Wednesday, July 23, 2008

McCain-Romney Ticket Best for GOP in 2008

The web is all aflutter about John McCain’s pick for vice presidential running mate. Speculation has centered on two leading candidates (unless we are all victims of a giant head-fake which is easily possible.)

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and current Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty are who pundits identify as the likely pair of finalists.

Both come from “blue” states with only Pawlenty holding out any promise of carrying his home state.

Both are Washington outsiders.

Both are much younger than the septuagenarian John McCain.

Both lay claim to representing the Republican Party’s conservative base.

Both are pro-life.

But these similarities only hint at the true benefits of the two.

Despite today’s CNN report boosting the prospects of a McCain-Pawlenty ticket, the GOP nominee ought to go with the “safe” pick and tap his former rival Mitt Romney as his veep. That conclusion shouldn’t surprise readers of Willet Creek Dam since I supported Romney during the primaries. But this is not just an exercise in accepting half-a-loaf since my guy lost the presidential nomination.

Romney actually compliments McCain’s profile nicely. He’s inarguably an economic expert that can authoritatively counter the relentless gloom and doom messages about the economy coming from the media and Democrats. He’s proven his job creation skills in the private sector and his fiscal accountability credentials by his rescue of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

He’s a relentless champion of conservative causes from the sanctity of marriage to pro-growth tax policy.

Moreover, he’s vetted. We all know how disciplined and sharp Romney is on the stump and in debates. And most important, he literally drinks milk. There are no personal skeletons in his closet that threaten to burst forth and embarrass the ticket.

John McCain should take advantage of Mitt Romney’s undeniable assets as a candidate, fundraiser and campaigner.
I believe a McCain-Romney ticket would bolt out of the gate with an excellent chance to win the election in 15 short weeks. Conversely, I fear a McCain-Pawlenty ticket could become bogged down in our collective learning about the Number Two candidate and finding out if that man is up to the challenge.

Mitt Romney might be the safe pick. But in this case, “safe” is just another name for the smart choice.

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