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June 19, 2012 9:20 AM Rubio Off the Veep List?

By Ed Kilgore

There’s a small shred of real—if somewhat speculative—political news this morning: a report from ABC’s Jonathan Karl that Sen. Marco Rubio is not being vetted for possible selection as Mitt Romney’s running-mate. I would call this more “real” than “speculative” for the simple reason that while you can bloviate endlessly about Romney’s compatibility with this or that pol, or his or her “star appeal,” or his or her congruence with the Mood of the Heartland, or whatever—but the fact remains that documents have to be reviewed, closets have to be examined, and rumors have to be checked out before even the most exciting prospect can be seriously considered. If that ain’t happening for Rubio by now, it may well not be happening at all.

The timing is interesting, what with Republican dismay over Obama’s DREAM Lite initiative and its possible impact on Hispanic voters, and the rapturous reception Rubio received for his speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition event in Washington over the weekend. Rubio has always been a Tea Party favorite, and is particularly a heartthrob to his Senate colleague Jim DeMint, who I suspect has current custody of the soul of the Republican Party (perhaps wrapped in a Confederate Flag) somewhere in his office.

On top of everything else, Rubio’s autobiography is officially being released today.

If Rubio’s truly off the list, it could mean the aroma of ethics scandals that occasionally wafts from his direction (particularly given his close relationship to Rep. David Rivera) is too strong, or it could just mean Romney’s already leaning in the direction of one of the white-bread alternatives like Rob Portman (whose chameleon-like ability to impersonate Democratic candidates during debate prep over the years may strike a personal note with the very slippery Mitt) or even Tim Pawlenty. Now that Karl’s broken the seal, we’ll probably hear more before long.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Grumpy on June 19, 2012 9:28 AM:

    If that ainít happening for Rubio by now, it may well not be happening at all.

    Since when is that an absolute barrier to being picked as running mate? When the game needs changin'...

  • stormskies on June 19, 2012 9:35 AM:

    I think the best vp for buffoon and pathological liar Romney is that tea party guy carrying a sign that said "Keep gubermint away from my Medicare" during one of the Tea party events.

    It would be so cool cause this guy could lurch around the country still carrying that sign being the buffoons vp pick.

    And the Tea party dumb fucks would be rabidly frothing at the mouth in sheer wonder and excitement guaranteeing their vote for the buffoon himself.

  • Diane Rodriguez on June 19, 2012 9:40 AM:

    Damn! The Republican party figured out that Rubio wasn't going to deliver the Hispanic vote. As I have been shouting from the rooftops - He's Cuban. It must be a dilemma for Romney, he has so many obstacles to finding someone who won't overshadow him with interpersonal skills, who doesn't offend the racist /misogynist base, who doesn't have unmarried pregnant children and/or is a reality show star, isnít the size of an entire state himself and whose wife didn't leave him for another man. Yup...Pawlenty or Portman.

  • Peter C on June 19, 2012 9:41 AM:

    If Romney doesn't pick Santorum as his VP, it will be a monumental insult to the Evangelicals in the GOP.

  • Ron Byers on June 19, 2012 9:50 AM:

    Slow news day, isn't it Ed?

  • James M on June 19, 2012 9:50 AM:

    Portman or Pawlently? Really? I know what a disaster the half-term governor from Alaska was, but aren't there any qualified GOP women? I mean, with, not one, but 2, boring White guys on the stump, Romney's staff will have to hand out speed during campaign rallies just to keep the audience awake!

  • c u n d gulag on June 19, 2012 9:50 AM:

    Sarah "The Whore of Babblin' On" Palin probably ruined any chance this election cycle for Susana Martinez, (R) Governor of NM, to be Mitt's female Hispanic VP pick.

    Maybe they'll try to steal Obama's black voters, and get Allen West?

    Nah, TOO crazy.
    West is a man who needs to occupy the Hannibal Lecter wing of a Psychiatric Hospital and if he's the VP candidate, to protect delegates, they'll have to make him wear his straight-jacket and mouthguard, while being rolled onto the Convention floor strapped in a gurney.

    My "dark horse" for a Black VP candidate is J.C. Watts.
    Not too likely, though, I'll admit.

    So, my guess is that they'll be looking for some "Wonder Bread" white boy.

    How about young Paul Ryan, their latest heartthrob?

    The only problem with that is that, standing on the Convention floor together, they'll look the centerpiece on a December-June gay wedding cake!

    Mitch Daniels is too short to share the stage with 747-shouldered Mitt.

    Yeah - probably "Zelig" Portman.

  • Hedda Peraz on June 19, 2012 9:56 AM:

    Our pick for VP is irrelevant.
    Mitt is running on his "I'm not Obama" platform.
    And, it is working.

  • Anonymous on June 19, 2012 9:57 AM:

    Jim DeMint, who I suspect has current custody of the soul of the Republican Party

    I think it's more a horcrux.

  • James M on June 19, 2012 10:08 AM:

    re c u n d gulag: I like your analysis and I think it means that it is probably impossible for Mr. Romney to chose any VP candidate who might help him politically (although, I know it is an open question whether the VP pick really has any significant impact at all).

    re: Hedda Peraz
    "Our pick for VP is irrelevant.
    Mitt is running on his "I'm not Obama" platform.
    And, it is working."

    You really believe that? That is essentially what the Dems tried against GWB and it didn't work out too well. Sure, Mr. Romney has to damage President Obama's image as much as possible, but essentially he will have to present something positive about himself. As politically dull as the American electorate can be, I don't think it will allow Mitt Romney to coast into the presidency without ever taking a definite stand on anything (other than a pledge never to raise taxes).

  • Just Dropping By on June 19, 2012 10:12 AM:

    I don't find this that surprising, really. Polls over the last year have consistently shown that Rubio doesn't actually do much to even bump up Romney's numbers in Florida, let alone elsewhere, and polls have also consistently showed Obama leading or very close to Romney in Ohio. There are very few ways Romney can win that don't involve winning Ohio, so a VP choice who polls strongly there would be the logical choice (especially since someone who polls well in Ohio probably also helps with other Rust Belt states too).

  • T2 on June 19, 2012 10:28 AM:

    Rubio's problem is he is Cuban. That doesn't automatically work vote-wise for the vast majority of our hispanic population which is Mexican ancestry. But let me tell you, for the GOP/TP base, their downright fear of the country being "taken over by blacks and mexicans" is a real thing, and makes putting a Hispanic on the ticket very shakey. The GOPers would be a "heartbeat" away from having a mexican (Cuban) president. Might as well have a black one.

  • boatboy_srq on June 19, 2012 10:29 AM:

    Diane Rodriguez nailed it. Although it would have been amusing for a not-exactly-Xtian to have a not-exactly-Hispanic for a running mate.

    Ryan is out (unfortunately): Multiple Position Mitt needs his steady hand in the House to drive - er, support - his economic agenda. QEotP shot herself in the foot last time around, and no amount of shooting from a helicopter is going to change that. West is too likely to shoot everyone, so unless God's Own Party actually wants WW3 enough to plan it, he's out too. I'm wondering how far down the bench they go before Ralph Reed becomes a contender.

    @ James M: "qualified GOP women" are in the background, supporting their husbands, just the way Jeebus intended: just ask Ann Romney. Unqualified GOP women are the ones running for office and 'blogging: see Bachmann, Malkin, et al.

  • John B. on June 19, 2012 10:38 AM:

    Speaking of Rubio's autobiography, Yahoo! is running this little bit from it--which might, in part, also explain why Rubio isn't getting a serious look:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/marco-rubio-says-come-u-illegally-had-111859436.html

    Rubio, like Rick Perry, has a heart.

  • Hedda Peraz on June 19, 2012 10:43 AM:

    @ James M:
    " As politically dull as the American electorate can be, I don't think it will allow Mitt Romney to coast into the presidency without ever taking a definite stand on anything (other than a pledge never to raise taxes)."

    James, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that might interest you.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on June 19, 2012 10:51 AM:

    It's Condaleeza Rice's if she'll take it. She has said she doesn't want it. But, ..., wait till Romney takes the lead in the polls. And it won't be long till the first polls showing Rmoney in the lead.

  • jjm on June 19, 2012 10:54 AM:

    T2 -- I agree re Rubio and re the GOP/TP fear and hatred of immigrants precluding any possibility of Romney's adding a Hispanic to his ticket.

    I also think that the only real and consistent, if only implicit, message of the whole Romney campaign is "White is back!" You never see anything but white people in his audiences, he isn't going out of his way to campaign among ethnic groups and it is not just accidental.

    The GOP appears to believe that this is the year of the "revenge of the white guys' against all those who have 'stolen their rightful place' -- women, people of color, homosexuals and immigrants.

  • waddanut on June 19, 2012 11:03 AM:

    It only makes sense not to have Rubio on the ticket.

    After all, Rubio's parents came to the US in the 1950's and didn't become citizens until after he was born.

    According to the birthers, Obama can't be President because his father was not born in the US, how can Marco Rubio be vice-president if neither parent was born in the US?

  • Objective Dem on June 19, 2012 11:15 AM:

    Rubio was raised as a Mormom. Choosing him will increase the focus on LDS and alienate too many voters.

  • cmdicely on June 19, 2012 11:47 AM:

    There's a small shred of realóif somewhat speculativeópolitical news this morning

    This is self-contradictory. Real news is not speculative.

    the fact remains that documents have to be reviewed, closets have to be examined, and rumors have to be check out before even the most exciting prospect can be seriously considered.

    Well, that traditionally happens, but it doesn't have to happen, and there are certainly recent cases where, by most reports, it didn't happen in any significant way before a VP candidate psuhed by influential backers was seriously considered by a major-party presidential campaign.

  • Joe Friday on June 19, 2012 11:55 AM:

    And just last night on ABC's World News, Diane Sawyer was calling Rubio "Romney's secret weapon with Hispanic voters".

    HEH

  • Mimikatz on June 19, 2012 12:16 PM:

    I really want Ryan to heighten the contrast but think he will pick Portman. Pawlenty's early withdrawal suggests he doesn't even have the fire for VP.

    Rubio had way too many negatives and Obama's action just sealed it.

  • N.Wells on June 19, 2012 2:51 PM:

    "According to the birthers, Obama can't be President because his father was not born in the US, how can Marco Rubio be vice-president if neither parent was born in the US?"
    Because he's a Republican. That sort of issue is NOT a concern when Republicans are concerned. Ask Romney or any birther whether Romney's dad was qualified to run for president.

    However, I'm torn between holding out for Bristol Palin, on the Self-Righteous Family Values ticket, and putting Dick Cheney in charge of a committee to find a good candidate. :)

  • Rick B on June 19, 2012 3:23 PM:

    Peter C 9:41 AM - This is the season for monumental insults towards Evangelicals from the GOP. It has always started happening about summer of the election season.

    James M 9:50 AM - A qualified woman? McCain tried a woman and it failed. The GOP does not do minority Vice President Nominations, especially not with the tea party to placate.

    c u n d gulag 9:50 AM - J. C. Watts? Not bad. He's a football hero which makes him almost an honorary White Man in the eyes of the GOP. He's not a full member of the dominant class, though, and he never will be. Too many Republicans will never accept a Black man as president. That's the basis for the disrespect Republicans show Obama as Joe Wilson and the recent conservative reporter who interrupted Obama's speech clearly demonstrate.

    James M 10:08 AM - You are probably right. I suspect that Romney will begin announcing some tepid "positive" programs after the convention and the billionaire PACs will flood the media with testimonies about how each program or policy announcement is greater than God handing Moses the tablets on the mountain. Most media reporters will continue the "He said - He replied" format of ignoring the actual essential idiocy of the ideas Romney will be presenting. The polls will narrow.

    T2 10:28 AM You describe the core of the Republican urgency. They are absolutely certain that blacks and Mexicans are taking control of America away from the WASPs who are the only competent owners of America.

    The veep will not be a woman or a person of color. I am looking for either an evangelical-approved candidate or a libertarian-approved candidate, but either will be a relative unknown. Huckabee and Paul Ryan both fit the bill, but both are too well known. They both already have significant enemies. Whoever it is will have to come from the shadows with no real set of enemies already in place like Palin did. The hope will be that they can bring their base to the election before they build enough enemies to neutralize that base.

  • Clay on June 19, 2012 5:02 PM:

    I've never seen or heard Portman speak, and know next to nothing about him. Only thing I know for sure is that you just can't GET any more white bready than Timmy Pawlenty! I still think it would be funny if they drafted Fred Thompson for Veep.