The other night on Twitter, I went back and forth with Dustin Stockton about whom Mitt Romney should select as his VP. Over on Right Wing News, I’ve already written an article that goes 30 picks deep cataloguing the candidates from which Mitt Romney is LIKELY to select his VP. If you were laying odds, there’s probably a 95% chance that Mitt’s selection will come off of that list.
On the other hand, here are the candidates I WOULD LIKE Mitt Romney to select as his VP. These wouldn’t be the top horses to lay your money down on, but they’re the ones I’d feel best about as a Tea Party conservative.
7) Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Congresswoman, Washington): She’s a member of leadership with a solid conservative voting record, personable, and could help Romney connect with female voters. Also, the poll numbers in Washington state look soft enough for Obama that, yes, McMorris could put that state and its 12 electoral votes in play.
6) Allen West (Congressman, Florida): He’s conservative and not afraid to take on the Left, the media, or anybody else if need be. He’s probably a little inexperienced for the job and it’s hard to say how much West would help with bringing the black vote and Florida into Romney’s column, but having a tell-it-like-it-is conservative like West in the White House would be incredible!
5) Marsha Blackburn (Congresswoman, Tennessee): Blackburn is a charismatic, funny, attractive conservative congresswoman from Tennessee who’s in tight with the Tea Party and has racked up 100% ACU ratings in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010. She’s a conservative rock star waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
4) Scott Walker (Governor, Wisconsin): A lot of people talk the talk about governing conservatively. Walker, at great political risk to himself, walked the walk, proved his conservative policies were good for the state, and then beat the unions again in a high profile recall election. He also might be able to turn Wisconsin red, which would be a huge feat. He’s not the most experienced guy around, but having two Washington outsiders taking on two Washington insiders might not be the worst thing in the world.
3) Newt Gingrich (Former Speaker of the House, Georgia): Simply put, despite his many flaws, he was the single most qualified man to be President running in the GOP primaries. Also, as a practical matter, other than Reagan, nobody actually managed to get more conservative legislation passed than Newt. On top of that, he’s a brilliant debater, a ferocious attacker, a big idea guy, could help swing North Carolina and Virginia, and selecting him would help heal some of the wounds left over from the primaries.
2) Pat Toomey (Senator, Pennsylvania): He’s a diehard fiscal conservative who used to run the Club for Growth, he’s popular with the base, and he could help swing Pennsylvania — which is a key state that’s in play this year.
1) Jim DeMint (Senator, South Carolina): There is absolutely nobody in Congress I trust more than Jim DeMint. This is a guy who was slapped around by leadership during the Bush years and not only did he not give in, he created his own PAC and supported Tea Party conservatives across the country. He’s not the most charismatic guy in the world, but he’s smart, has experience in the Senate and would help Romney in Virginia and North Carolina.