After the roll out of Joe Biden, there’s been a chorus of “I can’t believe Obama didn’t pick Hillary!” Yet, pundits had been pooh-poohing the “Dream” ticket for weeks prior to the selection, saying Hillary wouldn’t be sufficiently compatible with Barack Obama. Obama was probably relieved to hear the pooh-poohing, as it allowed him to plausibly choose someone else.
Will we hear “I can’t believe McCain didn’t pick Romney” if John McCain picks someone other than the former Massachusetts governor to be his VP? If McCain wants to hear some pooh-poohing to relieve him from the pressure to choose Romney, it’s certainly out there. But, just as the “Dream” ticket would have been the biggest juggernaut Obama could have assembled, McCain-Romney may be the biggest juggernaut McCain could assemble. So, bypassing Romney could be a boo-boo.
The networks like to engage in Veepstakes speculation several times a day. MSNBC‘s Chuck Todd, during his Veepstakes segment this early afternoon, asked two guests to predict McCain’s VP. Their prediction? Both predicted Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, as the “safe,” “do-no-harm” pick. Chuck Todd wanted more discussion, so he asked who else might be out there? Both guests agreed that if partisanship were no obstacle, John McCain really, really, really would like to pick Joe Lieberman.
Chuck Todd was not getting the opening he was hoping for. He had to create his own opening. So Chuck Todd noted aloud that neither of the guests had rated Romney among the most likely, and then read a Mitt Romney quote from primary season in New Hampshire that predicted Barack Obama would be a formidable opponent for John McCain despite McCain’s resume. Chuck Todd concluded that Romney would have too much explaining to do if he were McCain’s pick as there’s a lot of video footage from the primaries showing Romney and McCain expressing differing views.
Chuck Todd had to manufacture an excuse to make use of the cherry-picked Romney quote.
Naturally, with this week’s Hillary drama, I thought of how this might be a manipulation by the pundits: thumbs down on a Romney pick in a hope that McCain will follow suit, then “Gotcha!” if and when McCain picks someone else.
I think Chuck Todd really knows that Romney would be a formidable VP pick that would easily neutralize Biden in a VP debate.