Cliff Schecter, 7/23/2012 [Archive]

Veep Vetting

Veep Vetting

By Cliff Schecter

Rumors are making the rounds that Mitt Romney, a man not known to exhibit a McCainian temperament, might pick his vice presidential candidate earlier than usual to shake things up—meaning to stop people from talking about the fact his money has spent more time living abroad than he has.

So just as Mr. Romney now believes he must "vet the President," because nobody's ever heard of The Reverend Wright or Bill Ayers, I think it is time to get to know who might be our second in command come January 2013, should Mitt Romney find a way to bring his brand of jet-ski conservatism to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Contenders:

Senator Rob Portman (OH):

Benefits: So white he makes wonder bread look like pumpernickel. This should make Tea Party adherents bask in the warmth of feeling that we're still in the 1950s with 1920s tax rates. He is also popular in Ohio, an important swing state.

Drawbacks: Part of the brilliant George W. Bush budgeting machine that turned the first 3 consecutive balanced budgets since 1947-49 into a pile of debt so large it developed the ability to reason—because as his buddy Dick Cheney said, "Reagan taught us that deficits don't matter." He was also Bush's trade representative, something that should make him hugely popular to non-college educated whites who make up a large part of the GOP base and are most hurt by our trade deals.

Miscellaneous: Does a mean impression of a chicken.

Governor Tim Pawlenty (MN)

Benefits: So boring he makes Mitt Romney seem like Axel Rose. Comes off like a decent guy, so he might be able to win back some of "you people" the Romneys alienate with Swiss Banks, stated love of firing people and other socially glorious moments. Could possibly, although not likely, turn Minnesota red.

Drawbacks: Every time he gives a speech, 10 more cases of narcolepsy are diagnosed and Baby Jesus cries.

Miscelleanous: Like Mitt, flip-flopped on believing in 21st Century science (global warming), so perhaps if the Tea Party shouts loud enough, he and Mitt could also team up to oppose gravity and creeping Sharia Law.

Senator John Thune (SD)

Benefits: A heartland conservative who doesn't have to pretend to do his own laundry for the cameras to fit in with people who don't have a horse named Rafalca, which performs in the Olympics and provides a $77,000 tax writeoff.

Drawbacks: From South Dakota. Without looking, I think it has like 1.5 electoral votes. Sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill that would give George Zimmerman a pat on the back, an assault weapon and release him on a street near you.

Miscellaneous: Wait, who is John Thune again?

Congressman Paul Ryan (WI)

Benefits: Wins in what should be a Democratic district, and 30 years young than your average Republican.

Drawbacks: Released a budget so full of fantasy and danger that it is scheduled to be the villain in the next Avengers film. This budget actually ends Medicare as a guarantee and cuts Social Security—you know, the program that allowed Ryan to attend college with survivor benefits after his father passed away.

Miscellaneous: Eerily resembles what a grown up Eddie Munster would look like.

Governor Bobby Jindal (LA)

Benefits: Not white

Drawbacks: Not white

Miscellaneous: Performed an exorcism while in college (not kidding!), so if any demons are haunting the FY 2014 budget or White House Map Room, he's your guy.

So there you have it, the GOP vice presidential field, in a nutshell. I hope you can feel the excitement—I know I do!


©Copyright 2012 Cliff Schecter, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For more info contact Sales at 800- 696-7561 or email

Cliff Schecter is the President of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm, and the author of the 2008 bestseller "The Real McCain." Email Cliff at

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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