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Why Huckabee and Rubio Shouldn’t Be Selected for the VP Nomination

Andrew comments [1] on Romney’s political weaknesses:

If Romney cannot win a Southern state with Christianist voters or keeps losing the white working and lower middle class, he’s a very weak nominee. Which means he will have to pick a red-blooded red-stater as a veep. I think Rubio’s Mormon period effectively rules him out as an option. My suggestion? Huckabee as veep. He balances every Romney weakness.

Huckabee would make an interesting choice. It would mean that Romney was tying himself to the person who once said [2] that he had no soul. The Democratic ads would practically write themselves: “Even Mitt Romney’s running mate has said that he has no integrity and will say anything to win an election.” It would likely horrify the economic conservatives who found Huckabee so unacceptable last time, and it would also saddle the ticket with Huckabee’s ethical baggage that the media never bothered digging into last time.

As for Rubio, there are many reasons [3] why it would be a mistake to select him as Romney’s running mate, but the story about Rubio’s childhood Mormonism isn’t one of them. Anyone who is going to have a problem with the ticket because Rubio was briefly a Mormon long ago as a child will already be opposed to supporting Romney anyway, and Christian conservative voters typically don’t punish a politician if he is currently a practicing Christian. This is why Christian conservatives have had no problem supporting Jindal and Haley. Romney could choose Rubio, but the most important reasons why he shouldn’t are clear: Rubio’s experience at the national level is simply insufficient, and he is not yet otherwise qualified to be the next in line to the Presidency. Selecting Rubio would generate a lot of enthusiasm among movement conservatives, which addresses one of Romney’s problems, and it wouldn’t turn into a debacle the way Palin’s selection did, but it is still a bad idea.

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10 Comments To "Why Huckabee and Rubio Shouldn’t Be Selected for the VP Nomination"

#1 Comment By Hamilton Fan On February 29, 2012 @ 10:36 am

Romney already has won a southern state; it just happened to be the one southern state that isn’t overwhelmingly white: Florida.

I agree with Andrew’s sense that Romney is extremely weak in the south. I still think it will keep him from the nomination. If not, he should go with Chris Christie as his VP nominee. Christie is a fat, white Christian who also happens to be an enormous jerk. GOP voters will love him.

#2 Comment By Lulu On February 29, 2012 @ 10:50 am

Daniel,
Why is your blog so hard to comment on? You are as devilish as any politician selecting a running mate.
That said, who cares about Romney’s running mate? Let’s try to split the tickets up with Ron Paul.

#3 Comment By IanH On February 29, 2012 @ 11:14 am

Hamilton Fan,

You don’t know too much about the South, do you? No state in the South is “overwhelmingly white”. Every single Southern state has a black population of at least 15% or more. Florida is actually whiter than Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia. I really wish you’d get your facts straight.

#4 Comment By Hamilton Fan On February 29, 2012 @ 11:22 am

Ian,

I live in the South. Florida is a swing state because its rednecks are offset by its minority population, unlike the red states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia.

#5 Comment By IanH On February 29, 2012 @ 11:23 am

And that has absolutely nothing to do with what I said.

#6 Comment By Hamilton Fan On February 29, 2012 @ 11:31 am

Perhaps your definition of “overwhelmingly” is different from mine, so let me put it a different way. There are a large percentage of whites in all of the southern states we have mentioned. Florida, however, is unique due to its minority population.

#7 Comment By IanH On February 29, 2012 @ 11:41 am

No it isn’t. You obviously have never been to Texas.

I’m just going to end this conversation now since you seem to be ignoring everything I say.

#8 Comment By tbraton On February 29, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

“Daniel,
Why is your blog so hard to comment on?”

Lulu, simply adopt Mitt Romney’s tactic at the last debate when the moderator suggested that Romney’s answer was not responsive to his question. Romney retorted that he could ask the question in whatever form he chose but that he would answer in whatever form he wanted to. (To applause from the many Romney plants in the auditorium.) I do it all the time. I am sure Daniel often scratches his head and wonders “what did I say in that blog that evoked such a response.”

#9 Comment By trvalentine On March 1, 2012 @ 7:38 am

Apparently, I’m not up on Sullivan’s Newspeak*: what the heck does he mean by Christianist?

* aka doubleplusungood, butchering the language

#10 Comment By Hamilton Fan On March 4, 2012 @ 7:10 am

Texas is not as diverse as Florida.