S.E. Cupp: C’mon, Romney’s not really considering a woman for VP

posted at 6:36 pm on July 6, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via Mediaite. I’m inclined to agree, notwithstanding Ann Romney’s comments to the contrary. It has nothing to do with Team Mitt being “anti-woman” or whatever imbecilic label the left would slap on this. It’s a simple matter of there being few prominent Republican women pols available right now who clearly fit Romney’s core VP criterion of being ready to be president on day one. Ideally he wants someone with significant executive (or at least national) experience, a reputation for competence, and a background that’s squeaky clean to the point of boredom. Pawlenty’s an obvious possibility; Portman, while lacking executive experience, has served in the White House, the Senate, and the House, so he’s another. None of the Republican women frequently mentioned as possibilities fit the description. Ayotte and Susana Martinez landed on the national landscape just two years ago. (As did Rubio, of course, which is probably why he allegedly wasn’t closely vetted until recently.) Cathy McMorris Rodgers has served in Congress for seven years but picking her would raise the question of why, if Romney was open to a VP from the House, he didn’t pick the far more prominent Paul Ryan instead. If the answer is “Because Mitt’s afraid of Ryan’s budget,” that’ll be received, shall we say, coolly by conservatives.

Who else is left? You don’t suppose…

No, the woman Ann Romney likely has in mind is Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state.

Rice wowed the crowd—and seemed to impress Mitt Romney, who was standing beside her—when she spoke in a featured role at a Romney campaign event two weeks ago in Park City, Utah. Rice is qualified, would be a poised (if novice) candidate, and would complement Romney in terms of area of expertise, gender (obviously!), and life experience. Rice offers an unusual combination of being at once a reassuring pick (she served at the highest levels of the federal government for eight years) and an exciting one.

What’s more, while the other VP possibilities have decent but middling favorable/unfavorable ratings (and are mostly unknown), Rice’s favorable/unfavorable, according to a Rasmussen poll a couple of months ago, is a pretty staggering 66-24. Rice has said she’s not interested—but Dick Cheney said he wasn’t interested at this point in 2000.

You think? Jeb couldn’t run this year because George is still radioactive (the worst president ever according to Newsweek’s recent poll). A majority of voters still blame Bush more than Obama when they’re asked who’s responsible for the rotten economy. And yet Romney’s big VP surprise, with candidates as well regarded as Ryan, Jindal, Rubio, and Christie in the mix, is going to be … one of the most recognizable members of the Bush administration, who’s associated first and foremost with his foreign policy? What am I missing here?

Exit question: The buzz for Jindal seems to be growing by the day. If he’s the pick, what’s his answer when reporters ask him why he endorsed Rick Perry instead of Romney in the primary?

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