Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at 5:48am

A Closer Look At Romney’s Decision Making Process

Posted by vicepresidents

One of the first decisions a Presidential Candidate must make is who should be added to the ticket. Back in 2008, the choice of Sarah Palin ended up eventually hurting John McCain’s chances at the Presidency because it shows he hastily selected someone with very limited foreign policy knowledge or experience in dealing with the media. Amid all the Veepstakes speculation, ABC News reminds us that this isn’t the first time Mitt Romney has had to choose a running mate.

What Mitt Wanted In 2008…

The Lieutenant Governor is considered a state governor’s side-kick. When he ran for governor of Massachusetts back in 2002, he was looking for:

  • Someone he could work closely with on the campaign trail and once in office
  • A woman who could soften his appearance and balance the ticket

romney running mate

Kerry Murphy Healey was Romney’s eventual pick. Healey was the one who actually persuaded Mitt to come back to Massachusetts after the Winter Olympics and run for governor. However, the new Massachusetts GOP chairwoman was so unknown at the time that Romney mistakenly referred to her as “Sherry” instead of “Kerry” on a radio show. Yet, Romney’s advisers liked that she was a young, Harvard-educated college professor who specialized in criminal justice issues, which was an area where Romney was lacking in expertise. He had only met her twice, but she made a fantastic impression on him. So, after a little vetting from his team, she made the ticket. Beth Myers — former adviser and leader of Romney’s VP search team — told ABC News, “They were absolutely running together. She partnered with him on everything [and was] integrated completely into our operation.”

If Romney has a good history of working well alongside women and has similar concerns about wooing female voters, then perhaps the road is, in fact, bright for VP nominees like: Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley and Kelly Ayotte. (Although, as ABC reminds us, “Sarah Palin’s ghost” haunts the women on Romney’s list.)

Lessons Learned

One of the things Mitt Romney learned back then was that you can’t trust the party bosses to know what’s best for you. At first, he wanted to take a more “hands-off” approach and let the state Republican convention lead the search for a lieutenant governor. They had pushed for multimillionaire business mogul James Rappaport to run alongside Romney. Democrats were eager to label them a “Rolls-Royce” ticket and deride them for being “two rich white guys.”

romney running mate

Credit: AP/Julia Malakie/Reuters/Molly Riley

If Romney is again worried about being picked on for his wealth, then he might steer clear of Bob McDonnell (net worth: over $550 million), Rob Portman (net worth: $16 Million), and Chris Christie (net worth: $3.2 Million). Certainly, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will be off the list too.

Romney Looks For Someone To Help Him Fill Gaps & Enact “Change”

Romney’s political strategist, Mike Murphy, explained that: “The key factors were policy brains, ability to help enact his change agenda.” So it’s believed that he will very much be looking for someone who will help him expand his reach and fill any gaps in his expertise. In that case, Bob McDonnell would be a good pick if Romney wanted to find someone with foreign policy and social justice street credibility. Also, Paul Ryan is looking very good because he has radical ideas about changing the budget and shaking things up in Washington.

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© 2012 The VEEP: Thoughts & Analysis on the Vice Presidents