It’s no surprise that John McCain is not the most conservative Republican in the Senate. In fact, he ranks 21 on the conservative scale, if you count the ties as one, and 38th most conservative is you count each individual.
Needless to say, being 38th would rank you close to the middle of the road. In order for him to balance his ticket, he needs a much stronger conservative who can bring something new to the table for him.
Some of the names out there are Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN). Pawlenty has shown that he can be somewhat conservative and has been a good Governor in that Minnesota, as well as the other states with Republican Governors and at least one chamber of the state legislature in Republican hands are not as bad off fiscally as those states with Democrats in control.
The problem with Pawlenty is that he is not loved by conservatives and in all likelihood cannot deliver Minnesota to the Republicans. In the last 60 years, Minnesota has only gone for a Republican twice. In 1956 and in 1972. It is also a state that increased its margin between 2000 and 2004 for the democrats. Pawlenty has a large role in the National Convention as the host Governor and I don’t see McCain picking him because of that role, amongst other reasons.
Gov. Tom Ridge (R-PA-RET) is another name that he has ruled out, and with good reason. I don’t think he can deliver Pennsylvania and he is not well liked at all by the conservative base.
Governors Charlie Crist (R-FL), Jon Huntsman (R-UT) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) are well liked by conservatives, but they don’t really bring anything new to the table for McCain. They are all Governors in states that will easily be won by McCain even without their names on the ballot.
Gov. Mike “Huck Finn” Huckabee (R-AR-RET) is a terrible bet. He has so infuriated the hundreds of thousands of Republicans that supported Romney with his constant and continuing rhetoric against Romney. He stayed in the primary race just to spite Romney and ensure that he would not become the nominee. If McCain picks him, we still lose Arkansas and we lose a handful of other states because the Romney supporters will not vote to make Huck Finn the 2012 nominee.
Cong. Rob Portman (R-OH-RET) and SOS Condaleezza Rice also add something to the ticket and are well liked by conservatives. Portman can help in Ohio and Rice can help with women, but their problem is that both are members of the Bush Administration and have been so vilified by the left and the media that I think they could cause more harm than good.
Now comes Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA-RET). Conservatives love him and he has shown that he can get elected in one of the most liberal states in the country. He has great executive experience and has worked well with both parties while remaining a conservative.
Romney also brings Michigan to the table. The Romney name is still popular in Michigan and he can deliver Michigan, knowing that he will probably be the nominee in 2012.
Michigan is a state that has voted for Republicans in 27 of the last 37 presidential elections. It wasn’t until 1992 that the Republicans lost Michigan in repeated elections. However, the state is in such poor financial condition with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and the people of Michigan seem to be smart enough to know that it is not the Federal Government but the State Government that is at fault. They are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Democrats that control their state that we are within earshot of winning the state back.
In fact, since 1992, the Republicans have continuously closed the gap in every Presidential election. In 2004, the gap went from 508,000 votes to 165,000 votes.
Romney brings executive experience, financial prowess and Michigan to the table. He is the right pick for McCain to finally solidify the conservative base not to mention that Biden has no chance in debates with Romney.