Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Join a Discussion

There are no discussions scheduled today.

Weekly schedule, past shows

The Insiders
Posted at 07:59 AM ET, 07/11/2012

Romney should pick his VP now

I hope it is true that Mitt Romney will select and announce his vice presidential running mate very soon.  I outlined the reason that he should do so early on April 6.

But to briefly recap, there is no reason not to make this announcement quickly. Every category of the campaign could benefit by having the Republican VP nominee in the game sooner rather than later.

To purists who think we need to hold the pick until the convention — you are wrong.

The anticipation of the VP selection is a distraction at a convention. The blast of instant biography followed by the media's live, after-the-fact frantic vetting affects the quality of the work and is a distraction.  Having been a surrogate at past conventions, I can testify that having to talk about whom the nominee might be and then the basics of who the nominee is, if the nominee really did say this or that and if this or that part of his or her record or personal history is true, does not make the best convention coverage. The convention story needs to be about the speeches the nominees will make at the convention and about a unified, enthusiastic Republican Party.

Beth Myers, the Romney campaign’s chief VP vetter, is sure-footed and 100 percent reliable. The campaign has had plenty of time to investigate the potential nominees and ask all the obvious unflattering questions.

The first rule of VP selection remains: Do no harm. It has been confirmed over and over that the VP nominee almost never moves any votes. That said, let me contradict myself. Sen. Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire could be an exception. New Hampshire is small enough that it could make a difference in this important state. While she has been underexposed in the media, her media skills are better than most and the presence of a woman on the ticket helps establish a roadblock for the usual moaning about the GOP and women voters. Also, she would be a huge hit on college campuses through the entire campaign and the GOP needs this more than we admit. She could provide a freshness and spark with all audiences and have a half-life that would last longer than any other potential nominee I've heard mentioned.

But there is danger in the unknown! If Beth Myers is 100 percent certain that Ayotte has the stamina, a perfectly clean background and is completely credible as a vice president on live TV, Romney should take the chance and pick her. Our default position, if every other candidate is flawed, should be former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

Anyway, let's get on with it. We are now at the stage of the campaign where every day matters. Our VP nominee needs to be in game, raising money and spreading the message.

By  |  07:59 AM ET, 07/11/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company