Unless Ron Paul changes how math works, Mitt Romney is officially the Republicans’ main man for the next six months.
Since the start of the GOP primary, conservatives, Tea Party members and right-wingers of the Republican Party have gone through a very scandal-heavy and topsy-turvy ride. There were the rise and fall of Herman Cain, the great surge of Newt Gingrich, the silly flirtation with Rick Santorum, and the flash-in-the-pan campaigns of Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty. Technically, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are still fighting, but the math won’t add up as Romney sits pretty with 661 and Gingrich doesn’t have 661, or even close to 661 delegates.
But that isn’t inspiring Newt to bow out with any grace. “Let me just say in closing, because I don’t want any of you to be confused about this, I don’t want the media to be confused — I stayed in the race to articulate big themes and big issues,” Gingrich said at a Manhattan event on April 19. “We have an obligation as Americans to communicate why American liberty has lasted, and to communicate why the principles of that liberty should be spread across the planet.”
Obviously this is all code for: Newt likes the camera. Thank God he didn’t make it through.
With Romney being the last man standing, let the vice president vetting begin. And for all those being considered, in Hunger Games fashion, may the odds be ever in your favor!
Fourteen vice presidents have become president, either because of death or resignation, or because they were subsequently elected to the job. Ironically, only five of those were elected to the position, which means that if you are vice president, you have a better chance of becoming the leader of the free world during your boss’s term than after.
Last time around McCain made a risky move that backfired immensely and changed the course of conservative politics forever. Don’t think that a running mate can’t become a national icon, representing some cause or idea. Over the past few years, the winning and losing vice presidential candidates have gone on to become national figures in some shape or form.
Since 2000, the coveted leadership role has gone on to produce a lot of press. Dick Cheney was always seen as the real power behind the throne. Whether it was concerning war, oil or tax breaks, Cheney definitely changed the image of what a vice president can or can’t do. His counterpart that year, Joe Lieberman, has gone on to become a thorn in the side of the Democratic Party. Lieberman recently lost in his state’s senate primary, only to run as a third-party candidate and defeat the Democratic and Republican nominees.
Al Gore, Bill Clinton’s sidekick during the 1990s, has become a Hollywood mogul, starring in Oscar-winning documentaries, and has become the poster boy for the global warming cause.
Even John Edwards has seen his name plastered over papers, as the once-admired liberal has turned into one of the most hated ex-politicians America has known. He cheated on his sick and dying wife, had a baby with a mistress, and is currently on trial for using $1 million in secret payments to cover his infidelity. The thought that this man was almost given any White House power should have destroyed John Kerry’s career as well.
Joe Biden has been a catch-phrase nightmare for Obama. Remember when he told everyone not to take planes or use the subway?
Then there is America’s favorite loser, Sarah Palin, who lost alongside McCain, yet has become the face of conservatism. John McCain’s gift to America was Sarah Palin, and many of us want our gift receipt so we can return her.
My point is that Romney has a very important task ahead of him. He needs to be careful because scandals, power grabs and/or overnight celebrity status can be thrust upon whoever he chooses. Even if they lose come November, if the running mate becomes a national nightmare, Romney will be forever blamed. And if he pulls off the upset, he might find the running mate to be his own worst enemy.