Now that Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee-look, Ron Paul could make a sweeping comeback, and Newt is still in it!-everyone’s focus now shifts to who he’ll pick to be his running mate.
For local political analyst Chuck Thies, the answer seems relatively simple: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. In a column published on NBC4′s website today, Thies lays out the case for a McDonnell pick: he represents a constituency with whom Romney is weak (the South), he’s carefully balanced his focus on the economy and the Virginia legislature’s intense obsession with controversial social issues and he’s played like he doesn’t want any job other than the one he has. (The folks at conservative Virginia blog Bearing Drift certainly don’t disagree with Thies.)
It’s certainly not a bad argument. McDonnell may have suffered from the invasive ultrasound debacle, but not as much as the commonwealth’s legislators-while the governor saw a slight dip in his approval ratings, the legislature saw a 19-point drop over the course of a month.
I’m going to throw one more thing into the pro column for McDonnell: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Yes, he might drive most every Democrat insane (and strike fear in the hearts of many, should he win the governor’s seat next year), but the Tea Party types love him. McDonnell may not be Cuccinelli, but the association can only help.
Of course, McDonnell is up against some pretty solid contenders for the second-in-charge job: Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.