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Romney, a Shadow Veep?

It’s been hard this week not to consider that Mitt Romney, who knows something about finance and markets, might have been a handy running mate for John McCain.

In fact, McCain has been making good use of his former political foe. While Sarah Palin was turning heads of state, McCain met with Romney and an eclectic group of economic advisers from the private sector.

This morning, I called Romney (who's in Michigan today) to ask about his thoughts on the crisis.

First things first:

Romney does not want to serve in the Cabinet. “I watched my father in that job.” (George Romney was housing secretary under Nixon). “He had 27-year-olds in the White House telling him what to do, then faced bureaucrats who wouldn’t move. It was pretty frustrating. I think I can do more on the outside encouraging policies that make a difference.”

He also doesn’t wish to serve on any oversight entity created to administer the bailout. Strike that. The “stabilization.” He was insistent on not using “bailout” because “no one has any interest in bailing out fat cats who made bad decisions.” The purpose of the bill is to stabilize the financial sector so the economy doesn’t collapse. On administering the stabilization funds: “Please don’t nominate me. No one wants that job. If you succeed, they say, well, we gave you $700 billion, of course you succeeded. If you don’t succeed, well, you can’t win.”

Romney lamented that there isn’t more time -- a couple of months, preferably -- to hammer out a structure for the stabilization bill. But time, he said, is of the essence. Without money to lend to buyers, the economy stops.

He also made clear that although he does not forecast another Great Depression -- in contrast to Palin’s suggestion to Katie Couric yesterday -- we still face economic distress. The $700 billion, which is designed only to keep the credit system alive, is necessary but not sufficient. “Our tax policies, energy policies, education policies, investment strategies -- all are going to have to be tuned up.”

I don’t care how many times Romney changed his mind about embryos. Timing really is everything. If this week’s crisis had occurred in January, Romney might be leading the Republican presidential ticket. If it had happened in August, we might never have learned the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom.

They say it’s never too late to correct a mistake. And mavericks, well, you never know what they’ll do next.

By Kathleen Parker  | September 25, 2008; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  Parker  | Tags:  Kathleen Parker  
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Next: My Breakfast With Mahmoud


Sorry I don't think legally he can change the ticket and I don't think the American public are going to go for a last minute change. McCain isn't qualified to tie his shoes throwing Palin under the bus isn't going to change anything.

Posted by: elgunjduts | September 26, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the CBS news interview with Sarah Palin...

Katies asks: What "lesson" have you learned from the war in Iraq?

The problem with this question is it is a Catch22. First, and foremost, she cannot have learned any "lesson" from the war, because she was not involved in ANY WAY with national or world politics until recently. So how can she learn any "lessons" from it? But if she doesn't answer then the media perceives her to be an idiot, and if she DOES provide an answer then they confirm that she is the "same" as Bush.

Bottom line: She cannot win with the media, and certainly not with anyone that claims to be a liberal democrat. They have already made up their minds and nothing will sway them.

It's ok though that Obama is being investigated for questionable spending of $100,000 of taxpayer money. But do you see anyone asking him about that on the nightly news? Has anyone asked Joe Biden what lesson he learned from the Clinton Administration? Of course not. These two men are put up on a trophy case and presented to the world to be free of sin and the savior of not only this country but of the world. That's going to be a lot to live up to. But something tells me that they will be riding the wave of "our ideas didn't work, but it's because of the Bush administration" for the next four years and still come out smelling like roses.

As sickened as I am with the media and their relentless bashing of McCain/Palin, I am still voting for them, and I hope a lot of other people will too.

Posted by: tmacioszek | September 26, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Kathleen Parker. Your last line states clearly exactly why John McCain should lose the election in a landslide. This is NOT the time for a "maverick" in the White House. With each passing day the McCain/Palin ticket confirms that neither candidate has the knowledge, skills and abilities to serve the people in the 21st century.

It would indeed be a MAJOR mistake to allow another Republican to have the keys to the White House. It is going to take long enough to repair the mess of the last seven years. We do not need to add to the mess the various problems that the McCain/Palin duo could add to the mix.

Posted by: lavinsr | September 26, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Another example of poor reporting and bias... Gov. Palin did not suggest there was going to be another Great Depression... Couric did, and then in Palin's response she said that while it might not lead to another Great Depression something needs to be done...
I wouldn't be surprised if this conflict was mentioned in another part of the Washington Post, but then again as your ombudsman pointed out earlier, the Post is not a reliable source for information. So why don't you listen to the interview rather than read the Cliff Notes?

Posted by: philsoc | September 26, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think Ron Paul would have been a better VP pick only because Dr. Paul actually understands the framework of the economy as it relates to the Constitution, and for the most part would take the US economy in a sustainable direction.

Printing 1 trillion more dollars will fuel the inflation tax, which hits the poorest Americans the hardest.

The popping of the currency bubble is afoot, and ye that holdeth your cash, beware.

What I learned from Iraq is very disturbing. To say Palin has not been involved in World Politics is to propose that she is not a member of the voting community, or that she lived in isolation without any knowledge of Iraq, nor used her democratic power to shape the administration that created Iraq.

What I learned from Iraq I used to teach others, and influenced many with my perspective on the war.

Asking Sarah what she learned is a critical question for me, because if Iraq taught her nothing, then she has been living in an igloo on some iceberg and is unfit to become Commander in Chief.

Posted by: ender3rd | September 26, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, Palin is kind of a rookie on the gotcha interview circuit. I don't recall Mr. Obama getting quite the same level of scrutiny and questioning, but never mind, we all know what this is about. Nevertheless, it is one thing for Sarah Palin not to have second question mastery of the details of McCain's career. It is another thing for the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a leading expert on Foreign Policy with 36 years experience in the Senate to allege that Franklin D. Roosevelt was President and appeared on Television in October 1929, when his term in office began in March 1933, and television didn't become publicly available until 1948. Those are facts I mastered in the Fifth grade.

I think we should stipulate that our politicians are not walking encyclopedias and that the main requirement of the Vice President is to wait around for the President to die. Enough of all this VEEP replacement talk. The President is after all not running to be a contestant on a quiz show.

Posted by: rrollo | September 26, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that you cannot replace the VP on the ticket. What happens if a VP candidate resigns? If a POTUS-only ticket is elected, does Nancy Pelosi become our VP by operation of law?

Posted by: MShake | September 26, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse


Even if McCain possessed the capacity to swallow his pride, he could never switch to Romney (whom he should've picked to begin with; country first) without it highlighting how inadequate he is. So instead he'll bunker in and pretend Palin's just great and pull more of the same of his typical democrat politician stunts like we're seeing now.

We Republicans have a duty of party loyalty. A true duty of party loyalty, not towing the party line and voting McCain. John McCain is no Bob Dole. He isn't conservative and hasn't ever been a good Republican even. He hasn't earned our vote. What will we miss if there isn't a President McCain, McCain-Kennedy; McCain-Feingold; McCain-Lieberman? No thanks. That's what we have Democrats for.

The state of our party is like an old, creaky plane lumbering down the runway on three flat tires trying to get up to speed in time to lift off before we run out of room. In the cockpit sit an old pilot whose maneauvers we've never much cared for and at his side is a co-pilot who doesn't know how to fly. We can either hop on that plane and hope it can get off the ground for one last flight, or we can power down, turn around, taxi back down the tarmac, pull into the hangar and begin building a new plane. I want the new plane.

Realizing Romney should've been the Veep now or maybe even the nominee now and that, y'know, maybe it'll work out for him next time, after McCain, isn't good enough. We've got an economic meltdown that calls for a reshaping of the financial landscape that Bush, Obama, McCain, and Congress are clueless about; we've got 7 of 9 Supreme Court justices appointed by us and they strip us of property rights while granting constitutional rights to terrorists; and we've got growing global unrest, bad actors in Russia stirring again, now meddling in South America btw, and the whole nature of geopolitics influencing, perverting, corrupting the global economy as China is some sort of hybrid commie/capitalist (mercantilist nearly) monster.....whatever, the point is Mark Twain couldn't fictionalize a better, more perfect character than Mitt Romney to deal with all this at once.

If McCain wins this thing, then that will be a loss for conservatism and pragmatism itself since all our guys coming up the ranks will be obligated to support his agenda, mimic his tactics. If people didn't pay attention to his primary antics in Florida, well then this week is even a more perfect example of the political nature of this guy. Everything is acrobatics, dramatics, theatrics, stunts, schemes, calculations. All at getting power, and keeping it. Oh he only wants to serve one term? lol, ok bro, ok...hey bro, hey, I've perfected a potion in my kitchen that will make you grow taller by 4 inches.

We got two lifelong politicians, both are effectively democrats, each running as not your average ordinary everyday typical politcian. Obama claims Change; McCain claims maverick, the original change. Obama's agenda and ways (lofty rhetoric, no details) is all classic liberal dinosaur ideology and methodology. McCain's agenda is left of center, politicis as usual. This is a wash. No win scenario for conservatives in 2008. So the greatest good is remaining intellectually honest. What's best for the long term? No one, regardless of his or her politics, benefits when both parties resemble one another. McCain makes the already too-Democrat-looking Republicans even more indistinguishable from the donkeys. That will wreck our party for years to come.

Instead, let's take a knee, fall on the sword, hit rock bottom, get shut out of power, and rebuild ourselves. Romney's got, oh a record of rebuilding everything he's touched and so he'd be the perfect person for the job. He's very articulate and therefore can deliver our philosophy in an easy to understand way, and play the perfect foil to Obama on TV for 4 years. Now is the time to see to it that we do not win this election b/c if we win this election we lose in the long run. It's time to be the maverick now. Be the mavericks against McCain.

Posted by: iBR0CK | September 26, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Actually, you can change a ticket after the convention and nomination. Remember Thomas Eagleton? George McGovern replaced him with Sarge Shriver after learning of Eatleton's electric shock therapy (by the way, nobody's ever followed up on the tanning bed in the AK governor's mansion which some GOP supporters said wasn't for vanity ...but to fight seasonal affective disorder (sad) depression. Wonder what's up with that ... and if you want a laugh check this out:

Posted by: Omyobama | September 26, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I find it highly ironic to recall HOW MUCH Obama was being second-guessed for not choosing Hillary as veep... what was it? Just a few weeks ago? Now Obama looks like a regular oracle in his choice.

Posted by: beart0e | September 27, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Good post, IBrock. Sadly, I think you are right. Romney, good governance, was sacrificed for Palin, good politics.

Posted by: fcook639 | September 27, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

thanks, fcook639.

In other words, McCain's selection of Palin was his elevation of tactic over strategy, to borrow the conversation we witnessed in that awful debate Friday night.

Posted by: iBR0CK | September 27, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I have lost all confidence in the Republicans and Democrats. The Christian Conservatives deserve to lose this one all because they through a fit over Romney. Good job guys. I hope losing is worth it. Now, you won't have any representation with the Democrats winning the presidency and both houses of Congress. You have only yourselves to blame on this one.

Posted by: ceo1 | September 27, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Vice presidential candidates should be chosen at least in part for their ability to run the country in the event of the president's unhappy demise. That held especially true for the Republicans in 2008. John McCain is 72 years old. His father died of natural causes when he was 70. His grandfather died when he was 61. So, John McCain chose Sarah Palin. Does she have the knowledge, experience and judgment necessary to run the country? In light of his choice, does he?

Posted by: CantCatchMe77 | September 28, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

The Palin aplogists are missing the point. It's not the questions, and it's not really WHAT she says as much as how she says it.

I've witnessed many job interviews, and her latest interview showed someone who crammed the night before the interview and were trying to fake their way through with no real experience. She's babbling more than she's saying anything. She's leaving open ended sentences, etc. Grabbing onto talking points and audibly adding them when she thinks of them, like she was practicing. "oh yeah! Job Creation!"
Wow, I feel really bad for her.

Her confidence level is low right now. I am still amazed that the Republicans turned down the offers to have her respond to the debate! How can you hide you VP likethat? They put Guliani up there. Why not put expose her, that's how you learn!
I can only conclude that they hide her for a reason, and we've seen that in her interviews.

Honestly, I feel sorry for her. I cringed during the interview. Katie looks more presidential. If she can't stand up to Katie, can she stand up to Putin? Really?

She probably should not have accepted this position. Just 2 years ago, she was a mayor of a town of 8,000 people and she's running for president? She's just out of her league, and that's no disrespect for her. The truth is, she was NOT the right pick.. if they're going to get Guliani to speek for the republican party post debate, maybe he should have been the VP pick. If McCain is going to get Romneys help with economic issues, wouldn't that have been a great VP pick?

Thursdays debate will be more controlled than what we saw on friday. From what I've seen I'd be shocked if she doesn't fall apart.

But we'll see... I too, think she's been exposed.

Posted by: barlow_S | September 28, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Here is a very quick explanation of the $700 billion bailout within the context of the mechanics of our monetary and banking system.

The taxpayers loan money to the banks. But the taxpayers do not have the money. So we have to borrow it from the banks to give it back to the banks. But the banks do not have the money to loan to the government. So they create it into existence (through a mechanism called fractional reserve) and then loan it to us, at interest, so we can then give it back to them.


This is the system. This is the standard mechanism used to expand the money supply on a daily basis not a special one designed only for the "$700 billion" transaction. People will explain this to you in many different ways, but this is what it comes down to. - Dennis Kucinich

Posted by: carolm62 | October 1, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

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