For starters, Cantor is sharp, and knows all the major national issues. Picking a governor always involves a steep learning curve as he or she gets a crash course in national and international issues. There would be no Palin moments with Cantor. Sunday talk-show firing lines come easy to Cantor.

At the same time, like Sarah Palin, Cantor would be almost a completely fresh face for most Americans, and a young and attractive face at that. He’s got nerd-chic, and that may be just the right image for economic hard times.

Cantor also comes from a crucial swing state, Virginia, and his name on the GOP ticket would make it a lot easier for Romney to carry the Old Dominion. Romney almost has to have Virginia in order to get to the White House, and it is well within reach. Cantor would probably seal the deal. And having a Southerner will help throughout the region, particularly for Romney, who did so poorly in the southern Republican primaries in both 2008 and 2012.