United States Vice President 2012

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The Republican Nominee

Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan for Vice President on the morning of August 11, 2012, making Ryan one of the youngest Vice Presidential nominees in history. In choosing Ryan, Romney is challenging the Democrats to make the economy the central issue of the campaign.

Romney passed over these conservatives: Allen West, John Kasich, Bob McDonnell, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Michele Bachmann, and Marco Rubio. Romney also passed over these candidates, each of whom would have been stronger than Ryan: Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.

Candidate Pros Cons
Paul Ryan Known widely, has a strong command of economic issues, is young and energetic, is likely to defeat his opponent Joe Biden in any debates, and has been tested by the media more so than other candidates. Ryan is likely to attract a substantial bloc of Irish voters to the ticket. Ryan has a pro-life voting record. Makes Wisconsin—a key swing state—winnable for Romney. Ryan's Medicare proposals attract criticism and could become fodder for negative ads by the Dems - but that may help Romney by reminding voters of the economic issues. Also, Ryan himself is not that popular with voters and chose not to win a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin, but perhaps that does not matter in a V.P. (as the unpopular Dick Cheney demonstrated).

The Runners Up

Runners Up Pros Cons
Bob McDonnell Conservative with a good military record ... and low-key just as good V.P. should be, to make the presidential candidate look better. He would bring Virginia to the Republican column for the election, obviating the need for the campaign to run TV ads in the costly D.C. media market; likely to attract Irish voters to the ticket. Liberals try, often unsuccessfully, to claim he is somehow anti-women
Rob Portman With the election probably decided in the swing state of Ohio, as it was in 2004, picking someone from Ohio might help. Might not be conservative enough, too much of an establishment type, and does not bring a voting bloc to the ticket.
Kelly Ayotte Helps with women, intelligent Moderate record from Northeast
Chris Christie His blunt, unscripted style would make anyone at the top of the ticket look presidential. As "Romney-lite", he would add little to a Romney ticket.
Marco Rubio Romney probably appreciates how Rubio endorsed him and had harsh words about Gingrich ads during the Florida primary; Fox News Channel promotes Rubio heavily. Rubio has accomplished little in the Senate and polls suggest that (unlike Jeb Bush) Rubio would not attract Latino voters to a Romney ticket.
Allen West Would energize the conservative base, while also taking the race issue off the table and helping the ticket carry must-win Florida. Speaks his mind, which is refreshing but could upstage the top of the ticket.
Condoleezza Rice Foreign policy experience, popular and can help with women and minorities Pro-choice, never held elected office, heavily linked to unpopular Bush administration
Haley Barbour Would help bring the South on board for a Romney ticket. May not want the job.
Mike Huckabee Would help bring evangelicals on board for a Romney ticket. Has been out of politics for a while, and his record as governor does not shine with the test of time.
Newt Gingrich Would appeal to conservatives and as a southerner, would balance the ticket as Romney is a northerner. Heated primary season would be used against the ticket
Rick Santorum Some conservatives still support him. Endorsed RINO Jon Bruning for U.S. Senate, who then lost; Santorum's abrupt exit from the race and subsequent endorsement of Romney left some conservatives wondering why he was even running.
Rick Perry Substantive executive experience passing conservative and pro-life legislation Most likely content in the position he's in now as Governor of Texas, admits he's not the showiest debater
Rand Paul Would bring the Ron Paul supporters on board.
Michele Bachmann Would appeal to conservatives and put liberals in an awkward position when they say the ticket is engaging in a "war on women"
Tim Pawlenty Gets along well with Romney, natural on stump with him Not exciting at all, fades into background
Jim DeMint
Ken Cuccinelli
Bobby Jindal
Mitch Daniels
Jan Brewer Would keep a strong ticket against illegal aliens and helps with women Would mobilize Hispanic activists against ticket in full force, the media and Democrats would not stop talking about how the ticket's "anti-immigrant" so she's probably content doing job as Governor

Potential Democratic Candidates

Candidate Pros Cons MSNBC exposure
Joe Biden Helped win in 2008. Widely recognized to be a buffoon, Biden may not be helping the ticket any longer.
Harry Reid Could negate Romney's fundraising advantage, and may want to leave the Senate before the Democrats lose their majority. A replacement by Obama would be viewed as a sign of weakness.

Minor Parties

Party Candidate Comments
Green Party Cheri Honkala
Libertarian Party Jim Gray


See also