Petraeus as VP?

August 7, 2012

This is an off topic post for this blog, but from time to time I like to offer my opinion on elections and politics.  For me, the choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama is a close one – on the one hand, Romney has the advantage of having demonstrated a managerial and executive competency which the economic policy side needs (and which, sadly, Obama has not delivered).  On the other hand, it would be charitable to characterize Romney as merely “weak” on foreign policy and defense, realms where the Obama administration has performed well.   On this blog, I focus on my two main areas of interest – energy and geopolitics.  While I am not terribly impressed with either candidate, I give Romney the edge on energy (on the assumption that he will favor a better regulatory environment for maximizing our carbon resources), but I give Obama the edge on geopolitics.   For that reason, reports to day that Romney may choose  General Petraeus as his running mate might be a tie breaker in my own decision.  However, I have been looking at the electoral college map for months (and studying electoral geography for years), and I don’t see many avenues by which Romney can win the required 270 electoral votes.  Although it has weakened, the Democrats retain their structural electoral advantage that they began building in the middle of the last decade.  Romneys best chance to win, it seems to me, would be to select Senator Marco Rubio as his running mate, enhancing his chances of winning Florida (without which there is virtually no path to electoral victory), and possibly taking just enough of the national Hispanic vote to tip one or more of the key western states – Nevada, New Mexico, or Colorado – to the Republican side of the ledger.    While Rubio would not make the Republican any more appealing to me personally, I do think it is the only choice that would give give them an outside shot at victory.


One comment

  1. […] Earlier this week, I noted that I find Mitt Romney to be weak on foreign policy.   Given that he is not a foreign policy oriented person, it is probably best to wait until we see his foreign policy team before we really make a judgement.  Yesterday, Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin listed some of the names he has heard mentioned as candidates for top positions in a Romney Administration.   Romney’s national security advisor is former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, who could be in line for either the same position in the White House, or even Secretary of State.  Another State Department candidate will be Joe Lieberman.  At Defense, former Representative and Senator Jim Talent is apparently the favorite – a bad choice, I think, because he is an advocate for increased defense spending, and this flies in the face of reality – we can’t afford defense increases.  We need someone creative in that position – someone who can figure out how to pare down America’s responsibilities so that we can do more with less. […]

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