It’s supposedly down to three:
We can say with a high degree of confidence that Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick has largely come down to three men: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. And it’s more than possible that Romney has already made up his mind. All three VP finalists bring something different to the table. Pawlenty is the loyal outsider, who would enable a Romney-Pawlenty ticket to run as former governors vowing to take on Washington; Pawlenty also potentially would add some blue-collar appeal to the ticket. Portman would be the insider, someone who knows the ways of Washington and who could help govern starting on Day 1. And Ryan would be the crusader, who wants to substantially transform America’s entitlement programs and who would excite a good portion of the GOP’s conservative base. Indeed, Ryan has emerged a VERY REAL possibility, but he also brings the most risk. If Romney selects him, it’s more than conceivable that the dominant campaign discussion in the fall won’t be the economy — but rather the deficit and Medicare. Of course, there was already a good chance the Ryan plan will get plenty attention regardless of Romney’s VP pick.
I don’t think it will be any of the three. I think it will be Rubio, despite his repeated denials of interest in leaving the Senate. Being a Republican and therefore fearful of raciss, Romney will want something to circumvent Obama’s inevitable portrayal of the Republican pair as two rich white guys. If it’s Pawlenty, he’s a joke and we’ll know Romney intends to tank the election. Ryan would be a more serious choice, but wouldn’t really buy Romney anything since people already assume Captain Underoos knows what he’s doing when it comes to financial rapine. Portman is a Bushnik and doesn’t bring Romney anything he doesn’t already have, so unless he’s got some sort of deal with the Houston Mafia, I can’t see him getting any real benefit out of that option.
So, I expect Rubio.