April 1, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Who Else for Vice President but Marco Rubio?

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

No, the fight for the Republican presidential nomination is not yet over. But if and when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney becomes his partys standard-bearer, hell need to look for the right running mate to help him unify the party and breathe some excitement into the Republican ticket. In other words, hell need Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Rubio, of course, isnt the only Republican who could enhance a Romney ticket. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell have some of the right political credentials, and each would be an asset to a Romney ticket in a number of important ways. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum probably has earned consideration because of his presidential run. Two female governors, New Mexicos Susana Martinez and South Carolinas Nikki Haley, are sure to receive some mention.

Of that group, however, Rubio, Jindal and McDonnell clearly stand out.

Jindal, an East Indian, is young, smart and accomplished. A favorite of conservatives, he initially endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry before Perrys exit from the presidential race. Jindal is in his second term as governor after serving in state government (as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals) and, very briefly, in Congress.

Jindal, 40, has a background in health care and public policy (he was accepted by Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School but instead became a Rhodes scholar at Oxford), and the Louisianan can be a political wonk. But hes also personable and, more importantly, perhaps, Jindal doesnt look like most Republicans, an asset particularly given Romneys look and, even more obviously, the presidents.

Like Jindal, McDonnell comes from a Southern state and should appeal to the partys conservative base. But Virginia is a swing state, unlike Louisiana, which gives the popular McDonnell some extra appeal as a running mate. Like Jindal, McDonnell isnt a creature of Washington, D.C., or the federal government.

More importantly, McDonnell, 57, is a happy conservative, a considerable asset given the angry sourpusses on the right who spend most of their time blaming Democrats or RINOs (Republicans in name only) for the countrys troubles. The governor rarely demonizes opponents, and his tone and rhetoric convey a sense of civility, not confrontation.

Though he is a Catholic, he holds a law degree from televangelist Pat Robertsons Regent University and has been supported by his states evangelicals. On the downside, of course, he looks like a clone of Romney.

But while both men have plenty going for them, Rubio simply looks like a better fit.

Rubio, who will turn 41 at the end of May, served as city commissioner of West Miami before winning election to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000. In 2006, he was elected Florida Speaker.

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