Friday, March 2, 2012

Like Their Presidential Hopeful Counterparts, the Republican VP Candidates are Also Self Destructing

Don’t Anybody Here No How to Play This Game?

As the Republican class of 2012 works its way towards the inevitable nomination of Mitt Romney for President, the race for the junior spot on the ticket seems to mimic the race for the senior slot.  The four major contenders for the VP position along side of Mr. Romney (or if political junkies get really lucky, Mr. Santorum) is also pretty interesting in a macabre sort of way.  Here is the status of the four major contenders.

Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio:

Sen. Rubio was the leading contender for the VP.  His Hispanic background, his immigrant background as his family fled Castro’s Cuba and his appeal to social conservatives along with his possible ability to deliver Florida to the GOP all made him an ideal candidate.  That is, until it turned out his story of his family fleeing Castro turned out to be completely bogus. 

Of course a bogus background does not disqualify a person from Conservative candidacy, as long as the person is a Conservative, but independents might have a little bit of problem with a candidate who fabricates his own history.  So Sen. Rubio is no longer the odds on favorite, but he is still a contender.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Gov. Christie has been a favorite of Conservatives more because of his tough talk then his actions.  A blunt but effective bully, Gov. Christie has been a somewhat successful Governor in a Democratic state.  His popularity has rebounded as he begins to restore funding to education and other programs, thanks to the success of national Democratic economic policy which has given his state greater revenues.

But Gov. Christie has at least one weakness that must bother Conservatives.  He has a streak of tolerance, and has appointed a Muslim to a high court position and strongly defended his right to do so in the face of religious bigotry.  He also is willing to let the people of the state vote on same sex marriage, instead of condemning it.  Hence his stock as a VP candidate is falling.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

Gov. Daniels aroused opposition in Conservative circles last year by calling for the Republicans to put aside the culture wars.  As the recent controversies over health insurance for family planning and abortion restrictions has shown, this was good advice.  But good advice is something Conservatives hate so they downgraded him.

Now the Gov. has returned to the good graces of Conservatives by implementing an anti-union policy in the state.  But his bland nature doesn’t fit well, he is sort of a Mitt Romney without the Romney charisma and personality. (yes, that is saracasm)

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell

After Sen. Rubio’s fall the first term (and not to be second term because of Virginia’s term limits) Governor of Virginia was the likely choice for the VP slot.  Virginia’s economy has been strong because of the presence of large amounts of Federal spending, and this allowed the Governor to take credit for economic good times and at the same time rant against Federal spending (many Virginians are just not that bright).

But Mr. McDonnell now has his name associated with the terms “trans-vaginal” and "vaginal probe" and those arejust not terms any successful politician has ever been associated with.  Gov. McDonnell is a closet radical masquerading as a rational conservative politician, but the publicity over his stand on pre-abortion ultra sound has made him a national joke.  This is not to say being a national joke could prevent one from being a Vice President (see Quayle, Dan) but it gets harder because the media penetration of the national psyche is now greater.

So there it is, four flawed candidates all seeking to be the flawed Vice Presidential nominee of a flawed Republican Presidential candidate.  Does anyone hear the name Jeb (No George is not my brother, we just have the same mother and father) Bush in the wind?

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