4/18/12 – by Rich Zeoli -
It’s a job no one ever says they want. Even in this economy. John Adams once called it “The most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” I’m referring of course, to the vice presidency. Yet, speculation abounds as to which person, who absolutely says they don’t want the job, will get chosen for the job by Mitt Romney.
If you do in fact secretly yearn to be the veep, you can never ever say you want to be the veep. Setting your sights on the prize instantly disqualifies you from the contest. So it’s best to keep that goal private. Also, you must have endorsed the nominee as he won’t be choosing a primary opponent anytime soon. Yes, it used to happen quite often, think Kennedy-Johnson, Reagan-Bush. Back then, at most the running mate might get asked in a debate about something negative he said about the nominee during the primary. In our age of the instant, continuous, never pausing news cycle, however, it’s a recipe for disaster. Imagine all the tweets they can throw out there using the veep’s words against the nominee. Joe Biden may have the distinction of being the last pick to have run against the nominee.
As much as people vigorously deny ever wanting the job, it’s actually a pretty good gig. You get the house and the cars and even your own plane, albeit Air Force…Two. Sure, there’s probably a funeral or two you have to attend and once every four years you may have to go to the Senate and cast a tie breaking vote. The real prize that never makes it to the job description: you get to showcase yourself as the future nominee of the party. Win or lose.
You could almost argue it’s better to be the running mate on an unsuccessful ticket. You spend a few months beating up Obama in front of a national audience and if you don’t blow it, you are instantly a prospective nominee the next time around. You get all the exposure without having to spend four, or possibly eight, years as someone’s number two, no small feat for the gigantic egos in politics.
The one thing I will tell you is that despite the public denials, all of the names mentioned as possible Romney running mates do in fact want to be chosen. Their people are lobbying for them behind the scenes. Donors are applying pressure and each and every potential pick is getting vetted. My only hope is that someone, anyone, will graciously say yes to the job no one in politics ever says they want.