A couple of days ago, I was sure that Mitt Romney would be the one tapped by John McCain to round out the Republican ticket. Even today, amidst rumors that Romney was spotted at his new La Jolla, CA home with what looked to be a Secret Service presence, I came back to Romney as the choice.
He had to be, I thought. He rounds out McCain’s ticket so well, he’s got an already-energized base, he can serve perfectly as an attack dog, and can effectively dismantle Joe Biden when the debate at Washington University turns to economics.
Today, however, I found myself reading more and more about Pawlenty, as if something told me I should mentally steel myself for his selection. I know him as a meek guy, a supporter of cap-and-trade policy, but strong on spending and an advocate for the concealed carry of firearms. Then, there was the rumor that he had canceled all of his engagements for tomorrow.
HE had to be the one, I thought. He’s well-liked in a battleground state and well-known in the states immediately bordering his own. He responded well to disasters stemming from bad weather and defective infrastructures alike, and is rumored to get along well with John McCain.
After listening to Barack Obama’s incredible delivery of the oratorical equivalent of a shined-up, cumbersome liberal Oldsmobuick, however, two names came to mind.
First, Joe Lieberman. What better way to respond to charges of “four more years of the same” and “eight is enough” than with a true, compromise candidate? What better way than to counter Barack Obama’s promise to chaaaaange Washington [with a running mate who has spent 36 years there] than with the truly groundbreaking pairing of McCain and Lieberman? While I like Joe Lieberman for a cabinet position where he can be trusted with his right-minded approach to the Global War on Terror, perhaps as Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense, I certainly hope he is not sharing signage with the GOP nominee.
Second, Eric Cantor. He’s young, he’s good-looking, he’s Jewish, consistent and an exceptional speaker. He could bring Virginia, and is a true conservative, part of the young contingent on the political right led–in my opinion–by Bobby Jindal and, while untested on a national scale, he could very easily stand up to and outshine Joe Biden. Furthermore, unless he was added at the last minute to act as understudy to Jindal (who will be tied up in his own home state with a storm approaching in the Gulf of Mexico), Cantor does not seem to be included anywhere on the schedule for the convention in the Twin Cities next week. He’s far too good, and with his youth far too valuable to the Republican Party, to be left off of the list of speakers. And while I was a complete idiot, forgot about him, and left him off of the America’s Right VP poll, his absence from the convention lineup may not be by mistake.
Of course, though I was correct on guessing Obama’s choice of Joe Biden, I may be wrong here. Heck, it could be Tom Ridge or Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the latter of which was reportedly spotted in Ohio this evening. I’m still pulling for Romney to come through. Sadly, in the wake of the uproar at the DNC over John McCain’s seven houses and Obama’s charge that McCain just doesn’t “get” the average American, I cannot see how he would fit, on a superficial level, on the GOP ticket. In terms of Pawlenty, I just think he’s too much of an ideological mirror-image of John McCain, only younger and a little less uppity, and cannot see him bringing enough to the table in this case.
My guess is Cantor. But knowing John McCain and his penchant for disappointing conservatives, it may very well be Joe Lieberman.
We’ll find out at noon tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m going to bed.