Pick Mitt Romney’s vice president

With former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney installed as the Republican presidential nominee, Washington’s most famous political parlor game — speculating about his vice presidential pick — can get under way in earnest. Choosing a second-in-command is a high stakes decision for the presidential nominee; it can make you (John F. Kennedy picking Lyndon Johnson in 1960) or come close to breaking you (John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin in 2008). Below, you can put yourself in Romney’s shoes. Read The Fix by Chris Cillizza.

Should Romney choose:

Your pick for vice president:

Mitch Daniels

Daniels, former president George W. Bush's former budget director, has a national reputation for speaking uncomfortable truths on debt and spending issues. The Indiana governor could have been a presidential campaign favorite but decided not to run.

Your pick for vice president:

Bob McDonnell

The popular governor of an important battleground (Virginia), McDonnell's recent involvement in a national controversy about trans-vaginal ultrasounds has drawn some negative attention, but he remains a major player.

Your pick for vice president:

Rob Portman

Portman, the junior senator from Ohio, helped lead Romney's primary victory in the all-important Buckeye State. He is an expert in budget matters, having served as U.S. trade representative and budget director during George W. Bush's administration.

Your pick for vice president:

John Thune

A rising star in the Republican party, Thune is a Plains state senator (South Dakota, to be exact) with good looks and an almost impeccable conservative reputation.

Your pick for vice president:

Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and long-time state politician, endorsed Romney shortly after getting out of the race in his own right in late August 2011. Pawlenty’s best attribute is his loyalty; his worst is his decided lack of charisma.

Your pick for vice president:

Jeb Bush

The former Florida governor is not only a member of the Republican party’s first family but he has also been a leading voice of moderation on immigration issues.

Your pick for vice president:

Brian Sandoval

The governor of Nevada doesn’t get as much national publicity as some of the other Republican governors elected in 2010, but as a Hispanic from a swing state he has an intriguing profile — and would be a historic pick.

Your pick for vice president:

Susana Martinez

Elected governor of New Mexico in 2010, Martinez became the first Hispanic female governor in the country. If Romney picked her as his running mate, she would make history as the first Hispanic VP candidate.

Your pick for vice president:

Bobby Jindal

The Louisiana governor is one of the most popular — and conservative — governors in the country and picking him as a running mate would make history as the first Indian-American on a national party ticket.

Your pick for vice president:

Chris Christie

The New Jersey governor may be the most popular guy in the Republican party at the moment, thanks to his relentlessly confrontational style and regular-guy manner. That said, his personality is more built to be the man, not the man standing next to the man.

Your pick for vice president:

Rick Santorum

The former Pennsylvania senator was the runner up to Romney in the primary fight and has strong ties to social conservatives.

Your pick for vice president:

Patrick J. Toomey

A major darkhorse, the Pennsylvania senator hails from a state Republicans (again) believe is within reach. He also has sparkling credentials on debt and spending issues.

Your pick for vice president:

Marco Rubio

Young, Hispanic and from a key swing state, the Florida senator is a favorite of the tea party. If chosen, he would make history as the first Hispanic VP candidate, and could be a strong choice for the Romney presidential ticket.

Your pick for vice president:

Nikki Haley

Haley is the first Indian-American woman to be elected governor of a state (South Carolina). She was an early endorser of Romney in the primary and, if chosen as his running mate, would make history as the first Indian-American VP candidate.

Your pick for vice president:

Mike Huckabee

The former governor of Arkansas, 2008 presidential candidate and TV and radio superstar has an active following among social conservatives and an economic populist streak that fits nicely with this electorate.

Your pick for vice president:

Rand Paul

The son of iconic (in some circles) Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hails from the libertarian-end of the GOP and would excite them like no other pick.

Your pick for vice president:

Jim DeMint

The South Carolina senator has emerged as the face of the tea party in the Senate. No other candidate would do more to cement conservatives behind Romney.

Your pick for vice president:

Paul Ryan

The House budget chairman is telegenic, beloved by tea party conservatives and from a swing state (Wisconsin). There would be no better way for Romney to drive a contrast with Obama than to put the face of the conservative approach to budgeting on the national ticket.

Click to select one of the choices above. You can change your mind and try a different option at any point. Share your favorite pick at the end!

The list of options

A look at Mitt Romney's possible choices for a vice presidential running mate.

East

Chris Christie

The New Jersey governor may be the most popular guy in the Republican party at the moment, thanks to his relentlessly confrontational style and regular-guy manner. That said, Christie's personality is more built to be the man, not the man standing next to the man.

Rick Santorum

The former Pennsylvania senator was the runner up to Romney in the primary fight and has strong ties to social conservatives.

Patrick Toomey

A major darkhorse, the Pennsylvania senator hails from a state Republicans (again) believe is within reach. He also has sparkling credentials on debt and spending issues.

South

Jeb Bush

The former Florida governor is not only a member of the Republican party’s first family but he has also been a leading voice of moderation on immigration issues.

Jim DeMint

The South Carolina senator has emerged as the face of the tea party in the Senate. No other candidate would do more to cement conservatives behind Romney.

Nikki Haley

Haley is the first Indian-American woman to be elected governor of a state (South Carolina). She was an early endorser of Romney in the primary and, if chosen as his running mate, would make history as the first Indian-American VP candidate.

Mike Huckabee

The former governor of Arkansas, 2008 presidential candidate and TV and radio superstar has an active following among social conservatives and an economic populist streak that fits nicely with this electorate.

Bobby Jindal

The Louisiana governor is one of the most popular — and conservative — governors in the country and picking him as a running mate would make history as the first Indian-American on a national party ticket.

Bob McDonnell

The popular governor of an important battleground (Virginia), McDonnell's recent involvement in a national controversy about trans-vaginal ultrasounds has drawn some negative attention, but he remains a major player.

Rand Paul

The son of iconic (in some circles) Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hails from the libertarian-end of the GOP and would excite them like no other pick.

Marco Rubio

Young, Hispanic and from a key swing state, the Florida senator is a favorite of the tea party. If chosen, he would make history as the first Hispanic VP candidate, and could be a strong choice for the Romney presidential ticket.

Midwest

John Thune

A rising star in the Republican party, Thune is a Plains state senator (South Dakota, to be exact) with good looks and an almost impeccable conservative reputation.

Tim Pawlenty

Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and long-time state politician, endorsed Romney shortly after getting out of the race in his own right in late August 2011. Pawlenty’s best attribute is his loyalty; his worst is his decided lack of charisma.

Paul Ryan

The House budget chairman is telegenic, beloved by tea party conservatives and from a swing state (Wisconsin). There would be no better way for Romney to drive a contrast with President Obama than to put the face of the conservative approach to budgeting on the national ticket.

Mitch Daniels

Daniels, former president George W. Bush's former budget director, has a national reputation for speaking uncomfortable truths on debt and spending issues. The Indiana governor could have been a presidential campaign favorite but decided not to run.

Rob Portman

Portman, the junior senator from Ohio, helped lead Romney's primary victory in the all-important Buckeye State. He is an expert in budget matters, having served as U.S. trade representative and budget director during George W. Bush's administration.

West

Susana Martinez

Elected governor of New Mexico in 2010, Martinez became the first Hispanic female governor in the country. If Romney picked her as his running mate, she would make history as the first Hispanic VP candidate.

Brian Sandoval

The governor of Nevada doesn’t get as much national publicity as some of the other Republican governors elected in 2010, but as a Hispanic from a swing state he has an intriguing profile — and would be a historic pick.

GRAPHIC: Wilson Andrews, Chris Cillizza, Laura Stanton and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published April 23, 2012.