NEWS BLOG: What I’m reading – Tomasky on Romney’s VP search


Michael Tomasky’s article on the Daily Beast this morning offers a good bit of insight (OK: insight from a liberal’s viewpoint) into the challenge Mitt Romney is facing as he tries to pick a vice presidential candidate.

Romney’s problem, says Tomasky, is that he has to pick someone who’ll reassure the Republican Party’s conservative base. Ideally, suggests Tomasky, the VP pick would be an open, ardent evangelical “or a fellow traveler.”

But Romney also has to pick someone who is qualified to serve as president. And the list of people who meet all of those criteria is very thin, says Tomasky.

Tomasky runs through the list of people said to be under consideration, details their problems, and comes up with an interesting name of his own: someone isn’t on the list of potentials but who does indeed meet most of the criteria (I’m not sure about this one being qualified to serve, but Tomasky seems to be).

There’s plenty more, and it’s a fun read.



  1. “But Romney also has to pick someone who is qualified to serve as president. And the list of people who meet all of those criteria is very thin, says Tomasky.”

    Since when does a presidential candidate have to pick a VP who is qualified to be president (particularly since many of the recent presidential candidates themselves can hardly be said to fill that bill)?

    As to VP candidates who were hardly presidential timber, do any of these names ring a bell…?

    Eagleton (oops, strike that)
    etc., etc., etc.

  2. cliint · · Reply

    I am reading Robert Caro’s new book in the series on Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was chosen because of his ability to bring southern vote in line for Kennedy. Romney should be chosing a VP candidate that can help him in some swing states. I am sure, Mary Anna, that you would like to debate the choice he will make as an up, down, vote on whether the choice is a good replacement President…I believe the Kennedy path will be the one followed.

    1. Clint – In suggesting that Obama dump Joe Biden and replace him with someone else you’re asking him to display more political sophistication and less arrogance than he has shown us to date. Few would argue that Biden has become a liability. But he’s Obama’s hand picked VP and it is extremely doubtful that The One will ever admit he made a mistake when he picked The Two in 2008.

      Personally I’d like to see Biden replaced with Hillary. But I doubt Hillary would want to risk going down with Obama’sinking ship if he loses this fall nor, if he’s re-elected, does she want to perform a do-nothing role for four years even if it gave her a leg up on the 2016 presidential nomination. And Obama certainly knows that, if re-elected, he’ll be overshadowed, and rightfully so, by the Clintons for his entire second term.

  3. Shows how clueless liberals are about people not exactly like them. Huckabee does nothing to reassure the base. He’s not necessarily all that reliably conservative to begin with, especially on economics, and his folksy bleeding heart shtick, though sincere, is a big turnoff for a swath of non-religious libertarians.

    1. j.a.m. – Congratulations on having the honesty to admit that, when it comes to putting forward VP candidates, Conservatives prefer people “exactly like them”. People like Agnew, Quayle, Cheney and Palin.

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