March 26, 2012

The Case for Bayou Bobby: Part 1

Two days ago, Louisiana Republicans overwhelmingly rejected the Republican nominee, and a handful of remaining states will deliver equally thunderous blows in the coming months.  To no avail.  It is no longer possible for a reasonable person to doubt Mitt Romney’s inevitability.  As of this writing, bettors believe Ron Paul has a better chance of emerging as the Republican nominee than does Rick Santorum.

Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee.  Doubts about his flaws and convictions notwithstanding, very soon the conservative movement is going to have come to grips with this reality, and begin planning for the always arduous task of ousting an incumbent.  And Mitt Romney will need to spend a considerable portion of the remaining campaign making that transition easier.  To that end, it’s time to begin in earnest the quadrennial Veepstakes.

I won’t pretend even-handedness- enumerating all the various traits of every conceivable running-mate, while trying to subtly steer readers.  We all have our favorites and Bobby Jindal is mine.  Here begins the case for his selection.

Demography is Destinty- Except When It’s Not

Romney’s Louisiana loss was sweeping but not uniform.  Once again, Governor Romney ran into a demographic wall, notably stumbling in the rural areas.
In 18 parishes, Romney won 20% of the vote or less.

Acadia, Allen, Bienville, Caldwell, DeSoto, Evangeline, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Livingston, Richland, St. Bernard, St. Helena, St. James, Union, Vermillion, Washington, and West Carroll.

Only one of these parishes (Livingston) had more than 2846 votes (approximately, the 64 parish average).  Most had less than a thousand votes.  Rural indeed.  But while Romney’s struggles here were acute, they are not unique.  One other recent candidate initially struggled in these same areas: Bobby Jindal.  In another post, I compared two Louisiana Republican maps- the 2002 Suzanne Terrell losing Senate race (against Mary Landrieu) and the 2003 losing Jindal effort.  Both resulted in approximately the same scale of loss but produced very different maps.

By comparing these maps, we can tell where Jindal initially struggled.  How did he perform in these 18 parishes?  He lost 16 of 18.  And he performed worse than Terrell (who won 10 of the 18) in 15 of these parishes.  How much worse?  Well, first let’s define our terms.  If Jindal lost parish X 49-51 and Terrell carried it 51-49, that’s a 4 point swing.  So I’d say that Jindal did 4 points worse than Terrell in parish X.  So how much worse did Jindal do, in these 18 parishes, on average?  20.5% worse.  Hugely worse.  Almost unfathomably worse, given the similar statewide numbers.  In LaSalle parish, Jindal ran an astonishing 65.4% behind Suzanne Terrell.  Indeed, Jindal probably lost registered Republicans in some of these areas.

Isn’t this, you ask, an argument against a Jindal selection?  If he shares Romney’s demographic weaknesses, isn’t he ill-suited to help Romney win over these reluctant rural voters?  The answer is, emphatically, no.  Because, where Romney has continually struggled, Jindal ultimately triumphed.  Jindal’s public career did not end in 2003.  He did not retire to a comfortable cabinet position or accept a sinecure within the maze of government bureaucracy.  He won a House seat and then, in 2007, ran for Governor again.  That year, Jindal won 17 of these 18 parishes.  He increased his percentage in all but two of them, one of which (St. Bernard Parish) was radically changed after Katrina cut its population half.  And perhaps most significantly, he won a higher percentage of the vote than Terrell had- 5 years earlier- in 9 of the 18 parishes.  The rural white voters who’d given Jindal so much trouble 4 years earlier had finally come home.  Bubba’s for Bobby carried the day.

If Romney hopes to win in November, he will need to increase his appeal to the Bubbas.  Not in Louisiana, perhaps, but in Ohio; in Indiana; in Pennsylvania and Virginia and North Carolina.  And no politician in the country has more experience than Bobby Jindal in turning a well-educated, competence-minded technocrat into someone acceptable to rural voters.

It’s The Energy, Stupid

Energy Policy is one of the many issues on which the Obama Administration and the American public are decidedly at odds.  Americans, it turns out, do not want skyrocketing electricity rates, nor are they keen on $4+ gasoline.  A Gallup Poll released last week highlights this disconnect between administration policy and public opinion.  57% of Americans- including a plurality of Democrats- believe the Keystone Pipeline should be approved.  A gaudy 68% of voters in the critical midwest want the pipeline built.  No matter who Romney selects at the convention, energy will be a key Republican advantage in the fall campaign.  But Jindal would considerably enhance the issue’s resonance, for two reasons.

1.  He knows more about domestic energy production than anyone else-  At least twice in the past month, Jindal has waxed eloquent on the energy policy failures of the Obama administration.  Here he is dazzling in a late February press conference:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJkMcxpzqZM[/youtube]

2.  He can credibly address environmental worries-  As the Governor of Louisiana during the BP oil spill, Jindal had a front-row seat to the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of the crisis and its aftermath.  He can explain to the American people the extremeism of the environmental lobby.  His book, “Leadership and Crisis”, is full of anecdotes of bureaucracy overriding common sense.

Ending Obamacare and Preserving Medicare

For obvious reasons, health-care is something of a minefield for Mitt Romney.  Contra the Rick Santorum line, it is not quite impossible to imagine Romney turning the issue to his advantage.  As this morning’s Politico story notes, Americans don’t like Obamacare, but they’ve never been too happy with Republican health care proposals either.  Romney can probably offer an Obamacare replacement which will at least get the public’s attention.  But if he wants Americans to do more than simply reject Obamacare- if he wants them to vote on Obamacare in an election where a dozen other priorities intrude- he’ll need a replacement that does more than just grab the public’s attention.

Enter Bobby Jindal.  No politician in America has more experience in the health care sector than does Bobby Jindal.  He has a Master’s from Oxford with an emphasis in health policy.   At 24, he was appointed the head of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, where he eliminated 400 million in Medicaid expenses.  At 29, he was an Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.  A Romney/Jindal ticket is uniquely capable of selling a vastly cheaper and less onerous replacement for Obamacare.

But what about Medicare?  What about grannies and cliffs and the biennial Democratic Mediscare campaign?  Here, again, Jindal is uniquely positioned to add to the ticket because of another item in his bio.  In 1998, Jindal was appointed the Executive Director of the National Bi-Partisan Commission on Medicare.   This is the commission Paul Ryan is referring to when he talks about the “bipartisan consensus” that emerged around premium support models in the 90s.  Jindal’s book devotes an entire chapter to this experience.  The title?  “Saving Medicare”.  Here’s a passage from page 242 of that book:

The [proposed] reform would help solve a core problem of the Medicare system: there is no relationship between pay and performance, and no incentive to compete on price.  With the premium support model, health plans would be given flexibility to compete by either reducing premiums or enhancing benefits.

We expected this reform would reduce the growth in Medicare spending by a modest amount up front, and by a significant amount in the long term through “the magic of compound interest”, as Senator Gramm was fond of saying.

On Medicare, Jindal was studying and pitching Ryan-like plans before Ryan even set foot in Congress.

Competence Counts

It’s easy to forget, given Romney’s frequently flailing campaign, but Competent Leadership was once Mitt’s brand.  He revitalized a moribund Bain and Company: rescued a failing Olympics; performed creditably during the Big Dig collapse; found a friend’s lost daughter; saved a drowning family.   Mitt Romney is far from perfect but he is a good man to have around in a crisis.  This November, the economy will matter; the debt will matter; energy prices will matter; entitlements will matter- but in a broader sense, the election will hinge on one thing: whether or not Mitt Romney can recover that brand; whether the American public will say, in something approaching a resounding voice, “this is a good fellow to have around in a crisis”.  John McCain never recovered his brand and lost.  Mitt Romney must or he will suffer the same fate.

Could it be that a whiz-kid Congressman, who swept into the governorship- after a disappointing defeat 4 years earlier- on the strength of Katrina crisis leadership, could enhance the Romney brand?  Could it be that what Romney needs, more than anything else, is to share a ticket with the fellow whose virtuoso performance during the BP oil spill stood as a marked contrast to the President’s hapless leadership?  What do you think?  Isn’t it obvious?

-Matthew E. Miller can be contacted at Obilisk18@yahoo.com

by @ 2:42 pm. Filed under Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, Veep Watch
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102 Responses to “The Case for Bayou Bobby: Part 1”

  1. SGS Says:

    While we are on the topic of Vice President, especially those from the south part, I want to ask about Harley Barbour. Why is he not on a list of VP anywhere, not even here? At one point, he was among the like of Palin and Christe before they all declined the race. I believe, his popularity was on raise until Perry jumped in. Anyway, why should not we even consider him as a potential Vice President, considering his chairpersonship of the recent era that saw the Republican control of both capitol houses (93-97 which is the same time as Newt’s famed Contract with America), how he restored the trust of Republican Governors Association after Sanford scandal and his excellent handling of the aftermath caused by Hurricane Katina?

  2. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    Yes, it’s a no-brainer.

  3. Spud Says:

    It doesn’t matter who his running mate is. Without the votes of Paul supporters Romney cannot win, period, and most of us will stay home. Oh, don’t forget the downticket effects of us doing that.

    Better hope people change who they nominate, or it’s 4 more years of possibly the worst President ever. Certainly the worst in my lifetime.

  4. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    1

    Pardons.

  5. aspire Says:

    Do you see anyone outlining how Santorum can get enough delegates to win? Do you see anyone outlining how Romney can be stopped? No, because there’s no plausible path for either, and the generic argument that it “might happen” is stronger than a solid outline that can easily be torn apart.

    The most credible argument for Santorum right now is, “anything can happen”.

    Notice how his meltdowns, and gaffes aren’t getting near the attention as if Romney would have done them. That’s because the media knows he’s basically done. Sure they might throw the stories up for a few eyeballs, but they aren’t becoming major parts of the developing campaign.

    The Etch-a-Sketch comment barely has legs, because nobody cares anymore. It’s not going to affect the race much. We’re in limbo between most everybody knowing the race is over, and knowing what to do next. At this point we’re just waiting out the time until Romney gets the 1144 he needs.

  6. wateredseedsforJESUS Says:

    Yes! It’s all about Jindal! I love Bobby Jindal.

    “We love us some guns and religion.”-Bobby Jindal

    Some people would find that phrase to be bad…but in the context, it was epic. He is amazing. I love the governor….he should’ve been at the top of the ticket. I hope he’ll do it.

  7. wateredseedsforJESUS Says:

    3,

    I’m a paul supporter…and i enthusiastically support Bobby Jindal for VP. I think you misunderstand that many paul supporters were Obama supporters in 08′. Obama needs them more than Romney does. What romney needs is for them to not vote “against him”.

  8. SGS Says:

    I should clarify my comment #1 – I do hope for the Romney/Jindal ticket. In fact, this has been my dream ticket in 2008, and still is. However, I am getting signals that Jindal is not satisfied with what he has done in Louisiana as its governor. I believe he felt he still have so much to contribute toward his state. I do not think he will step aside willingly this time, especially to serve as a vice president. By willingness, I mean, he probably will do it after there are enough noise from the conservatives, but not until then.

    My question in #1 has more to do with after a few names we have discussed as a potential vice president, why is Harley Barbour never brought up?

  9. Irish Right Says:

    SGS – First, it’s Haley not Harley. Second, as MassCon said, it’s pardons.

  10. Katechon Says:

    8- so the question is: would he accept?

    He might want a second term.

  11. moffio Says:

    Jindal’s conservative record is unassailable. He would, in my opinion, make the best choice for vice president.

  12. Thomas Alan Says:

    I’m a big Jindal fan. He’s a bright star in the Republican field and I would be perfectly content with him being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    There’s not much sizzle to him, but Jindal would be a perfect “do no harm” guy to be packaged into the “competency campaign”.

    Could it be that a whiz-kid Congressman, who swept into the governorship- after a humiliating defeat 4 years earlier

    What was humiliating about his defeat? He only lost by 4 points.

  13. Matthew E. Miller Says:

    Thomas Alan,

    Changed it to disappointing.

  14. Willard Mittens Rombot Says:

    Mitt won’t go for Jindal. Jindal endorsed and campaigned for the dumbest guy running. Remember Jeffress? His buddy.

  15. wateredseedsforJESUS Says:

    8,

    Because he was a lobbyist. It’s something he himself as a political strategist admits is not an asset to a ticket. People know that his presence adds an element of question there. At the top of the ticket, it’s totally different. A qualified, vetted professional does well at the top. At the bottom of the ticket, it’s completely different. They have to provide something major that no one else does…and not violate the first rule….do no harm. Barbour himself knows that he violates that first rule.

  16. Katechon Says:

    Romney,

    Grab that and attack Obama with it : http://blog.american.com/2012/03/obama-nominee-for-world-bank-president-takes-his-economic-cues-from-noam-chomsky/

  17. wateredseedsforJESUS Says:

    14,

    That’s actually one of the reasons he WILL go for Jindal. Anyone he picks has to be someone that supported someone else…or didn’t support anyone. Other than Rubio and all of the party “big wigs”….who is left? I think it would be a mistake to pick an “insider”. Jindal is a governor, he does what Romney needs….pick him and be done with it.

  18. Joshua Says:

    #10 Katechon: Jindal is already in his 2nd term as governor. He was re-elected last year.

  19. My Man Mitt 4 President Says:

    Jindal is not much for eye candy IMO. I know I know terrible to say, don’t hate.

  20. My Man Mitt 4 President Says:

    Romney/ Rubio might fill the ticket even though Rubio doesn’t have the creds Jindal has.

  21. Common Cents Says:

    Jindal is just not going to bring any new voters to Romney, Louisiana is in the bag.
    If you were going to do a “do no harm/competency pick, Gov McDonnell at least puts Virginia away.
    They’re both solid conservatives that will appeal to the base, except McDonnell takes an important state away from Obama.

    Rubio is still the perfect pick that not only locks up Florida but will likely draw in states like Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico that have a larger Latino voter base. He’s also a hero among the base, a conservative who knocked off the Establishment pick. It’s an incredibly potent olive branch to the conservative base.

    The biggest “knock” against Rubio is his experience, but you could easily make the case that he has more experience than Obama did when he ran for President, and Rubio is only in the VP slot. Anyone who has seen Rubio in action knows he’s no Sarah Palin.

  22. Katechon Says:

    18- he might wanna complete his second term. Is he actualizing an ambitious project?

  23. SGS Says:

    #14 Mitt is not that shallow! He will hire the best man he can find for the job. Even if it is somebody that has gone against him. He has taken under his wing many who could destroyed him when he was the top executive at Bain, and after some time, those went away with respect, if not love, for Mitt. No, Mitt will get the best man for the job, and if it is Jindal, then Mitt will put his effort in getting him on his ticket.

    As for second term (#10), Jindal already won his second term some months ago. This is one of the reasons why I don’t think he would accept this time around.

  24. Katechon Says:

    21- women are scared already, with all the talk about contraception.

    Santorum killed the possibility of a McDonnell pick.

  25. Thomas Alan Says:

    21:

    Jindal is more qualified to be president than McDonnell and especially Rubio.

    And, no, you can’t make an easy case that Rubio has more experience than Obama when he ran for president. Obama’s resume pre-presidency is similar, with a slight edge to Obama thanks to an extra couple years in the Senate. And I ask again, since when do we judge our nominees based on Obama’s low standards?

  26. Massachusetts Conservative Says:

    The VP is Jindal, unless he declines.

  27. Florida Conservative Says:

    Katechon,

    Where did you see where the Marquette Law School Wisconsin Poll will be out tomorrow? And is their Early Voting in Wisconsin? If so I would have to think that would favor Romney since he has all the Mo right now in the state

  28. Florida Conservative Says:

    26

    I disagree, the VP is Rubio unless he declines, but I am a little biased since he is from my state and also I worked very hard on his campaign to get him elected to the US Senate down here, he would make a great V.P

  29. Spud Says:

    @7: I’ve been a Republican voter consistantly, and while I realize that many of Paul’s supporters are independents (and some democrats) who were Obama supporters, most of the ones who have voted Republican in the past won’t vote Romney this time regardless of vp pick if Paul isn’t the nominee. Some of the ones who supported Obama seem to feel like they’ll vote for him again, since they dislike the rest of the Republican choices more than Obama. Some of the R voters will stay home. Some of the (previous) D voters will vote with Obama. Put it together, and it’s enough to insure that Romney cannot win the general nomination against Obama, especially when you add in that he can’t seem to energize the base, as we’ve seen throughout the contest.

    If you spend much time frequenting Paul boards and talking to Paul supporters, I’m sure you’re aware of that though. It’s pretty commmon knowledge.

    I haven’t reconcilled myself with the idea of voting for Obama as of yet. I hope it’s not a choice I’m forced to make. In general, however, I’d prefer him to Romney, and that isn’t a tough choice at all.

    So, I still say that if Romney is the nominee, his VP pick is irrelevent.

  30. Mittman Says:

    Here are my top 3 picks..

    1- Rubio
    2- Marco Rubio
    3- Marco Rubio Dammit.

  31. Katechon Says:

    27- @ianlazaran told me about tomorrow’s poll

    I don’t know yet about early voting. I asked some people, and I’ll get back to you. Im at work now.

  32. NY4Romney(Romney/Jindal 2012) Says:

    Good read. My moniker shows that I agree with ya, He is such a good choice. A year ago when I started looking into my ideal ticket, Romney-Jindal was what I wanted. I hope we get it as it can beat Obama. It is not two old white guys, which had been the stereotype of our party. McCain, who fit it to a T, never had a chance in a historical election. Romney is a better candidate than McCain was, and has grown from 4 years ago. Jindal could be the perfect man to convey to Minorities that they are welcome in our party and could be the man to awaken their inner conservative. Obama is not historic anymore, he’s a below average president. And with a huge debt, high gas prices, and unconstitutional laws, Obama is weakened. Romney/Jindal can turn Obama from historic, to history.

  33. Katechon Says:

    28- Rubio is Probably a favorite indeed.

    What are the chances for him to fail the vetting?

  34. NY4Romney(Romney/Jindal 2012) Says:

    28
    Rubio would be my second choice followed by Paul Ryan. There is a lot of anger at DC politics and Romney Jindal could use we aren’t part of the DC establishment, we were both govs with executive experience compared to Obama and Biden who had no prior executive experience prior to 08.

  35. Common Cents Says:

    25.

    The “more qualified” argument is a matter of opinion, both McDonnell and Jindal are accomplished and ready for office.
    I don’t see a single voter saying they’re not going to vote for Romney because they feel McDonnell is too inexperienced to be a Vice President.

    Rubio was Speaker of the State House in Florida and then went on to become a Senator. He has a longer record of being a local representative than Obama did, AND was in a leadership position. I would argue it’s a “push” regarding Rubio and Obama’s resume when Barack ran for President, with the VERY big distinction that Rubio is in the Vice President role. Obama will look stupid going after Rubio on experience.

    With Romney at the top of the ticket, it’s going to be impossible for the Democrats to try and make some sort of argument that Romney is on over his head. Romney has a lot of latitude here compared to Obama in 2008.

    Also, merely judging a leader by how many terms they’ve won is a shallow way to look at competency. Does anyone really believe that Palin would suddenly be some wise statesman had she won reelection in Alaska, or that Biden with his nearly 30 years in the Senate would make a good President?

  36. SteveT Says:

    Early voting in Wisconsin is by absentee ballot. All you have to do is walk into a polling place any weekday before the election and fill out a ballot.

    You can turn it in on the spot. I have done it before.

    Info Here: http://www.longdistancevoter.org/wisconsin?gclid=CMewyvG8ha8CFcRM4AodDm7y0A#.T3DbU2E2-uI

  37. Katechon Says:

    35- don’t you that McDonnell has a big women problem?

  38. Thunder (Romney the next presiden of the US) Says:

    As far as I am concerned, Jindal shouldn’t even make the short list. He should bad judgement when endorsed Perry early.

    My Short List

    Rubio
    Huckabee
    Paul Ryan
    Rand Paul

  39. brs Says:

    There is no early voting in Wisconsin, only absentee, which will be in effect for Madison and Green Bay, since they are on Spring Break next week.

  40. SteveT Says:

    For clarification, in WI you need to report to the municpal clerk’s office for your area if you want to vote in person, this may be different from where you normally vote on election day.

    It is actually quite easy and in many cases takes less time than voting on election day as you will most likely not have to wait very long in a line.

  41. Katechon Says:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/26/is-there-a-d-c-whisper-campaign-against-marco-rubio/

    URL says it all

  42. Common Cents Says:

    28.

    I agree, if it’s not Romney/Rubio, Rubio declined. I would say then it’s McDonnell, Paul Ryan, and then Chris Christie. I would have to respectfully disagree that Jindal is even in the running. Romney is going to want to get the most bang out of his buck, getting a solid VP pick WHILE delivering a key state is going to be a must.

    Also, don’t underestimate the fact that Jindal endorsed the village idiot known as Rick Perry right out of the gate. That was clearly more a shot against Romney than it was pro-Perry, anyone could have seen from a mile away Perry was in over his head. The fact that Jindal still refused to back Romney when it was obvious this thing was over and Perry had long ago dropped out is also not going to help Jindal’s chances.

  43. Katechon Says:

    42- OK, I’ll ask one last time : DON’T YOU SEE THAT MCDONNELL WILL BE PROBLEMATIC TO SWING FEMALE VOTERS?

    — MA thesis
    — he just signed the ultrasound bill

    Right after Santorum scared the heck out of independent women with his crazy :let’s ban contraceptive ” talk

  44. Joe (Romney/Ryan/2012) Says:

    43
    No one will respond to me on these things when I bring them up. I was thrilled when McDonnell won but the way no discussion is sparked by the other issues the MSM will surely raise in week 1 of Romney/McDonnell really surprise me.

  45. Boomer Says:

    >>It’s easy to forget, given Romney’s frequently flailing campaign

    I guess frequently flailing is code for stomping the competition into dust.

    I’m still leaning McDonnell. The biggest whole in Romney’s resume is national defense. This is the problem many governors have, its why Bush when with Darth Cheney. McDonnell fills that whole along with executive leadership and great popularity in a key swing state.

  46. Joe (Romney/Ryan/2012) Says:

    33
    Rubio will be treated differently and will be quietly offered the chance to put forward a Sherman-esque denial if vetting fails. Neither side can look like they blew each other off

  47. Common Cents Says:

    43.

    No matter what, the Democrats are going to say the GOP is anti-women because we’re pro-life.
    The thesis “problem” was answered with McDonnell’s 20 point landslide victory when the Democrats tried to make it a cornerstone of their campaign, clearly it didn’t bother Virginia voters, which is a good sample of the nation at large.

    Also, my understanding is Mrs. McDonnell’s works outside the home, so the idea that because he wrote a Thesis in college decades ago about how it benefits children for a mother to stay at home is just not the deal breaker you seem to think it is.

  48. Katechon Says:

    47– you might be right. I doubt however that McDonnell would be able to attract enough social moderates. But I might be wrong

    Boomer’s point at #45 is also interesting

  49. Thomas Alan Says:

    35:

    Rubio was Speaker of the State House in Florida

    That is THE most overrated argument for Rubio there is. There have been SEVEN men who have been Speaker of the House in Florida in the last 10 years. Okay. They hand it out as basically a resume enhancer or an acknowledgement of service. In Rubio’s case it was given to him because he was an up and comer and the title impresses people who don’t know any better (like everyone who brings it up when talking about Rubio’s credentials).

    The position is not given to the most powerful person in the chamber or the leader of the party.

  50. Thomas Alan Says:

    Excuse me, six men.

  51. Thomas Alan Says:

    No, no, it was seven, miscounted my recount.

  52. Joe (Romney/Ryan/2012) Says:

    Campaigns are not about answering the big questions in politics but arguing about the questions themselves. In Romney’s case he has ZERO desire to define the questions of this campaign. He feels its the public that defines the questions and the politicians who provide possible answers. Whatever seems like the most important question in Aug 2012 Romney will try to provide the appropriate answer. Not directly but indirectly depending on the certainty

    Where will we be in August 2012
    1) If Israel goes after Iran then Romney will NOT pick someone who could in ANY way be picked apart as CinC (sorry but this would rule out Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, and Chris Christie….and there would be weird underground rumors about Sen. Jon Kyl being in the mix….no one would believe but he would make it to the final 4 for sure)
    2) If there are more debt downgrades then look to Ryan and look away from Jindal/Rubio but…it means Romney will double down on this being a conditions based election therefore VP pick should do no harm. Portman/McDonnell?
    3) If the economy gets much worse then definitely look to either Portman or McDonnell. Why get in the way of the coming wave
    4) If the economy gets much better then the pressure to pick a game changer…sorry. This is where Huckabee or Christie could be options

    my 2 cents

  53. Patrick Henry Says:

    29. Paul supporters can be like guys in a sinking boat. They want a new boat and to get it they’d rather shoot a bigger hole in the boat so it sinks faster. Never mind they’re miles from shore…

    Paul won’t plug the hole, he’s about a whole new boat. Romney will fix the hole and get us to shore so we can eventually get a new boat.

  54. rightgal Says:

    Pity we don’t have a Black Hispanic-Chinese female with a Purple husband and 14 kids she parented when single, who lived in South, but schooled in the North and was born in the West who has a Mother in Law who lives in New York and Sala dances on Wednesday and bowls on Friday. Someone who is reborn, but down to earth. We could run that person.

    How bout the best person for the job? New concept. Stop playing these ‘we need this color or that color’ person. If Jindal is the right person, Mitt will choose him. If he’s not, he won’t.

  55. Common Cents Says:

    49.

    I don’t think it’s a meaningless title, but regardless, Rubio’s experience in state government and then in the US Senate closely mirrors Obama’s. The argument that Rubio is too inexperienced to be VP nominee is just not going to gain any traction. The leap from sitting US Senator to Vice President is just not a big deal in most Americans’ minds.

    I wouldn’t get too caught up in resumes, if Biden and Obama flipped places, we’d still be in the same boat.

  56. mitch Says:

    Here is big govt Rick Santorum striking again:

    Writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer in the winter of 2008, the Pennsylvania Republican said that the government should “mandate” that “all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be ‘flex-fuel vehicles.'” Santorum knew that the idea would be controversial, and prefaced it by telling his “hard-core conservative friends” to “hold on to your hats.” But, he added, forcing cars to run on a blend of ethanol and gas, or a “coal-derived methanol/gas mixture,” would save oil and cost less than increasing fuel economy standards.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/rick-santorum-gas-prices_n_1380524.html

  57. Will Says:

    I am 100% on board with Jindal, but I do have to say that the needless Mitt bashing is getting really old MEM. Especially when you refuse to acknowledge the obvious reason for Mitt’s struggles in the south, as well as the fact that he hardly made a play in Louisiana. We get it … you don’t like Romney. He is the nominee though, and your bashing isn’t really getting us anywhere.

  58. johnnyG Says:

    Okay, everybody loves Marco Rubio. But he is literally the conservatives’ Obama – rising young star who is a powerful communicator with a great narrative. I thought we were the party of competence, as demonstrated by actual life experience? Jindal isn’t as powerful to listen to as Rubio, but he is perfect for doubling down on competence, which is the winning message for the conservative ticket – we will do more than give pretty speeches, we will change the scope and direction of our country.

    For conservatives to prop up Rubio as ticket material and bash Obama for his inexperience is as two-faced as denouncing Clinton for his lack of morals while giving a pass to Gingrich. (Note: I’m not buying the “VP is different that Pres” nonsense. Obama has been president for four years, and that doesn’t qualify him; his lack of real-world experience comes into play every day when he doesn’t understand how business owners think, or how to manage anything or show actual leadership. We shouldn’t pretend that we can throw anyone into the VP slot, regardless of prior experience. It hurts our brand.)

  59. johnnyG Says:

    57 – Will,

    MEM was a serious Mitt supporter in 2008, and has honestly tried to get behind him this go around. His opposition to Mitt isn’t biased or uninformed. Are you new here?

  60. Katechon Says:

    Ed morrissey, whom I respect a lot, on the Santorum outburst :

    ” Seriously, though, what a great way to end the first half of the primary season for Santorum. He got a big win in Louisiana on Saturday, and then an opportunity to pull a Newt Gingrich to fire up the base as the ten-day recess starts. That won’t hurt Santorum at all as he aims at Wisconsin’s April 3rd primary, which may not be a must-win for Santorum but comes about as close as it can to one.”

  61. Tommy R Says:

    Told you so. All about getting the base fired up against Romney but turning off the middle of the country.

  62. Will Says:

    59 – I’ve been around all year, though I have only started posting recently. He hasn’t seemed to try very hard, because like I said… he is purposely ignoring real dynamics in the race while lamenting some supposed incompetence on behalf of the Romney camp.

    Maybe he is just not as smart as he likes to pretend.

  63. Thomas Alan Says:

    I don’t think it’s a meaningless title

    More accurately, you don’t want it to be a meaningless title. Regardless, it is.

    but regardless, Rubio’s experience in state government and then in the US Senate closely mirrors Obama’s.

    Dan Quayle can tell you just how effective an argument THAT is.

    This is wishful thinking. Obama WAS hit hard on the inexperience thing. It was one of McCain’s most powerful messages until he decided he wanted to be rogue again and tapped Palin (making the experience argument null).

    More importantly, the media LOVES to make fun of Republicans even when they ignore the same stuff in Democrats. While they were able to eventually hush things up and present Obama as perfectly acceptable, they had no problem nailing Palin to the wall. They had no problem making fun of Quayle (despite a dozen years in office by that point).

  64. Will Says:

    58 – That is my concern about Rubio too. The best argument against Obama, if Romney is the nominee, is one based on competence and experience. Picking someone that does not have those qualities, but speaks well and is a minority, really hurts the message that Obama should never have been elected because of his lack of competence.

    I’m not saying Rubio is not competent. I think he would do just fine as a VP. But, the minute Mitt picks Rubio, dems will say he is just as unprepared as you are saying Obama is.

    Now, there are different ideological messages that would also work against Obama, but I think competence and experience ce are the best ones. That is why Jindal would be such a complimentary pick.

  65. Heath Says:

    Katche is right.

    McDonnell no longer has a chance thanks to Rush/Santy.

  66. Katechon Says:

    VP pick ”

    ” Pat Toomey, senator from Pennsylvania: call me nuts, but I think Toomey is a strong pick. His conservative bona fides – he is, for example, head of the Club for Growth – are pretty much unmatched. He has one of the most conservative voting records in the past 20 years; he was even cited in a debate by Romney as the “conservative choice”, over Arlen Specter, in the 2004 Pennsylvania Republican senate primary. Toomey is also from a potential swing state, Pennsylvania, which, if won by Romney, would probably clinch him the election.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/mar/26/mitt-romney-choose-vp-running-mate

  67. Will Says:

    66 – I do think Toomey would be in the list, but I just don’t think he is sexy enough. I think Mitt will be pretty limited in his choices. He needs to pick someone pre approved by the base. If he goes outside the box like McCain did, people will throw a fit.

    The pick isn’t about showing the base. It is about picking the best candidate for swing independent voters who will also not piss off the base. I think there is only a handful of such people.

  68. Katechon Says:

    66– btw, Harry Enten, the author of that article, is a very astute fellow. Follow him @ForecasterEnten

  69. Katechon Says:

    67—
    ” The pick isn’t about showing the base. It is about picking the best candidate for swing independent voters who will also not piss off the base”

    Words of wisdom, sir.

  70. aspire Says:

    I would expect Romney to pick a VP that has executive experience, can go on the offensive, is a skilled debater, doesn’t have anything too harmful in their past, and will follow Romney’s lead.

  71. Katechon Says:

    ” Rob Portman, senator from Ohio: Portman worked as trade representative and head of the Office of Management and Budget in the Bush administration, which gives him government financial bona fides to match Romney’s private-sector experience. He is widely respected among the Republican establishment, which keeps propping Romney up, and ran up the score in his 2010 Senate election. He’s also from the suburbs, of Cincinnati, Ohio – a crucial swing state – and it was the votes from these suburbs that won Romney the Ohio primary. In general, Portman is a sound choice with no obvious liabilities.”

    ” If Romney is running Obama very close in the polls come selection time, which is generally just prior to the convention, I’d predict he’ll take the safe option and go with Rob Portman. But if he’s behind and needs to make an attention-grabbing statement with his VP pick, my guess is he’ll match up with Marco Rubio”

  72. SGS Says:

    Fla Cons #28 – I like Rubio, too, but Mitt did say he wants the one who has executive experience. Rubio has not been a governor yet. I do not see his business background on Wiki. What executive experience can he offer on the ticket? Again, I understand very well that he reaches out to the people better than anyone at this time, but again, Mitt did specify executive experience.

    Perhaps he should consider running as Florida Governor before going national. We do need to get good men and women lined up for the years to come – Mitt from 2012 until 2019, then Jindal 2020 until 2027 and finally Rubio 2028 until 2036, eh?

  73. hamaca Says:

    57. Will,

    The resident beard-scratcher cabal here at race has certain unwritten rules. One of these is that you are uncool if you come across as too pro-Romney. This is why they always put in a disclaimer of some sort and say that they’ll vote for him, but will not campaign for him.

    I’m not sure of all the reasons for this oddity, however part of it may stem from a bit of disdain toward Romney supporters here. Sometimes we’re just too pro-Romney for their taste.

  74. hamaca Says:

    Perhaps the only benefit of a Senator over a Governor is that the Senator is involved in the day-to-day of the Senate’s issues, legislation, etc. A Governor has a steep learning curve. On the other hand, the leadership competence that some Governors have is an excellent qualification.

    We can laugh at Biden all we want, but that just makes it all the more critical that the bottom of the ticket outshine him.

  75. SGS Says:

    Joe (#52) I think you are correct. Mitt may have whine his choice down to 3 or 4, then whoever the final VP is depends greatly on the condition of this country by the summer time. If the war with Iran is more likely, he may pick one with more military background. If it’s the energy issue, then Jindal. If the economy remains front-most, then Ryan, though I’d like Ryan to stay within the Senate, where he can make the most difference.

  76. Liz Says:

    He’s a career politician, right?

  77. hamaca Says:

    76. Jindal? I think he worked for one of the largest and most prestigious management consulting firms, McKinsey, for a time. So he has a good combination of public/private sector experience.

  78. Thomas Alan Says:

    Perhaps he should consider running as Florida Governor before going national

    Good call. A certain Rick Scott is not likely to be governor come 2015.

  79. hamaca Says:

    78. Good idea, but with pros/cons/risks/benefits perhaps not too unlike the college freshman hoopster deciding whether to declare for the NBA draft or play at the collegiate level another year or two.

  80. Thomas Alan Says:

    79:

    If he can’t win an election in Florida as the most popular politician in a fairly red state, then he sure as hell isn’t ready to run for vice-president mainly on basic voter appeal.

  81. Common Cents Says:

    63.

    I don’t know where you got in in your head becoming Speaker of the Florida House is a meaningless title. He was Speaker from 2006 until he won his seat as US Senator, it certainly isn’t a participation award like you’re describing. It’s a leadership role that requires a majority of support within the chamber. Obama was never able to achieve that in Illinois.

    If the Democrats decide to make the election about how Rubio’s title as Speaker in Florida was meaningless, they’re losing.

    Rubio’s no Dan Quayle, Quayle got in trouble because he waded in issues he had no business (like single moms, rap music, JFK, spelling) it wasn’t the fact that he didn’t spend enough time in office.

    Democrats are TERRIFIED of Rubio, they would LOVE it if we put some boring bureaucrat on the ticket because it’s hard to argue the experience card against a sitting President.

  82. hamaca Says:

    80. Valid point. I’m referring, though, more to challenges he might face as governor as being the risk. Sometimes there are no-win situations that impact one’s reputation. Overall, if he could do a great job year in and year out, he’d be tough to beat at the top of the ticket.

  83. aj rabin Says:

    BOBBY JINDAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOBBY JINDAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOBBY JINDAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  84. Thomas Alan Says:

    81:

    I don’t know where you got in in your head becoming Speaker of the Florida House is a meaningless title.

    Look it up. It’s not that big of a deal.

    We’ve already chosen at least the next three Speakers (who are patiently waiting their turn). That’s how much of a joke the office is. They’re all backing Romney BTW.

    http://politics.nsfblogs.com/2011/10/05/next-three-house-speakers-to-back-romney/

    Rubio’s no Dan Quayle, Quayle got in trouble because he waded in issues he had no business (like single moms, rap music, JFK, spelling) it wasn’t the fact that he didn’t spend enough time in office.

    You must be pretty young.

    Quayle was pilloried when he was chosen as being too young and inexperienced (4 years in the U.S. House and 8 in the U.S. Senate mind you). The whole JFK think was Quayle’s attempt to deflect the issue by bringing up a Democrat president’s record and comparing himself to it. It backfired, big time. Quayle never recovered.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWXRNySMW4s

    As you can see in that link, it was such a lingering issue that Quayle was asked about it three different times before bringing up JFK (against his handlers advice btw).

    Misspelling potato and Murphy Brown happened later. After his reputation was in taters and he was being treated as a national joke.

  85. Johnny Says:

    I am fine with Bobby Jindal. I would be fine with Marco Rubio. I would be fine with Rand Paul. I, actually, would be fine with John Huntsman (but that would be too much Mormon for everyone). I am NOT fine with Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich. I am NOT fine with Sarah Pailin. But in the end, I am very pro Romney, and I will trust his advisors and organization to come up with the right running mate in the fall.

  86. Thomas Alan Says:

    81:

    I don’t know where you got in in your head becoming Speaker of the Florida House is a meaningless title.

    Look it up. It’s not that big of a deal.

    We’ve already chosen at least the next three Speakers (who are patiently waiting their turn). That’s how much of a joke the office is. They’re all backing Romney BTW.

    http://politics.nsfblogs.com/2011/10/05/next-three-house-speakers-to-back-romney/

  87. Thomas Alan Says:

    Rubio’s no Dan Quayle, Quayle got in trouble because he waded in issues he had no business (like single moms, rap music, JFK, spelling) it wasn’t the fact that he didn’t spend enough time in office.

    You must be pretty young.

    Quayle was pilloried when he was chosen as being too young and inexperienced (4 years in the U.S. House and 8 in the U.S. Senate mind you). The whole JFK think was Quayle’s attempt to deflect the issue by bringing up a Democrat president’s record and comparing himself to it. It backfired, big time. Quayle never recovered.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWXRNySMW4s

    As you can see in that link, it was such a lingering issue that Quayle was asked about it three different times before bringing up JFK (against his handlers advice btw). Once again, this is with a political resume that Rubio couldn’t even begin to compare himself to.

    Misspelling potato and Murphy Brown happened later. After his reputation was in taters and he was being treated as a national joke.

  88. Thomas Alan Says:

    81:

    SNL’s version of Dan Quayle…a child.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7msao_saturday-night-live-george-bush-col_fun

  89. Marksal Says:

    I think it would step on Mitt’s narrative if he chose somebody without business experience as his VP. From what I can tell, Rubio and Ryan lack business experience, while Jindal, Toomey, McDonnell and Daniels have it. Does Fortuno? Now, that guy as VP would really shake up the election.

  90. JBinTenn Says:

    Jindal would be a good choice if the election is fought on Health Care and Energy. He has a broad backround of experience, is a minority and super smart.

    Question is would he bring new voters to Mitt? He could solidify the Conservative base, and that would help. But, a Rubio or Fortuno could break Obama’s hold on the fastest growing voter block and insure Republicans have a future in Presidential elections. They could pull Mitt votes in every section of the nation.

  91. K.G. Says:

    There’s a lot good re: Jindal IMO. One thing I like is he’s had (baaad) personal experiences with Obama and doesn’t mind talking about it.

  92. economy Says:

    The unusual aspect of this boat is the engine style. Most if not all of the competition boats from that era used modified aircraft engines. Liberty, Roll Royce, Packard etc., they were all low rpm engines by design. The V16 Millers are twin overhead cam and 6000+ RPM!!! The shop which restored these commented when I asked them what they sound like, “Top Fuel dragster”! And these people know engines, Zakira’s Garage in Ohio. Miller configured four 4 cyl. iron blocks on one aluminum crankcase to make the 1113 ci. V16. The independent 4 cyl. block actually evolved into the famous Offenhauser engines! This is documented in the book about Harry Miller. These “only two in the world” engines are referred to as the Grandfather of the Offenhauser. So yes, much noise with four superchargers, 32 cylinders which were close to 70 ci each, and you are sitting 3 feet behind them eye level with the exhaust stacks. 3600 total horsepower in 1930 going close to 100 mph on the water!

  93. MarqueG Says:

    Great post, MEM. I’m stunned at the amount of consensus here, and all I have to add is, Me too!

    Jindal underlines the case for competence. And K.G. adds another interesting argument: that Jindal is uniquely positioned to bring the case, “I, too, was harmed by Obama’s policies.”

  94. la enchiladita Says:

    Jindal’s been my choice for awhile, mainly on instinct and his public pronouncements re Keystone and handling of the BP crisis. I was not aware of the extent and depth of his high quality resume. This further reassures me that not only is he VP material for this ticket at this time, but he is presidential material.

    If we don’t get Jindal on board to encourage a Southern surge, we may have to look to “Junior.” :):)

  95. la enchiladita Says:

    21. Mitt doesn’t need Rubio in order to win New Mexico in the general. Susana Martinez was generously aided by Romney in her successful bid for NM governor. She will help him back.

    75. Paul Ryan is not a Senator. He is a Representative from the state of Wisconsin. Imho, Ryan is becoming something of a liability to the GOP cause by being identified with entitlement cuts (including veterans’ benefits) without any spending cuts. He is not selling the budget well to the public but seems out of touch, instead. Jindal, on the other hand, entitles his missive on the subject, “Saving Medicare.” This is important; it shows he understands the concerns of the public. The House Budget Committee only approved the budget bill by 19-18, with two Rs voting NO. The objection of those two Rs was that the bill did not slash spending enough.

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