The Myth of a Romney/Rubio Ticket

As we’re entering this election cycle’s veep-stakes and pundits are throwing names around with alacrity, one name on everyone’s short list is Marco Rubio.  With their recent appearances together, a potential Romney/Rubio ticket created quite the excitement, and the speculation is now whether Rubio was too strident in his denial that he wouldn’t accept the vice president’s job if offered.  He needn’t worry, it won’t be.

I’ve been watching and listening to Romney since the very first Republican primary debate at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire back in May 2011.  The man who first spoke there is not the same man spoke last night at the podium in Manchester.  From what I’ve seen recently, Romney is switching into his “Bain” mode.  And that means tough, deliberate, and calculating.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney (Jennifer Kourkounis-Getty images)

Rubio is attractive for many reasons.  He’s an excellent speaker, which is important in this current climate of sound bites and 140 character tweets.  He’s also intelligent, ambitious, and pragmatic, the latter two qualities very key attributes necessary for a politician who’s aiming for the White House.  And make no mistake, that is Rubio’s game plan — to be the first Hispanic-american president of the United States.  For that reason alone, Rubio isn’t interested in the Vice President offer, even if Romney decides he wants only one term in office, if elected.

But Romney won’t offer the position to Rubio.  One of his ‘must have’ criteria for a running mate is that the person is experienced and capable of stepping into the executive role of President, if necessary.  That person is not Marco Rubio.  John Dickerson stated in his recent article in Slate, “Marco Rubio is this year’s Sarah Palin.”  Well, not quite.  The excitement may be the same at the onset, but Sarah had a different kind of experience than Marco’s.  She was a governor vs. his being a senator.  Apples and oranges.

Romney is going to be very deliberate about his choice of a running mate.  As a politician, he’s cognizant of the electoral road map.  However, in this decision, he’ll be approaching it like a CEO/businessman.   The tenor of his campaign has been his strength in the private sector and his knowledge about how the economy works.  His choice for VP, my guess, will be someone who shares that knowledge, or at the very least, respects the private sector and understands that it, and not the government, is the nation’s economic engine.

Will Romney wait until the convention to announce his choice?  Maybe, maybe not.  But what my instincts tell me, from what I’ve seen so far, Romney will get it right.

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