Some social conservatives can’t accept victory. Mitt Romney will not be our next President. They got what they wanted. They won. Seems to me they can’t take yes for an answer. Thanks to their support of anyone but Romney, we are now stuck with McCain. Now a small vocal group of malcontents is making threats not to support McCain if he picks Romney as VP. They even have printed an ad (see PDF here). First of all, McCain knows that he got this far without their support, so what makes them think they have any influence on him now? There’s also no guarantee this group wouldn’t sit the election out no matter what McCain does with Romney.
This is incredibly stupid on their part. There’s no need to make threats about it, because McCain wouldn’t pick Romney anyway. In some ways, Romney would be a smart choice. He does shore up a McCain weakness as far as knowing something about the economy, so it does make sense in these economic times to take that aspect into consideration. He would certainly be a desirable choice over Governor Crist, Governor Pawlenty, and McCain’s BFF Lindsey Graham. Any of these guys more closely mirror McCain’s positions on the issues than Romney does. But as much as I think Romney would make a fine VP, and even President someday, now is not the time, and McCain has some better choices if he really cares what social conservatives want (that’s doubtful).
There are many other ways for Romney to raise his 2012 or 2016 profile without tying himself to a possible McCain presidency. Of course, McCain’s VP may be the Republicans’ 2012 nominee, but I think Romney would be a strong contender without that built-in advantage. He will have 4 to 8 years after the 2008 election to build up his conservative credentials. I know that there are fellow Mitt fans out there who have complete faith in the guy, and who may find it unfair that he still has to prove himself to social conservatives, but we have to acknowledge that there are misconceptions out there that cause people not to trust him. He has the ability to change this. He just needs time. Being McCain’s VP isn’t the right move for Mitt Romney, and with the other options McCain has, it’s not the right move for McCain either.