John Nance Garner once said the Vice-Presidency was “not worth a bucket of warm spit. “ (Some say he mentioned a different liquid.) Well, clearly Tea-Partiers disagree with him. I already blogged about the possibility of Representative Allen West being Romney’s V.P. and today I saw this NPR story which quotes Tea Partier Bill Miller as saying: “At this point, the only thing [Romney] can possibly do is who he picks for V.P.”
Well, the V.P. slot has been getting more attention lately. Why, there’s even a new HBO series about it. Shows you what John Nance Garner knew.
I assume Romney plans to follow this Miller’s advice, and pick a Vice-President who will excite the base. This is a good plan because it will make appeal more to the Tea-Party crowd without having to hand any actual power to an extreme conservative. Though, as John McCain discovered, this method is not altogether foolproof.
Besides, it’s not that the Vice-President has no power; if the Veep is clever enough, the position can certainly be a powerful one. Dick Cheney practically revolutionized the position, and I suspect that his actions in office has made subsequent Presidential candidates be much more cautious about who they select for the role. But there’s no denying Cheney was one of the most powerful Vice-Presidents ever.
So, the question is: will Romney go for an insider in the mold of Cheney or an exciting figure in the mold of Palin?