Before you turn away, let me make my case.
As many of you may know, I’m a Romney fan. But I also like Fred Thompson, even though I did say that I didn’t think he was the next Ronald Reagan. Nonetheless, I think both men have Reaganesque principles and values that reflect the true nature of the Republican Party.
I could go on and on about why I think Romney is qualified and why I think he’ll win the nomination, but I’ve pretty much done that already in other posts.
As it stands, Giuliani is the frontrunner of this race. Why? Because of his leadership on 9/11. Because he has governed one of the largest cities in the world. But most importantly, because many in the GOP believe he’s the only one that can beat Hillary Clinton. However, he’s not true to the platform of the Republican party. Even Giuliani himself has admitted that.
At this point, the more conservative electorate has been splintered between Romney, Huckabee, and Thompson. This leaves Giuliani at the top since he doesn’t necessarily appeal to that constituency anyway. He is exchanging the social conservative vote for the moderate/centrist vote, which will likely be his downfall. Right now, evangelicals seem to be torn between Romney and Huckabee. Fred Thompson’s still got a large base of conservative followers as well. But I believe that the momentum will eventually shift to Romney if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire.
Now, some fear that Romney’s so-called flip-flopping and his religious beliefs may alienate members of the base. Not to mention that he’s a Massachusetts Republican (to many, that’s an oxymoron), which could cause Southerners to be skeptical about supporting him. What could solidify his chances at being competitive in the general election? A good running mate.
I hear so many calling for Huckabee to be the eventual running mate of whoever wins the nomination. And he may indeed be a good choice. But I suggest Thompson instead. Why?
Thompson is second to Giuliani in national polls. He’s got significantly strong support in the South. He’s a generally likeable candidate with very good values. He has a very consistent conservative record in the Senate. He could bring a certain degree of balance to a Romney candidacy.
So why would I choose Romney as the candidate with Thompson as the running mate and not vice-versa?
Romney is running a better strategy than Thompson by leading in early primary states. His organizational strength would be better than Thompson’s in a general election. Romney has governing and managerial experience that Thompson doesn’t have. Thompson doesn’t seem to desire the White House that much anyway. So being a Vice President might better suit his personality and abilities.
A Romney-Thompson ticket could unite the Republican base by appealing to evangelicals, moderates, fiscal conservatives and social conservatives. They would have the same coalition that Reagan had. Personally, I think a ticket like this would be the next Reagan-Bush. And the last time that happened, things went very well for the Republican party and for the American people.
Note: I just thought I’d mention a few more smart choices for running mates: J.C. Watts, Mike Huckabee, and Condoleeza Rice.