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Justin121
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Romney can't select someone who is pro-choice
Roestigraben
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One more thing about the selection criteria: I don't think the veep's ethnicity and gender will matter all that much in the general election. A serious outreach towards a certain demographic group will only be successful if a given party takes their specific demands up as a part of their national platform, drafts concrete policies along these lines and sticks with these for some time. Looking at the Republicans, you can't spend months - years, even - pandering to your white, male base with comments that racial minorities and women perceive as offensive, and then turn around at the last minute and say, "But look! Our VP nominee is a Hispanic/a woman/whatever!". People's political identities and impressions of the parties are forged over years, and will not be reevaluated that easily. Unless they pick someone who's known as an actual advocate for his or her demographic group, and who's been willing to call fellow partisans out on nativist or misogynist aberrations, chances are that he or she is just going to be seen as a fig leaf. However, finding someone like that will not be easy in a party that has undergone a drastic shift to the right and an ever stronger pressure on ideological conformity.
Of course, it still can't hurt to have someone on the ticket who provides a contrast to the usual same old of running rich, white males. But as with the home state factor, I'd say this is at most a tie-breaker, after more important features such as base popularity, qualifications and appeal to independents have been considered. The selection of Sarah Palin provides a cautionary tale for what happens when you get too hung up on a single, secondary criterion like gender.
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ranthambhore wrote: Delphi, thanks for that post, very interesting. I agree with you on the Rubio short and especially endorse your view that "his rock-star Superboy image might overwhelm Romney." Huge numbers of voters on the right will want the ticket reversed. This happened a bit with McCain-Palin but Rubio is much stronger on the merits than Palin and I don't think that Romney is secure enough as an individual to allow himself to be so completely overshadowed. Christie is less of a problem in this regard, he has been very loyal and fierce in his defense of Romney. Daniels and (to a lesser extent) Ryan fit the bill perfectly.

Santorum is interesting: Romney would hate to have him on the ticket but it may be the only way to prevent an acrimonious split at the convention. I'm reminded of Reagan-Bush. But unlike Reagan-Bush, this would be a losing ticket.

Jeb Bush is impossible. Far too senior in standing to play second fiddle. It would be disrespectful for Romney to even ask.


Palin is the main reason that Rubio is the frontrunner. The rockstar image is a great success. Palin lit the base on fire and fundraising went through the roof. Candidate pivots center, VP enlivens your own party. Pretty ideal scenario. And as you noted yourself, Rubio has Palin's strengths without the drawbacks of being clueless.

As to Rubio "overshadowing" Romney, not going to happen. Why? He hasn't done much. If he'd accomplished some great feats, given some legendary speech (like Mr. Obama) or was a well-known national figure, we'd rightly be wondering whether Romney could balance Rubio's nomination. Outside of the beltway, Florida, and our little universe, Rubio's name recognition is probably around 20% and that may be high.

But in the same way that you swipe Rubio as being too much for Romney to handle, you praise Christie as being right in-line. And yet Christie is the very figure that I described above. Incredibly well-known, an attack dog, bombastic. He overshadows Romney on every front, plus he has the weight thing which would give SNL writers wet dreams. And even as I am writing this I am thinking of something else: the political landscape in a couple months. What's Christie's pet issue? Public sector unions. What's going to happen in about 3 months time? Gigantic Wisconsin recall fight. If it's ugly (and the chances of this are >90%), Mitt may not want the union baggage of someone like Christie.

As to Jeb, I don't think he'd take him but the idea that he'd be too senior for him or it would be impolite to ask is not very good reasoning. Romney as the GOP nominee is the de facto leader of the party for those few months and he can call anyone; nobody is higher or more powerful than Mitt. Jeb will undoubtedly be on CNN or Fox or at rallies talking about what a great leader he is and how much we need to elect him. The only people too senior for Romney are ex-Presidents.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at March 25, 2012 15:42:36 UTC

Delphi
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@ Domer - Given that Christie spiked into the upper 20s and low 30s every time he stepped out his front door to say something nice about Romney, I'm not too worried about being left "holding the bag of poo". His weight is an ongoing issue, yes, but it's one that many Americans struggle with, so it could help humanize the ticket. Romney's got a perception problem with that human thing, you may have noted. And I should have been more clear: I think it's a no-brainer that he spends time in the 20s at least, but by no means did I buy those simply to sell to a greater fool. I think he'd be a very strong actual choice and will probably keep a handful of contracts to expiry. Romney desperately needs someone exciting, yet who won't overwhelm him - a bit of a fine needle to thread.

As for the importance of running mate mini-scandals... Biden's college plagiarism incident wasn't relevant in the campaign because it had happened over forty years earlier and moreover the press had had their fill of it twenty years earlier when he ran the first time. Palin's Troopergate was a distraction, I would argue, and it was one brick in the monument being constructed to the image of her incompetence. The reason she's not known primarily for it is that there were so many other tabloid-ish stories that it got lost in the pile. But it did matter. No candidate wants stuff like that in a veep distracting from their message. I don't think Castro-gate is huge or anything, but it's potentially a turn-off to two groups that his selection would be specifically targetting. Cubans who actually did flee Castro and lost everything may be a little unimpressed that he's trying to siphon off of their experience for political gain when really his parents were just looking for a better job, and non-Cuban Latinos get that irritant of the "preferentially-treated Castro-refugee Cuban exile" thing rubbed in their faces by it, and this time by a quasi-charlatan at that. It's a subtle thing that I think anglos are less likely to appreciate.

@ Ranth - interesting point on Bush's seniority and whether it would be beneath him. Maybe so. [Edit - I agree with Domer here that Romney is top dog for the moment. Besides, what has Jeb done that Romney hasn't? He's not really more senior in any objective way.] I go back and forth on whether he's a legitimate possibility, but felt that at 1.0 the upside was too good to pass on. The combo of respected/Florida/well-vetted/Spanish-speaking/famous family/Romney-endorser seems bound to get him talked about. And that means spikes, at the very least.

@ Roest - I agree that identity politics as a last-minute band-aid after you've been more or less hostile to a demographic group is a cheap and likely futile tactic. For instance I think there were plenty of women in 2008 who felt implicitly condescended to that McCain "thought they would blindly vote for him because he picked an XX for the ticket". But the GOP knows they have to start somewhere, sometime, as this group is only growing. And sadly, there are a sub-group of low-info voters (in every demographic) who aren't much plugged into issues, and will vote on this kind of basis. So I think the two Hispanic guys (leaving Fortuno out) have to be important contenders.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at March 25, 2012 16:15:06 UTC

ranthambhore
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Domer wrote: As to Rubio "overshadowing" Romney, not going to happen. Why? He hasn't done much.

Palin had done even less and managed to overshadow McCain. I recall rallies where he was ignored or booed while she was treated like a rock star. McCain was big enough to take it, though he must have found it humiliating. I don't think Romney will put himself in this situation. My sense is that he's more insecure than McCain and he does have other choices. But a Romney-Rubio ticket would be formidable, no doubt about that.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at March 25, 2012 16:30:17 UTC

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Delphi wrote: @ Domer - Given that Christie spiked into the upper 20s and low 30s every time he stepped out his front door to say something nice about Romney, I'm not too worried about being left "holding the bag of poo". His weight is an ongoing issue, yes, but it's one that many Americans struggle with, so it could help humanize the ticket. Romney's got a perception problem with that human thing, you may have noted. And I should have been more clear: I think it's a no-brainer that he spends time in the 20s at least, but by no means did I buy those simply to sell to a greater fool. I think he'd be a very strong actual choice and will probably keep a handful of contracts to expiry. Romney desperately needs someone exciting, yet who won't overwhelm him - a bit of a fine needle to thread.

As for the importance of running mate mini-scandals... Biden's college plagiarism incident wasn't relevant in the campaign because it had happened over forty years earlier and moreover the press had had their fill of it twenty years earlier when he ran the first time. Palin's Troopergate was a distraction, I would argue, and it was one brick in the monument being constructed to the image of her incompetence. The reason she's not known primarily for it is that there were so many other tabloid-ish stories that it got lost in the pile. But it did matter. No candidate wants stuff like that in a veep distracting from their message. I don't think Castro-gate is huge or anything, but it's potentially a turn-off to two groups that his selection would be specifically targetting. Cubans who actually did flee Castro and lost everything may be a little unimpressed that he's trying to siphon off of their experience for political gain when really his parents were just looking for a better job, and non-Cuban Latinos get that irritant of the "preferentially-treated Castro-refugee Cuban exile" thing rubbed in their faces by it, and this time by a quasi-charlatan at that. It's a subtle thing that I think anglos are less likely to appreciate.


Biden had plagiarized speeches when he first ran for President. He also had a history of being gaffe-prone, which has continued to shake out. The point is that no VP choice is going to have a squeaky clean history. If they do, the press will likely conjure up a controversy or perhaps paint them as an idealistic, naive boy scout or some such.

As to Christie, I don't see any possible way that Mitt's team has Christie near the top of their board, if he is on it at all. This is a decision made by like 5 people, Romney, Myers, Kaufmann, maybe a couple of others. Which is why it is simultaneously too hard to predict someone like Sarah Palin because its the whim of 5 people, but also far too easy to predict someone like her if you simply try to think like they do. And getting inside the head of Team Romney, I can envision them asking 3 people at an absolute minimum before Christie for the reasons that I have outlined above, and all 3 would have to turn him down before you start looking for alternatives like Christie. The vetting process has likely started already. Probably the reason that all of a sudden someone bought like a billion shares of a politician we had heretofore never even heard of in Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Perhaps she's on some list sent over.

But back to getting inside the head of Team Romney, its also why the Sandoval pick is incredibly unlikely to happen. You take issue with me saying that the Perry endorsement matters. Okay. But its not only the endorsement, its the TIMING. When Sandoval made the endorsement, Perry was the frontrunner for the nomination in the polls and on Intrade. The choice was Romney or Perry and he threw his chips in on the wrong hand. That is a sin that will never be forgotten or forgiven by Mitt's inner circle, so Sandoval is persona non grata. They may very well swallow their medicine and look his way if Rubio and secondary choices are demurring, but Sandoval's number is no longer in the rolodex.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at March 25, 2012 16:42:51 UTC

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Interesting assumptions. Regarding McMorris-Rodgers, I assume some columnist or blogger somewhere, maybe in Washington, independently threw her name out as a bright, fresh-faced female Republican, and then an Intrader read it and asked that she be listed. People (like me) looked cockeyed at the name, googled her and found a good-looking face who was starting to appear on talking head segments. So many boomlets and buzzes here end up explained that way, rather than being a result of "insider leakage", that I have come to just default to that.

Beating a dead horse perhaps, but I think you ascribe way too much sensitivity to Team Romney on things like endorsements. Their first goal at the moment is to win the election. A distant second, I think, would be doing their part to enforce the integrity of the endorsement ecosystem for the benefit of future candidates (i.e., "this will teach people to pick their bandwagons more carefully"). I think that's the case for any politician, but perhaps moreso than average for a technocrat like Romney. Not that he can't be thin-skinned, but years in the cutthroat (or at least dispassionate) world of finance have to have taught him to get past those slights. I could be wrong. But even if I'm wrong and Sandoval isn't genuinely on the list for team Romney, I think media suppositions alone will drive his price up to attractive returns. Just the same I will keep some of him to expiry unless I hear something that convinces me not to.

Well, it's cool having astute people here disagreeing on some of these points. That should keep the season interesting.
Justin121
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Sandoval is pro choice
Domer
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Justin121 wrote: Sandoval is pro choice


and there we go

Honestly did not know that.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at March 25, 2012 17:50:54 UTC

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But really, based on what we learned in previous primaries - abortion is a big deal during primaries and so is being socially conservative. Once you get onto the election .. I could never recall abortion being the primary topic of discussion there.

A person who is a big proponent of Pro-Life would have never voted for Romney in the first place anyway (where he is a pro-choice just a few years back) .. adding Sandoval to the ticket would not make any slightest impact to that. If you're a pro-life conservative GOP at the end of the day you would still vote for Romney as opposed to Obama.

In order to win swing states - the priority has becoming how to appeal to those social moderates not to appeal people who will vote GOP anyway. It's about securing votes .. it's about winning ...

In a sense that "Etch a sketch" play toy should summarize this perfectly.
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Good catch, Justin (I had ignored your previous two posts of that since I had no clue which of the 20-some names you were referring to). I did assume that as a Catholic Republican he was further to the right on the issue. In his own words though, he's sort of closer to the center on abortion:

http://www.briansandoval.com/issues

I am pro-choice; I oppose partial-birth abortion, late term abortion and federal funding for abortion. I support parental notification prior to a minor receiving an abortion and am against transporting minors across state lines for abortions.


This detracts from his value as a deal-sealer with the religious crowd, but as Ethan implies Romney can afford to triangulate somewhat on that, if he has surrogates in the conservative media keep demonizing Obama as "the most pro-abortion president ever" (a line I've seen often). And as I mentioned the GOP is treading on thin ice with women this year. They need the base to turn out, yes, but they are cooked without independent women.

But it's a fair point.
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The only reason I think its a bigger issue than normal is because of Romney's 'flops' on abortion. Him picking a pro-choice VP at this point I think would blow up in his face. I think the pick we are looking at will be a pro-lifer but maybe not to the extent of being against abortion in the cases of rape, incest, etc.

I think McDonnell won't work for a few reasons. I think Romney is not on the whole 'anti-gay' bandwagon and a few things I've read about McDonnell seems like it might be a conflict.

Also, say it out loud, Romney McDonnell. I just think it sounds a lot like Ronald McDonald. LOL
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According to most polls this cycle, abortion and social issues are less important than usual (though thanks to Santorum and the uninsured birth control issue they have flared up in the GOP's face). That doesn't mean they get to thumb their noses at the religious crowd with impunity, but they could make the calculation that grabbing the center (and some Latino voters) from Obama is their best route to victory.

I do like the sound of "Romney-McDonnell" though. They could have yellow and red bumper stickers with golden arches in McDonnell's name, and a slogan underneath of "300 Million Served".
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How about Jim DeMint? He's both socially and fiscally conservative. Despite a big Ron Paul supporter and Romney's "etch a sketch" remark just few hours ago he says that "he's excited" for Romney and urges all Republicans to rally behind him.

This guy is set to retire four years from now anyway, so a VP gig would be nice

At close to 1%, I'm long on this guy.


ranthambhore
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Justin121 wrote: Also, say it out loud, Romney McDonnell. I just think it sounds a lot like Ronald McDonald. LOL

If you think that's a mouthful, how about Romney McMorris-Rodgers? No room for that on a compact car...

By the way, I do agree about the abortion issue, no openly pro-choice candidate can be on this ticket.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at March 25, 2012 20:23:48 UTC

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