There sure are a lot of pieces out suddenly arguing for VP candidates other than Rubio

posted at 9:32 pm on April 6, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’d bet cash money that it’s all just a coincidence, driven largely by Romney’s comparative chumminess with Paul Ryan on the trail and Rob Portman’s role in helping him win Ohio, but rumors of a whisper campaign against Rubio inside the Beltway have been bubbling for months. Is this another case of the whispers? If so, who’s doing the whispering?

From George Will, who wants Romney to wonk out with either Ryan or health-care whiz Bobby Jindal:

Faux realists will belabor Romney with unhistorical cleverness, urging him to choose a running mate who supposedly will sway this or that demographic cohort or carry a particular state. But are, for example, Hispanics nationwide such a homogeneous cohort that, say, those who came to Colorado from Mexico will identify with a son of Cuban immigrants to Florida (Sen. Marco Rubio)? Do these realists know that, according to exit polls, Nevada’s Hispanic Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, won only about a third of the Hispanic vote in 2010?

Michael Crowley at Time agrees, arguing that Rubio’s appeal to Latinos could be vastly overstated. I’ve wondered before myself whether Rubio might pass on VP even if it’s offered because he doesn’t want his future presidential ambitions to be tainted if Romney ends up underperforming with Latinos and losing. Even if Rubio nets the ticket 10 points with that group, it’s at least possible that other factors unrelated to him will cost them 15 — and he’ll be blamed for that failure, which will haunt him if he runs in 2016. If he’s going to risk his reputation as the GOP’s savior among Latino voters, I would guess the only reward worth it is the presidency itself.

Meanwhile, without mentioning Rubio by name, Major Garrett argues that you can take it to the bank that Portman will, in fact, be Romney’s VP:

Portman is vetted, more so than any other potential pick. He’s been confirmed not once but twice to cabinet posts — U.S. trade representative in 2005 and Office of Management and Budget director in 2006. The files are ready and, by Washington standards, spotless. Romney knows his pick must get off to a good start and any “surprises” after the rollout will deprive his campaign of precious time, energy, and momentum. Portman is a known commodity among Washington reporters and is regarded as both knowledgeable and accessible (and as a dispenser of well-timed leaks). In the frenzied environment that will accompany the prelude to Romney’s pick, the Portman choice may land with a thud on the charisma meter, but it won’t set in motion a wave of “guess what” stories and will allow Romney to focus on the campaign, not thorny revelations that must be ritualistically turned into an us-against-them media meme. In fact, Portman might actually talk Boston out of its hypertensive and allergic reactions to reporters.

Portman is ready for the job and, more importantly, primed for the obligations that will fall upon Romney if he’s elected. In the transition, Romney will need skilled and quicksilver advice and guidance on the magilla lame-duck session that’s coming. In those precious few weeks in November and December the nation will have to decide the fate of the following: the expiring Bush tax cuts, the expiring payroll-tax cut, unfinished spending bills, the expiring Medicare “doc fix” that shielded physicians from a 27 percent premium cut, extended unemployment benefits, the scheduled $1.2 trillion across-the-board discretionary spending cut (sequester), the farm bill, and quite probably, a transportation bill. Oh, and one other thing. A $3 trillion debt-ceiling increase will come up then or right after Inauguration Day. A lame-duck Congress with a president-elect may decide to punt these tough issues to the new administration. If so, no governor or minty-fresh Tea Party senator will suffice. Portman knows the West Wing like few others (he also served in the White House Counsel’s Office and the Office of Legislative Affairs under President Bush the elder). He knows the House and Senate and served on the super committee. He knows what the numbers are, what they mean, and how the politics of budget, taxation, and trade work. Romney will have to govern and govern quick. The headaches will be immediate and the choices difficult. If governing matters, Portman prevails.

Yeah, as impressive as Rubio is, I’d prefer to see him show some chops on policy for a few years. So far in the Senate he’s distinguished himself in my mind chiefly for being hawkish to a McCain-esque degree on foreign policy. I’m no dove, but I want to see how that impulse plays out over time before installing him one heartbeat away.

More media Rubio skepticism? There’s also National Journal’s poll of “insiders” that Tina wrote about earlier showing his odds dropping precipitously since October among Republicans and Democrats — although he’s still the VP frontrunner among both groups. Like I say, I think the Beltway rethink on him is all coincidence driven by the fact that we’re now thinking hard about veeps and that Ryan, in particular, is more of a star than ever thanks to Obama’s hatchet job on him this past Tuesday. But you never know with that whisper campaign. Are Rubio’s VP rivals nudging friendly columnists about his stock being overvalued? Are Democrats doing it to plant seeds of doubt about the guy in case he does, in fact, end up on the ticket? Or are Romney’s people doing it because they don’t want voters — especially some Latino voters — to get their hopes up only to be disappointed later? Further to that last question, read this BuzzFeed piece from a few days ago. Exit quotation from an unnamed GOP strategist close to Rubio: “[I]f Sen. Rubio is passed up, or not even asked, in favor of someone that is uninspiring or ‘safe’ I think there will be a lot of tough questions.”


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Comment pages: 1 2

redwhiteblue on April 6, 2012 at 10:46 PM

My understanding is someone emailed the tip line and complained that he is off topic when he provides news links for us.

Allah put him in moderation. Whatever that means. Based on comments here everyday.. He gets moderated? Some of us are not happy. No consistency here and it is lame. (refraining from bad lang)

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

LOL, oh man. I forgot about the honorable Mr. Hastings. Actually, DWS and SJL would be the closest thing to an even swap.

4Grace on April 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

LOL, Girl we all have nut jobs in very state. I had Allen Grayson for Gods sake. Luckily, it was short lived.

Fl is an odd state. Really 3 states in one. We are weird as hell. :)

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 10:52 PM

John the Libertarian on April 6, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I brought up leaving it alone to go play with itself a couple of days ago…

… Apparently, the temptation to respond is too great.

Seven Percent Solution on April 6, 2012 at 9:55 PM

…I’ve always trolled the troll so you guys can do what you do, and ignore it…but too many people respond to it because they can’t even find a character like that on Jerry Springer. It’s a piece of work!
I noticed when DuFuss (DBear) and Owhatadumbbasturd and KeninC_ _T are ignored…they drop off in no time, unlike Dr. T who keeps on talking to himself 30 or 40 times until someone bites his worm.
I’ll stop if you say so…but then I’ll remind everyone else…and I hate me when I do that!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Hey Allah – what about the chance Rubio is doing it to himself as a way to really make sure he’s not an option?

I keep saying that the first Latino in the White House doesn’t also want to be known as the factor that turned the first black President into a one-termer.

budfox on April 6, 2012 at 10:23 PM

It’s a Kinsley UN-gaffe, he’s using the truth (i.e. his inexperience and newness to Washington) to avoid being permanently handcuffed to Romney a la Kemp to Dole. Also, he probably -DOESN’T- want to be VEEP, only one sitting Vice-President has won the Presidency since Martin Van Buren, and that was Pappy Bush, a man with a vast and diverse political resume.

ebrown2 on April 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM

That really ticks me off. I may protest.

Here is the best from last night..had to save it:

Yep. I am ready for it. You can help. Make a donation to:
C.A.N.O.P.F.O.R
Citzens Against Neo Oppressive Practices From Online Regimes.
We need to free our comrade.
SparkPlug on April 6, 2012 at 12:49 AM

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM

He came back. He’s been having ‘net problems-remember?

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM

She is to stupid to be paid. My other guess is a sock.

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Could be. Something too familiar about the style.

obladioblada on April 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Weird is fun :)

4Grace on April 6, 2012 at 10:58 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Hey, ALT! It’s Good Friday for me, but I wish you a blessed Passover this Easter weekend.

4Grace on April 6, 2012 at 11:01 PM

He came back. He’s been having ‘net problems-remember?

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Nope, this all happened a few nights ago.

JPeterman on April 6, 2012 at 11:03 PM

4Grace on April 6, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Thanks!
The ‘Tribe’ appreciates it.
Btw: I’m wearing bunny ears @ work on Sunday…just because.
Go Ted Cruz!

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Nope, this all happened a few nights ago.

JPeterman on April 6, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I KNOW. He came back that night.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Weird as hell.

Rusty Allen on April 6, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Weird is fun :)

4Grace on April 6, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Then move here and you can overdose. :)

He came back. He’s been having ‘net problems-remember?

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM

No, Allah put him in moderation.

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 11:09 PM

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 11:09 PM

I KNOW! Allah put him in moderation-but he came back on another thread that same night. I was on that thread when he came back.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 11:12 PM

I KNOW. He came back that night.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

And he hasn’t been seen since.

JPeterman on April 6, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Who, Jesus?

Rusty Allen on April 6, 2012 at 11:14 PM

I’d say it has more to do with the fact that Rubio says he doesn’t want the job and people believe him.

Maybe he has his eyes set on other office, maybe governor of Fla first.

crosspatch on April 6, 2012 at 11:35 PM

bazil9 on April 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Thanks. What a shame.

redwhiteblue on April 6, 2012 at 11:42 PM

The more I hear about Portman, the more I like Liz Cheney.

WhatNot on April 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

HI AP.

DON’T THINK MITT WILL ROB THE SENATE.

WILL PICK MOST LIKELY PICK JINDAL, NOT RYAN.

MORE LIKELY PICK JINDAL, WIN ELECTION, SWEEP SENATE – AND WITH IT SAFELY IN GOP HANDS MAKE PORTMAN COS OR SEC TREAS, AND RYAN D-OMB.

reliapundit on April 7, 2012 at 1:20 AM

The more I hear about Portman, the more I like Liz Cheney.

WhatNot on April 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Yep.

Bmore on April 7, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Rubio is the obvious choice.
We will not accept an all white ticket

liberal4life on April 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

You don’t have to accept him you mental midget. Your only 20%

The indies and the conservatives only have to accept it. Right the indies will accept an orange juice can over your messiah

Conservative4ev on April 7, 2012 at 1:57 AM

Look its going to be hard enough to hold my nose and vote of Mitt. If the establishment add another establishment man to the ticket, i.e.. Portman, I will withhold my vote. Not that it will matter, I can pretty much guarantee that Romney/Portman ticket will lose in a landslide to Obama. Allen West is the right man for the job and he already said he’d take the V.P. job. Rubio is a great choice too, as are some others, but Portman……come on GOP!

JeffVader on April 7, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Actually, it sounds to me like Portman may be a better fit as Chief of Staff. Let him herd the cats starting November 7th, while Romney and Ryan start laying out the long-term policy decisions that are going to have to be made. Portman can certainly advise them on how to take advantage of tactical situations as they come up, and help them negotiate the labyrinth that is going to be the lame duck session.

That actually sounds like the core of a disciplined and powerful team. I’d consider Ron Paul for Treasury (maybe; not sure how much his crankiness will be a detriment). We’d need to see some real power houses for other cabinet positions. The whole focus will need to be on cutting the agencies to the bone. Maybe not get rid of them (although I’m definitely leaning that way for the EPA and HHS, for starters). But the chainsaws need to come out.

Barring an enormous twist, Republicans should be in charge in both Houses, and in the WH. If the FiCons can rally the troops, then there’s a chance we’ll see some real reform. Across the board.

Let the Dhimms wail and moan all they want. They’ve sh*t the bed enough. Time to kick them out and clean up the mess.

nukemhill on April 7, 2012 at 4:31 AM

Looking at Portman’s voting record, he looks more conservative than Santorum and he seems like a person who knows how to work with the other side and not just stand there and engage them in a food fight.

crosspatch on April 7, 2012 at 4:58 AM

My kids can drive a John Deere and a Kawasaki “mule” (4X4) but that doesn’t mean I will give my 11-year old Mr. PPF Jr. my car keys. Not only because he can’t reach those pedals yet, but because I’d be afraid for not only his safety, but for the rest of the drivers-and I know he’d be scared sh!tless driving even in my neighborhood.

Same applies for nuke keys and Marco Rubio. I am having a hard time loaning my nuke keys to these candidates, let alone giving him to a beginner. My bias for Cubans is well known here, but on this one it has to do with experience.

ProudPalinFan on April 7, 2012 at 6:26 AM

I KNOW. He came back that night.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

And he hasn’t been seen since.

JPeterman on April 6, 2012 at 11:13 PM

In 1984, after they break Winston, they let him go free for a little while as an example of the benign mercy of the state. Then he is “vaporized” shortly thereafter.

Just saying…

RINO in Name Only on April 7, 2012 at 6:41 AM

It doesn’t matter who the VP candidate is or how much they’ve been vetted; within 24 hours of the choice, there will be some “startling revelations” about him or her. It won’t matter whether the revelations are true, or whether they even have any basis in reality. They’ll be made, and repeated, and become part of the talking points anyway.

This is why it’s best for Romney to make a choice he truly believes in. Then, he can stand behind that choice no matter what “revelations” come out later. The left is going to be merciless on him no matter what, so he may as well just do what he thinks is right.

Jeff A on April 7, 2012 at 7:27 AM

Allen West is the right man for the job and he already said he’d take the V.P. job.

I ask this as an honest question: what is it about Allan West, other than his ethnicity and ability to deliver a real stem-winder on the stump, that leads people to think that he would be a good VP candidate? He wasn’t full command rank in the military, and he has yet to finish even one term in the House. I find the guy incredibly personally appealing, but there isn’t much there at this point that suggests “one heartbeat away” material. I tend to think that outside highly conservative circles that it is a pick that will scream “pander”.

If that is not the case, educate me otherwise.

FuzzyLogic on April 7, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Portman is a great choice……

for a Prez candidate who knows deep down he will lose and so he needs to lose quietly for…..

Jeb Bush in 2016

KirknBurker on April 7, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Even if Rubio nets the ticket 10 points with that group, it’s at least possible that other factors unrelated to him will cost them 15 — and he’ll be blamed for that failure

He’s not an attractive, charismatic woman, so nahhhhh that wouldn’t happen.

I think the establishment plans on Rubio being the next one they tout as the Sure Thing after Romney loses. They just don’t want Marco to get that Loser Stank on him and ruin everything.

ddrintn on April 7, 2012 at 8:06 AM

FuzzyLogic on April 7, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Like Palin, he just exudes a precense or aura when he is in a room.

I met him when he was out here in Omaha for a Lee Terry event a few weeks ago.

I agree he does not have that much government experience.

But there is no doubt he is a leader unlike Mittens (who I’ve met too).

He is only about 5’7″ but is barrel-chested and can give good answers to questions.

He like Palin has IT.

I have not met Rubio yet, but my impression is that he would be more exciting than Romney and take all the attention away from Mittens, much like Palin was the rockstar and McCain was obviously jealous of the attention.

Palin, West, Rubio are the types that MOTIVATE/THRILL/INSPIRE etc.

Portman (who I have also met) is a nice guy, but way to …careful, not bold, boring, a player. He won his Senate race because Ohio’s economy sucks and his Dem opponent just sucked in every way you can think of.

KirknBurker on April 7, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Who cares what that elitist Will says? My vote will cancel our his, though his power of back-stabbing Palin for the GOP power structure is formidable.

These people loathe the primary system, lest they lose their “unelected”power.

Frankly, bring back the honesty of the old smoke-filled…er…brie-filled back rooms and tell us which lousy RINO de jour we’re going to have to vote for. Who needs democracy anyway?

No wondewr this party doesn’t like social cons -their souls is one of moral abuse -they are no more less pragmatic that the Alinkyites who serve their version of Lucifer.

Don L on April 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Frankly, bring back the honesty of the old smoke-filled…er…brie-filled back rooms and tell us which lousy RINO de jour we’re going to have to vote for. Who needs democracy anyway?

Don L on April 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

That’s pretty much what we’ve got and will continue to have if things remain as they are now.

ddrintn on April 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

There are 2 people Obama and company were deathly afraid of, Gingrich and Rubio. Gingrich, because in a battle of ideas, he would certainly win and, in a battle to balance the budget, he would have a clue how to do it and the establishment wouldn’t have much money to waste.

Marco Rubio is really good at articulating the conservative message and, once Latinos hear him tell them that his parents made it and they can to, by using Republican principles, all they’ll have to do is look around at how blacks have fared, using the Democrats principles, and they won’t vote for the Democrats again. I don’t believe any of the other VP candidates could spread that message.

So, the experts have done their job, a reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee, and there are questions now about Rubio. Honestly, I don’t believe Rubio wants to be the VP, he’d rather run for President. He’s young enough that, in 8 years, he could run, have a lot of experience behind him, and be a recognized public figure. I think Rubio could make it through the vetting process the Democrats would subject him to, but it would be brutal for him and his family because the Democrats will take no prisoners this time.

The Republican establishment had better hope Romney, and whoever he picks for VP, beat Obama and instill confidence in the citizens of this country because, if they don’t the tea party will be a minor inconvenience compared to what they’ll be greeted with.

bflat879 on April 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Seems to me that no liberal should be able to say the word “vetted” out loud without their brain exploding.

tbrosz on April 7, 2012 at 11:34 AM

And by the way, I wouldn’t mind picking a VP that would make a damn good president a few years down the road. That doesn’t always seem to be very high on the list of qualificiations for either party.

tbrosz on April 7, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Rubio is the obvious choice.
We will not accept an all white ticket

liberal4life on April 6, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Who’s we, moron4life?

Gladtobehere on April 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

And by the way, I wouldn’t mind picking a VP that would make a damn good president a few years down the road. That doesn’t always seem to be very high on the list of qualificiations for either party.

tbrosz on April 7, 2012 at 11:35 AM

I’m pretty sure that Biden is just as good as Obama, if not better!

Gladtobehere on April 7, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Yeah, as impressive as Rubio is, I’d prefer to see him show some chops on policy for a few years. So far in the Senate he’s distinguished himself in my mind chiefly for being hawkish to a McCain-esque degree on foreign policy. I’m no dove, but I want to see how that impulse plays out over time before installing him one heartbeat away. – AlP

Yep.
The LAST thing this country needs is another neophyte in the Exec. Branch.
No matter who is elected, Obama or Mittens, the song remains the same: Incompetence.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on April 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Once you meet Marco Rubio,shake his hand, have your picture taken with him, exchange a few words, you begin to realize he is the real deal. Then when you hear him speak in person you also realize that this is the second coming of Ronald Reagan. This guy is our future.
Along with Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan and others these are the people who will shape policy and hopefully save the nation from excesses of the far left in the next few decades.
The big problem with Rubio is the same as Mitt. They are both non- NBC. MItt’s father born in Mexico and Marco’s born in Cuba.
This however should not be a limiting factor since the dems will never bring it up for fear of having the book opened on the dear leader.
So we are left with the problem of having a rino choice for VP or someone who will truly excite the base. Which at this point desperately needs it.

rodguy911 on April 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM

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