Those of you who who started off as readers of the ACT Blog probably are not surprised to see a pro-Romney post with my name it, but a McCain/Romney ticket has now drawn the support of Karl Rove, Ann Coulter, and others, and that makes it more than just the dream of overly optimistic “Rombots” – it makes it a real possibility that deserves a closer look.
Like any ticket, this match-up has its naysayers: those who argue that McCain and Romney dislike each other, that McCain wants to reward a loyal supporter, or that Romney has better opportunities available to him. But when you set aside what happened in the primaries, you begin to realize just how strong of a ticket it would be – on virtually all fronts.
Often, when it comes time to choose a Vice President, a party’s nominee will take one of two approaches: either opting for party unity, by choosing another primary contender, usually the first runner-up (see Kerry/Edwards and Reagan/Bush), or for a “balanced” ticket, either regionally, ideologically, or in the areas of experience or knowledge on a particular set of issues (see Kennedy/Johnson). One of the advantages of having Romney as the VP is that he would fulfill all of those roles. Not only did he receive the second highest number of delegates, be he would be able to compliment McCain in a way that few, if any, other potential running mates can. A McCain/Romney ticket would pair an older, more moderate, Washington insider who is strong on defense issues with a younger, more conservative, Washington outsider who is strong on immigration, the economy, and social issues. Romney also comes with other advantages. While McCain won many states, in general, he either won states that the Republicans will definitely win, or states that they will definitely lose. The only swing state that he won against any real competition was Florida. Romney, on the other hand, did well in the two regions of the country that will decide the election: the West, and the Midwest. Four of Romney’s victories came in the key swing states of Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, and Colorado. Also, Romney has the advantage of already having been vetted in a national contest, as well as solid Internet and financial support – both of which could be key to a McCain victory in the general election.
I’m going to stop short of an endorsement, but it is very clear to me that McCain/Romney is one of, if not the strongest ticket that the GOP could put together.