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The Case for Mitt Romney

When former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney dropped out of the presidential race on February 7, GOP insiders and observers in the press figured he would be persona non grata in John McCain's campaign.

VP Watch

During the primary, the distaste that McCain felt for Romney (and, to an extent, vice versa) was palpable, surfacing quite clearly at times during debates. The two campaign staffs battled daily for the better part of a year, a bitter back and forth that furthered the storyline that the two men could never share a GOP presidential ticket.

And yet, over the last few weeks, Romney seems to be at the center of the national veep buzz. The Politico's Mike Allen penned a piece earlier this week entitled "Romney Tops McCain Veep List," in which he codified that conventional wisdom nicely.

So, should Romney be at the top of the veepstakes list for McCain? Today we argue the case for Romney as McCain's running-mate; tomorrow, the opposite argument.

It's the Economy, Stupid

McCain and Romney
John McCain, left, shakes hands with Mitt Romney during a Feb. 14 news conference in Boston where Romney announced his endorsement of McCain. (AP photo)

It's impossible to overstate the importance the economy will have on the election this fall. In every recent poll, economic concerns dominated. For example, the most recent Washington Post-ABC News survey, which was in the field from June 12-15, showed one-in-three voters view the economy as the "single most important issue" in the fall election. The war in Iraq finished second with 19 percent calling it their top priority.

Not only is the economy the major issue on a national level, it's also of vital important in at least four key states -- Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- where the manufacturing sector has been shedding jobs and many communities are struggling with high unemployment rates.

Given the primacy of the economy as an issue, McCain starts at a disadvantage to Obama -- by the GOP candidate's own admission. While McCain allies insist that his concession that "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military or foreign policy issues" was taken out of context, it is certain to be a prominent feature of Democrats' advertising campaign in the fall.

Enter Romney. No one in either primary field boasts similar economic bona fides. Romney made millions during his time as the head of Bain Capital, and his most effective moments during the primary season came when he insisted his experience in the private sector had taught him "why jobs come....[and] why they go."

Romney is widely respected in the business world -- witness the massive amount of contributions he raked in from business leaders during the primary. And he is far better known to the public than businesspeople like Carly Fiorina or Meg Whitman, both of whom are mentioned as potential McCain veeps. (More on that below.)

When it comes to addressing McCain's weakness on economic matters, Romney is the perfect choice -- bold and safe all in one package.

Swing State Sidekick

Picking a vice presidential candidate who can deliver a single state seems to have jumped the shark. Dick Cheney wasn't selected to bring Wyoming into the Republican fold, nor was John Edwards picked by John Kerry because of his ability to deliver the Tarheel State (he didn't.)

But picking a candidate who can appeal to a broad group of influential voters across several states will never go out of style. (Joe Lieberman's appeal to Jewish voters in 2000; Lyndon Johnson's ability to deliver the South for John F. Kennedy in 1960 etc.)

Romney fits squarely into the latter category in two swing states -- Nevada and Colorado. The former Massachusetts governor's Mormonism makes him an extremely appealing vice presidential candidate and could well tip a narrow race in McCain's favor.

This is particularly true in Nevada where it is is estimated that nearly eight percent of the state's population is Mormon and where, according to one Romney backer, Romney is a "rock star."

Aside from Romney's appeal among Mormons, he also can help win two more states: New Hampshire and Michigan.

Although Romney lost the New Hampshire primary to McCain, his status as the ex-governor of a neighboring state makes him a known commodity there. Republicans already feel good about their chances of winning this state, which Kerry won in 2004.

Romney's Michigan roots -- he was born there and his father served as the state's governor -- played a major role in his Wolverine State primary win. The Romney brand is perhaps at its strongest in Michigan and, when coupled with his business background and familiarity with the struggles of the automobile industry, a strong case can be made that putting Romney on the ticket makes McCain a slight favorite over Obama in the state.

Based on these back-of-the-envelope calculations, Romney improves the chances of victory for the Republican ticket in at least four states. What other vice presidential hopeful can say the same?

Mitt the Money Machine

One thing the Republican presidential primary campaign proved was that Romney had a better and deeper fundraising base than anyone in the GOP (at least, anyone not named George W. Bush).

All told, Romney collected more than $113 million during the primary. For the entire race to date, which included at least three months where McCain was the de facto Republican nominee, the Arizona senator has collected $122 million. While it's worth noting that nearly $45 million of Romney's fundraising total came from his own pocket, he was still able to raise better than $68 million through early February -- a testament to his fundraising ability.

Since leaving the contest, Romney has continued to put his fundraising network to work for the Republican National Committee. If chosen as McCain's running-mate, it's a sure bet that major donors loyal to Romney would go out of their way to help the national party.

All in all, money may well be the biggest problem McCain faces in the race against Obama. With the Democratic candidate pting out of the $84 million in public funds available for the general election, McCain and his allies must find some practical way to avoid being outspent four or five to one in the final weeks of the campaign.

Romney's connections and demonstrated fundraising ability are the easiest and most efficient way to bridge -- if not entirely close -- that gap.

A Vetting Veteran

Romney, unlike any of the other names being mentioned as McCain's running-mate, has already been vetted under the withering glare of the national press.

His too-perfect hair, his almost robotic optimism, his love of the novel "Battlefield Earth" and, yes, his Mormonism were each examined ad nauseum over the course of the primary campaign.

Say what you will about Romney's goody-goody nature, but it's tough to imagine any major skeletons in this guy's closet.

With McCain almost certain to enter the final stretch -- the seven-week (or so) period after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention -- as the underdog, he simply can't risk taking any chances on a vice presidential pick that might do him more harm than good.

The Smiling Assassin

The one thing no one likes to talk about when it comes to the veepstakes is that a candidate's ability to deliver a consistent negative message against the other side's ticket is of considerable value to the nominee.

Voters tend to like their presidential picks to avoid the sort of low-brow, negative attacks regarded as beneath someone running for the position of leader of the free world. And yet, political races are about contrasts, with the winner of any race usually the candidate best able to make a negative message stick to the opponent.

It's no secret that those loyal to Kerry in 2004 were disappointed that Edwards was unwilling to bash Bush and Cheney as much as the Kerry campaign would have liked. (The thinking among that group, by the way, is that Edwards wanted to preserve his 2008 presidential chances and could not do so but descending into the attack dog role.)

Cheney, on the other hand, was in many ways a perfect vice presidential foil for Bush in 2000; he was uniquely unconcerned with his own political future or even what voters thought of him specifically -- as long as his actions helped Bush.

Romney's performance in the primary reveals that he is not a man who shies away from attacks. In the early days of the race, he led the charge against McCain as insufficiently conservative and then, after McCain's campaign imploded last summer, engaged in a series of negative exchanges with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and even former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

Romney is not someone afraid to throw a punch -- a rare quality in a business where politicians are so obsessed about their public image that they often shy away from engaging in the nitty-gritty tactics on which races are often won and lost.

Romney not only has a willingness to carry a negative message but also the ability to do it with a smile. That's in stark contrast to McCain; when the Arizonan abandons his "happy warrior" persona, he can seem grim and overly didactic. Romney is able to stick the rhetorical shiv into his opponent with a smile on his face and not a single hair out of place.


As always, this piece is meant to spark conversation, so agree, disagree, condemn or compliment in the comments section below. (Looking for past "case for/case against" pieces? You can find them in the "Veepstakes" category.)

Tomorrow: The case against Romney.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 2, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
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Next: Fix Pick: Inside Hillaryland


he is presidential, he knows the economy, he is forceful, he is brilliant, he is of strong moral character, he has a strong faith, he can debate with the best of them, he listens, he is a great communicator. he left the race too soon. everyone forgets that mc cain was well known and romney was an unknown quantity. if he had stayed in the race people were just getting to know him and he would have been the candidate. obama is considered a muslim by the majority of people and it doesn't seem to hurt his strength. romney is the all-around best candidate out there. who cares what his religioin is as long as he believes in God.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 21, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The Reagan and Romney similarities are striking...very likable (unless one is a Democrat) of country and love of his fellow man.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Another credential to throw in for Mitt is his joint JD/MBA from Harvard. Everyone on the left talks about how Obama went to Harvard Law. Well so did Mitt...and grabbed a Harvard MBA to boot. With a McCain/Romney ticket, when someone on the left credits Obama's Harvard Law connection, someone on the right can quickly pitch in, "Oh, wow, did he get an MBA, too? Oh, no? Well, my man over here did..."

Posted by: CJT | July 3, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Romney is a complete FAKE. He governed as a liberal-moderate in Massachusetts and ran as a conservative in the presidential primary when it was convenient. Before that in the 80s he has was a Wall Street philanthropist who spearheaded corporate raids and hostile takeovers.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Mitt would solidify the Republican ticket with his conservatism (National Review endorsed him) and leadership (Olympics, business, church, etc.).

Posted by: MDL | July 3, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Romney is a complete phony. I voted for McCain in the primary, but I would NOT vote for McCain in the fall if he puts Romney on the ticket. Romney has flip-flopped constantly on every issue and would say anything to get elected. Romney was for abortion before he was against, for gun control before he was against, for gay marriage before he was against it, against the Bush tax cuts before he was for them - I am embarrassed for the guy as to what a fraud he is.

And this columnist actually think Romney could help carry Michigan for McCain, just because Romney won the Michigan primary? What stupid logic. Romney has zero general election appeal in Michigan. It's an entirely different group of voters that cast votes in a general election, and 80% of them have never heard of his dad. Romney's dad served as Governor 40 YEARS AGO - before most of us were even born. A person would have to be a minimum of 63 years old to even have been eligible to cast a vote for his dad.

Enough of this BS about Romney already. McCain would be a fool to pick him.

Posted by: Jan | July 3, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Romney is a Pro Torture liar. You're swilling b.s. to say he was vetted, never mentioning he made all his (mormon bain) money from the tax free cayman islands, did you? (LA Times).
The Dems would have a field day, documenting every one of Varmitt Romney's lies. And every thing he said about McCain would be on national TV ads. duh.
The devout Mormon bishop (that's right - he is a scientology reading Mormon bishop!) who was the biggest proselytizer in France for the Mormons, then claims as Mass. governor that he is "devoutly" Pro abortion and loosened those laws, therefore, so it becamse easier to kill babies with the knife - just 50 bucks. Then he allowed Mass to be first state to have Homo Marriage. Oh, then he decides he is Pro-Life when he leaves Mass to run for President - this oh so "decent" man, who couldn't see anything wrong with waterboarding, when Gen. Douglas McArthur said as Commander of the Pacific that he would travel the ends of the earth to find any bastard who waterboarded and he would prosecute him himself personally. Oh, and then there's the strappin big Romney boys, none of whom have ever considered serving their country.
Every day was a new series of serial lies from this man - from the moment he claimed his father marched with Martin Luther King - then a day later had to retract by saying he 'marched in his imagination.' That you idiot shill carrying pundits can advocate supporting someone so dishonest!
Don't you know what dishonesty does to a country - to men in harms way? to the whole friggin' chain of command? are you a friggin slave or something?
Romney is only a candidate for the Antichrist - not our President. Oh, and he won't win that candidacy either because phonies like him have no guts - they're basically cowards - and the successful Antichrist will blow little Varmitts out of the water...
Run away Varmitt, run away...

Posted by: Maj Ward Keeling | July 3, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

McCAIN & ROMNEY: This is the team - and the only one on either side of the aisle -with the expertise and experience to hit on all cylinders: National Security, Economy, Health Care, Governance, and Family Values. Together, they bring it all to the table. Both are fully vetted, Romney's age is just right -not too young or too old to match McCain, he is seriously smart -- the only candidate recognized with global economy credentials in the entire race, and he is a believable candidate for the position a heartbeat away from the Presidency. They are alike, yet different; they both convey competence and leadership; and, yes, Romney helps a McCain presidency "look" better.

Finally, Romney delivers Michigan and strengthens McCain in other key western states. As for the anti-Mormon Evangelicals who still refuse to believe Mormons are Christians, surveys showed that by the end of the primary season, Romney was carrying as many Evangelical votes as Huckabee. There's unquestionably a narrow strata of anti-Mormon Evangelicals but they don't want McCain either, surely won't vote for Obama, and will likely stay home. The majority of Evangelicals are driven by critical core values that will send them to the polls, if only to ensure that the next two Supreme Court Justices are not rabid pro-abortionists. Evangelicals understand that there's a lot at stake that will matter long after the next President or Vice President have come and gone.

Further, the hits Romney took from the liberal media while a primary candidate would now be emerging in a very different context and have much less punch. How can, say, a Chris Matthews, criticize Romney for "flip-flopping" after Matthew's guy, Obama, continues to flip by the day? Besides, Newsweek has now determined - once Obama started doing it - that flip-flopping is good. (see latest issue)

And given Obama's religious baggage (just why did he stay in that church for 20 years?), how do the Dems go after Romney on religion? (Interesting factoid: both Romney and Obama have polygamist ancestors!) In fact, McCain could use the occasion of selecting Romney as his running mate to take an aggressive and public stand against religious bigotry of any kind.

And then there's the economy: Romney's got bona fides. You can't refute his experience nor his success in the global economy. Obama has none. Zero. And Clinton on the ticket won't help. Neither, as Romney has said, has ever run a thing much less a country. At least McCain brings to the White House his major management experience in the military. As the Obama campaign is now learning, going after McCain on his military experience only begs the question (as Schieffer asked on Face the Nation): Well, what has Obama done? Going after Romney on his economic experience will beg a similar question: What has Obama ever done to merit voters' confidence in his grasp of global economic issues?

America is starting to feel desperate for leaders who can rebuild this nation's economic stability; a President who made his money writing books just doesn't instill confidence in me. I want the guy who turned Office Depot into a global giant and managed to relight the torch of a dying Olympics.

Yep, I like it a lot - and I think they can do it. McCain/Romney.

Posted by: Meredith | July 2, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Mitt has no core values:married almost 40 years..and stuck by his wifes side thru serious illness!
implications that Mitt is not bright: well,
for all you einsteins out there he did a super job with the olympics!One very good
example he brought in Isreals top anti terrorists soldiers..which did a super job!Took the @#$% mess out of debt and was instumental in lightening the scandel!
He worked in a state that was 85% liberal
now if you can add should see that was no easy scene!
Flip-Flops: oh, nobody ever changes their minds?! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
Evangelists: will not vote for mitt ?
Compared to problem..!
Finally, when all you critics get 250 million in the bank..then come and talk about who is smart and who isn't! Duh!

Posted by: gene | July 2, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Just run the numbers based on demographics in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. If Obama gets the support of blacks 95% and latinos 65%, then he needs about 30% of the white votes in those states.

Those are states that are very religiously conservative. Heck, earlier in the year Huckabee asked a NY Times reporter: "Don't Mormons believe Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

McCain might be taking white voters down there for granted, forgetting that the Bush people have excellent networks in Texas and Florida. (Which he doesn't.)

Juan McAmnesty might find that his position on immigration doesn't excite the conservative base. Ditto with his divorce and the evangelicals.

Putting Romney on the ticket is playing with fire.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 2, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris left out the most compelling reason for choosing Mitt Romney. He has leadership in spades. He is the most executive persona, with the most executive experience and is ready now to lead should the unthinkable happen. That he can govern and guide, lead and inspire, should be the foremost reasons for choosing a VP. Its such a glaring omission that I wonder if Chris has an agenda to derail him. We shall see tomorrow.

Posted by: Lori | July 2, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see Romney as VP nominee. He indicated that he could bring the auto jobs back to Detroit when he was pandering there. O.k. tell me how Mr. Romney.

Posted by: Susanb2010 | July 2, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Word to Mitt: Don't board the Titanic. When McCain's broken down old bus turns into a full-fledged train wreck, stand clear of the debris. Run for President in 2012. Run, Mitt Run...but not as McAncient's VP.

Posted by: Myra | July 2, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Does any of this matter? The Republican ticket is toast. Period.

Posted by: Fleur du Mal | July 2, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

If McCain is trying to win the "Rockefeller Republicans," then Romney is his man. If he wants to bring in the blue collar voters (who constitutes far more votes, although much less money, than the Rockefeller fiscal cons), then he'd better look to Hucklebee.

And as for those "evangelicals" who love Romney and say the Romney dislike is but a myth -- well, Senator McCain, all I can say is: just wait and see!!!

And, yes, do look at the exit polls (which by the way don't tell you everybody who votes, just everybody who is stopped and interviewed), and look at the critical states which Huckabee won. All Obama needs is a little bit of luck and a slight percentage -- and, wham, he's got it.

Don't discount the social conservatives, and do not be so foolish as to insult them with Romney.

Posted by: voter | July 2, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

If the economy is most important; Huckabee can help. Employment increased and welfare decreased under his tenure. Huckabee has a proven fiscally responsible record once you get past the lies and half truths reported by some of his competitors and their supporters. Is there any Republican candidate that could have accomplished more under the circumstances? Do they forget that Arkansas has such a strong Democrat majority that Huckabee's office door was literally nailed shut from the inside when he was elected as Lt. Gov. to fill the vacancy created by Clinton's Presidential election? It's ironic he was termed "tax hike Mike" for REFUSING to allow productivity to be punished by increasing taxes on income to fund COURT ORDERED education. Unless laws are changed that government is no longer responsible for educating children; Huckabee had no choice! The negative ads shown were the taxes he was willing to allow the state congressmen to work with.

Huckabee is trusted by the majority of the religious right(not just evangelicals) that has been instrumental in determining the outcome of elections. He is liked by the majority of lower - middle income conservatives. Obama is deliberately trying to win the religious voters. McCain needs someone that can stop the Obamamania. Huckabee has the "charisma" to compete. Huckabee is the GOP candidate that black conservatives endorsed. That wasn't reported by the media because the pundits and Romney said it was down to a 2 man race. The problem is; they were wrong about which 2 men were left. Super Tuesday revealed the truth.

This year is going to have the largest black and youth voter turnout ever. McCain needs to choose a candidate that will help with those groups. We need someone that will not only help people vote for McCain; but that will also energize the grassroots supporters to get others to get out and vote for McCain. Huckabee can do that.

We cannot expect to win big cities that have always gone Dem. We must concentrate on the red and purple areas. Can someone please do the research to find out which candidate did the best in areas competed in by all three top tier candidates in the "red" and "purple" precincts that will be needed to win in Nov.?

Posted by: Granny T | July 2, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Did any candidate work harder than Romney? Not mentioned in this otherwise pretty good assessment of Romney as a candidate is the work ethic and thoroughness he brought to the effort. Flaws? Obviously, but it is now way more obvious to the Party than it was before that Romney has the temperment, the intellect, the energy, the work ethic, the balanced nature needed. Does any other Republican come close? Not that I see. Seems to me the work ethic thing is what makes the fundraising thing the big deal. Lift the lid on those candidates who didn't raise much cash, and you'll find an over-dependence to lean on personality or regional appeal or cultural appeal, and the danged laziness that goes with it. (yeah, I probably just dissed somebody from the South.) Want a guy who can work? It doesn't get better than Romney. And isn't it in the nature of the guy who cares the deepest to work the hardest? That's been my experience.

Posted by: Chapclay | July 2, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

re: Powell

Powell will endorse Obama in late October, after the debates.

He won't be VP in a McCain administration- forget about that.

I remember being in NH in 2000 and having Hilary's people say that they weren't going "to the mat" for Gore because there was going to be a recession anyways and they'd blame it on Bush, who'd be a one-termer, and then Hillary would waltz into the WH in 2k4.

I imagine the Bush people mimicking that scenario but with Jeb Bush thinking that Obama will be Carter and having his eyes on 2012... The Bush people don't really like McCain, after all he put the coke thing around and sanctimoniously championed campaign finance reform (to whitewash his Keating Five past) which unilaterally disarmed the republican party.

In 1992 a lot of dems didn't want to be on Clinton's ticket because they figured that there was so much dirt on him that he'd definitely go down in the general election. It's probably like that now. How can anyone want to go down on a losing ticket? How did that help Lieberman or Edwards? Does anyone even remember who ran with Dole?

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 2, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a Dem and Crist as the veep choice is the one that worries me."

Let not your heart be troubled. Assuming Obama keeps the base of 252 EVs that Kerry, who wasn't as charismatic as Obama and didn't enjoy and election when party ID is 41-31 D/R, it should be pretty easy to hit 270.

Start with Iowa. Obama has solid grassroots support there and he's played the ethanol card well. That takes us to 259, 11 EVs from clinching the nomination, assuming holds in Penn (Rendell will work it), Mich (the economy there sux and they want change) and NH (change, and guns are off the table now).

How do we get 11? Let me count the ways: 1) Ohio, and Obama is doing his evangelical dance, 2) Colorado (convention coverage and latino vote will help) and New Mexico (Richardson and latinos, 3) Virginia, with help of the Big 3: Webb (VP?), Warner, and Kaine, 4) Florida, Obama is winning and hasn't put in his operations or worked the state yet, 5) Indiana, surprisingly ahead in the polls... Bayh support, evangelicals not as enthused about McCain, 6) Missourri, McCaskill land, 7) No Carolina, the Edwards' may be able to work some magic, unlikely though, 8) Georgia if Blacks come out as 30% of the voters and he wins 95%, and gets white women to support him 40% and young voters... the last two are unlikely but possible, 9) Texas- run the numbers with black support at 95% and latinos at 65%. White women and young white voters could make this a lot closer than people think. Could force McCain to play defense there.

9 ways to close the deal. Obama doesn't need Florida, but he is likely to get it. They have an excellent campaign running.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 2, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The case for Romney rests on three legs. The Mormon vote in NV & CO, his ability to be negative while smiling wider than a used car salesman and his economic experience at Bain.

The first two points I cannot argue. The last point, however, could be as much an anchor as W himself. Is The Fix trying to tell us that the Democrats will not be able to spin Romney as an economic tsunami. I am not intimately familiar with his time at Bain, but I would be highly surprised if it did not involve one or more of the following:
-- limiting (including increasing their share) health care for workers
-- moving jobs offshore
-- financial gimmicks
-- financial gimmicks to lower tax liabilities
-- downsizing
-- Making lots of money while someone's grandma was deciding between pills or food

In 2000 this type of business experience may have been a plus, but in 2008 it will not be looked upon fondly by anyone who will not be voting Republican.

Posted by: muD | July 2, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Romney won't get the job done for McCain. He's changed his positions on too many social issues, is weak on the second amendment, is in the pockets of lobbyists and special interests, and looks like a doll that must be cranked to function. He is as stiff as a board and in no way can relate to middle America. Heck, he didn't even know the economy was in a downturn until Huckabee had said it in countless debates.
The idea that Romney could help in NH is nonsense - he couldn't even win the state in the primaries. The Boston newspapers (widely circulated in NH) bashed him royally and endorsed Mccain. McCain won NH and didn't need Romney's help to do it. I can't see him helping McCain in Michigan either. Afterall, he pandered to auto groups, and the Democrats strategized to vote for him (thinking he was the worst of the lot)during the MI primaries - he had an entirely different message than McCain. He told the workers that their jobs would return, and McCain told them the truth. Can you imagine the Democrats playing those two contrasting messages? The only reason he won NV was that no other candidate had the resources to campaign out there for such a few delegate votes. Romney helps no where, except in fund raising, and he does not have to be vice president to do that.
Huckabee is the best choice, but several others would be good including Kay B. Hutchinson, Duncan Hunter,or Collin Powell; even Jindal (though young) and Crist would be good considerations. Anyone would be better than Romney.

Posted by: Texan11 | July 2, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I will take on one part of your argument. McCain is most likely going to win Nevada, Romney or no Romney, Mormons or no Mormons. I live here, trust me. I don't care if George Romney was a popular governor in Michigan, rich boy Mitt will not help McCain win that state. The economic problems of that state are even worse than they were in 2004 when Kerry took the state and there is no way they are going Republican in 2008. Both McCain and Romney don't seem all that concerned about the plight of the middle class, much less the lower middle class or poor. GW got NH in 2000, lost it in 2004. I don't see how Romney, even though he was governor of Massachusettes, will help McCain anymore in that state than any other veep. That state will be a tough one for either candidate to put in the win column. I'm sorry, Mitt Romney comes across as all fluff and no substance. That is why with all of his money, he just couldn't pull it off in the primaries. I'm a Dem and Crist as the veep choice is the one that worries me.

Posted by: Sandy | July 2, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Romney would be yet another politically tone deaf move by Sen. McCain.

The reality is that Republicans have conditioned their evangelicals to be narrow-minded. Picking a Mormon is going to, from a practical matter, cause him to lose the support of the Dobson, Hagee, Bob Jones U-type leaders that Republicans have come to depend on for getting out the vote.

Combine that with McCain's position on immigration, which isn't helping him with latinos and is hurting him with the conservative base, and it is clear that McCain does not know how to run a winning campaign.

That Sen McCain is playing a losing hand and doesn't know it suggests that he has no business being president. It is obvious that he would not focus on the economy. And he doesn't want to talk to our enemies. So McCain would bring war against Iran. And if he led that fight the way he's leading his campaign it would be disaster for America.

No to McCain as President.

Posted by: JR, Boston | July 2, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

One more thing. If the worst thing you can say about Romney is that his hair is too perfect, the dude can't be that bad!

Posted by: DJ in AZ | July 2, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Romney would be a solid, although not spectacular, VP pick for McCain. He's an effective public speaker (one thing which McCain is not, unfortunately) and he would bring a lot of economic and business acumen to the ticket. Finally, he'd be a symbolic olive branch to the right wing of the GOP who seem to have nothing better to do with their time than grumble about McCain.

But Romney doesn't provide a "WOW!" factor, and that's something I think McCain's campaign could use against Obama. Picking somebody like Colin Powell would really be a real attention-getter and would guarantee victory for the GOP in the Fall. Likewise, someone like Condoleeza Rice or Janet Palin could generate some real excitement among American women who are bummed that Hillary isn't running.

I don't see where Tim Pawlenty, Charlie Crist or Vinny Jindal would really add anything.

Posted by: Dan R. | July 2, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that a number of commenters on here have said that evangelicals won't vote for Romney. Actually, there were many who did in the primaries, and I suspect that had Huckabee not been in the race and run as the "true Christian leader", Romney would have picked up even more votes and probably would have been the GOP nominee. Romney met with numerous Christian leaders, and most said that while they didn't agree with the specific doctrines of the Mormon religion, they did agree with his values and the way he lived his life. And many evangelical leaders actually DID endorse Romney in the primaries. I suspect that if Romney was the VP on the ticket, the GOP ticket would be much more appealing to voters who judge candidates not only on issues but who also consider values. In that regard, Romney would be an excellent choice, to shore up the Republican base for McCain with social conservatives who care deeply about the candidates' values.

Posted by: DJ in AZ | July 2, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

A Romney pick for VP would, personally, be the best choice. He may be the only one among the Presidental and Vice Presidential Candidates who has ever had any experience in the "real" world. By "real" world, I mean not having one's salary paid for totally by the American taxpayer. Wouldn't that be nice for a change?

Posted by: MattW | July 2, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse


My overly eager editing is killing the quality of my posts.

What I was originally trying to post was that the VP candidates on WINNING tickets don't seem to outshine the top dog, while sometimes we see VP candidates on LOSING tickets outshining their running mates -- Bentsen and Kemp, as you point out, and I would add Edwards.

I'm not sure whether WMR's campaigning expertise trumps that of McC.

Posted by: mnteng | July 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Here is why Romney is McCain's best shot to win.
Michigan, New Hamp, Colorado, Nevada

Posted by: Miracle | July 2, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bw | July 2, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Evangelicals like Romney! That is a demonstrable fact. The great myth is that Romney might have a problem with evangelicals (at least more than with ALL 12 MEMBERS of the Huckabee Alliance). LOL. Don't believe it? Look at the FACTS -- as in the actual Exit Polls during the primary. Here are the FACTS as to how those classified as "Born Again or Evangelical Christian" actually voted in various states:

State Huckabee Romney

Georgia 43% 35%
Flordia 29% 29%
Michigan 29% 34%
Missouri 41% 29%
Calif 26% 32%
Illinois 28% 27%
Oklahoma 39% 26%

The fact is that Romney essentially split the evangelical vote with the other candidates and is more than exceptable to almost all evangelicals (other than a few hardcase Hucknuts). Those are the facts.

Posted by: Brian | July 2, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Romney would be a good pick. I am an evangelical, the stuff written about the evanglicals being anti-Mormon is way overblown. He would shore up additional support and GOP turnout in battleground states like Nevada, Colorado, Michigan & New Mexico, he is skilled in economics and is a good communicator and fund raiser. The Talk-Radio crowd loves him (i.e. endorsed in primaries by Rush, Sean, Laura, etc) as well as conservative establishments like National Review. I don't believe there is much animosity between Romney and McCain, most examplified by Romney's tireless fundraising and support of McCain after the primaries ended. Compare to Huckabee's virtual non-support in the days since March 1st.

Posted by: Carl | July 2, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I've always wanted leaders that were proven by past accomplishments. I see much more accomplishment in Romney than all the other candidates (including McCain) combined. A CEO is selected based on his resume`; the CEO of the US (or at least his potential successor) should be an accomplished person able to handle the load. Obama isn't; neither is Hill--both get flunking grades for this job. McCain gets a C+, barely passing. Romney gets an A-.

Posted by: Rockyspoon | July 2, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Evangelicals like Romney. That is the fact. Don't believe it? Simply look at the exit polls for the primaries. They prove what most don't realyze -- that Romney and Huckabee essentially split the evangelical vote. Sure, Huckabee did a little better as would would assume but Romney got significant support among evangelicals and that is the cold hard fact for Hucksters. Oh sure, Romney might lose the support of ALL 12 MEMBERS of the "Huckabee Alliance (including the 6 who are active) but that is hardly going to matter. The truth is that Romney has broad support throughout the country among conservatives -- including most evangelicals.

Posted by: Evangelical | July 2, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse


Romney on the ticket might bring in the big-dollar crowd and improve chances in a few states, but he also brings:

1. Aggravation of the income gap as an issue for Obama
2. Contradiction in (stated) positions on Gitmo
3. Double the total flip-flops on the GOP ticket
4. Renewed doubts among many evangelicals
5. A busted rear axle on the Straight Talk Express

Posted by: FlownOver | July 2, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

If McCain wants a shot, he'll pick Romney. Talk about unifying the party ... after their ugly primary run-ins, it will be Obama-Clinto redux. Money & states, an irresistable combination. With a common enemy in Obama their differences will look like a debate over what to eat for lunch.

Posted by: ccarter | July 2, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Though I'm sure you've already seen/processed/what not this argument, a ticket containing two men worth over a $100 million is easy to attack. Although John Edwards was by no means poor, his personal story somewhat compensated for the Heinz/Kerry wealth. Neither Romney or McCain can be called self-made men. And in this economic downturn, portraying them as out of touch with the struggling public would be much easier with T-Paw, for example, as a running-mate.

And of course, Republicans already have the Mormon vote locked up. It can't really help them that much except possibly with turnout...

Posted by: Jeff W. | July 2, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed that the cognoscenti continue to insist that Romney is on the short-list for VP candidates. McCain is on shaky ground with the socially conservative base - a scary fact that the Democrats well understand and plan to exploit with a "50-state strategy". At this point in the game, Obama's high-flying rhetoric and insincere double-talk seem poised to bring him some significant success in attracting the votes of the more gullible religious/evangelical folk who would otherwise faithfully vote Republican (or at least stay home...). This is especially true given the amount of money Obama has on hand to spend on TV ads.

Yet the party overlords (and compliant journalists) continue to push McCain to select Romney - an abortion-promoting, gay-loving, plastic political hack without a core who is anathema to the religious right. Plus, while it seems not to bother those who are principally concerned with "fiscal policy" and "business," Romney belongs to a religious "cult" which has been and will continue to be in the headlines for the rest of the year. A disdain for the absurdity of Mormonism is one of the few things on which people of all other religious persuasions (including atheism)can agree. Even if your personal religious beliefs are not at odds with those professed by Mr. Romney, how can you reconcile a belief in the "facts" of the Mormon faith with Mr. Romney's purported high intelligence? Do you think Tom Cruise would ever be a viable candidate, even in Vermont?

I think Sarah Palin would be an excellent selection, especially if Obama disses Hillary.

Ultimately, however, Huckabee is probably McCain's best option. He could be expected to shore up (and ENERGIZE) the base in a manner which would effectively end Obama's 50-state strategy, and would match (and best) Obama's oratorical skills and populist appeal beat-for-beat while remaining solidly conservative regarding real voters's concerns. Plus, he and McCain actually like and respect one another - a fact that will be important if Obama bows to reality and "selects" Hillary as his running mate.

Romney is a cruiseship anchor that has no place on McCain's leaky boat. Palin would be a breath of fresh air, but Huckabee is McCain's perfect match.

Posted by: ed pevensie | July 2, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

hey..what's the deal here..not fair for mccain to bring skill and competence into this election by having romney be the veep..just not fair...

Posted by: w04equals666 | July 2, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

mnteng, we also got Lloyd Bentsen and Jack Kemp, both of whom outshone the ticket.

It's not a "true rule" that the VP must be grayer than the Prez nominee.

Of course, Dole nd Dukakis did lose...

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 2, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse




Why hasn't the mainstream media "connected the dots"? A frightening mosaic has nullified the rule of law and the constitutional right of due process under the law. Human rights abuses are taking place in cities and towns across America.

People are being targeted for ruin -- financially, socially and physically -- by an organized campaign of vigilantism that some victims believe is funded and supported my multiple levels of government, perhaps using citizen "watch" and volunteer programs as a front for extra-legal vigilantism.

The phenomenon, which is about to break through to the mainstream media, is commonly known as "gang stalking" and "community stalking." But that nomenclature tends to trivialize the issue.

This is a re-emergence of the KKK, the Stazi and the Gestapo. It is mob rule seemingly coordinated and condoned by rogue elements within the power structure.

This link explains it, and contains sublinks to additional information:

Those who raise this issue find that their computer connections are subject to interruption and tampering. Their ability to freely communicate is severely circumscribed. Careers are ruined, reputations are slandered, and the physical well-being of targeted individuals is placed in serious jeopardy. Here is another link that explains how this is being done:

I am an investigative/business reporter/producer who has worked for major newspapers, TV stations and magazines. I had my own TV show in the metro New York market for six years. Perhaps not coincidentally, the show ended just as I began to realize that I was being methodically and destructively gang-stalked. It's been going on for more than four years. I have tried to seek redress by going through official channels, to no avail. I'm a Phi Beta Kappa, but it wasn't until I read and researched the many web sites on the subject that I began to realize what was happening --- and that others are being similarly afflicted.

I have contacted media outlets, but I find that there is a concerted effort to destroy my credibility, and I believe that has affected my ability to get this story told. I was part of "major media" for many years, and I can now report that the mainstream media is highly vulnerable to intimidation, manipulation and rumor-mongering. I post this message at some personal risk to myself and to my family; but I cannot remain silent and solely rely on "the system" any longer. The system isn't working.

My name is Victor Livingston and I live in Bucks County, PA. My telephone number is (215) 295-0852, and my email address is But my email is erratic and I can't rely on the privacy or even the veracity of electronic communications. I fear that my identity has been stolen and that I have been set up by the rogue elements that have tolerated this extra-legal conduct.

Federal law enforcement is aware of my situation; I hold out hope that officials under the authority of the Justice Department are working behind the scenes to curb the abuses. I have officially requested a civil rights investigation into what has been happening to me, but to no avail. I have tried to contact my Congressman, Patrick Murphy, but those efforts have been unsuccessful thus far.

If you are a fellow journalist, please investigate this under-the-radar abuse of power in your own community; odds are, it's going on in your own backyard.

And if you know or work with Sy Hersh or Bob Woodward, please send them this post.

Posted by: scrivener | July 2, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

You know... Guy Smiley was one of my *favorite* characters on Sesame Street.

The prospect of seeing him everywhere and being forced to hear his "Who let the dogs out?" over and over makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Seriously, though, here's the question I have for you, Chris: What effect does the VP have on economic policy? I mean *real* substantive effect?

If you're talking about Romney being a voice on the economy during the campaign, you may have a tiny, minute, almost invisible point. But there's no single person I can think of who has less ability to connect with the voters who are suffering in this economy. All Romney will offer is another voice for corporate America. (.. Like they need another voice...)

In terms of electoral advantage, Romney provides, well, none. He overlaps with McCain's western appeal. He won Michigan, but not by any numbers that will challenge the Democrats' appeal in that state.

So, even though MR has been a good little soldier for the Republicans, my guess is that Guy Smiley will remain on Sesame Street. If he is tapped, I will eat my hat.


Posted by: Julia Kelly | July 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I just saw you on MSNBC talking about John McCain's disingenuous call for Obama to "cut loose" General Clark. You talked about how this wasn't much of a story but yet the media is the one that keeps it going. I marvel at how you guys in the media say stuff like this and then never take any part of the blame for continuing to cover it. Where is your integrity?

Posted by: pmorlan | July 2, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Chris fails to mention his...wonderful family."

Posted by: buckybacker97 | July 2, 2008 11:38 AM

Are you referring to his five sons, none of whom has ever served in the military?

I don't really have a problem with them not serving, but when your dad is running around the country promising to double the size of Guantanamo, it does seem a little incongruous.

Of course, when asked about it, Romney assured everyone that his sons were serving their country by campaigning for him.

That's a sound bite that will play really well as we head towards November.

Posted by: Doug in NYC | July 2, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Were McCain to choose Romney, it would provide a wonderful boost to the chances of Obama this fall. Nominating the rich, wooden, and clueless Romney will cement in voters' minds the image of the GOP as a party out of touch with the concerns of average citizens.

As a supporter of Sen. Obama, I am eager to have the Republicans blunder in this fashion.

Posted by: deedee | July 2, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

when I make up my mind about patriotism, I'll let you know. I am still busy waffling over wearing the flag pin or not. this has been a very big decision for me.

It is pretty much equal to my rival's decision to remain in the prison camp. it is that agonizing and believe me, it is sheer torture to wear this symbol of false patriotism just to get votes from bitter gun and religion loving yahoos.

But I'm tough, I grew up in chicago, or was it Kansas, or maybe Hawaii or perhaps Indonesia. no wonder I have such trouble figuring out who I am. all new me coming soon.

Posted by: snObama | July 2, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

that home loan I got at preferred rates only go to post partisan politicians, so it is OK with me. the rest of you are just jealous you can't save all that money with your use of influence.

My solution to the housing crisis is to require all borrowers to get a crooked co-signer, just like I did and to get below market rates, just like I did.

Posted by: snObama | July 2, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Collin Powell did a great job lying to the UN that should certainly make you proud JaMadison4.

Posted by: Leichtman | July 2, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Both former Gov. Romney, or General Colin Powell would get my vote !!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: JAMadison4 | July 2, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

don't care about Romney, he will not be the VP nominee, too much religious bagage.

But I would be interested to hear an Obama supporter's rationale for his vote for the telecommunication's immunity bill, since we have heard that he represents the new politics.

Posted by: Leichtman | July 2, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

While I was not a fan of Romney in the primary phase of the campaign, he has served as a good soldier in the months since, playing the role of fundraiser, faithful surrogate, and dignified member of the GOP. Chris fails to mention his executive experience in a blue state, his savior role in the 2002 winter olympics, and his wonderful family. In my mind, Romney is probably the ideal pick for McCain. They would present a formidable pair, uniting the GOP and attracting a slew of independents to the ticket.

Posted by: buckybacker97 | July 2, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If McCain wants to further energize the Dem base, tapping Sore Loserman for veep will do the trick.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 2, 2008 11:01 AM
True, then he could be the only VP choice on two losing tickets, from two major parties!!

Though picking Mittens would help with the dog haters of America. Strap your puppy to the top of the car and go America!!!

Posted by: Patrick NYC | July 2, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The majority of the article and the comments to date have focused on what Romney brings to the race. That is a practical approach for a candidate perhaps. Vice-presidents traditionally are not allowed to perform in executive functions, except as stand-in for the president at public functions. However, as citizens we should concentrate on on the major duty of a sit on the bench and be ready to step in if needed.
Romney has executive experience that will be helpful if he were to become president.
I suggest we examine each potential vice-president as if he were to become president if McCain could not finish his term of office as president. McCain's age doesn't present the problem as much as history exhibits - ten Vice Presidents became President by succession...that's
one for every four Presidents. The number of Vice Presidents that became President is even higher.
Most people forget the co-pilot as redundant...would you ride in a Boeing747 that had no co-pilot that could fly the plane? Who cares if he's fun to have around, has cash for a good time and is well liked by mechanics.
Its not the economy,
its the plane stupid.

Posted by: Ken Brahmer | July 2, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Romney is the way to go. I don't think his religion is one of his weaknesses, its one of his strengths! That is where all the goodness he has comes from. ( I know people will read this and say he has no goodness, but he does.) He is a genuine man who does the best he can (and he does quite well, Bain Capital, 2002 Winter Olympics eg. ). He can really shore up the Republican ticket. Just like the Dems who want Romney, I agree and in Nov. We will see that McCain has defeated Obama!

Also that "Big Love" comment was uncalled for, That show doesn't represent any of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Posted by: Mark - Oklahoma | July 2, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

37th&O Street:

Pero que va, viejo? Huasopla con toda la vaina racista de "Black Man's camp" o sea? Si tu creas com' asi, me caerisas super-mal y no pueda subestimarte ni pa' la verga ni pa' la cooky de la maxima profundidad, pue'.

Crees todo eso, de veras? Dime, pue', por que? Dime que su vaina aca sea una forma de la ironia o el sarcasmo, porfis. Espero y creo que sea sarcasmo muy feo porque faltaste en echar nada de "maldito judio" ni cualquier otro tipo del insulto al Sr Gobernador Rendell de tu parte. Sin embargo, que barbaridad del lechugo del racismo!

Tal vez, no puedo castigarte demasiado porque me has ensenado que el racismo estadounidoense de las historias fantasticas de gringos asquerosos son nada mas ni nada menos que todo la verdad.

Mis padres me avisaban desde la cuna que los gringos cristianos de piel "blanco" o shaygitzim o que sea son unos hijoputas. Has probabdo su tesis al maximo, un poquer de ases o una escalera de color del gringismo asqueroso.

Entonces, gueco, sabe su cura que mantegas estas ideas groseras? Espero que no! Yo no creo ni en dios ni en jesucristo pero con esta vaina te vayas al infierno cierto si o pa' que?

I couldn't write any of that in English without being way impolite. You're not White. Nobody with those views deserves the privilege of being White in America. I don't what you are exactly. Your skin may be White as snow, but your views just make you nauseating.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 2, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I can see the Dem commercials if McCain picks WMR:

Flip-flop. Flip-FLOP. FLIP-FLOP. (faster) Flipflop. flipflop. flipflop. (faster) flipflopflipflopflipflop....

No way the GOP taps a guy who is even more of a Flipper than McFlippy.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 2, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty telling that Chris mentions Romney's ability to carry New Hampshire, but not Massachusetts - where he was the GOVERNOR! Romney isn't going to deliver NH for McCain or Michigan.

Posted by: NM Moderate | July 2, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"It's the Economy, Stupid"

Yes, it is. While The Fix is correct to point out that the former governor is perceived by the base as the most economically savvy, I wonder if there is any evidence of Romney's economic bona fides. My understanding is that he did not leave Mass in an economically stable state. While Romney did make boatloads of money as a capitalist, is there evidence that voters believe successful capitalists are effective stewards of the economy?

Posted by: bsimon | July 2, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If McCain chooses Romeny as his runing mate, he will be the best ever come across in all things.

Posted by: ABRanteweia | July 2, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Chris says of Romney "but it's tough to imagine any major skeletons in this guy's closet."

How about a few dozen Mexican half-uncles, half-aunts, and half-cousins, the progeny of his grandfather in polygamous colonies south of the border? Anyone who has looked at Morman history from his grandfather's period would have to assume that this extended family exists.

I don't mean to fault Mr. Romney for this, just that it would be a difficult issue for him to overcome. To diffuse this issue, he needs to trot them out next year after the spotlight is off of him and embrace his long lost cousins, making the point that the "sins of the father shall not be visited upon the son". It's risky, but not as risky as letting the WaPo introduce them to the public.

Posted by: Cursedbylogic | July 2, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If McCain wants to further energize the Dem base, tapping Sore Loserman for veep will do the trick.

Posted by: Spectator2 | July 2, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Romney helps but doesn't solve McCain's biggest problems--convincing conservatives to come out and vote this cycle. While Romney helps McCain out West, he does nothing to help McCain in the Southeast where Obama could flip VA, NC and GA. Losing two of those three states would be devastating to McCain's presidential bid. Unfortunately, for McCain, I think he has to play defense with his selection. He needs a VP who will help stem the bleeding of traditionally conservative states. It points to the larger question: Why does McCain, a Senator from Arizona, need help out West? Doesn't this shed light on how the campaign is looking for McCain? He is struggling against Obama in his own backyard. To me, selecting Romney as VP would be a huge sign that McCain is in a very weak position and that a blowout is coming.

Posted by: JNoel002 | July 2, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

McCain is going to lose, and is too old to run again. Therefore, the most important consideration should be which up-and-coming Republican would get the most out of being given a national platform so that he/she could run in 2012 or 2016.

Romney's economic experience is not what people assume. He was a CEO, just like Rumsfeld - and CEOs rarely make a good transition into national government. Romney understands micro-economics but not macro - BUT he thinks he's an expert at economics and isn't likely to listen to anyone else. Not a good combination.

It looks like Bobby Jindal is the best they've got, and he's pretty young and inexperienced. Which brings up the obvious point: where's the 'middle management' layer in the Republican Party, from which one would presumably draw the top-level nominee? It doesn't exist, because the responsible adults have all been pushed out by the wingnuts. The Republican problem is a whole lot bigger than the 2008 presidential election.

Posted by: Tom J | July 2, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Romney is a joke candidate.
His LEADERSHIP, and LIFE LONG commitment to a dangerous anti-American Cult (which he believes has ordained him to be a GOD who will have HUNDREDS of wives (so he can populate the worlds he will be GOD over)) will destroy him.
STRANGELY, the media IGNORED the reasons as to why a Cult leader is morally and intellectually disqualified from election, and why nobody would vote for such a fool (once they learn the facts).

Posted by: Paul Allman | July 2, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

There is one and only one consideration for the Republicans in nominating a VP candidate: Who do they want to set up as their next Presidential contender? They know that McCain's prospects are slim to none (slim being more like "anorexic"). They also know that their VP candidate will be considered the titular head of the party for the next four years and, absent any huge screwup on his part, will be the presumptive 2012 nominee.

I think Romney is the guy they would most like to groom, but this theory also favors someone like Pawlenty.

Posted by: Stonecreek | July 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

One of the biggest negatives with Romney is that for every base vote he brings back into the fold, there's two that he aggravates out of the fold.

It is not for nothing that the LDS are referred to by many in the evangelical community as being a cult, and McCain can ill afford to run off evangelicals.

Posted by: leuchtman | July 2, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin writes:
"From a win-lose perspective the person who helps McC the most during the campaign is MDH. Not only would the base love his appearance on the ticket, taking the south back out of any possible play, MDH is truly likable."

IMO, MDH is a better campaigner than McC. Would it be a good idea to pick a running mate that outshines you on the campaign trail? I think the comparison between POTUS and VPOTUS candidate is something that is discussed during vetting -- which is why we've ended up with VPs like Cheney, Gore, Quayle, GHWB, and Mondale (that's as far back as I can remember).

Posted by: mnteng | July 2, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

8:27 am post:

"I am going to dishrag Ed Rendell in favor of Mitt Romney, never mind that I was extolling the virtues of Rendell when he was a loud supporter of Obama's white opponent during the Dem nomination process.

Unfortunately, politics being what they are, Rendell is now in the black man's camp, which makes him the enemy. I will not flip-flop (like McCain and Romney) when it comes for my newfound support for the GOP, because there is no whiter man than Mitt Romney. He is so white he is transparent."

Posted by: 37th&OStreet Translator | July 2, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Come on guys...give CC a break. He is presenting the argument for Romney on the McCain ticket. Let's see how his counter-argument is offered tommorrow.

freeDom...I disagree with you about Obama's VP choices lack of executive/management experience. Obama could pick NY Mayor Micheal Bloomberg who is more than equivalent to Romney. Bloomberg is richer, he is independent, he is well-known and liked, and he is jewish.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | July 2, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Hillrat. Romney fails to add any value to the McCain ticket in the religious arena, which in my view is one of the chief weaknesses of the McCain camp.

Christian conservatives make up a key Republican demographic - one that is not mobilized by John McCain. His choice for VP will have to be someone who can speak the language of values voters. Mitt Romney worked hard to pitch his conservative status in the primaries, but his Mormanism made this impossible - hence the sudden rise of Huckabee.

Posted by: DCGeek | July 2, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I thought this was a good post. I really think that if McCain wants to win, he needs to go with Romney or Lieberman. I know it seems farfetched, with Obama leading in the polls, but I really think McCaun could pull this off.

Posted by: Ray | July 2, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I am from Mass. and I still dont have a clue what Mitt Romney really stands for except he wants the VP job so badly he'll say or do whatever it takes. BOO HISS

Posted by: nclwtk | July 2, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"He is also known for his Big Love for his family and his loyalty to his people."
--Posted by: peace4world | July 2, 2008 8:27 AM

Thank you for that unintentionally hilarious post. Fans of HBO's "Big Love" will know what I'm talking about.

As an Obama supporter, I would like to ask John McCain to please pick Mitt Romney as his running mate.

Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please. Please.

Pretty please. With sugar on top. And a cherry.

The commercials the Dems could run on this guy would make the whole election season worth it.

Posted by: Doug in NYC | July 2, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Is John McCain - Mitt Romney what America wants? Go to to find out.

Posted by: Hermey | July 2, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I know this is supposed to be an argument in favor of Romney, but it just stinks. Here are a few things CC glosses over:

1. $45 of $113 (more than a third) of the money Romney raised was from himself! CC tries to slyly compare that to McCain's $122, but that just makes you question how impressie Romney's fundraising really is.

2. CC talks of mormonism as a plus? That's the first I"ve heard it like that. I have nothing against mormons, but I think a lot of political commentators accurately point to the rise of Huckabee as a sign of how desperate evangelicals were to avoid a mormon.

3. Yes, Romney has been vetted by the media, and they found him to be a HUGE flip-flopper. McCain has already flip-flopped a bit, so it's a horrible idea to put Flipper himself on the team.

4. I'm sure Romney knows something about managing a business, but when voters are concerned about the economy do you really want to emphasize that the REpublican party is full of rich white business executives who can't relate to lower-income voters? If Romney had been a rags-to-riches story, that might have at least provided him with an interesting background, but he was born into privilege.

5. If Romney can't even win New Hampshire during the REPUBLICAN primary, how the heck will he help win it when Democrats vote as well? CC has obviously never talked to people in MAssachusetts or New Hampshire about Romney, cause a lot of people there don't like him now. In fact, his predecessor, Jane Swift, endorsed McCain.

I agree with CC that Romney can be an attack dog and can help with Nevada, Colorado, and Michigan. And he can probably help somewhat with fundraising, but this will probably mean little if McCain takes public financing.

One thing CC didn't mention which I think genuinely makes Romney attractive is his executive/management experience. Neither Obama nor McCain (nor any of Obama's most likely VPs) has managed anything larger than a senate office (or a squad or planes for McCain, which is still pretty small). Romney can be McCain's hyperactive manager while McCain sets policy and negotiates with Congress.

Posted by: freeDom | July 2, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Andy R, do you agree that MDH would provide a much stronger electoral boost for McC?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 2, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

My question is on 'flip-flopping'.
Romney proved to be the king of flip-flopping.

Does being a veep make that go away (as his past flip-flops are not important, since he's now pitching the McCain agenda)...
Does 'Flipper' being veep enhance the problem McCain is currently having with his flip-flopping ??

Posted by: Aynsley | July 2, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'll accept Romney as VP on one condition: McCain has to put him in a dog box and tie him to the top of the Straight Talk Express.

Posted by: geok3 | July 2, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

So why does WAPO still keep this pathetic
excuse for a journalist Dopey Chris the
Fizzle on the payroll? My God hasn't this
village idiot WAPO Shill Chris even woke up
enough to realize the voters already said
very firmly, NO to that phony moron Mitt
Romney early on,during the primaries? So
then why would John McCain gain a damn
thing by him putting Nitwit Mitt on the
ticket as McCain's Vice President?

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | July 2, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

From your lips to God's ears.

Please pick this empty suit as your VP Senator McCain it will guarantee an Obama victory.

Posted by: Andy R | July 2, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Be sure to add the fact in tomorrow's edition, "The Case Against Romney", that McCain absolutely hates the man.

Posted by: Kens | July 2, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Please, please, please, Tar Heel is Two Words! Thank you.

Posted by: Tar Heel Defender | July 2, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Although AggieMike liked WMR from one brief close encounter, he really liked MDH. From a win-lose perspective the person who helps McC the most during the campaign is MDH. Not only would the base love his appearance on the ticket, taking the south back out of any possible play, MDH is truly likable.

I have no reason to think MDH would actually be a very strong VP in office. I still like Palin for that. BUT - the case made for WMR by CC, aside from the appeal to Wall Street, is better made for MDH. And if MDH were permitted to talk about some of his populist ideas, like rebuilding Interstates and their bridges, he would get the "Reagan Ds" attention,on that, too.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 2, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

So for the far right it will be a mormon or a muslim. That ought to make a few heads explode.

Posted by: cld9 | July 2, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

To Whomever Wrote That Thing About Ed Rendell:

I saw an interesting movie not long ago about the Bay Of Pigs. Matt Damon plays Edward Wilson, Sr. In it, he approaches a mafioso with the proposition to join forces to assassinate Castro. The mafioso asks Wilson: "We Italians have our families and the church; the Irish have their homeland; the Jews have their tradition, and even the n_____s have their music, what have you got?"

To which, Wilson responds "The United States Of America. The rest of you are just visitors."

Assuming such a thing, I suppose, was their biggest mistake. Does anybody here know anything about Governor Rendell? I've paid attention to the man's career from afar, I suppose, because of some Jewish pride. Does anyone realize how formidable team Obama and Rendell would make? Obama is smart and sophisticated. Rendell is smart and SCARY. By comparison, McCain looks exacly what he is -- completely inept and way more "elitist" than Obama.

There isn't a White Man East of the Mississippi who wouldn't want to be Ed Rendell. He defies absolutely every stereotype White Christian Men have about liberal Democrats. You may have whole arsenal of guns in your rec room, but are you in a hurry to have a bar-fight with Ed Rendell?

Posted by: DexterManley | July 2, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

McCain already has problems with religious conservatives that present unique opportunities for the Obama campaign. By every estimate, those conservatives are not unified behind McCain nor Obama, at this point.

Enter Romney as the VP candidate, and evangelical and other religious conservatives will leave McCain in unprecendented numbers. Romney is simply anathema to so many evangelical and other religious conservatives.

So, from my perspective, I pray that Romney IS chosen, which will then solidify the Democratic romp at the November polls.

Posted by: HillRat | July 2, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The only way that McCain goes to Romney is with his cap in his hand begging for cash. If it gets that bad that he needs Romney, a candidate that he obviously despises as his veep then I guess 'Team O' will be happy.

Money is the only plus to Romney for McCain.
- How does Romney affect independent's core attraction to McCain?
- How does Romney's hair stay THAT perfect all the time? Is he going to be VP for Hair Products?

Posted by: Mike | July 2, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

peace4world, everyone in MA loves Romney? Really? Then why did Romney's hand-picked successor lose so badly in the 2006 gubernatorial race? Romney got 49.8% of the vote in 2002. Kerry Healey, his Lieutenant Governor, got 35.3% in 2006. That's a total rejection of Romney and everything he stood for.

Posted by: Blarg | July 2, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I would think that chief among the points in the "case against Romney" column will be the fact that Romney himself will be Obama's attack dog against McCain.

There is a library full of Romney's comments about McCain from the primaries.

Those can be cut down to probably a 1,000 effective 30-second commercials, all starting with the line:

"I'm Barack Obama. You've heard about our campaign of hope and vision. But what about John McCain? Well, don't let me influence you. Let's hear from someone who knows John McCain well, his own running mate, Mitt Romney:

'There is a difference. John McCain, an honorable man. But is he the right Republican for the future?'

"If his own running mate has doubts about John McCain, shouldn't you?"
Or, you can also make a nice ad featuring John McCain:
"I'm Barack Obama. We all agree that the war in Iraq is a serious problem that needs serious solutions. Well one man has had the courage to analyze Mitt Romney's plan for Iraq and tell it like it is. No, that person's not me. It's John McCain, at a rally in Ft. Myers, Fla. on Jan. 26, 2008:

'If we [do] as Governor Romney wanted to do, then there will be chaos, genocide, and the cost of American blood and treasure would be dramatically higher.'

"Or this, from a John McCain TV ad run on Super Tuesday:
'If we can't trust Mitt Romney on Ronald Reagan, how can we trust him to lead America?' "

"If John McCain has doubts about his own running mate, shouldn't you?"

Posted by: EgoNemo | July 2, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Each of us as Americans have different personal view points of who would be a good president. That is what America is all about. In our process of choosing is what they say and alittle about their personal background. The biggest point for me in choosing a president is if he loves our country and would he help us to keep our country free and help us with the economy. and jobs. Stand strong for what our country was meant to be since we became a nation in 1776. So far for me, McCain and Romney have shown those credentials more than Obama or Clinton. Sometimes its just a gut feeling when listening to each of them talk, but if they have a love for our country, than it will work better. I don't think there is anyone that can fix the problems we are having in our country right now, but hopefully, someone can keep it from getting any worst. Sorry, my gut feeling is that Obama isn't the person to do that.

Posted by: Sandy | July 2, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Chris, thanks for updating! As I have been posting-and-protesting, Romney is the best VP.

People are concerned about his perfectionism, but once you meet him or even just directly-saying-hello-on-the-street, you will see where your fear comes from. He is a real, genuine man.

I am an Independent voter in MA; all people here love Romney. He is smart as well as humane: He is a real guy with a great soul. He is also known for his Big Love for his family and his loyalty to his people. All people around him truly are loyal because that's who he is.

This Election is about economy, thus he will bring his keen knowledge about economics as well as his real, humane side that few politicians have. As you can tell, he does not lie. He does not like it--if you see his records.

Time magazine once asked whether his religion would matter, yet I want to ask you this: The "God" we call our God is the God we know--the Love of God with whom we keep our faith--"religion" is something we create in a different linguistic term (I welcome dissent voices here).

Romeny is the person who will bring the changes that this country needs as well as to the world. He is a great man. Plus he perfectly complements McCain in every aspect. If you have any friends in MA, just ask them who he is.

Posted by: peace4world | July 2, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse


You can start practicing the phrase "Vice President Romney" right now. You do not have to wait.

Ed Rendell will be the losing Vice Presidential candidate this year and then go retire somewhere.


Posted by: 37&OStreet | July 2, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Call me Old School however I believe Romney is the man. I understand that there was friction - I didn't like Romney either that much. However, Romney makes sense on so many levels and there really isn't anyone else who is really viable in a similar way. Idealogically it works very well. Romney is going to get it.


Posted by: 37th&OStreet | July 2, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Yes, please, more Romney! Mittmentum's on the way!

Also, Chris, did you really get up (stay up) until 5:00 AM to post this, or is that just when the WaPo server decided to make this live??

Posted by: Beth in VA | July 2, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Realistically, Romney is likely to bring MI- which sucks for me as a Dem supporter. MI has what 17 electoral votes?

I find him a fake and had hoped for him at the top of the ticket so that the Dems could win every state but MI and UT- but as a two man he is dangerous.

Unfortunately, MI's governor was born in Canada, making her undoable as Barak's 2. The Dems shouldn't have f-ed up MI so badly, and Barak should have allowed the revote. A working class state should not be so difficult for the party of the "working man".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Romney is more of the same reasons why not to vote for McCain.

Posted by: Roy | July 2, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, when you do your column with the case AGAINST Romney, I'll look for you to list:

1. No one who's known him for more than a week or two can bear to be in the same room with him.
2. Apparent and obvious lack of core values and principles, except a driving opportunistic ambition.
3. Making a fortune opportunistically buying and selling companies at Bain, with profit as sole consideration, isn't the same as being a real CEO of a real company that makes real things and employs real people. Like Carly Fiorina, for instance.
4. As obvious and insincere as pandering to the right is now, so are all the YouTube and video examples of his pandering to the left just a few years ago. Flip-flop hardly describes it. See #2 above: lack of core values and enormous ambition.
5. We in Massachusetts came to suspect that he's not really a human being. Apparent absence of human emotions or characteristics. Except ambition and ego. See #2 above.

Posted by: lenstewart | July 2, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Dying likes flies:
Why on earth would you have a burning hatred for a candidate? Disagree with them, fine; Hate them?

Posted by: Capt Howard | July 2, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I had real reservations about Romney during the campaign for a Republican nominee. He was too perfect. He gave off a persona of a used car salesman (just how he came across to me; a gut feeling).

As this campaign keeps unfolding, Romney is more and more attractive as a VP choice. His strengths are McCain's weaknesses, and visa versa. I would have no trouble with Romney as the second in command and advisor to McCain on the economy. His Mormon background may turn off a few of the biased but that will not amount to a hill of beans. All in all he would be a solid choice for McCain.

Posted by: Capt Howard | July 2, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney was merely a corny war hero story away from being the easiest kind of winner for the nomination. He was the most intelligent and politically gifted of any of them. His career in business, finance and politics plus his having marinated in the old Republican mjoderate environment as a child made him by far the best candidate and the most scary from my foreign perspective as an opponent to Obama or Clinton.

That Mitt Romney was able to sell himself as a "movement conservative" to the base and often out-poll McCain there was remarkable. He did basically the same thing that Obama did albeit without Obama's success. He moved far to the right, figuring there was room there between the press's McCain and Giuliani narrative and the true religious populism of Huckabee.

He certainly defended views he knew were all wrong better than Obama did in the debates.

His economic views fall into the small "c" conservative place most of the developed world center-left and center-right agree upon, although his uniquely American spin of no single-payer health and a necessary commitment to war set him apart from a guy like Sarkozy.

Once he (along with Huckabee and Paul) torn McCain apart at the Reagan Library debate, yet McCain was declared by the MSM to be the "winner," school was out for Mittens.

As someone who wants Obama to win in a big way, the thought of Mittens on the ticket scares me because it gives credibility to a candidate in McCain who is so beyond ridiculous that not even Rove could save him here. I don't want to leave anything to chance here, so I'm hoping Obama picks Clinton and just sews it up.

I think McCain can handle having Romney -- the vastly smarter, vastly more capable man, not to mention more honorable public servant -- in the administration because the press complicit in perhaps nominating McCain and destroying Romney's chances, would be there for McCain again even though Romney would outshine McCain in every way.

The rest of the world knows Mitt Romney from the Olympics and has a grudging respect for the guy. He might do some good if VP in restoring the USA's credibility. Obama's ability to do that, of course, is without question.

I think Romney's particular brand of superstition is goofy but no more so than that of any other candidate, really.

Posted by: DexterManley | July 2, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

One more thing:

If Romney is VP, President McCain better hire a food taster.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | July 2, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I had planned to vote for McCain because I detest the Obama vanity show. And now, to make sure NEITHER ticket has substance or character, you propose the detestable Romney for McCain's VP?

Let's keep this simple: if Romney is McCain's running mate, I stay home. If it's almost anyone else, I vote McCain.

Many of us who watched Romney on the campaign trail hate Romney with the burning hatred of a thousand suns.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | July 2, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Romney gives McCain nearly everything the GOP nominee is missing: youthful appearance, hair, popularity with the conservative base.

Posted by: matt | July 2, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I've felt all along that the best choice for veep in either party would be . . . John McCain. He would balance Obama's weaknesses nicely. Obama's problem is finding someone with McCain's cedentials who is not running against him.

McCain's best choice is, well, McCain. Anybody else seems to detract from him...though I see Chris' point in Romney. As a Democrat, Romney is the candidate who concerns me. He helps in Michigan, New Hampshire, and Nevada. He also balances some of McCain's negatives.

Posted by: Mike Dowling | July 2, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

"according to one Romney backer, Romney is a "rock star.""

Oh my God, Chris . . .

Also, to "jump the shark" doesn't mean to go out of fashion. Picking a ridiculous VP only because he came from a crucial state would be jumping the shark.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

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