Don’t expect Mitt Romney to pull a John McCain. A safe bet is that there will be no Sarah Palin-like surprise when Romney announces his running mate. The reason is that Mitt Romney doesn’t need a stunner to grab voters’ attention or swing the momentum from Barack Obama. President Obama’s charisma counts for squat this year. In big ways and small, the 2012 election isn’t the 2008 version. Romney’s veep pick will reflect that critical difference.
The Daily Beast ran an article in early April stating that the “[c]onventional wisdom says Romney will need a running mate who’s not another boring white guy.” As is so often the case, the CW is wrong. It’s wrong because the media assumes that voters will be as taken with Mr. Obama’s smile and style as they were four years ago. Hence, Romney will seek some pizzazz in his veep selection to compensate.
Charisma-obsessed journalists and commentators can’t accept that this year’s electorate seems willing to look past the sizzle to the steak. A “boring white guy” like Mitt Romney is looking like a better cut of steak to voters than the much-chewed-on Mr. Obama.
Twenty-twelve’s voters don’t desire a glitzy, glamorous Moses to lead them to a Promised Land. The indications are that voters want someone to clean up Mr. Obama’s mess. A million-dollar smile and nice-fitting designer threads aren’t part of this year’s job qualifications. The same goes for Romney’s running mate. Expect Romney to pick a veep who has consistently exhibited high competence in his career and who largely mirrors Romney’s personality and style. That pick could well be a boring white guy or gal.