Thursday, November 10, 2011

If Marco Rubio is Disqualified by His Fabrications for the VP Slot, is Virginia’s Robert McDonnell Next In Line?

A Conservative Who Hides His Conservatism and Takes Credit for Prosperity Generated by the Federal Government – Perfect.

The Dismal Political Economist has long held that Florida’s newest Senator, Marco Rubio is the likely choice for the Vice Presidential nomination, particularly if (when?) former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gets the Presidential nomination.  Mr. Rubio brings a Hispanic and a Floridian and an avowed but masked Conservative to the  ticket.

Mr. Rubio may have damaged his chances by falsely claiming his family came to Florida to feel Castro, when it fact they came to Florida for the economic opportunity and arrived years before Castro took power.  This sort of fabrication means nothing to Republicans, but it might make him look less Presidential and more Opportunist, and with one Opportunist (Mr. Romney) on the ticket it just might not do to have two of them.

Virginia’s Governor Robert McDonnell is probably the next most likely to take the VP slot.  Like Mr. Rubio, Mr. McDonnell is a hard line Conservative who has masked his positions in order to appeal to the general electorate.  As Stu Rothenberg writes,

McDonnell is a consistent conservative whose views on cultural and economic issues are right in the mainstream of his party. If conservatives distrust Romney’s ideological bent (and they do), they will have few problems with the Virginia governor’s ideological instincts. . . .

Romney, a Mormon, would be a tough pill for evangelicals to swallow, and a consistently pro-life Catholic who earned a graduate degree and a law degree from Regent University, as McDonnell did, would give conservative evangelicals a reason to be excited about the GOP ticket.

Regent University is a law school sponsored by Pat Robertson, and a school that sent many of its graduates to positions in the George W. Bush administration.  The Bush administration didn't want competent lawyers in government, they wanted ideological ones.

Mr. McDonnell would also bring with him experience with a state whose economy has been relatively strong.  He is adept at taking credit for that strength even though it is the presence and spending of the Federal government that is largely responsible.  The irony for Virginians is that if a Romney-McDonnell ticket is elected, the reduction in Federal spending will mean economic hardship for Virginia, but of course by that time Mr. McDonnell will have left the Governor’s office and be able to blame the decline on someone else.

The gods of political irony are very tough.

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