Will Mitt Romney Play To Independents Or Hispanics With Vice-Presidential Pick?
(My first blog post on Caffeinated Politics six years ago today dealt with Israel and the military moves that were underway at that time regarding Middle East tensions. In that post I mentioned Condoleezza Rice. Once again on July 14 she is a topic on CP.)
There is a fierce battle, it would seem to me, being waged inside of Mitt Romney, and his presidential campaign team. Everything is focused on the selection of a vice-presidential nominee.
While Sarah Palin this week thought Romney should select a candidate that would set the “hair on fire” of conservatives, I think the Romney team is being far more pragmatic about the choice. While Palin has a point that Romney was not the first choice for the nomination, and many still have strong doubts about his conservative bona fides, there is also the fact that element of the electorate has little choice how to vote come November.
There is no need to solidify what will be a strong conservative vote, in the end, for Romney.
Romney has two choices instead of playing to the conservatives. If he is smart, he will use one of them. The correct choice could help propel him into the presidency.
I have predicted for over 8 months that Senator Marco Rubio from Florida would be the vice-presidential pick. The reason was rather straight-forward.
Florida is in play, a needed win for Romney, and therefore Rubio would be an asset in electoral college politics. But more than that Rubio allows the GOP to start dealing with a ‘structural deficit’ of Hispanic voters.
The latest poll today show the tightness in Florida.
A Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 poll finds Barack Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied in America’s biggest battleground state, with 46 percent of likely Florida voters supporting the president, 45 percent backing the former Massachusetts governor, and 2 percent behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
I have railed against the GOP for clearly anti-brown policies. I have commented at length that the all-white Tea Party, and the Arizona immigration law baffled me. I stressed that short-sighted hate on the front side will produce long-term political damage on the end side for the GOP. That makes no sense for the Republican Party.
Will Mitt Romney see the wisdom, and have the maturity to pull the party away from the brink?
On the other hand does the Romney campaign team view the independents that were so strong for President Obama in the 2008 election, and much less excited for his relection in 2012, a better well of voters to chase?
A poll released this week showed the problem that Obama has with this needed portion of the electorate.
While 45 percent of voters overall say they approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, just 37 percent of independents believe that. Obama has a 12 point advantage among all voters on the issue of “who has presented a clearer plan for dealing with the economy – Obama or Romney?” But among independents that flips to an eight point advantage for Romney.
Even on the issue of Romney’s record in business, independent voters are more sympathetic to the Republican. Among all voters, more thought that Romney in his work as a corporate investor did more to cut jobs than create them (42 percent to 36 percent). But among independents, that flips to a six point advantage for Romney – 43-37 percent.
With that thinking in mind, and perhaps also to move embarrassing Bain stories off the front pages for a few days, the Romney team allowed the name of Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be floated as a VP possibility. Intelligent and dynamic, and likely to appeal to a broad section of the nation, Rice would be a formidable candidate. But more importantly she would be a person that would be prepared to lead should the need arise.
After the miserable way President Bush allowed the nation’s economy to crumble for eight years the GOP must find a way to present a smart agile team that can demonstrate leadership. The two names mentioned in this post are selections that would secure support from Republicans, and possibly the nation.
What will not happen in 2012 is the selection of anything for the VP slot that smacks of a Sarah Palin.
If such a move were to be made by Romney it would indeed set “hair on fire”, and the ashes would be the GOP chances in 2012.
(Thanks for reading this post and starting another year of CP.)