article in "The Weekly Standard" that has been causing a fair bit of discussion. If you haven't read it already, go take a look because I think it sums up the choice that Mitt Romney faces before him.
I've made it clear before that I would pick Condoleezza Rice in a heartbeat, but it seems that that is not the case, mainly because she has been listed to speak formally at the convention in a different capacity. Bah!
So Kristol and Hayes propose that the four candidates left are:
1. Paul Ryan
2. Marco Rubio
3. Rob Portman
4. Tim Pawlenty
Other sources, such as this morning's Wall Street Journal, having pointed to a possible option of Chris Christie, but let's keep it to these four because I think Christie is just a bit of wishful thinking - I can't foresee a situation where Romney picks Christie.
The first two are identified as "bold" picks, while the latter two are "safe" picks. While I agree with the separation, I'd be more likely to label Portman and Pawlenty as disastrous picks, while the only two viable options out of these four are Ryan and Rubio.
My reasoning is thus: basic poll analysis tells us that it's tight, with Obama probably having an ever-so-slight edge based on the various swing-states he can win. There are a few possible factors that can boost Romney into victory, and he needs them. They include the unemployment numbers (which won't be going down significantly anytime soon), issues to do with money (O is already spent up), the debates (maybe, maybe not) and the convention, where the challenger will always attract more attention than the incumbent.
One of the ways he could take advantage of the prospect for a boost from the convention is by picking someone interesting as a VP, the same way in which Palin attracted interest initially in 08. Romney's biggest weakness at the moment is that he is dull, and so what he doesn't need is more dullness from a Portman or Pawlenty who, frankly, bring nothing to the table.
If Romney had a 10 point lead, I'd say go for the safe choice, don't rock the boat, and let's coast to victory. But Romney can't afford to coast to victory, this race is tight, tight, tight. He needs to spice it up, and take advantage of the possible boost.
He has given a great case for why Obama shouldn't be president. Now he needs to bring attention to why Romney should be President. One of the great ways to do this is to fire a bolt of interest into the campaign by picking a Rubio or a Ryan (preferably Ryan, but that's for another blog post), and take advantage of the opportunity to tell America why the Romney ticket is something that people should really be excited to vote for.