Since Gov. Romney has sewn up the nomination tighter than one of Chris Christie’s old suits, the only remaining Republican election drama is which name the Bairn of Bain Capital intends to place on the bottom of his bumper sticker. Yes, friends, it’s once again time to play that quadrennial game sensation sweeping the nation: Let’s Guess Mitt’s Vice Presidential Pick!
Usually the question of the presumptive nominee’s prom date doesn’t play out until June or July, but this year, the mushrooming punditocracy has chewed on the fat, tasty, rancorous primary for so long they bloated up like a poisoned toad. And are hungry. Which is why “running mate” is currently chalked atop the media blackboard menu. “Feed Me!”
The vice presidency is an odd job interview. Best way to apply is to deny desiring the position. Saying exemplary things about the candidate never hurts. Neither does fund-raising. Disguising any interest in 2016 — all good. But the choice ultimately depends on whether Willard decides to excite his base, gravitate towards the middle, or make a game change. Here’s a couple contenders.
• Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul: 1,000 to 1. Less chance than a snail hauling a piano has of qualifying for the 100-meter dash at the London Summer Olympics.
• Texas Gov. Rick Perry: 10,000 to1. Same thing, only the snail is dead.
• Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, pizza CEO Herman Cain, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: 100,000 to 1. The snail is dead and the piano is made of uranium, heaviest element on Earth.
• New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: 100 to 1. Spends much time bringing many things to the table but, alas, New Jersey is not among them.
• Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty: 10 to 1. Only problem is, two guys so white, might become known as the Albino Ticket.
• Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: 25 to 1. President Barack. Vice President Piyush. Totally possible.
• Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: 50 to 1. Too soon. People need more time to recover from Bush Fatigue. Another two decades should do it.
• New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte: 50 to 1. Would help nail down that crucial Northeast vote.
• Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: 25 to 1. Bland and boring. A victory party guaranteed to cure insomniacs.
• Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan: 30 to 1. More polarizing than a linear accelerator. Makes Romney look liberal.
• Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman: 200 to 1. Two Mormons? That’s a Broadway musical, not a presidential ticket.
• South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley: 80 to 1. Hybrid of Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal with associative perks and potholes.
• Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum: 10 to 1. Good Christian mudder. Especially helpful should Mitt need Old Testament righteousness to counter squishy-conservative charges.
• Ohio Sen. Rob Portman: 100 to 1. Dubyah’s old budget director could make Romney’s economic argument fuzzier than peach season in Georgia.
• Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Ric:. 1,000 to 1. More dead snails and immensely heavy pianos.
• Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: 60 to 1. Fading fast. Broke unwritten “don’t speak of wanting it” rule. Blatantly airing image ads even though he’s not running for office.
• Florida Sen. Mario Rubio. 3 to 1. Catholic Hispanic AND state of Florida. Fits together like seashores, lemonade and halter tops.
• Former Vice President Dick Cheney: 300 to 1. Relieved to leave D.C., but could be convinced to work on behalf of country again. After all, he’s already had one recent change of heart.
Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.