The GOP VP Field Is Stacked for 2012

Posted: Feb 09, 2011 9:43 AM
For GOP voters who may not be enthralled with the prospective 2012 presidential field, forget the entree and skip straight to dessert.  Politico argues that Republicans will have an insanely deep and impressive bench of potential running mates for whomever ends up winning the nomination -- a task that, as Phil Klein says, "isn't exactly like pitching to the 1927 Yankees:"

From its highest levels to the grass roots, the GOP is buzzing over Marco, Bobby [Jindal] and Susana, as well as more than a half-dozen other junior Republican officeholders who have captured the party’s imagination in ways that the current 2012 presidential field hasn’t come close to doing.

That group includes a throng of young politicians who aren’t yet 50 years old and one, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who isn’t even 40. There are three Latinos in the group, two Indian-Americans, numerous women and candidates from almost every swing state in the country.

A candidate light on federal experience could tap Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, perhaps the best-credentialed Republican in the country as a former congressman, budget director and trade representative. A nominee who’s viewed as too conservative could pick a governor from a state Obama won in 2009, like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Virginia’s Bob McDonnell or Michigan’s Rick Snyder.

For a candidate who struggles to connect with women voters, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire or Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Susana Martinez of New Mexico might help broaden the GOP’s reach. Martinez, along with Rubio and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, could help a nominee who’s unappealing to Hispanics.

Admit it, just mixing and matching some of these names is pretty exhilarating, isn't it?  And that's without even mentioning any of the perceived second tier presidential candidates, or guys like Paul Ryan.

With primary debates just a few short months away, GOP voters may want to start mentally spinning the candidate wheel and mapping out possible dream tickets.  While you're doing so, keep one thing in mind:  This cycle's buzzword is electability:

Given the choice between a candidate who agrees with them on the issues or a candidate who can defeat President Barack Obama in 2012, a new national poll indicates Republicans overwhelming want a winner.

According to CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday, nearly seven out of ten Republicans say they would prefer a GOP presidential nominee who can top Obama in the next election, with 29 percent saying a nominee who agrees with them on every issue that matters the most is more important.

Have at it.