I try to make it my goal to stay ahead of the news-cycle – to think/talk about things before most of the press gets around to it. So while the other guys are talking about Illionois, I’m already on to the question that will start to pop up after Romney’s likely win tonight in Illinois – who’s going to get the VP nod?
Before I head down that path, I’ll explain why I’m asking this question after blogging earlier this week that Illinois isn’t make-or-break . Illionois won’t in itself make the Romney nomination and won’t end the Santorum/Gingrich campaigns. However, the delegate math is getting to the point that the press is going to need a new narrative to cover – short of a major turnaround for Santorum, Romney is going to get the nomination, albeit in late May or early June.
I’ve previously predicted that Bob McDonnell would be the GOP’s VP nominee. I still stand by that, but mostly for lack of better options – a recent poll indicates that even with McDonnell on the ticket, Romney could still lose Virginia to Obama this year. The biggest thing against my McDonnell prediction is the recent flap over the “transvaginal ultrasounds” – while the law wasn’t passed, it fits pretty well into the “war on women” narrative the Democrats are trying to pitch. Someone with less-recent baggage on the issue might be a better choice – if Romney wants to stay focused on economic issues, then he can’t have a VP that instantly shifts the conversation back to social ones.
That said, I’m not sure that anyone ELSE gives Romney Virginia, and it’s possible that McDonnell’s solid conservative cred could give Romney the Southern boost he needs. I believe that’s ultimately what Romney’s choice will come down to – he needs someone that can barnstorm in the South and wrap it up for the ticket while Romney concentrates on the swing states. Romney has had the most trouble in the South so far, and he is in serious trouble if those starts to come into play. If turnout looks like a problem, he might have to spend valuable campaign time tying down traditionally red states instead of trying to flip some purple states.
So what does Fox-land think? Anyone out there meet that criteria better than McDonnell?