VP Selection Worries

May 7, 2012

A rumor hit the blogosphere recently that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is on Mitt Romney’s “short list” for his running mate. If there’s any truth to this rumor, we can only hope that Romney and his team will reconsider.

Unlike his neighbor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Snyder has been anything but confrontational in tackling Michigan’s similar budget and spending problems. He has chosen a more collegial approach and, with a Republican majority in both houses of the legislature, it has not been difficult to get a modest program of spending cuts and tax increases through. Still, Snyder has been the subject of a recall effort, albeit nowhere near as successful as the one that threatens to unseat Walker. He has also been less than forceful in dealing with the totally dysfunctional local government in Detroit, a city that is spiraling toward bankruptcy with no agreed-upon correction course in sight. But the biggest negative in his nascent administration may be Snyder’s ill-advised support of a second bridge from the Detroit area to Canada, an apparent budget boondoggle that throws a bone at labor unions who most likely won’t support Snyder in any event.

And that’s the problem with a possible Romney/Snyder ticket. Simply put, Snyder is too much like Romney and his choice would send a strong signal of pandering to the “moderates” who are given way too much credit for influencing elections. On the other hand, the selection would be a finger in the eye of the conservative base of the Republican Party. Also, Snyder is still a relatively new governor and is brand-new to the political arena. He would make Sarah Palin’s horrific adventure with the lamestream media look like a walk in the park, in part because he would be even less prepared than Palin was for the onslaught that would undoubtedly come his way.

If Romney selects Snyder or someone else of a moderate bent, he is acknowledging, however unwittingly, that he buys into the false narrative about how radioactive it is to be a true conservative in America these days. Even by the mere inclusion of Snyder on his list, if true, he’s already signaled that he’s all too willing to bow to that false narrative. That, and all the pandering and groveling to the media that goes along with it, will make for a very long—and probably losing—campaign season for Republicans, from the top of the ticket on down, unless Romney shows us a different side—and soon.

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Copyright ©2012 A. L. Smith

A.L. Smith is a military veteran who resides in Michigan and has followed politics in that state for almost 50 years.