Monday, July 9, 2012

Romney: Avoid Veep surprises

Mitt Romney is reported to be near a decision on a vice presidential nominee. Recent history does not bode well for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. John McCain hoped to pull a rabbit out of the hat with his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to fill out his ticket. She turned out to be more of a skunk than a rabbit. Though Palin could deliver a speech and appealed to conservatives, she is now seen as a disastrous selection.

George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney to be his running mate, or maybe it was Cheney who selected himself. At first, it seemed to be a shrewd choice to match the very experienced and serious Cheney to Bush, who lacked depth. But as two terms went by, it became obvious that Cheney was more in charge than Bush, and his ill temper and imperious attitude hurt the administration.

The other Bush also picked a surprise nominee, Sen. Dan Quayle, who got off to a disastrous start and never recovered. Quayle was not only not taken seriously, he was ridiculed by critics and comics. G.H.W. Bush won in 1988 despite the performance of Dan "You're no Jack Kennedy" Quayle, but he couldn't pull it off in 1992. After his term, Quayle quickly disappeared from the political limelight.

If there's a lesson for Romney here, it is that GOP nominees should avoid surprises in picking vice presidential nominees. For once, don't "think outside the box."

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