Florida Senator Marco Rubio with 24 votes.
In second place was Florida Congressman Allen West with 19 votes.
Third was Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell with 10 votes.
Then, Former Ambassador John Bolton and Former Secretary of State Condi Rice were tied at 9 votes each.
Thanks to everyone who participated resulting in over 200 comments. Please note that only clearly-stated votes were counted. In comments where two or more potential VP’s were offered, only the first-named was accepted.
Now for my vote on Romney’s VP with some editorializing on the poll results.
Back in early November, I wrote this piece about why the selection of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was a “done deal” as Romney’s running mate.
Well, perhaps I exaggerated just a tad about the “done deal” part but, for all the reasons stated, I still believe McDonnell is Romney’s wisest choice.
Then, at a Christmas party I spoke to former Virginia Senator George Allen who is running this year to win back his old Senate seat. He told me he REALLY liked the idea of McDonnell for VP although Allen made a point of saying he has not endorsed Romney.
(Note: McDonnell as VP would practically ensure that Allen would win back his Senate seat but you have to read the piece for all the interesting background and national consequences of what will possibly be an epic Virginia battleground matchup of Obama/Kaine vs. Romney/McDonnell/Allen to understand the whole picture.)
Since Rubio was the winner of the poll contest, here is my take on him.
Senator Rubio, although a rising star in the Republican Party with a very bright future, is not ready yet to be Vice-President. Senator Rubio has only been in the US Senate since January 2011 and will be 41 years old in May. He needs to marinate awhile on the national stage, earn some stature, and build a record.
(OK, so we all know that Obama did not ‘marinate” but look at the trouble the county is in now as a result.)
Senator Rubio himself believes he needs more time because on numerous occasions he has stated that he will not be on any national ticket in 2012 and wants to focus on being a Senator from Florida.
For more explanation about why I believe Senator Marco Rubio is correct in his public declarations go back and please re-read my PJM piece from March of 2011 entitled “Why Rubio Should Resist 2012 Temptations.”
The second place poll contest winner, Congressman Allen West (FL-22) also is a rising star in the GOP. Unfortunately West has a brutal battle ahead of him just to hang on to his Congressional seat due to re-districting and his outspoken pronouncements that do not sit well with all the moderate and independent voters in his swing district. But, if Romney has strong coattails, West will most likely hang on to his seat. If he does manage to lose, and Romney wins, perhaps Romney will have a place for him in his administration. However, a new job as a national radio talk show host might be better suited to his personality. Watch out Rush Limbaugh! For more on Allen West and his difficult re-election ahead you can go back and re-read my PJM interview with him from October of 2011.
Finally, although off the VP topic, with the news that Ambassador Jon Huntsman will drop out of the presidential race and support Romney my bet is that Romney, if elected, will ask Huntsman to be his Secretary of State. (Sorry, John Bolton fans!) Was there a deal? Would Huntsman make a good Secretary of State?
Perhaps that question should be offered up for the next poll contest.
Watch this space!