I like Paul Ryan and I think down the line he'll make a very strong presidential candidate. There's no doubt he has the intelligence and the ideas to be a plausible prospect in the future. But the fact is Paul Ryan is exactly that: A highly touted prospect with such promise and projected success that it would be I feel a huge mistake shall you say to "draft" him at this moment when there are others out there who have a more proven record in the area where Barack Obama is vulnerable the most: Competence in governing and success in job creation and economic growth.
The name that stands out and one I've promoted since 2008 is Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. Bobby is the Andrew Luck of the VP candidate draft. He's the most proven of the next generation, he's proven his merit for a lot longer, and I think he's ready to step in more so than the others like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. One of the questions NFL teams have whenever they look to draft a quarterback is this: Could he start now or would he have to sit and learn behind a veteran for the next four years? If Bobby Jindal were a college quarterback taken number one by an NFL franchise he'd be ready to start on week 1.
Not only does he have governing experience but he has a strong record of leadership in times of crisis whether it's dealing with hurricanes or the BP oil spill a few years ago. There's no question governor Jindal came out of that circumstance the real star and he upstaged the federal government's response, BP's response, and President Obama. There's a stark contrast to be made with Romney and Jindal versus President Obama and Joe Biden. Romney could run on competence versus incompetence because he would have a running mate who could tout his record.
My objection to Paul Ryan has nothing to do with the issue of his budget. I think the media and Democrats lying about his approach to reforming Medicare and Social Security have been shameful and equally shameful has been the response from the Republican leaders in the House which was to run and hide and throw Paul Ryan under the bus because they feared the media more than the fiscal cliff. The idea that somehow he would be toxic to Mitt Romney is also bogus because there's a good argument to make that Paul Ryan cares more about the long term viability of these programs than the president. I'm looking at right now and I think, I could be wrong but I don't think I am, but I think Bobby Jindal is the surest thing we have as far as a solid vice presidential pick for Mitt Romney. I think his personality, the fact that he's a born again Christian, his ethnic background, and his reasonable conservative record as governor makes him a can't miss choice.
Now who do I believe will get the nod in the end? I think if I were betting I would put money on Rob Portman because Romney, as he's displayed thus far is far too timid and too safe to I don't know, give himself more room to actually win the election. If I had to make a list of overrated potential VP candidates Rob Portman would be number two behind Chris Christie. Portman and Christie are classic examples, to use the football analogy once again; these guys are classic overhyped deceptively good quarterbacks. On the outside Portman is your classic drop back passer who went to a big time traditional powerhouse school, he had a lot of success and appears to be a good player, but the further you look at what he's done the more your eyebrow starts to inch up and the more you doubt his prospects. With Chris Christie is hype is solely based on excitement rather than his record. Honestly what more has Chris Christie compared to Sarah Palin prior to her being tapped as John McCain's running mate?
Christie is your classic flashy system quarterback who looks amazing in every area except the ones that count. On film he can run, he's very athletic but you notice major flaws in his game. First of all he's not very accurate and he can't operate in a pro style. He was more run and shoot, sort of pistol in college but you worry whether or not he can transition to the next level. You also worry about his low football IQ and the fact that he only started for one year in college.
Picking a vice president is very much like drafting your next franchise quarterback in the NFL. You essentially bank your job, reputation, and credibility on whether or not a guy will pan out. We've seen our share of contenders and pretenders in both worlds. Last election in 2008 we had the most striking example of "Too soon" when John McCain chose then Alaska governor Sarah Palin. She, like Chris Christie had a lot of cosmetic appeal and was very dynamic. But as is the case with a lot of cosmetic quarterbacks in terms of the NFL draft, the system and the circumstance often times make raw unpolished talent look like seasoned can't miss superstars. No doubt about it Palin had the talent and the capacity to be a great Vice President but she just didn't have the experience to handle the media and the constant focus on her personal life and I think that ultimately caused her stumbles. I don't believe she wasn't prepared to govern as a national candidate, I do believe however she didn't properly anticipate the level of pressure and stress the media would cause.
TomJeffersonsGhost's Mock VP "Draft" Top Ten Big Board:
1. Bobby Jindal (+10, Best Pick Overall)
2. Marco Rubio (+9, Most Exciting)
3. Tim Pawlenty (+8, Safest Pick)
4. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Good Pick in my view, though unlikely)
5. Paul Ryan (+8, Risky Pick)
6. John Thune (+6, Safe Pick)
7. Susana Martinez (+5)
8. Jeb Bush (+3, Medium Risk, Low Reward)
9. Rob Portman (+3, Low Risk, Low Reward)
10. Chris Christie (+1, High Risk Pick, Low Reward)