Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV
With Rick Santorum out of the race for President, Mitt Romney looks like the only viable Republican surviving.
But even a billionaire can’t simply buy a vice-presidential running mate as if the veep candidate was just another Cadillac for the missus. He has to select one based on appeal to right-wing voters.
So this Top Ten list of potential running mates should help Romney.
10 -- ALLEN WEST: The Tea Party Republican Congressman from Florida is a former military man. Along with “tough guy” credentials loved by the right wing (look at that man’s hair!) West brings a dose of much-needed McCarthyism by accusing “78 to 81” of his Democratic colleagues of being "Communists." It doesn’t hurt that West is African-American; he might bring Romney’s share of the black vote up from 5.0 per cent to 5.1 per cent. And that includes Herman Cain!
9 -- PAUL RYAN: By proposing a budget that attacks Social Security and other “entitlements,” the right-wing pretty boy brings in the Ayn Rand vote, the sort of hard-hearted and wealthy Republicans who think poor and unfortunate people are "parasites" and "moochers." Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin, will remind voters of the Republican union-busting in his state led by Governor Scott Walker, who might soon be recalled.
8 -- SARAH PALIN: Four long years of slandering the President on Fox News Channel have prepared Palin for a second go-round. As was the case when she ran alongside John McCain in 2008, Palin can screech with the best of them like a right-wing radio talk-show host. It’s a pleasing voice, too, filled with resentment and egotism. She would increase Romney’s share of the female vote from 38.0 per cent to maybe 38.1 per cent.
7 -- RICK SANTORUM: Santorum proved his street cred with religious zealots who would put pro-choice women and gay people back in their "place." For Santorum, that place is the 1950s, with the Mass in Latin and sinners condemned to hell by politician-priests like him. Remember how Santorum said John F. Kennedy’s words about the separation of church and state made Santorum want to vomit? Santorum, a reactionary Catholic, would be the perfect balance to Romney’s Mormonism.
6 -- CHRIS CHRISTIE: During tough times, what this nation really craves in a vice-president is a big, fat, loud, arrogant bully from New Jersey. Oh, they’d love his tone of voice down south and in the “Heartland.” Imagine the sound bites if the Garden State governor took on hecklers and protestors at campaign rallies. He could be the new Spiro Agnew!
5 -- RUSH LIMBAUGH: Don’t laugh! He’s got a lot of Christie’s charm. And some of his bulk. Limbaugh has become the voice and soul of the Republican party. No GOP figure dares cross him without kissing his rear end for forgiveness. So why not just complete the merger of right-wing media and the right-wing political party by choosing the talk show host with a history of sexism, drug abuse and serial matrimony?
4 -- MARCO RUBIO: The rookie senator from Florida would raise Romney’s share of the Hispanic vote from 14.0 per cent to 14.1. Of Cuban descent, Rubio’s already been caught in a lie about how his parents "fled Castro" and came to the United States -- years before Castro took power. And if there’s a recount in Rubio’s state, he can help pull strings to steal the election, the way it happened in 2000 when George W. Bush stole the White House from Al Gore.
3 -- LYNN CHENEY: She’s got the name for it. Wouldn’t it be great to have another veep named "Cheney?" She can get advice from her Daddy, Dick, about which nations to invade and which prisoners to torture. In any vice-presidential debate, she can just interrupt and shout down the opponent, just as she does with Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday.
2 -- JOE LIEBERMAN: An allegedly "independent" senator from Connecticut, Holy Joe once ran for this job as a Democrat, so why not try it from the other side? He showed his true colors with his smug opposition to major parts of health-care reform. Compared to Lieberman’s disingenuousness, Romney, even with his ever-changing principles, would seem almost earnest.
1 -- WAYNE LaPIERRE: With cops getting shot at an alarming rate and a vigilante in Florida killing an unarmed teenager, it’s time for the executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association to get more involved. His organization pushed the “stand your ground” law (also known as “kill at will”) that contributed to the death of Trayvon Martin. As LaPierre told his convention in St. Louis last week, this killing was only “one of Florida’s many daily tragedies” and that the media is exploiting it.
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