This election will be close. Very close. Many Republicans, including me, believe that Rubio could help put Mitt Romney over the top. But does Marco Rubio want to strap his saddle onto the Romney thoroughbread. What it a Romney-Rubio ticket loses? History has not been kind to vice-presidential losers. Let us look:
- 2008: Sarah Palin - quit the governorship of Alaska to become a celebrity and is still essentially hated by half the country.
- 2004: John Edwards - Yeah . . . so about that.
- 2000: Joe Lieberman - On the one hand, he remained a relevant senator for another twelve years. But his own party turned on him and defeated him in a primary, so he had to become an independent and ended up speaking at the Republican convention in 2008.
- 1996: Jack Kemp - This was the end of his public career.
- 1992: Dan Quayle - left to national ridicule that he still has yet to live down.
- 1988: Lloyd Bensten - Not quite so bad, remained a senator from Texas before a short stint as US Treasury secretary.
- 1984: Geraldine Ferraro - Lost two Democratic primaries for the US Senate.
- 1980: Walter Mondale - won the Democratic nomination four years later, but took one of the most historic drubbings in electoral history.
- 1976: Bob Dole - a rare acception. Dole would go on to two stints as US Senate majority leader and ran for the presidency three times, finally getting the nomination in 1996 and falling to defeat. His wife then served another term herself.
- 1972: Thomas Eagleton/Sergeant Shriver - Come on.
- 1968: Edmund Muskie - Entered 1972 as the favorite before following apart and crying during a press conference.
- 1964: William Miller - Who?
- 1960: Henry Cabot Lodge - Was named ambassador to Vietnam, had a brief boomlet for president in 1968, but never achieved what was expected of him.
I end it here because 1960 is sort of the marker for modern American campaigning. Not exactly a stellar record of achievement here. Marco Rubio has dreams of being president, and I really wonder if he wants to take the chance at being defined by someone else's potential defeat. It is a huge political gamble. I think the best person to compare him to might be Ed Muskie. Muskie actually left the 1968 election as perhaps the only man with his reputation enhanced and was the clear front-runner four years later. His own short temper cost him.
I still think Romney might go with someone else. I think he needs Rubio. Badly. But it remains to be seen if Rubio is willing to put his political future in the hands of someone else. What Romney will really need if he is elected president is someone who knows Capitol Hill and who will make conservatives happy. A dark horse might be Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, someone widely respected but a conservative hero.
Anyways, just something rattling around in my brain today that I felt like throwing out there.