In an earlier piece, I looked at the people who were most likely to be on the short-list for the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination in 2012. Now, it’s time to look at some people who I can be certain will not be the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee in 2012.
These names may be on the long-list. They won’t be on the short-list, despite sometimes being mentioned as potential Republican running mates.
Even before her campaign flamed out following some ill-advised comments about vaccination and mental retardation, I didn’t think she had any shot of being the #2. She alienates independents, and has a well-earned reputation as a shameless liar. And given her disputes with Republican leadership, it’s unlikely that a Vice-President Bachmann would have a no-drama approach.
Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi
He realized that as a fat, old southerner, he was not going to get elected President. This is the same reason he’s not going to be anyone’s running mate, even if he’s qualified for the position. The recent pardoning controversy is another knock against him.
Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts
He’s currently running for reelection in the Senate in the most competitive Senate seat the Republican party is defending. If he loses, he’s a potential Cabinet member. If he wins, he’s someone to watch out for in 2016 and 2020. But the party’s not going to cede this Senate elections to the Democrats.
Former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida
Mitt Romney is not going to pick the brother of a toxic former President as his running mate.
He made this list even before the recent harassment allegations. Herman Cain is a businessman and tea party favorite, which made him a poor fit even when there was a competitive race. Mitt Romney doesn’t need another businessman on the ticket, Rick Perry wouldn’t have needed a tea party favorite, and Newt Gingrich wasn’t going to choose another sixty-something Georgian. Cain also demonstrated an uncanny ignorance of things candidates for national office should know.
Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana
If his family didn’t want him to run for President, I doubt they’d want the two months of sudden scrutiny that comes with being on the bottom of the ticket. He is an ideal Chief of Staff, though.
Independents and unhappy Democrats are not going to be more likely to vote for a ticket with a guy who said he would rather have 30 pure conservatives than a centrist majority. That’s also not an attitude indicative of a an ideal veep, whose top priority would always be helping the President.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
The Republican Revolution of 1994 may be one of the greatest political accomplishments of the last fifty years. Newt Gingrich is also twice-divorced, has never been elected to statewide office and hasn’t been in politics since the late 90s, when his term as Speaker ended as a spectacular failure. Famously undisciplined, he has earned his reputation as a shameless liar. And neither of those attributes is particularly appropriate for a #2.
As a Pro-Choice Northeastern Executive, he would be a poor fit for Romney. And should Gingrich pull a miraculous turnaround, America’s mayor would also be a poor fir for him as a twice-divorced Catholic who hasn’t held public office in a decade. He would have been a solid running mate for Rick Perry. Following his leadership on September 11, there are no questions about whether he could take over as President during a national tragedy. He gives Perry some credibility with moderates and would have added geographic diversity to the ticket.
Governor John Huntsman of Utah
Romney and Huntsman don’t particularly like one another. And I doubt that Romney will choose another Mormon running mate.
Governor John Kasich of Ohio
You choose a swing-state Governor if you think he can help you carry the state. John Kasich currently polls at under forty percent, suggesting he would actually hurt the presidential ticket in the key swing-state of Ohio. If Romney decides that flipping Ohio is their top priority, he’ll go with Rob Portman. If he really wants want a swing-state Governor, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania or Bob McDonnell of Virginia are better picks.
Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska
In addition to all of her numerous problems in 2008, she quit as Governor.
Congressman Ron Paul of Texas
He’s in his late 70s, disagrees with the Republican party on many issues and has never held statewide office.
Governor Rick Perry of Texas
Erick Erickson suggests the evangelical leaders who backed him as the Not-Romney heading to South Carolina want this ticket. You could make a comparison to Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, Richard Nixon’s first running mate, chosen eight years after losing his reelection bid for the Senate. Though Lodge had also spent the intervening years as the Ambassador to the United Nations. Santorum spent the intervening years continuing to piss off Independent voters.
Governor Rick Scott of Florida
He’s rebounding in the polls, but that suggests that Scott’s support in his home state is shaky. He also doesn’t play well with others, which suggests likely trouble in a campaign or Romney/ Scott administration. There are many other freshman Governors and Senators available, if that’s the approach Romney wants to take.
He was mentioned by Gingrich as a potential running mate, and has expressed a willingness to consider the idea. It’s not going to happen. A tea party favorite, the first term Congressman is not very appealing to Independent voters. West may have technically committed war crimes before he was relieved of command from the army. And he did not come out ahead after an unnecessary clash with his Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz.