I have walked the edge of prediction for about two weeks now, and I am near. The prediction is about who Mitt Romney will nominate as his Vice President. Could it be Marco Rubio, the Teabag favorite? Chris Christie, the Round Mound of Republican? Will Romney pull a McCain and make a disastrous choice, or will he play it safe?
I made my prediction in 2008 in April of 2008, and was correct. OK, I lucked into running across a fanatical proto-teabagging site that was pushing the Palin choice, and I jumped on the bandwagon. It seemed funny to me then, that John McCain, the maverick, would choose a whackjob merely because she was a woman and an unknown populist in her state. We all know how that worked out. This year is Mitt Romney makes this prediction much more difficult, though I will exercize my skills at prognostication soon. Still, I mostly expect Mitt Romney to do something sane. I wonder, as does Johnathan Capehart in the Washington Post:
But when pressed for a reason why he would associate himself with someone so openly embracing a proven lie — and a racist one, at that — Mitt Romney could only muster this inadequate response. “You know I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” he told reporters on his campaign plane on yesterday. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”
This explanation has the same feel as the one Romney gave last year during a debate to swat back accusations that he hired undocumented workers. “So we went to the company, and we said, ‘Look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake! I can’t have illegals!’ ” The propriety of hiring illegal workers didn’t seem to bother the former governor as much as the impact of doing so would have on his political ambitions.
At what price does Romney put political ambition aside to do or say the right thing? To stand up to the absurdity in his own party? To shut down the ignorant talk of his prominent supporters? Trump is hosting a fundraiser in Las Vegas for Romney this afternoon with a goal of $2 million. So Romney’s price is well north of that, it would seem.
Mitt Romney has taken too much, and too often, to his nickname of “R Money” to make this prediction easy. He’s shown himself to be willing to sacrifice all semblance of sanity in the quest to “win,” like some sort of Charlie Sheen politician bent on “WINNING” above any semblance of morality or truth. We’ve all seen the distortions and lies promulgated by the Romney campaign, lies and distortions that his own Mormon religion would not normally countenance, except for the emphasis on “WINNING,” a moral compass that has become the true core value of the Republican Party. Perhaps this is not ever so clear as in Mitt Romney’s embrace of Donald Trump and his ugly birtherism. As asked in this MSNBC article, why would Mitt romney associate himself with Donald Trump, clowny opportunist as he is? Why would he stain himself so? Is this simply about money, and the chance of WINNING? The same question is asked here on Huffington Post, and also by Old School Republican George Will:
“I do not understand the cost benefit here,” Will said. “The costs are clear. The benefit — what voter is going to vote for him because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me. Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.”
There’s my dilemma. I wish to make a sound prediction about who Mitt Romney will choose as his Vice President, but R Money, the man who has no moral compass besides “WINNING” keeps getting in the way. DAMMIT, I hate agreeing with George Will, except as it pertains to baseball and arcane usages of the English language. But Will is right as he notes that Romney will be R Money as much as it takes to win. So who will he choose in the R Money role?
I’m still thinking, but I’ll get back to you in the next week or so.