If Ryan helps Romney, Pawlenty hurts him. For example, I would essentially write off my home state of Iowa if I were the Romney campaign should Pawlenty be the selection. Pawlenty was laughed off the national stage by Republican primary voters for being a wimp. Just days before the crucial Iowa Straw Poll, Pawlenty looked me in the eye and told me he was running for president to stop somebody like Romney from being our nominee. Within 30 days he had dropped out of the race and endorsed Romney.
As a candidate himself, Pawlenty rallied absolutely no constituency that Romney needs. Romney won’t win Minnesota even with Pawlenty on the ticket. Pawlenty’s selection would mean the top quality Romney was looking for in a running mate was a step-it-and-fetch-it sycophant. That is a stereotype Willard does not need to reinforce. Conservatives around the country are already on tilt about the clumsiness and milquetoast message of the Romney campaign, to the point some are wondering if Romney actually wants to win. Selecting Pawlenty would be a sign that perhaps they really don’t.
If Portman is the pick the campaign remains status quo. Any potential enthusiasm for his selection will be offset by the same “meh” reaction from the base that Romney’s very candidacy has produced. Perhaps Portman can help Romney in the key swing state of Ohio. On the other hand, my guess is the Obama Regime would love to see Portman on the ticket, because before he became a U.S. Senator one of the several political posts he held was the Budget Director for President George W. Bush. The Obama Regime would love nothing more than to run against George W. Bush again, and Portman presents them the excuse to do that.
The number one thing Romney needs from this pick is to inspire his base. There are several names that do this more than any of the three finalists NBC is reporting. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is another young movement conservative with extensive chief executive experience, and has a record of cutting government spending and standing for social issues the base believes in.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a rock star, and comes from a key battleground state. Romney would more than likely win that vital state with Rubio on the ticket, and he brings an energy and a passion the Romney campaign currently lacks. Like Jindal, it obviously doesn’t hurt that he’s a minority. Rubio or Jindal also gives Republicans a chance to have a broad discussion with the country about the American dream, which in a recent Rasmussen Poll only 14% of Americans still believe in.
But the person who would help Romney the most is former presidential rival Mike Huckabee, who has seen his popularity soar thanks to the exposure he gets from his broadcasting endeavors. Huckabee is one of the most popular Republicans in America. He energizes Romney’s base more than anybody else is capable, and his populist streak appeals to middle class voters who are fed up with Obama’s failures, but not yet ready to embrace another rich white guy with ruling class ties as an alternative. Huckabee softens Romney’s corporatist image, which the Obama Regime thinks is their best chance at another four years to complete the Marxist mission. If Romney put Huckabee on the ticket the election would be his to lose.