Romney’s Running Mate, The U.S. news media are rife with speculation about Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Susana Martinez, Bob McDonnell or Rob Portman as possible running mates for Mitt Romney.
It’s the time of the political season when conjecture runs wild, much of it ill-informed. Mr. Romney’s choice of a vice-presidential candidate will evolve, in ways unforeseeable today, over the next four months.
In weighing the reliability of columns or stories that tell you Mr. Romney is most comfortable with Mr. Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman and budget policy wonk, or that Mr. Rubio, the young Cuban-American freshman senator from Florida, is the linchpin to the Latino vote, consider these examples from recent elections: In April 2000, the leading Democratic contenders were supposed to be Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts or John Edwards of North Carolina. The nominee, Vice President Al Gore, did pick a Democratic senator: Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.
“There was a longer list of Republican contenders that year when Dick Cheney, the former congressman and defense secretary, was tapped to head a search committee. Right before the summer convention, George W. Bush selected Mr. Cheney, who hadn’t been on any list.
Four years ago, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware was considered one of the leading contenders. But on the Republican side, John McCain could not have picked Sarah Palin out of a lineup in April 2008. He barely knew who she was when he selected her four months later.
Then there’s the supposed electoral weight some candidates bring: Mr. Rubio in Florida or Mr. Portman in Ohio. Yet over the past 40 years and 10 presidential elections, no running mate has made the difference in carrying a state.