Veepstakes Special: Paul Ryan is Selected

11 08 2012

Romney/Ryan 2012
Image Credit: Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS

With the running mate now selected, this means game on for Mitt Romney.

When the news broke last night that Romney was set to announce his running mate this morning on the USS Wisconsin, the Twitter blew up with speculation that the nominee was Paul Ryan, and a few minutes later, top Republicans were leaking the confirmation of this speculation.

First let’s start off by discussing the timing of the announcement. I think this was a mistake from Romney’s camp. He waited a little too long to announce, and some of the excitement was gone. Also, he didn’t give enough time to really build up the announcement. The news broke around 10 o’clock central time and the announcement rally was coming at 8 o’clock central time the next morning, which was a Saturday. A lot of people do not check the news on Friday nights and then sleep in late on Saturday mornings.

Then there is the idea of the app that was going to announce it to everyone before the media knew. This announcement came around 6 o’clock this morning, while most people are still asleep, and it is only worse in time zones that are further west than I am. This basically made the app completely pointless.

As you can tell, I think the timing of the announcement was not the best, but now it’s time to talk about Ryan as the VP nominee.

Let me first start things off by saying that Ryan was not my favorite to be Romney’s running mate, but I think he is a good pick. With this choice, Romney shows that he is extremely focused on the economy, and is putting that as the number one, two and three priorities for this campaign. Ryan is the current Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and has made many headlines for his budgets. Democrats are set to attack these budgets which have featured severe cuts to medicare and social security. However, Romney needs to focus on the fact that Ryan is one of the only people who is consistently bringing a balanced budget to Congress.

Ryan is also a very young guy who has a proven record of appealing to moderates and women, which are two key demographics that Romney has struggled with and are needed to win in November. He is from the Midwest and can give boosts in several key states (Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio) that Republicans are trailing in. He showed during his speech this morning that he knows how to energize a crowd and that he isn’t afraid to call out the President on failed policies.

With Ryan on the ticket, to core conservative Republican base is excited and fired up about this election. Many top conservatives are praising Romney for his choice of Ryan; however, many top Democrats are just as excited about this because they see it playing into their strategy. Watching the news this morning, Joe Trippi, a top liberal strategist, is saying that Romney made the right choice to give this election a boost for Romney.

With mixed reactions from strategist, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think Marco Rubio might have been a better choice for a running mate, but Ryan is a great choice. The chemistry that the two have when they are campaigning is absolutely unmatched, and Ryan has shown that he has what it takes to win this election.


Veepstakes Tuesday: When Romney Announce?

31 07 2012

In my last column, I said that Romney was set to announce within the next few days. Well, it has been two weeks, and we still do not know who his running mate will be. This has fueled the VP speculation even more in the past weeks, than ever before.

With Bob McDonnell now looking like the front runner, many people are just waiting to hear this confirmed or denied, so the big question is when will Romney announce?

Just today, the Romney campaign sent out emails telling people to download the official VP app. This app will supposedly bring the user breaking news about the VP announcement even before the media knows. While I am not 100 percent sure how this will work, it does show that the announcement will take place soon. The team is really pushing people to download this app not just through emails, but also on Facebook as well.

Since Romney is just returning to the country, it seems like this adds to the list of reasons why he will announce soon. He is kicking off his bus tour on August 10, which is when John McCain made is announcement of Sarah Palin. This is a lot later than many expected Romney to announce. He has said several times that he will announce a few weeks before the National Convention. While technically, this would be a few weeks before the Convention, it is a lot later than many believed.

Expect the announcement to come in the next week. They are upping their publicity surrounding the announcement, which the campaign itself has not done that much of. His staff knows that they cannot carry this out much longer or people will get bored with the drama, so they will be announcing soon. If I had to guess, I would say either Thursday or Saturday, but that is just my guess, and not official.

Here are my sources, and tell me who you want to see as the VP pick:

Veepstakes Tuesdays: Tim Pawlenty

17 07 2012

Speculation has grown about the potential Vice Presidential nominee with Mitt Romney reportedly set to announce his choice at some point this week.  Some reports are saying that Romney has narrowed down his list to three people: Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman and Bobby Jindal.

To fuel this speculation even more, Romney’s team announced today that they have hired the VP staff. Randy Bumps, the former National Republican Senatorial Committee political director, will be the director of operations and Kevin Sheridian, a former Republican National Committee spokesman, will be the communications director.

Now back to the potentially last speculation post from me, and the business of breaking down the pros and cons of Pawlenty.

Pawlenty is the former Governor of Minnesota who served from 2003-2011, and is the only person who entered this Presidential race who is seriously being considered as a potential VP nominee, probably because he dropped out of the race before any of the primaries took place and endorsed Romney early on.

Pawlenty checks off many of the criteria that is needed for the VP candidate. He’s socially conservative, he can connect with working class voters, he is from the midwest and he has no direct ties to the still controversial Bush presidency. These things are all key in picking a VP nominee.

However, the biggest problem with Pawlenty is that he is one of the most boring guys in politics. There is even a mockery website called that lists nothing. Also, he doesn’t really bring a lot different to the ticket. As a governor, he doesn’t have foreign policy experience, he doesn’t excite a crowd and he doesn’t appeal to minority voters that Romney desperately needs.

With many people calling for Romney to pick a “safe” choice, Pawlenty’s name comes up a lot. However, for most people, he crosses the line from safe to boring, which is what Romney needs to stay away from.

Overall, I will be disappointed to see a Romney/Pawlenty ticket because I think there are many better people for the job. I will still support them, and hope that he can defeat Obama in November.

Comment with who you want to be Romney’s running mate & here are my sources:

Veepstakes Tuesdays: John Thune

10 07 2012

Many have considered John Thune one of the top rising conservative politicians in the country. Now, he’s the third highest ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, so is he about to take the next big step in the political world?

Referred to many times as the “dark horse” of the VP contest, John Thune has been talked about as a potential VP nominee ever since he became one of the first people to endorse Mitt Romney for President. Thune is the junior U. S Senator from South Dakota, and current Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

He first burst onto the seen when he was elected U.S. Rep for South Dakota’s At-large congressional district in 1996. Then in 2002, he challenged incumbent Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, but lost by only 524 votes. He then decided to run against Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in the 2004 Senate election. This race was of the most expensive races in 2004, and was almost a dead heat throughout the entire campaign. When it was all said and done, Thune wone by 4,508 votes, which made Thune the first person since Barry Goldwater defeated Ernest McFarland   in 1952 to defeat an incumbent Floor Leader. Since this election, Thune has risen up the ranks in the Senate to become one of the most respected members of Congress.

Despite being a long shot, Thune has all of the qualities that Romney is said to being wanting in a VP. He’s low-key, respected, has Washington experience and comes from the Midwest. It also helps that he is a very natural speaker, which will help overcome the stiffness of Romney.

Thune flirted with running for the Presidential nomination, and Senator Mitch McConnell said that he should run because, “”He’s a very sharp, capable individual — good speaker, good leadership qualities, which I see on display every week in the Senate. I’m a big John Thune fan.”

Thune has met with Romney to discuss the campaign, but no one knows if VP possibilities were discussed in this meeting. However, the way Thune has handled the media questions shows that he is definitely a contender. When asked about the job, he replied, ” I’ve also said you don’t rule any options out, because if you are in public life because you want to make a difference … obviously, you have to be open to those kind of possibilities.” This is the best response I’ve heard from any potential nominee.

Then when asked if he is being vetted by the Romney campaign, he responded, ” There’s a process. We don’t talk about the process.” This says that he knows something that a lot of people do not.

The biggest downfall for Thune is that he isn’t well known, and isn’t that exciting. Most people have never heard of the man, but that also comes with the advantage that he is not very controversial. However, building up a name recognition might not be something this campaign will want to spend time doing in this election.

I had honestly completely written Thune off as a potential VP nominee until I started looking through stuff to write this post. Now, I’ve moved him to the top of my list. He’s young and very likeable. If you look back through most of the recent VPs, with the exception of Al Gore, they have come from states that were solidly leaning towards that candidate anyway, not from swing states. Also, adding a fresh face to the ticket might actually give Romney the chance to rebrand himself to the country, which would give the campaign some more life to it. I would not be surprised at all to see a Romney/Thune ticket.

Comment below with ideas about who you want me to profile next week or any potential blog topics. Here are my sources:

Veepstakes Tuesday: The Perfect VP Candidate

3 07 2012

This week I’ve decided to do my Veepstakes Tuesday post a little differently. Instead of choosing one particular person, I’ve decided to piece together what it takes to be the perfect VP nominee. I’m looking at what would be the best political move (more of an outside, campaigning point of view) and a policy move when piecing together this perfect candidate.

Going into this general election, we must look at several different factors in determining what will help Republicans take back the White House: the current president, the current Republican nominee and mistakes that have been made in the past few elections.

The biggest things to note with the current president is a phenomenal speaker, who can easily get Americans on his side. Also, he holds key advantages in younger voters, single women and minorities. That being said, Romney is stiff and not the most relaxed speaker, which makes him hard to connect with the average American voter. He does hold pretty key advantages with white voters, men and older voters. He also has more economic experience than Obama does.

Looking at these key facts will give a lot to shape this perfect nominee. The VP nominee needs to be someone who can captivate an audience, but he or she must not overshadow Romney. Also, this perfect nominee must be able to appeal to the voters that Obama seemingly has a stranglehold on. Also, Romney doesn’t need to worry about finding someone whose specialty is the economy because he already has that. Instead, he should look to someone who has a lot of foreign policy expertise, which he does not have.

When it comes to trying to appeal to the key voters that Obama has sizable leads with, it is a very tricky situation. Romney has to find someone who can steal some of these votes without the left saying that he is only doing it to get those votes. This means not putting a woman on the ticket to try and the the woman vote, unless she is a strong candidate who will not back down. The best bet is to place a young, attractive male on the ticket. This was how Obama got a lot of the female vote in 2008 because he was a younger attractive male. When dealing with a minority, it might be best not to choose a minority candidate unless he or she is someone who has been talked about a lot. We must also look into the fact that this race will be determined by a few key states, so picking someone from one of these states will help along the way as well.

When it comes to avoiding past mistakes, I will refer a lot to the 2008 election. While, I am a huge Sarah Palin fan, the biggest mistake of the election was choosing someone who had not been exposed to the national media at a large level. She was put into the national spotlight from near obscurity, and she did not really know how to handle herself. The lesson that needs to be taken away from this is that the nominee will need to be someone who has been in the spotlight for a while as a top political figure.

To narrow it down, Romney’s VP nominee should be a young, attractive male who has a commanding presence and foreign policy experience. Also, he must be well exposed to the national media and preferably be from a swing state.

Best candidates (In order of being the perfect fit): Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Condoleezza Rice, Bobby Jindal, Kelly Ayotte

Veepstakes Tuesday: Nikki Haley

26 06 2012

With the Republican National Convention only two months away, speculation is still running rampant on who will be Mitt Romney’s running mate. Romney is very persistent that only he and Beth Myers are the only ones who know who are being vetted for the VP job. For now, all we can do is speculate who that person might be.

One person who has been mentioned for a long time is South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants, who was born and raised a Sikh before converting to Christianity when she met her husband.

She has supported Romney before the South Carolina primary, and he has also supported her in the 2010 gubernatorial race. She has made headlines for having a very strong-willed personality and going after what she wants. Today, she has made news by telling the state House and Senate to put their egos aside and get a budget passed. This is definitely a quality that could be used in a VP  roll, who ultimately acts as the speaker of the Senate.

Unfortunately, she is also making news headlines for her ethics investigation, which the hearings for start on Thrusday. This investigation is to determine if she illegally lobbied for her employers while she was a state representative.

Taking Haley as the VP nominee would be a huge risk for Romney, but sometimes risks pay off in great ways. Her approval ratings are slowly going up, and many South Carolinians believe that the state is back on the right track. However, this ethics investigation could really hurt Romney if she is placed on the ticket with him. I don’t think that she will get the nomination because she is too risky.

Here are my sources, and tell me who you want me to talk about next week:

Veepstakes Tuesdays: Condoleezza Rice

19 06 2012

Ever since Romney became the clear front runner in the GOP presidential nomination race, many top Republican pundits have suggested that Condolezza Rice would make the perfect running mate for him.

Rice, former national security adviser and Secretary of State under George Bush, has topped many wish list polls as the leader among potential VP nominees. In one poll, Rice received the most support from those who aren’t tea party backers as well as third, behind Rubio and Christie, among those who are tea party supporters.

Currently Rice is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science at Stanford University.

All of her experience in with foreign policy and global economy fills a big gap on the Republican ticket. She brings in a lot of expertise that will be needed in the upcoming few years. With our relationships with Pakistan and Iran on edge right now and the horrible global economy, Rice will bring experience that our current administration nor Romney has.

She will not only bring valuable knowledge to the ticket, but it is hard to ignore the fact that she could also bring in some much needed votes. She can get the women’s vote, which will be one of the deciding factors in this race. Also, she is African American and can steal some of the African American vote away from Obama.

She is well liked and not very controversial. Her biggest downfall is that she is associated with the Bush administration and some people still do not feel that well about his presidency. Overall, I think she is one of the best  candidates for the job. She has plenty of credentials and will aid Romney in appealing to swing voters. Unfortunately, she has said that she is not interested in the job. However, I could definitely see her being the nominee.

Here are my sources, and tell me what you think about Condi’s chances.