic – I don’t think the GOP will use the same plan in 2012.
Herman Cain/Ron Paul- Ideologically I think they’re too far apart from Romney, and I don’t see either one of them is the fall-in-line for the “good of the party” types.
Rick Santorum/Newt Gingrich – Northerners with a similar appeal as Romney.
Chris Christie – Notherner
Marco Rubio – He has said he wasn’t interested in running this year. Otherwise he might be the best bet – he’s from the South and has solid Conservative credentials. If he changes his mind, he moves way up on the list.
Mitch Daniels – A little further South and a little further West than Christie. Daniels seems like a very reasoned and thoughtful candidate – and Romney is going to need someone to fire people up.