As summer's heat ebbs and flows, the blogosphere and traditional media are a twitter with prognostications and speculations about Mitt Romney's potential Vice-Presidential running mate. There is also considerable hypothesizing about whether Romney will wait until the GOP convention in several weeks or whether he'll pull the plug early. Numerous factors have gone in to selecting a party's vice-presidential candidate. These have included smoke-filled back rooms involving party bosses, the desire for geographic regional or partisan ideological balance, possessing skill sets and experiences not held by the presidential candidate, and various other substantive and mundane factors.
The most important factor Romney should choose is someone who's capable of assuming the presidency at a moment's notice and continue moving administration policy and the national interest forward. The Vice-President must be a man or woman or experience, substance, and high moral character of above all other factors.
My first choice is Florida Senator Marco Rubio. We need not reprise Rubio's compelling personal story. He truly exemplifies the American dream and is developing a strong record as a principled and substantive Senator where his policy interests include immigration and international affairs. He's a compelling orator who will energize the conservative base. He will reflect the reality that not all Hispanics have been seduced into the Democrats leftist ethnic victim and governmental dependency racket. His selection could play electoral dividends in areas of growing Hispanic population such as Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and elsewhere to ethnic compatriots who have seen four years of Obama's abject failure. Where raw electoral vote calculus is concerned, Florida's vital electoral votes are the deciding factor in getting to the 270 votes needed to secure the White House. Just to see him debate the cadaverous and gaffe-prone Joe Biden alone will be priceless.
Wisconsin's Paul Ryan is another strong choice. Ryan is a true scholar of the federal budget and his presence on the ticket will reinforce the vital importance of the national economy and that economy's future direction, viability, and sustainability. He is solid on social issues though I don't know the extent of his foreign and national security policy views. Although not as electoral vote rich as Florida, Wisconsin is a key midwestern bellweather state which appears to be heading in a conservative direction following Gov. Scott Walker's decisive victory in last month's recall election.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman has solid budgetary and senatorial experience. Although some might criticize him for being head of the Bush OMB, Portman's middle class background gives him deep understanding and empathy for the lives of the silent majority and their struggles to sustain themselves in these economically challenging times. While he is not a compelling speaker, these times require leadership of substance and grit instead of class warfare and superficial celebrity.
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is my dark horse choice. Before being elected to the Senate in 2010, Ayotte was an effective New Hampshire Attorney General. She argued a case defending traditional marriage before the Supreme Court despite the opposition of Democrat Governor John Lynch who signed execrable same-sex marriage legislation. Ayotte is strongly pro-life and is developing a reputation for fiscal conservatism similar to her predecessor Judd Gregg. Her husband is a small business owner and she is acutely attuned to the needs of this vitally important economic force.
She is also becoming a leader and gaining national security experience on the Senate Armed Services Committee. There she has been a dogged critic of the Obama Administration's releasing terrorists captured and held at Guantanamo Bay back on to the battlefield where they have continued their fight against American soldiers and our allies. Ayotte knows that you cannot tolerate recidivism among these monsters and recognizes that we are fighting a war instead of street criminals.
Adding her to the ticket would not provide regional balance. However, there is recent historical precedent for candidates from adjoining states winning the presidency as demonstrated by the lamentable example of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992. She is a rising star within our party with sky's the limit potential and has the chance to be a nationally prominent conservative leader. Most importantly, she is all substance, unlike Sarah Palin, and it would also be fun to see her rip Joe Biden to shreds on the debating platform.
We shall see how the VP selection process unfolds over the next several weeks.