Form everything I’ve seen in the last few weeks I think McCain is going to tab Romney as his running mate. It’s a gut feeling more than anything, but when you listen to McCain and certain states he brings up on the stump, like Michigan, I too can see the value in putting Romney on the ticket.
While I’m one of those guys who would like to see a new conservative face on the ticket, preferably from the south, I think McCain and his team is looking for a known entity. Romney also clearly wants the job as his people have done a tremendous job in raising his name every single time this issue is raised.
With Romney, McCain gets a running mate who is younger, has strong connections to states like Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and Utah, is a proven fundraiser, and most importantly has shown the ability to stay on message, an important trait in a VP nominee.
Our good friend Chris Cillizza has already written about the positive attributes Romney would bring to the ticket, so I thought I’d focus on a few different issues in regards to a McCain/Romney ticket
- The economy is going to be the biggest issues in this election. Adding Romney to the ticket trumps anyone the Obama campaign could put as their VP in terms of a candidate who understands how to get America moving again.
- It seems that traditional political thinking is upside down this year so I think Romney’s Mormon religion is a plus. While his religion will help the McCain/Romney ticket in states like Utah and Nevada which have large Mormon populations, Romney was able to attract a lot of Catholics when campaigning here in Iowa, just look at the counties he won. The Catholic vote in the past two presidential campaigns has been highly sought after so don’t be surprised if this is a factor. Additionally, adding a Mormon to the ticket will increase the chatter on the candidate’s faith. It will be hard to bring up Mitt’s Mormonism without talking about Obama’s religious background.
- The Olympics. Maybe I’m nuts but as the entire world focuses on the Summer Olympics McCain would be smart to tab Romney who’s most noticeable achievement was his turnaround of the Salt Lake City games. While what he did in 2002 was remarkable, our economy needs turnaround.
- The one question that remains is how the addition of Romney would affect the 2012 nominating calendar which will be approved at the National Convention. The easy answer is that he would support Iowa’s status as First in the Nation since he invested a lot here and did well. But if he is looking at a 2012 run if the McCain/Romney ticket isn’t successful, he might not back Iowa since Huckabee was so strong here. Face it, Iowa and New Hampshire didn’t treat him too well so he might be more sympathetic to states like Michigan over Iowa and New Hampshire.
Anyway, my money is on Mitt.