The GOP Ticket in 2012: Romney-Rubio

Since my New Year’s prediction that Obama would select Hillary Clinton for his running mate in 2012 (and Joe Biden would become Secretary of State), I’ve been swamped by requests for my GOP prediction. Here goes.

You can forget the caucuses and early primaries. Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Republicans may be stupid but the GOP isn’t about to commit suicide. The other candidates are all weighed down by enough baggage to keep a 747 on the tarmac indefinitely.

For his running mate, Romney will choose Marco Rubio, the junior senator from Florida. Why do I say this?

First, Romney will need a right-winger to calm and woo the Republican right. Tea Partiers are attracted to Rubio – an evangelical Christian committed to reducing taxes and shrinking government. Rubio’s meteoric rise in the Florida House before coming to Congress was based on a string of conservative stances on state issues.

Rubio is also a proven campaigner, handily winning four House elections starting in 2002, and then beating popular incumbent Republican governor Charlie Crist in the 2010 Republican primary — with the help of Tea Partiers.

Moreover, he’s only 40, thereby giving the GOP ticket some youthful vigor.

And he’s Hispanic – a Cuban-American – at a time when the GOP needs to court the Hispanic vote.

Rubio’s only baggage is the “son of exiles” controversy – his suggestion that his parents were refugees forced out of Cuba by Castro when in fact they moved to the United States before the Cuban revolution.

But this isn’t the sort of slip that would keep him off the ticket. In fact, Romney has defended Rubio, saying “I think the world of Marco Rubio, support him entirely and think that the effort to try to smear him was unfortunate and bogus.”

Finally, and most critically, Florida is a crucial swing state. Rubio would help deliver it.

So it will be Obama-Clinton versus Romney-Rubio.

And what’s my prediction for Election Day? Obama-Clinton hands down.

I warn you, though. Political predictions, economic forecasts, and astrology differ in only one respect. Astrology has a fairly good record of being correct.

About Robert Reich 547 Articles

Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

He has served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, as an assistant to the solicitor general in the Ford administration and as head of the Federal Trade Commission's policy planning staff during the Carter administration.

He has written eleven books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Supercapitalism. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine. His weekly commentaries on public radio’s "Marketplace" are heard by nearly five million people.

In 2003, Mr. Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclev Havel Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2005, his play, Public Exposure, broke box office records at its world premiere on Cape Cod.

Mr. Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

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3 Comments on The GOP Ticket in 2012: Romney-Rubio

  1. The only thing carrying Romnoid aloft is that the Coastal Media know that Obama could beat him. The crowds come to see Newt. Romney talks to folding chairs.

  2. I sure hope Reich is right about Romney tagging Marco Rubio for VP since I am a Democrat and fan of President Obama and his administration and accomplishments. As a Floridian, I know how stupid and what a terrible governor Jeb Bush was and what a baggage-laden opportunist Marco Rubio is. Is there anything stupider than thinking that other Latinos, especially Mexican Americans, will all vote for a Cuban American? Not even in, or especially in Florida, where Democrats such as Puerto Ricans outnumber Cubans…Does anybody remember the poor performances of our first Cuban Governor, Bob Martinez, who then fizzled out as Drug Zar, and the Senator (so forgettable that I can’t remember his name) who was head of the RNC fund-raising in 2008 and was soon out of politics altogether….both pushed into promience by the Bushes…

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