With the Republican nomination wrapped up for Mitt Romney, the attention now turns to who will be his running mate. There are a lot of great choices to choose from and this decision should be well thought out and taken very seriously. Picking the wrong running mate could have disastrous consequences.
Most vice presidential picks in history have not created a lot of fanfare however as John McCain found out in 2008 it can have a significant impact. When John McCain chose Sara Palin as his running mate he was trying to woo conservatives on his right and halt the momentum Obama was gaining with his rock star image. Palin was not what one would describe as a milk toast safe run of the mill pick. The pick seen as that in 2008 ironically was Mitt Romney.
The fatal mistake that the McCain campaign made in 2008 was they allowed the Leftist’s in the media to write the narrative on Sara Palin. They made her out to be a joke with little to no experience while hiding the fact that their chosen choice (Obama) had even less experience then her.
One could argue that Sara Palin was the most experienced person running out of all four candidates in both parties. Joe Biden’s experience was as a Senator casting votes for the last thirty plus years. This is not real experience. John McCain has also been casting votes for almost as long however he did run the largest Navy Fleet in US history during war time. That is real experience. Barack Obama was a community organizer and a Senator for only 143 days. One could argue he had the least amount of experience of all the candidates running.
Sara Palin was a small business owner, mayor of a small town, and then the executive of an entire state when she was Governor of Alaska. This is real experience. She had to make real decisions on a daily basis. She had to create and balance budgets. She had to hire staff and make payrolls. She had to allocate funds, cut taxes, and keep the state running and prospering. This is real experience.
It is a real shame that the media felt so threatened by this smart dynamic woman that they would stop at nothing to viciously attack her, her family, and destroy her.
Historically a vice presidential pick’s number one job is to do no harm. The vice president is supposed to be an extension of the presidential nominee. They are supposed to support the nominee’s vision for America and never be controversial or a distraction.
Secondly, they are usually supposed to help deliver a certain state, region, or segment of the voting population that the nominee may be struggling to capture.
Lastly, they need to have close to the same amount of experience that the nominee has in case they ever need to take over for the President.
It is for these reasons why the State of Florida should be where the next Republican vice presidential pick should come from. The two candidates that I will highlight fit most of the three requirements.
The first candidate is Senator Marco Rubio. Senator Rubio is a rising star in the Republican Party and a Tea Party favorite. He has a great story as the son of Cuban immigrants who came here to escape Castro’s ruthless regime. Born and raised in Miami, Florida Rubio truly had the opportunities to make the American dream come true and he made the most of it. He graduated from the University of Florida and then went on to get his law degree from the prestigious University of Miami Law School. Rubio later became a member of the Florida Legislature and eventually the Speaker of the House in the Florida Senate.
When he ran against and successfully defeated former Governor Charlie Crist for the US Senate he was a relative unknown. Rubio was well known in Florida but not on a National level. Since his victory in 2010 he has gotten a lot more name recognition and the more people see and hear him the more popular he has become.
Rubio is a young, smart, and reliable conservative with a great record that will satisfy the right and play very well with independents. Rubio could help deliver the electorate rich state of fForida to the Republicans and capture the growing Hispanic vote in swing states where there is a large number of Hispanic voters.
Senator Rubio’s only achilles heel that I see is his level of experience does not match that of Romney’s. The Left will try to say Rubio does not have enough experience but that is a dangerous argument for them to make as it could potentially alienate Hispanic voters. The media will also try but ultimately fail to paint Romney as a panderer for the Hispanic vote. Rubio could be seen as a smart pick and could keep the Presidency in Republican hands for the next sixteen years assuming Romney wins this term and the next.
The other candidate who I think would be a great choice is former Colonel and current Congressman Allen West. Allen West is a very outspoken firebrand type of Conservative. He is someone the late Andrew Breitbart would be proud of. He is exactly what a safe pick would not look like however he is passionate and smart enough to allow his and Romney’s message of low taxes and limited government to resonate, especially with independents. West comes with a ton of military experience and offsets Romney’s lack of military experience on the ticket. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Colonel West has won numerous awards and medals in his long distinguished military career. He is the recipient of The Bronze Star, The Meritorious Service Medal, The Army Commendation Medal and The Army Achievement Medal.
On top of all his military achievements Colonel West managed to find the time to graduate from the University of Tennessee and earn a Masters Degree in Political Science from Kansas State University.
Another factor that makes West a good choice is diversity. The Republican Party has been painted unfairly for way too long by the left as the “Old White Man’s Party”. The true racist’s can usually be found more in the Democrat Party as they are the ones who usually like to bring up race when they can not win the argument. Allen West happens to be Black. This could be a huge plus for not only Republicans fighting that stigma but for the country as a whole. He can offer a stark difference to independently thinking Black voters who are disappointed with Obama. He will artfully be able to show Black Americans the ills of their ways by blindly voting Democrat and pointing out how as a community the Republican Party offers a better vision. In my estimation he could potentially help Republicans peel away 15 to 18 percent of the Black vote from Democrats.
There are other good choices from different states and backgrounds such as Congressman Paul Ryan, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley just to name a few.
However when it comes to picking up certain segments of voters and strategically winning Electorate votes in a swing state, Florida has the ripest fruit to choose from.
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