I’m noticing an interesting paradox among some of the people speculating about former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) as-yet-unnamed running mate. Two of the perceived favorites have served in Cabinet or other high-profile White House positions and have never held or tried to hold elected office. You could charitably describe both as “statesmen” of some repute. Why are two statesmen good enough for the role of running mate, one that requires them to be as political as possible, but one (you know who) isn’t good enough to be the presidential nominee? Something to ponder. Anyway:
1. CIA director Gen. David Petraeus. Why? Because it’s a waste of time even to think about it. The man has categorically stated, on numerous occasions, that he has no interest in partisan politics. Every aspect of his résumé has had to do with serving the country, no matter who was in charge of its federal government. I’m surprised (and disappointed) that he hasn’t flat-out told the speculators to stuff it before he has them fragged. Don’t even bother with someone who’s just not that into you.
2. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She, too, has refused to think about it, despite how many people wish she would. I like to think this is because she’s keeping her options open for 2016. That aside, here’s why Romney shouldn’t bother:
- Her approach to national affairs is too thoughtful for someone who would be expected to thrash Obama at every turn.
- She was in the GOP’s last worst administration. Don’t go there.
- She’d make Romney look like a chump.
3. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He’s a safe choice in that he adds nothing. Nothing at all. The only readily visible difference between him and Romney is that he’s from the Midwest and Romney is from New England. The only other thing I can say about him is that he surpasses Romney in “middle-aged white-guy-ness.” He’s so bland that Hayden Christensen is all “That guy? Yawn.” He’s so boring that his Secret Service code name would be Tim Pawlenty. He’s so dull that insomniacs should ask their physicians if Pawlentis is right for them. He’s so useless that the inventor of the pet rock weeps in shame at having been outdone. Picking him would make Democrats shrug and say “Whatevs.” Just don’t.
That leaves Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rob Portman (R-OH). They both have (some) personality. They both have sufficiently high profiles. They’re both reliably conservative. They’ll both be willing to maul the Democrats. Only one, Portman, has substantive foreign policy experience. Pick him, and let us speak no more about it.