Ann Romney will have you know that her husband is so hip, so into equal rights, why, he’d even pick a woman to be on his presidential ticket.
“We’ve been looking at that, and I love that option as well,” Ann Romney said in a CBS News interview. “There’s a lot of people that Mitt is considering right now.”
So who could be that special woman in Mitt’s life? Here’s a list of contenders:
New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Of all of the possibilities, she’s the most likely. Although just a senate freshman, she has consistently voted with her party and against women’s interests when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, equal pay and violence against women, and been popping up everywhere as a Romney surrogate, most recently at the National Right to Life Conference. She also defended the state’s parental consent law against a suit from Planned Parenthood, earning her the support of the Susan B. Anthony List. Bringing in Ayotte would not only give Romney an advantage in a toss-up state, but would help him with the anti-choice advocates who are still leary of his record surrounding issues of abortion and birth control.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. As both the first female governor of New Mexico and the first female Hispanic governor in the country, Martinez has two strong constituencies behind her that Romney would love to bring to his side. Allegedly, Martinez has said “absolutely no” to the idea being his second. But does anyone really say no to such an opportunity when it is presented? Perhaps the only flaw on a Martinez record is her willingness to get New Mexico involved in the Affordable Care Act’s state exchange, but considering Romney was the first to push for health care reform, that’s likely not a deal breaker.
Former Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice. On the surface, Rice would be a great V.P. pick for Romney. As a more moderate Republican, it can continue to help him move to the center and win over independents who may have become uncomfortable with him during his primary campaign. Plus, her foreign policy expertise would be a bump for Romney, who’s closest brush with foreign policy was helping with the Olympics. The historic factor of having a female and African American Vice Presidential candidate can’t be ignored, either. Yet all of the aspects of Rice that would win him moderates and independents are likely to alienate his conservative base — especially that she dubbed herself “mildly pro-choice.” If Romney picks Rice, that’s a clear sign that he’s given up on the support of the religious right.
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Bringing in a former competitor can help with widening the next in votes, and if there are two things Bachmann is good at, the first is fundraising and the second is getting in front of a camera. Bachmann’s evangelical ties could sway the doubts of the Christian Conservatives, and she’s a grassroots level organizer at its best, which could provide a great mobilization effort and ground game to support Romney’s money machine. However, a Bachmann debate is likely to be an utter disaster, and just as strong as she is on camera, she’s a disaster when she goes off script. Even worse, when he home state was polled, Romney actually performed worse with her on the ticket than running with any local Republicans.
Not A Chance
South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Once called the “next Sarah Palin,” she simply doesn’t bring enough to the ticket, and really, how well did the first Sarah Palin work out as a V.P. pick?
Businesswoman Meg Whitman. There’s no way that Romney will bring another business person onto the ticket. Especially not one who just laid off 30,000 employees.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Haley could have been a contender, if she just could have shaken all of those ethics investigations.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. You can’t get any more conservative, anti-choice, or anti-immigration than Brewer. Too bad for Romney that she debates like a deer in headlights.