Sunday, January 20, 2008

Romney/Thompson dream ticket?

The role of Fred Thompson in yesterday's SC primary is as murky as his next step.

Did he divide the religious vote and thereby hand Huckabee a loss? Or would those votes, had he not been there, have gone elsewhere? My instinct is that more of those votes would have gone to Romney or McCain than to Huckabee. Fred comes across to me as the thinking person's conservative: thoughtful on positions, a sense of history, a Federalist, serious about the war on terror and prepared to take the long view on it. His addresses have content, not sound bites - which may, unfortunately, be a drawback in 2008.

Mitt is quickly seizing the stage as the most knowledgeable in the field on economics, growth and job creation. With a war still consuming dozens of billions, it isn't clear that the race will be won on voters' views of candidates job creation prowess. However, he gives off as much energy as Fred seems to absorb - Mitt's electron shell could power Fred.

So, Mitt may be drawing professional class, Fred the fiscal conservatives and those concerned about immigration, as well as being acceptable to the religious voters.

Assume that I'm right for a moment, i.e. that most of Thompson's supporters would have otherwise gone to Mitt - then it would have been a tight three person race (despite Sunday morning talking heads commentary to the contrary, McCain didn't crush Huckabee).

Given that Thompson hasn't won a race, and funds must be running tight, could a Romney/Thompson ticket be crafted? Thompson as the Cheney for Romney - the insider who knows the beaucracy, the key players, the staffers, potential cabinet members and so on? Even though I don't believe anyone ever votes for the VP, parties nonetheless look for "balance" - e.g. Northern and Southern candidates, or East and West. This would be a Northern Governor and a Southern Senator...

I don't know that their egos would allow it, and I doubt that Mitt would want to tie himself down early, but both need something going into Florida and Super Tuesday.....

5 comments:

James said...

A Romney/Thompson ticket is very unlikely because Thompson wants his friend McCain to win the nomination. A more likely combination is McCain/Huckabee. Huckabee will be the kingmaker by throwing his support to McCain. McCain has to have the lower middle class Republican voters to win the nomination, and they're behind Huckabee. Huckabee would be proud to be on McCain's ticket. Because of his stand on immigration, the only way McCain gets that vote is with Huckabee on the ticket. Both McCain and Huckabee are unpopular with the 40% of Republicans who think George Bush has been a good President, but in the end, they want to win the general election. The only way Romney wins the general election is if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

Steve V said...

From a Democrats perspective anything with Romney/Insert Name Here would be a wet dream of historic proportions. The GOP Dukasis, one can only hope!

Steve S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve S said...

Romney doesn't need Thompson to compete for the nomination. He is already ahead in total votes won and in delegate count. McCain is the guy who needs to name a VP running mate. He would be the oldest president in US history and with his type-A personality and age it is highly unlikely that he will complete 8 years in office. (Remember all the talk about whether Reagan was too old to be president? McCain is even older). Americans deserve to know now who they might be supporting to run their government if McCain is elected. But Thompson would be a bad choice. Imagine having two senators with no executive experience in the most important administrative position in the world.

gene said...

McCain/Huckabee is an interesting combo and does deal with the age issue and social conservatives....but if the race becomes Huckabee vs. Clinton I'm going to have a hard look at Bloomberg...