There has been an explosion of interest in the media over former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Media pundits believe there is a chance that Mitt Romney might pick her to be his Vice Presidential choice on the GOPs 2012 ticket.
It is important to remember that Mitt Romney, at his core, is an investor. He looks for value, judges the risks and rewards, and makes his decisions with a mathematical coolness.
Condoleeza has not been an elected official or a chief executive officer of a city, county or state. Picking her would be taking a big risk. Rice might swing 5% of the African-American vote for Romney...if he was lucky. It might also be seen as pandering and garner him few votes at all.
Rice is charming and talented, but so are many others.
I would also eliminate any woman from his choice. Why? Because Mitt Romney saw what the media did to Sarah Palin in 2008 and he doesn't want a repeat of that. Romney wants to focus on the big picture message that he is a businessman who can fix the economy. He doesn't want anything to distract from that message.
So Nikki Haley, Kelly Ayotte and Susanna Martinez can take it easy this election cycle. They won't be getting a call from Mitt, except to help raise money in their states.
You can also eliminate the firebrands. The young turks who might be too wild for Romneys taste. No Allen West. And unfortunately, no Marco Rubio... the media will say he's not ready. The recent video of Governor Chris Christie shouting at a heckler on the boardwalk shows exactly why he would be too big of a gamble for Romney.
No, it will be someone "safe" and non-controversial.
Realistically, the list is down to about 5-6 people.
Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty, Bob McDonnell, John Thune and Paul Ryan.
Choosing Portman helps Romney win Ohio, and may be the biggest deciding factor.
Pawlenty shares a personal style with Romney but won't bring Minnesota into the mix.
McDonnell would help win Virginia. Thune has the religious background and charismatic appeal that Romney likes. Ryan is a good public speaker, highly persuasive and might bring Wisconsin into the mix.
My new odds for VP 2012: