Mitt Romney could be headed back to political prime time now that conservative heavyweights, including The Weekly Standard, are pushing him as John McCain’s best bet for vice president. Romney’s economic know-how, it is argued, along with his popularity with the Bush wing of the party, makes him a safe choice.
Romney is also reported to be a favorite of Karl Rove, who is unofficially advising Team Straight Talk.
While he may appeal to social conservatives, so does the anti-evolutionist Mike Huckabee, who managed to wage a more agreeable campaign against McCain. Neither does much for independents, who still mourn the passing of maverick McCain.
Romney has three other add-ons. He’s acceptable to conservatives and especially to social conservatives, who disproportionately volunteer as ground troops in Republican presidential campaigns. He’s unflappable in debates. With the downturn worsening, the economy may surpass national security as the top issue of the campaign. And after years of success as a big time player in the global economy, Romney understands how markets work. He could shore up McCain’s admitted weakness on economic issues.
Romney has allies in the Bush wing of the Republican party. President Bush favors him as McCain’s veep. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, preferred Romney over McCain in the primaries, but never endorsed him publicly. Karl Rove, the president’s political strategist, has hinted that he considers Romney to be McCain’s best running mate.