( – promoted by lowkell)
by Paul Goldman
Tim Kaine can breathe easier now: The appointment of Governor McDonnell to head the Committee on Resolutions at the Republican National Convention is Mitt Romney’s way of saying: “Not this time, Bob; I am going another way on the VP thing.”
While the polls showed no plus for the GOP should Governor McD be chosen for the shotgun position on the Romney ticket, logic suggested otherwise: it would have been at least a small net plus when all the smoke cleared. With the Allen vs. Kaine race holding at neck-and-neck, any little nudge left or right could make the difference.
Allen was hoping for McDonnell to get the call: and Kaine was hoping his successor would not.
Well, the call isn’t coming. Here’s why.
The odds are 100% that former Governor Romney will announce his choice for VP before the Resolutions Committee has come close to finalizing its political work product. There is no political benefit for Romney in having his VP choice mired in the details of the policy wars defining the deliberations, indeed, hearings, of the Resolution aka Platform Committee. Quite the opposite: The idea is to have those often heated battles out of the main spotlight, resolving the differences in order to avoid any floor fights and public battles at the Convention which would then dominate our electronic video highway and network TV coverage for those dwindling few you watch.
Why would Romney want to have his VP in the middle of that potential chaos, when the whole point is to be able to pick a running mate who produces the opposite political images? Again, the Resolutions/Platform Committee is to allow the advocates of such hot-button issues a forum for expressing their passions.
These partisans see a platform “victory” as sometimes more important than winning the election itself. The risk/reward for Romney in placing his VP choice as the umpire on that field is all bad in my view. If Romney’s VP is Chair, then he owns all the compromises, etc. What’s the advantage in doing all that, indeed in guaranteeing greater coverage of these debates and giving Democrats more attack ammo?
I have actually read all the GOP party platforms starting in 1856, when the new party first held its first convention, with some skinny, awkward gangly guy from Illinois in attendance, Abie something from the Land of Lincoln (okay, that nickname came later). If you read the 1856 GOP platform, the party was dedicated to fighting the twin evils facing our country, one being slavery, the other polygamy!
In 1856, the spread of Mormonism and its view of traditional marriage got those GOP convention delegates riled up as “traditional marriage” does today — but for slightly different reasons!
The Platforms passed by Conventions are important documents, but not attributed to the candidates by the voters by and large. Indeed, in 1864, the Democratic nominee repudiated his party’s platform.
One final time: Platforms allow the nominee to give a “win” to groups not on his side during the primaries, in this case to (theoretically) allow the GOP to leave Florida united behind its latest national ticket. Which now makes it almost a sure bet that Romney will not include McDonnell, unless something forces Romney to change his current plans in a big way.
On paper, Governor McDonnell seemed a highly plausible choice for Romney — not at the top of the list, but very solid, a good political match, the “do no harm” first rule of VP selection tailor-made for McD. I still think that’s the case, given the chess board. But the Mittster believes he has a better choice.
We shall see shortly.