By Shannon Brown / current.com
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is looking for a running mate who will complement his strengths and shore up his support in his areas of weakness. That's no surprise. But what is raising eyebrows for many is that early front-runner Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a strong conservative and the son of Cuban immigrants who was seen as a draw for both the increasingly important Hispanic vote and for swing-state Florida voters — seems to have slipped from the short list.
The Romney camp remains tight-lipped about its possible veep selection, but while The Washington Post and others are reporting that Rubio is being "seriously vetted" as a candidate, the general consensus is that Rubio may be bypassed.
At The Christian Science Monitor, Linda Feldmann wonders what's going on and sees the confusion as part of a larger caution on the part of the Romney campaign:
So is Rubio under consideration or not? It never made sense for him not to be, or at least for the Romney campaign to appear to be considering him by asking for the usual documents. Rubio is a young, charismatic, Hispanic conservative from a top battleground state, Florida. In recent weeks, his star had waned as a possible running mate, as safer choices emerged as more likely — people like Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.
Rubio, the new conventional wisdom went, is too young (early 40s) and untested. In short, he could have become another Sarah Palin, a choice that electrifies the conservative GOP base but isn't widely perceived as being ready to be president on Day One if need be. Romney's management style suggests that he's not a gambler like 2008 GOP nominee John McCain, who selected Ms. Palin, the charismatic, but (at the time) nationally untested governor of Alaska.
At the ABC blog The Note, Arlette Saenz sees the Romney camp's caution as less about his predecessor's loss and more about Romney's own long history of caution in business and in politics:
The AP's Philip Elliott reported how Romney would employ a familiar method in his selection of a running mate — the Bain way." 'A businessman at his core, Mitt Romney was legendary in the private sector for his reliance on reams of information and extensive research to decide which companies to take over. When interviewing potential employees, he favored question-and-answer sessions designed to make recruits think on their feet and provide clues about how they approached situations," Elliott wrote. "I like gathering data and information so that you don't just have people just expressing their opinions, but you actually have numbers and facts and figures and people to look to and to find out what's really happening,' Romney told C-SPAN recently. ëAnd then with the information you have, you make the decision
Now, as the Republican presidential candidate weighs a running mate, it's a good bet that he's relying on that same methodical approach and interviewing style that he honed at Bain and Co. and the private equity firm he helped start, Bain Capital. The style even has its own name: the Bain Way."
The Wall Street Journal's Colleen McCain Nelson notes that many of Romney's potential running mates have joined him on his current bus tour and that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty appears to have emerged from that trip as the man to beat:
Meantime, attention increasingly is turning to Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and onetime Romney primary-season foe. Of elected officials who joined Mr. Romney in a recent six-state campaign tour, Mr. Pawlenty stood out to party leaders as they handicapped who might be chosen to join the GOP ticketÖ.
Others who joined for segments of the tour included Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.
Some Republicans have questioned whether Mr. Portman's time as budget chief under former President George W. Bush would prove a liability to Mr. Romney. Ms. Ayotte is new to the national stage. Another potential pick, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, has said he isn't being vetted. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are also seen as potential running mates.
(Photo: Getty Images)
- news blog