3:31 PM, Jul 18, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
Allah piggybacks on an essay by Patrick Ruffini that suggests Romney would be crazy to accept the running mate slot since it (not to mention the vice presidency itself) is the traditional burial ground of presidential ambitions. Quoth Ruffini:
I've steadily avoided vice-president talks, especially those involving Romney. When it comes to discussing Mitt Romney, I don't exactly have Nixon-to-China credentials. For what it's worth, in private conversations over the past several months I've expressed deep ambivalence about Romney joining the ticket because I wasn't sure he would help the ticket. (My wife would usually end those private conversations by saying, "I didn't ask you about Mitt Romney. I asked you to pass the peas.")
But $4 gas, a crushing credit crunch and a general (and accurate) sense of economic crisis change everything. It's been obvious during the past few weeks that neither candidate can address the economy with any authority. That's understandable enough - during their long careers, each candidate barely paused long enough in the private sector to enjoy a triple grande latte.
It will be the smart candidate who tabs as his running mate an expert who knows something about how an economy works and can communicate effectively with the public on such matters. Romney had his faults as a candidate in the primaries, but he was very strong when he discussed the economy. Additionally, it's not like either party has a strong roster of economic experts waiting to join the ticket. I can't think of a single Democrat who would fit such a bill, and on the Republican side the Phil Gramms, Jack Kemps and Warren Rudmans are mercifully non-starters.
As to what joining the ticket would do to Romney's long term ambitions, who cares? We've got four consequential years to get through. As Allah points out, if Romney were asked to serve, he would be unlikely say no so he could begin munching rubber chicken preparing for 2012 when duty calls.
Last week I mentioned a letter the airlines sent out to their customers blaming their woes on oil speculators. Today, Strassel responds with a letter of her own:
When the airlines come looking for their next federal bailout, one wonders whether they'll be shocked at the public's indifference to their woes.
5) From YouTube.com, Andrea Mitchell chatting with David Petraeus