Playing the Game by the Rules
Now that everyone except Rick Santorum and his immediate family have recognized what was known to the rest of us in early March, namely that Mitt Romney was going to be the Republican nominee for the fall election, attention is being turned to the choice for Vice President. Because Mr. Romney has wrapped up the nomination and does not need to make any kind of pre-emptive strike, he can take his time in making the selection.
There are two ways a person campaigns to be the VP nominee. One way is to signal one’s availability in large part by heavily campaigning for the potential nominee, and hoping you have picked the right horse in the race. That person then goes on TV and says, reluctantly, that they don’t think they would be the VP nominee, but that they are willing to consider it. This is the position of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie is often mentioned by pundits and politicians alike as a possible nominee, and the governor has been steadfast in his support of Romney since endorsing him in October. Christie has frequently hit the campaign trail to back Romney, making appearances in
Christie also embarked on a trip to Israel this week, buffing up his foreign credentials in what could be perceived as a step toward his emergence as a national candidate.
"If Gov. Romney were to come and talk to me about it, I would listen because I love my party enough and I love my country enough to listen," Christie said on "Face the Nation" in February, a far cry from his stance last year when he said. "I just don’t think that my personality is necessarily suited to being No. 2."
The second method is to claim disinterest in the job, and state that you do not expect to be chosen and would not want to be chosen, but leaving open the door that if you were chosen you would accept. This is the path that Florida Senator Marco Rubio is taking.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who has been a favorite of many to earn the vice presidential nomination, dismissed such speculation Wednesday.
|Please, please Mr. Romney, Take Me|
"I'm not going to be the vice president," the senator said in
, flying in the face of those who saw his official endorsement of Romney as a step toward the VP slot. Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Notice the careful choice of words here, and that at no time does Sen. Rubio state that he would not accept the nomination. The logic here that Sen. Rubio is running hard for the V.P. slot is that he must know that Gov. Romney, like all rich people and people who have grown up surrounded by wealth, where every need or want is fulfilled, will not stand for being denied something that he wants. In fact, the hint that what he wants may not be available just makes people of the ilk of Mr. Romney want it more.
So Sen. Rubio is playing the most powerful card he can in order to get selected VP for the Romney ticket. By hinting that he might not take the job, he makes himself irresistible to a man who is accustomed to always getting whatever he wants.