“Smart, seasoned guy from a swing state; carries a lot of Bush-era fiscal baggage, though.”
“Portman conveys seriousness of purpose. The rest are political supernovas who will fade away fast.”
“Why not put the architect of the effort to repeal Medicare on the ticket to defend that move personally?”
“None of the above: Rubio is too green and can’t really move the Hispanic vote. Portman is ‘Mini Mitt.’ Ryan is too controversial. Ayotte is too unknown. Thune doesn’t bring any help on any issue. Condi Rice is his best choice.”
Of the most-talked-about congressional candidates, who would be the best pick for VP?
REPUBLICANS (24 Votes)
Sen. Marco Rubio: 21%
Sen. Rob Portman: 50%
Rep. Paul Ryan: 17%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte: 8%
Sen. John Thune: 0%
“At least he could likely deliver Ohio.”
“He’s from a swing state, he’s got a jobs agenda, and he’s well prepared to be president on Day One.”
“Has the most proven record of a backbone and rhetorical restraint.”
“Portman by a hair over Rubio and Ryan.”
“Portman has the most experience.”
“Portman understands how to make the executive branch run. He could turn the VP position from a cipher into a [chief operating officer] for government.”
“He needs a safe pick—first priority, do no harm.”
“He’s articulate and knowledgeable on economic and budgetary issues and comes across as sincere. It doesn’t hurt that he’s from a swing state, either.”
“Paul’s got the best of both worlds. He’s down to earth and connects with everybody but is also a policy wonk who wasn’t afraid to take on the toughest issue we face.”
“Hands down. The others have such a slim constituency. And if Romney wants the election to be economy and spending, put your best man on the field.”
“White women are the most important demographic in this election. She is new to the national scene, but she is smart, tough, poised, knows how to ‘make a case,’ and offers Romney cross-generational appeal. It would mean taking a risk, but one that reflects well on Romney.”
Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Elliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Kurt Schrader, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.
GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Reed Ribble, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, David Schweikert, Austin Scott, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.
This article appears in the May 12, 2012, edition of National Journal.