There are at least a half dozen credible candidates to win the GOP nomination for President. In fact there are so many that they are all unlikely to win. But the most likely of the “unlikelies” is Mitt Romney—though I wouldn’t put any money on that prediction. Perry is a threat and Christie is a threat, but none of the current crop is likely to topple him Romney from his front-runner status.
Should this prediction pan out, I think the politically prudent choice of a running mate is Michelle Bachmann. I think she will make a run at Romney in the primaries and may win in Iowa, but I don’t think she has the organization or the reputation to go the distance. She and Mitt will feud over his record on abortion and health care, among other things, but I don’t see that battle going nuclear. He probably isn’t impressed with her, but if anyone is prepared to sacrifice his personal views for the sake of political expediency, it is Mitt Romney (he became pro-choice when it was expedient to do so and pro-life when it was expedient to do so).
What she will provide for him is rock solid support among the Tea Party base, enormous fund-raising ability, and the lack of a Y chromosome. She is sort of the turbo-charged version of Sarah Palin. She has all the qualities that made Palin a good pick, but not so many of the bad ones. Palin lacked any sort of national experience or a grasp of the national or international issues. Bachmann, on the other hand, has experience as a tax lawyer and has been in Congress for a decade. Most important, she has been under the heat lamp of the national press for a long time. They hate her more than they grew to hate Palin, but as a VP, her feisty relationship with the press will be good because it will draw press. VP candidates are supposed to be pit bulls. She is also reasonably smart and articulate (though with her share of gaffes), whereas as Palin is, though it is not kind to say, rather dim. And, to boot, Romney-Bachmann will make the most beautiful ticket since, well, forever.
Just remember, you heard it here first!
Postscript: I blogged a few months back on whether Jon Huntsman could pull off the nomination. He is another Unlikely, probably very unlikely. I do agree with Stanley Fish who writes the following today: “Well-spoken, well-heeled, well-informed, smart, fresh-faced and cheerful, a good administrator, slightly progressive on social issues, conservative economically and savvy about foreign policy — Huntsman is an independent’s dream and the Democrats’ nightmare.” Of course caring about electability isn’t a strong suit of the Republican primary voter (e.g: Christine O’Donnell, Sharon Angle, etc. etc.). Indeed President Obama’s greatest electoral asset is the Republican primary voter.
Post-postscript: Because of their Utah ties, both Romney and Huntsman interest me, but I’m not a supporter of either of them.
Post-post-script: The other obvious contender for VP is Marco Rubio. He would be a very advantageous pick and might beat out Bachmann.