Trying to synthesize my personal choices,  smart/impactful names who would accept and who Romney might actually choose, here are the top choices for Vice President in 2012:

Tier 1

Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Allen West, Gov. Nikki Haley

Tier 2

Rep. Paul Ryan, Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. John Thune

Tier 3

Gov. Bob McDonnell, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Condoleezza Rice


You will notice the common thread of Tier 1 is the fact the TEA Party elected all of them and they need to be engaged in November to defeat Obama. It won’t matter a ton if’ it’s not one of them but it will help. My personal choice – as he has been for over a year now – is Allen West. The steel-spined firebrand would positively electrify the base and the uninterested. He would also draw the ire of the Socialist Left – which is good and bad. Any Romney deficiency in ideology or foreign policy would be more than covered by Col. West. But Romney would be a moron if he didn’t seriously consider Rubio. Young, smart, inspirational, and Hispanic, he’s basically the perfect choice. If you want a woman on the ticket, the first generation Indian has a hell of a story to tell and a record to back it up.

If Romney really wants to make this race about the economy, economy, economy, he will choose Ryan. Many believe that Ryan will be President some day one way on another. Thune is kind of bland but is straight out of central casting for a Conservative VP.

I really dislike McDonnell (cutting deals with Romney back in December) and Daniels (booooring) but I know Romney likes them.

Left off:

– Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. Bobby Jindal – great choices but won’t do it. Frankly, Condi Rice likely won’t do it either but I have heard too much talk to ignore the possibility. I love Rice and there is no more impressive Republican out there but I feel a member of the Bush administration is just not going to fly with the public.

– All of Romney’s Primary opponents (including those who dropped out before Jan: Cain, Bachmann, Pawlenty). The negatives on them are too high and too recent in voters minds and frankly some of them don’t like Romney very much.

– Rand Paul. If Obama wins reelection, there is no doubt it my mind that Paul will be the 2016 GOP nominee for President. There is even a possibility that if Romney wins and he isn’t the Conservative he claims and turns out to be the moderate to liberal some fear, then Paul will challenge him in 2016 and THAT could be historic…