And the next U.S. Veep is … Interesting
The Most Interesting Man in the World!
His Social Security Number can unlock most vaults.
Dead people actively campaign for him.
The New York Times seeks his endorsement.
His fundraisers have brought small nations out of debt.
Jesus has asked him what he would do.
He leaves Barack Obama speechless.
He is (ka-boom!) The Most Interesting Man in the World.
“I don’t always vote Republican, but when I do, I vote Mitt Romney.”
Look, Mitt Romney needs to jazz up his campaign, and The Most Interesting Man in the World (TMIMITW) not only does that, but saps the Obama campaign of whatever pizazz it has left. There are only a couple of problems with selecting TMIMITW as the Republican vice presidential nominee: A. TMIMITW plays second fiddle to no man; B. He doesn’t actually exist. That complicates things considerably. So, rather than focus on an imaginary pitchman for a Mexican beer as someone capable of saving the GOP’s bacon come November, let’s have a fun look at living, breathing Republican candidates for Mitt Romney’s running mate, beginning with:
1. Boring U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
I’m sure Portman’s a nice, reliable guy you’d want around if the couch needed moving or you needed a ride to the airport. The knock against Portman is he’s boring. So what? Would it really be better if Portman could juggle chainsaws, or eat a dozen whole jalapeno peppers and not break a sweat, or act tough like that guy with the crossbow from The Walking Dead? (Yes, actually.) Portman, a lawyer, served in the House of Representatives for a bunch of years, and was a trade representative and later director of the Office of Management and Budget during the latter half of Dubya’s presidency.
If you just heard the sounds of screeching tires leaving smelly rubber streaks on the road, that’s because Romney’s consideration of Rob Portman stopped right there. Or at least it should. Face it, people, Dubya’s still toxic, and deservedly so for reasons we won’t get into right now. It’s completely fair to say Barack Obama inherited George W. Bush’s mess (which had nothing to do with tax cuts and was years in the making under other presidents, to boot), just as it’s right to say that Obama’s dreadful policies have prolonged the inherited misery and made it worse in some spots. Regardless, Portman’s association with Bush, however brief (one year), will trigger the Left’s predictable caterwauling of Romney wanting to continue Bush’s policies, blah, blah, blah. Look, I don’t think Obama knows or cares that the OMB even exists. Regardless, it’s a completely unnecessary and avoidable issue to hand Obama’s vicious gang. I hope Romney’s people realize this (although I’m not confident Eric Fehrnstrom does). But Portman can help carry Ohio! Oh, really? I don’t put much faith in “this politician can help carry this or that state.” Hell, Romney’s not even going to carry his own state! And if he somehow defies Vegas odds and carries Massachusetts, I’ll have a tickle fight with David Axelrod. That’s not going to happen. Romney should carry Ohio (a more attainable target than the Bay State) with his economic proposals contrasted with the misery wrought by our Dear Leader, and not because of Rob Portman.
2. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, who’s starting to make The Jersey Shore cast seem likable.
As entertaining as his debate with Joe Biden would be (imagine Christie playfully putting Biden in a headlock and noogie-ing the top of Biden’s plugged noggin), Christie shouldn’t be Romney’s veep. My concern has more to do with Chris Christie’s health. I don’t think Christie is in the best shape to do the rigorous campaigning required during a presidential election, and should he ever become president, the job is the most stressful one in the world. I am not kidding when I say Christie is a prime candidate for a heart attack. This isn’t meant to disparage the governor, but he has got to get a handle on his weight — not just for the sake of his political career, but primarily because of his wife and young children. There’s also the prospect that Christie might become more of a distraction to Romney’s campaign than an asset. Let’s face it, Christie’s on YouTube right now either yelling at a teacher, or insulting a reporter, or helping Robert Di Nero and Joe Pesci stomp some guy to death in Ray Liotta’s bar. (Wait! I’m sorry, Goodfellas is on in the background and I got distracted.) But you get my point. I want Romney’s veep to be less of a sideshow and more of a forceful advocate on the campaign trail. I also prefer to see my vice presidential candidates who are governors complete at least one full term in office. Which leads me to …
3. Another White Guy.
This would be Virginia’s Governor, Bob McDonnell. Those of you who ascribe to the theory that veep candidates can help carry their home states, McDonnell might be your guy, and Virginia is just as crucial as Ohio. He’s a safer choice than Portman because he lacks Bush baggage. Virginia limits their governors to one term, which means McDonnell would have to leave office with one year left to go. McDonnell appears to be popular in Virginia, and he’d be a strong spokesman for the types of free-market reforms championed by Mitt Romney. Ideally it’d be nice if he (and Christie) had at least one full term under their belts. That aside, I don’t think McDonnell would be a bad choice. Let me now put on my liberal glasses and view the veepstakes through the lens of race: McDonnell is whiter than snow on a ghost, and it would be nice if Romney could pick an ethnically diverse veep. (Again, I’m looking at things like a liberal would, viewing skin color as infinitely more important than actual qualifications.) This leads me to …
4. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
Let me take off my Liberal glasses and put on my intellectual honesty cap. I don’t think Barack Obama had nearly enough executive or real-world experience to be president. He began running for president soon after being sworn in as a freshman senator on a platform of Utopian gobbledygook. How can I say Rubio would be a competent pick to potentially fill the role of president when he’s served less than two years in the U.S. Senate – even less time than Obama served before becoming president? If there’s one thing we’ve learned these last three-and-a-half years, it’s that experience matters – executive knowledge, especially. I’ve heard Rubio effectively articulate conservative positions many times, and I know he’d be great on the trail and would energize voters. He can do this without being the veep pick, and it would allow him to gain more seasoning in advance of what I’m sure will be a long and productive political career. Onward!
5. U.S. Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., Grrrrrrrr!
I’m completely kidding. Been there. Done that. If Romney wants to learn how to run an ineffective presidential campaign, just study McCain’s Titanic voyage of 2008. Which leads us to …
6. Another Grumpy Old Man!
I love Jimmy Kimmel’s joke about U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, looking like every guy at the end of the Scooby-Doo episode after the rubber monster mask gets yanked off. “And I would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you pesky kids and that damn dog!” Ron Paul might be a brilliant tactical choice since he’s got an immense libertarian following that could sway some of the anti-war folks over to Romney. However, one slightly troubling downside to Ron Paul is he might be insane, as evidenced by this hilarious Onion video. According to a former Ron Paul staffer, Paul’s so vehemently isolationist that he wouldn’t have intervened in Europe during WWII, and allegedly said that ” ‘saving the Jews’ was absolutely none of our business.” All I can say is “Good luck winning Florida!” Ron Paul’s foreign policy views might not resonate with a majority of Americans. For instance, he’s stated he would not have ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, citing a violation of international law, and asking “What if he had been in a hotel in London? So would we have sent helicopters into London?” Not with the Olympics coming up, and certainly not before tea time. There are too many negatives for Ron Paul to be a serious veep candidate, and it would be nice to inject some youth into the ticket. So, how about …
7. The Guy Who Wants to Kill your Grandmother!
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., if you listen to the Left, not only wants to dump grandma off a mountain into the sea, he aims to dip newborn puppies feet-first into molten lava and delight in their frantic yelps. Paul Ryan should be strongly considered because of his fluency on budgetary matters and due to his ability to portray Obama’s spending for what it is: fiscally ruinous. Ryan would be an easier target for the Left since he actually had the balls to propose a budget as an alternative to Obama’s popular plan that garnered not one single Democrat vote. The problem for the Left is that Ryan, from that ever-important swing state of Wisconsin, doesn’t quite look like a blood-thirsty ogre hell-bent on filling up a swimming pool with happy, splashing orphans and then tossing in a running hair dryer. He’s a handsome guy in his 40s with a pretty wife, young kids, and teeth that make that ”ding!” noise every time he smiles. He’ll be able to argue how Medicare is barreling toward insolvency, especially now that Obamacare has received the constitutional blessing of Chief Sophist John G. Roberts Jr. and the four other associate sophists. Unfortunately, Ryan is white. Sigh. It doesn’t matter to me, but it does matter to the people who don’t want him to win in the first place – the Left and mainstream media outfits. Screw em. Ryan’s worth considering.
8. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Condi’s name has been bandied about recently by the chattering class as a potential veep choice for Romney. Now, I have no doubt she’d hold her own in foreign policy during the debate. But how good of a surrogate would she be when Romney needs a strong defender to counter the inevitable attacks by the Left? Condi’s very likable and personable, but is she a politician? I don’t think so, and this election is no time for on-the-job training going up against that gang in the White House. Yes, she was a Bush appointee, but she had nothing to do with domestic policy, so I don’t think the guilt-by-association smears will work against her. Picking her will certainly expose the blatant racism that exists on the Left when it comes to black Republicans. How soon do you think it would be before enlightened minds like Jim Clyburn, Jesse Jackson or Maxine Waters question her authenticity within the black community? I give it a day. Condi’s also from California, which Romney won’t win and which reminds me more and more of Barter Town from Mad Max fame each time I think about how the state has devolved over the decades. (California used to be that really cool kid in high school that had everything going for him — good grades, hot girlfriend, athletic scholarship, you name it. Now California has turned into that sunglasses- and Hawaiian shirt-wearing 40-year-old stoner uncle who lives and grows pot in his 80-year-old parents’ house, and whose constant refrain is “I’ll pay you back next week, man. I’m good for it.”) But I digress. Condi, move to a state that’s more worthy of your intelligence and aplomb.
That’s U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., who I know absolutely nothing about other than that she’s the junior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire who won election to her first term less than two years ago. Oh, and she served as Attorney General of New Hampshire. Much like Marco Rubio, she just doesn’t have the executive bona fides to be president. If she does, please let me know what they are. Republicans want someone who is a known commodity this time around. I don’t doubt for a second that Ayotte’s a smart attorney and capable public official. I’m convinced Republicans would like a veep pick who they can instantly say “OK, good, game on!” I don’t think that’s Ayotte.
10. Joe Biden’s preparing a convenience store joke just in case …
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is now in his second term down in the Bayou and frequently appears on the news shows as a Romney surrogate. I heard New Hampshire’s former Governor John Sununu on Sean Hannity’s show today (July 11, 2012) and heard Sununu say something along the lines of Jindal needing to mature a little bit more before being considered for veep. Sununu however had no problem with Marco Rubio being considered even though Jindal’s executive experience dwarfs Rubio’s. Now, I did hear Jindal on Meet the Press lately saying what’s appropriate for one state (Romneycare) might not be appropriate for another. He was paired with the ultra-condescending governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, whose O’Residents are O’Fleeing his state because they’re being O’Taxed to death. Jindal said Mardi Gras is good for Louisiana but probably not so good in Maryland, to which Meet the Press host and Democratic operative David Gregory spat back, “Are you comparing Mardi Gras to Healthcare?” It was a bit awkward. Maybe that’s what Sununu was getting at. (Politically incorrect question: Why haven’t we heard the Indian-American equivalents of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson slamming Jindal for not being authentically Indian? Maybe Deepak Chopra will chime in with some words of wisdom one way or another. Because you just know that should Rubio get the nod N.J. Sen. Robert Menendez will whip out the ”there’s more to being Hispanic than having a surname” smear like he did with Miguel Estrada. But I digress.) It won’t be Jindal, based on what Sununu said. So let’s move on.
11. Someone Rob Portman considers Boring
Apparently, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty — whose own presidential campaign lasted about as long as it takes to heat up a Hot Pocket —is being considered. His eight years as governor opens him up to having his record scrutinized and distorted by the Left, but that’s going to happen regardless of the choice. But does Pawlenty excite you? Mitt Romney is distrusted by conservatives for some reason (oh, that’s right, he invented Obamacare, silly me). This means he’s got to assuage some of their concerns and prove that, hey, trust me, I’ll repeal Obamacare. Choosing a solid conservative will help do that, and I don’t think Pawlenty, who very well might be conservative, will help bring people to the polls in droves. In the end, it will certainly come down to Romney, but every little bit helps. Pawlenty’s a safe choice, but I don’t think he’s the best choice. So this leads me to … The Decision!
I would pick Pawlenty over Portman for reasons of no Dubya taint. I would also pick Pawlenty over Christie, McDonnell, Rubio, Jindal, Rice, and Ayotte for reasons of experience. Pawlenty and Paul Ryan get the nod over Ron Paul because Paul’s isolationist to the point where he won’t answer the front door. This leaves me to choose Paul Ryan over Pawlenty. Ryan’s young and brings life to the ticket. He can explain complex budgetary issues and how Medicare and Social Security are barreling toward insolvency. He actually stands for something because he had the balls to introduce a budget that got votes in the House – unlike a certain president’s who got no votes from his own party for his previous two spending plans. Ryan will be smeared because of that budget even if he’s not the choice. I say let’s run him out there and put a face to the name to prove to Americans that Ryan’s not some blood-thirsty creature living underneath Jabba the Hutt’s palace waiting to be fed prisoners. And he could potentially help bringWisconsinover to the Republicans — for those of you who buy into that kind of thing. I’d pick Paul Ryan.
(Romney should still ask The Most Interesting Man in the World to campaign for him. It can’t hurt to ask. One raised eyebrow by TMIMITW can swing Virginia back to the GOP where it belongs.)