The top headline alert at Drudge right now:
ROMNEY NARROWS VP CHOICES; SURPRISE NAME EMERGES AS FRONTRUNNER
And now Twitter is all, well, atwitter about it, and the hastag
#RomneySurpriseVPGuesses is starting to trend. Edit: Drudge is now reporting the name is Condi Rice, but I’m not so sure. Meanwhile, the faux-conservative David Weigal, among other pundits, is piiiii-hiiissed that the Bain story is being buried under it:
Wow, I can't believe that the Romney campaign got Drudge to run an ALERT that helps them change the storyline. Incredible.—
(@daveweigel) July 12, 2012
I was going to save this post for the morning, but considering how fast this story is moving, I decided to pull the trigger now. So let’s get right to it.
Earlier today Dennis House, who predicted Sarah Palin’s 2008 selection, posted an article to the Huffington Post in which he predicted that Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN-7th) is on Romney’s short list for running mate this year and will ultimately be his choice.
My prediction for Romney’s running mate is someone who has not been publicly identified as a potential choice, but I believe she’s on the short list: Congressman Marsha Blackburn. Blackburn is a conservative from Tennessee, who calls herself a congressman rather than congresswoman. The arguments against her seem minor: She is a from a state that go will Republican and she’s not well known. In a way, Blackburn has already been vetted through the media, as she has been a guest on Meet the Press, and other political programs and from what I’ve read, seems widely regarded in her party. Blackburn is a Tea Party favorite and one of the leading voices for the repeal of the President’s health care program.
Obviously, this is music to my ears, but I’m not convinced, namely because House has fantasies that Condi Rice would possibly be in the running, and that’s just short-sighted, IMHO. (Edit: Will I have to eat these words? I would, if I needed to, of course.) I’m not interested in fantasizing my way through this election; I’m interested in winning it. Nevertheless, I decided that Blackburn was worth the look since her name had been brought up. I like what I’m seeing so far.
Here’s her Wikipedia entry, which demonstrates the depth of her experience and breadth of her current power (her district spans from the suburbs of Nashville to the suburbs of Memphis, which is pretty darn big). She has held the seat since 2003, almost a decade. Still, the wiki does demonstrate some weaknesses if you know politics. She originally backed Romney in 2007, then switched support to Fred Thompson, and backed Rick Santorum during the long 2012 primary. Hopefully Mittens won’t hold that against her. Because she also comes with some impressive conservative credentials that could help him with some parts of the GOP base.
Not only is she a Tea Party darling and a social and fiscal conservative, she’s onto the new women’s game, and increasingly frames both her social and fiscal conservatism in terms of women’s rights. She supported the recent GOP bill banning abortions based on sex selection. She has been making the rounds on media programs in the last few months talking about how women and single moms are hardest hit by the unemployment situation and the economy. She has hammered away on jobs and the economy, and even was able to successfully swing a media trap on gay marriage to the topic of jobs in one recent interview (skip to about the 3:30 mark).
In another clip from that same interview, she completely pisses off Barney Frank (always a pleasure to watch) and manages to make her well-made points while keeping her cool. Watch:
“You don’t speak for me, Barney. I didn’t speak for you.” Love it!
In addition to all of that, she’s very pretty and has a genteel manner about her, along with a southern twang. Sarah Palin (bless her heart) she is not, but she could satisfy some of the yearning for a Palin-style candidate. And Palin herself may be able to support her. In the earlier clip on this post she discusses small businesses and taxes, and does not shy away from the inherent hostility nearly always expressed by MSNBC hosts. She’s sharp on her feet and knows her data points, clearly. I’m suddenly very curious.
So let’s talk about it. What is your initial reaction? What are you finding when you Google her (as some of you invariably will now)? Let’s flesh this out and see if House is a crackpot with a lucky record, or if she really is a viable candidate for Vice President of the Unites States.