Salena Zito

Number 1: Romney’s not running for the vice presidency. Often, you see a person who seems desperate to be veep; most of the time, such lust cancels him out of consideration. But Romney’s not running for it, and he doesn’t need it to fulfill his future ambitions.

Number 2: Romney has proven ability to raise money, attract donors and self-fund. Right now, a disparity exists between Obama and McCain in the cash-on-hand department. The two parties probably are equal on that score, but Democrats can fix that fairly quickly. McCain needs a man who can effectively raise money; Romney can.

Number 3: Romney has broad state appeal. Most people think part of the allure for a veep is the ability to bring key states to a ticket. Well, Romney is unique. He has a Northeast appeal in states like New Hampshire, a swing state that went red for Bush in 2004 -- and the GOP can use as much swing as it can get in the fall. But don’t forget Romney’s home state of Michigan or the heavily Mormon state of Nevada -- both swing states where Mormon Romney has specific appeal.

Number 4: This campaign is all about domestic issues, especially the economy, and Romney is good on economics. That and health care are two issues on which Democrats think they will really score against McCain.

Number 5: Romney is not afraid to go after Democrats really hard, all the while saying it with a smile and a clever sound bite. Romney was a very aggressive campaigner in the primaries, and that is what is needed in a running mate -- someone who is going to go out there and play tough.

Number 6: Romney’s credentials among conservatives are much better than McCain’s. He had the National Review’s endorsement, as well as that of many conservative leaders and talking-heads. He could open a reservoir of goodwill with those to the right of McCain and help to quiet some of the grumbling in the conservative base.

Number 7: Age. Romney is neither too young nor too old; his age is a perfect complement to McCain’s.

Whether McCain will consider Romney is known only to McCain. Yet a very public consideration of Romney would demonstrate a willingness to come together with somebody who was perceived to be one of his toughest adversaries, much the same way that Ronald Reagan chose George H.W. Bush or John F. Kennedy chose Lyndon B. Johnson.

It might help neutralize McCain’s ill-tempered-curmudgeon image.

And it might place the Obama-Clinton split under a harsher lens, one that magnifies the problem so that McCain can brand Democrats as fatally fractured.


Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.