Photo: Jessica Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons
Mitt Romney’s argument to Republican primary voters basically boils down to this: “you may not think I’m conservative enough (and I’m not, but close enough), you may not like my religion (nothing I can do about that), you may not like my home state (think of me as being from Utah), you may think I’m a rich private equity guy who doesn’t care about people like you (get over it), but I’m the only one you’ve got who can beat Barack Obama next fall. So take your medicine, people, and nominate me, because otherwise your stuck with the incumbent for another four years.”It’s the electability argument in all of its glory and because Republican primary voters are literally desperate to send President Obama packing, it’s worked fairly well, so far. Romney leads in the primary states where it matters, his campaign is well-funded, he’s the front-runner nationally.
Romney doubled-down on “electability” yesterday by naming three men he thinks would be good vice presidential nominees to round out a Romney ticket. They are: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Florida Senator Marc Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. All are first-termers. McDonnell and Rubio are from key electoral college swing states. Christie is popular with fiscal conservatives across the country.
The danger here is that Romney’s “short list” may seem presumptuous to GOP primary voters. Floating the names of possible vice presidential running-mates is something a presidential candidate normally gets to do after he or she has won his or her party’s nomination. Going public before a single precinct caucus has been attended and before a single primary vote has been cast is…risky business.
Romney, who has been playing things safe, decided to take the risk.
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