Let’s face it. Rick Perry is now as much of a prohibitive front runner as Clinton was this time 4 years ago. In other words, he looks to have a strong lead, but there is much time to go. With that in mind, it is time to talk about possible VP candidates.
1. Bob McDonnell — Virginia’s governor is will be in the mind of whomever as a possible choice. He remains highly popular in a swing state where Obama won and were there will be a compeditive Senate seat up for graps. Virginia closed a budget shortfall without raising taxes, and is now in surplus. It has been rated multiple years in a row as the most friendly state for business. McDonnell faced harsh attacks for being a conservative during his election and won in a landslide without backing down. His message on the economy and his campaign were solid. He remains the most likely VP choice for any presidential nominee. As Chair of the Republican Governor’s Association, McDonnell will be well possitioned to raise money and more.
2. Sam Brownback — He has not been mentioned by anyone (but me) as a possible VP choice, which is a large party of what makes him sound increasingly appealing. He is serving as a conservative governor and served as a Senator prior to that. The mix of executive/governor and senate experience are a strong plus. He also has foreign policy experience and it helps that he is from a conservative state that is also progrowth and whose unemployment rate is a seasonally adjusted 6.6%, as compared to the US rate of just over 9%.
3. Barbour – A solid pick, low risk. Would help with fundraising. Governor.
4. Daniels – Another solid, low risk pick. Governor.
5. Marco Rubio — He was not on my prior VP. However, the electorial math may make FL importaint. If that is the case, Rubio would help in that state.
6. Jindal — He is a smart guy with governor experience. A solid conservative.
-Bachmann, Romney, or Perry: They are running for president.
-Santorum – He will be considered, and is a solid conservative. But, he lacks governor experience and would not win any additional states for the nominee.
– Palin – Been there, done that. Frankly, I think she would decline if offered. There is no benefit for her to run as VP, and no benefit to selecting her for that possition.
-Gov. Nikki Haley – While she is a governor, I don’t see where she adds to a ticket more than the governors listed above. I think if she was selected it would appear that she was selected just because she is female and that would hurt; not help the ticket.
NOTE: these are generic picks for a generic GOP nominee. At this point, although I think Perry most likely to win the GOP nomination, followed by Romney, followed by Bachmann, It could be any of those 3 or someone else. So, my VP discussion is based generically.