Romney VP Choices Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, and Tim Pawlenty Play Waiting Game

Every four years, the Republican Party amends its platform at the Republican National Convention. While a variety of people and ideas contribute to new Party platform for the ensuing four years, one tenet of the Republican Party rings true throughout. Like Tevye would bellow in “Fiddler on the Roof,” it is “tradition, tradition, tradition.”

It seems like “tradition” has dictated more of the 2012 campaign season up until this point than most would like to admit. As is customary within the Republican Party, former Massachusetts Governor Romney waited for his turn in 2008, just as Senator John McCain put in his hat in the ring in 2000 before waiting it out for eight more years. President George W. Bush, of course, would be an exception to this rule because of his family name. For others, the Republican Party seldom selects a candidate on their first presidential bid — they must see how they fare before determining whether or not they are worthy to be the nominee. So when Romney advanced as a competitor in 2008, it was clear that he would be a frontrunner in 2012 — as tradition would dictate. 

Since history seems to repeat itself, we should now look to past announcements of vice presidential  candidates. McCain declared that then-Governor Palin would be his running mate shortly before the Convention of 2008. Again, President Bush stands as an exception. He announced Dick Cheney as his running mate on July 25, 2000. If we go as far back to Senator Bob Dole announcing Representative Kemp as his running mate, this happened just a few weeks shy of the RNC Convention. Clearly, one may see a pattern forming. 

And, thus far, nothing has indicated that Romney would break such tradition. In fact, he seems to be one of our most traditional candidates yet. He trudged through the nomination process, never once seeing an exceptional peak in popularity throughout the ordeal. As the search continues for the second name on the ticket, potential candidates like Tim Pawlenty and Rob Portman seem eerily similar to Romney. As opposed to potentially choosing someone like Senator Marco Rubio or former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, Romney again seems to be leaning towards the “safe” choice — since that is the game that he wins. Romney has not demonstrated that he is one to take chances. And he is patient.

Like many who have come before him, Romney will wait until a few weeks leading up to Convention to announce who the lucky winner is. The Romney campaign must strike while the iron is hot--when they can be assured a front page, above the fold announcement. There are two reasons he could opt to wait: 1) to focus attention on the convention and the surrounding excitement and 2) to follow tradition. In the meantime, news stories fascinate the media.

Between the Aurora, Colorado shootings and the Olympics, the major new outlets have enough fodder to dominate the news for weeks to come. That is, until August.