SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2012 — For the first time in years (or maybe ever) there is a burst of excitement surrounding Mitt Romney. Well, not directed at Mitt himself but rather at whom he might select for a running mate.
It’s crucial that Romney chooses just the right vice presidential candidate, but the problem is he must find someone even more boring than he is. No president wants to be outshone by his vice president, and indeed the whole point of a Veep is to stay out of the way, like Alexander Throttlebottom in “Of Thee I Sing,” and indeed all VPs until Dick Cheney, who was way too visible and unavoidable and was the exception that proves the rule.
Most of the usual VP suspects now being rounded up by the media — Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, Robert Portman, John Thune — are too semi-interesting to fade into the background. Who would think that anyone could be less charismatic than Tim Pawlenty, who positively glitters next to Mitt Romney, but here are a few possible drab Veeps:
1. Todd Palin: Putting any Palin family member on the GOP ticket is a risk, but it’s one that many Tea Party Republicans are delighted to take. If Todd is unavailable, perhaps his ever-charming daughter Bristol. Todd is not going to embarrass Romney unless he says something dumb about dogsledding, but Romney has already alienated the dog-owner bloc. Palin is unlikely to strap a husky to the top of his car when he drives to Alaska.
2. Kim Kardashian:
At first glance, this looks like an obvious appeal to the crucial 18-22 year old female Tweet bloc, but when you look closer you realize there is nobody less interesting in America today, unless it’s her poor neglected sister, Whatshername Kardashian.
3. Scott Pelly: Nice guy, solid journalist on the “CBS Evening News,” but even more lacking in dazzle than Mitt Romney. Pelly could be the answer to Mitt’s VP dreams.
4. Harry Reid: This will require that the Democratic leader switch parties, but it would be a daring move by Romney to try to one-up Obama’s “team of rivals” policy. The moment Reid opens his mouth (even at home, I suspect), people begin glancing at their watches and remembering dental appointments. To show you how dull Reid is, I even had to look up his name even though he’s on the news every other night but remains instantly forgettable. Harry’s voice is a guaranteed cure for insomnia. Ideal GOP choice.
5. Suze Orman: There seems to be no way to keep her from closing her yap – guaranteed to make voters flock to Mitt’s speeches. If Orman is unwilling, there is always good old Wayne Dyer, another PBS pledge break staple who is able to put multitudes to sleep instantly.
6. Bud Selig:
The dithering, longtime Commissioner of Baseball’s press conferences are guaranteed to lull fans into a semi-comatose state, part of the job description ever since Bowie Kuhn was commissioner. Selig takes years to decide what he wants for dinner.
7. Any Weather Channel anchor: These calm, implacable folks go to meteorology school to learn the rudiments of remaining deadly dull during tornadoes, blizzards and other national calamities, making them the ideal lackluster GOP running mate.
8. Clarence Thomas: The Supreme Court justice has yet to ask a question of any lawyer who appears before the court and thus is unlikely to ask anything of Romney, or anyone. He appears from here to be the very definition of a vice president, seen but not heard.
9. Dan Quayle: Dan is tanned, rested and ready, and there’s a good chance his golf game has improved in the past 20 years. Best of all, he’s got lots of experience as a spectacularly banal vice president under George H.W. Bush or until he made the fatal mistake of misspelling “potatoe,” which threw the limelight on him. Then he made matters worse by attacking “Murphy Brown,” drawing still more attention to himself. Voters are willing to forget these two blips on an otherwise exceptionally dreary record.
10. Donald Trump: This may sound at first like a terrible idea, because Trump is anything but a bore, but in fact he’s a brilliant choice for Romney’s vice president. Trump is such a consummate horse’s posterior that, after his first few rants, everyone will tune him out and race in desperation to hear anything Mitt has to say. Romney (or just about anyone) is sure to sound absolutely brilliant next to Trump.
Gerald Nachman is the author of several humor and entertainment books, most recently Right Here on Our Stage Tonight!: Ed Sullivan’s America; Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s; and Raised on Radio about the golden age of radio. For years Nachman was a critic and syndicated columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Daily News.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.