Today’s papers are filled with articles about Mitt Romney’s presence at the Democratic Convention in Denver, suggesting that his high-profile role is something of an audition for the vice-presidential spot on John McCain’s ticket.
As the Politico reports, McCain is preparing to name his running mate soon and Romney is clearly among the front-runners
So McCain seems to be applying the Woody Hayes axiom of football to politics: Two of the three things that can happen when you put the ball in the air are negative (an incompletion or an interception).
Instead, he’s likely to make the vice presidential equivalent of a handoff up the middle.
Or, in the words of a top adviser, “a solid, safe pick.”
For months, the selection of Romney had been dismissed because of one seemingly intractable problem: McCain simply didn’t like the guy.
But according to this adviser, that has changed.
“He has really gotten to like Romney. They’ve come a long way.”
So one would think that, as the liklihood of Romney getting the nod increases, Republicans would be rallying around him – but you’d be wrong because Mike Huckabee seems bizarrely intent on slamming Romney right up until the very last minute:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says if John McCain selects former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate, it eliminates what he calls “the Joe Biden issue” for Republicans.
“During the primary, Romney attacked McCain. He attacked me,” the one-time presidential hopeful said today on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show. “One of the problems McCain would have if he picked Romney was that it takes the Joe Biden issue off the table where Biden is saying great things about McCain and terrible things about Obama. They’ll be running those tapes back over and over during the debates when Romney was attacking McCain and saying, ‘Which time do we trust you? Then or now?'”
Limbaugh responded he didn’t think the primary infighting among Republicans would make much of a difference in the general election.
“That’s true for both parties, and McCain’s running ads right now featuring Hillary endorsing him,” Limbaugh said. “There is a gold mine of Hillary audio and video that McCain can make an ad of. Those things happen in primaries.”
Huckabee said he would still support McCain even if Romney is selected as running mate, citing his opposition to abortion rights.
Huckabee has committed himself to doing whatever he can to help John McCain win, but has also repeatedly made clear that he really, really wants the vice-presidency and doesn’t think Romney is an acceptable option.
As his own hopes seem to fade, Huckabee can’t quite seem to let go of his personal animosity toward Romney or realize that constantly slamming the man who may very well become McCain’s running mate is not helping the cause.