There should be a coffee table book of Republican hopefuls and their running mates. It would be a mixed horror/comedy theme. Ike had Nixon who led the pogrom against supposed communists. Nixon, in turn, had Spiro Agnew, a corrupt road builder who virtually insured Nixon would never meet the same fate as his nemesis, John Kennedy.
Gerald Ford, of course, had Bob Dole as his veep candidate but they lost Ford's one and only election campaign to Jimmy Carter.
Ronald Reagan had George H.W. Bush, a shady character whose true background has never been plumbed even to this day. When Bush Sr. got his shot he chose the first of the great comic running mates, Dan Quayle. When Ol' Bush got dispatched by Clinton, Quayle was pretty much finished.
Bob Dole arguably had the best Republican running mate in post-war American history, Jack Kemp. But, of course, Clinton trounced them too so no reason to dwell on that.
A new millennium ushered in Bush the Younger and his self-appointed sidekick, Amerika's original vice-presidential Darth Vader, Dick Cheney. Together this Dysfunctional Duo ushered in two hopeless foreign wars, the collapse of America's economy and the beginning of the end of its global dominance.
Then, of course, we had John McCain and his truly bizarre pick, the endlessly weird Sarah Palin. If anything she has proved that there is life after death, at least in the realm of politics.
But surely now it's time for some comic relief again.
At this point it looks like Mitt Romney will edge out Rick Santorum and the Lizard King, Newt Gingrich. Even if Santorum did best Romney, it's too much to contemplate who would be willing to serve as his understudy. Perhaps the Vatican might come up with somebody.
But who will stand mitt Mitt? Santorum? Nah, he just burned that bridge with his robocalls. Besides he's a rank Papist. Newt Gingrich? Nope, Romney could never feel safe with Newt at his back. Michelle Bachmann? Maybe, although she is almost as crazy as Santorum. For Establishment Republicans, it doesn't seem to matter.
...if there was ever a political moment for the GOP to select a vice-president who makes little-to-no sense, this is it. Philip Klein, a senior editorial writer for the Washington Examiner, has a "sacrificial lamb theory". He says that there's an argument – made by those pessimistic about the chances of beating Obama – for the eventual nominee to not "waste one of the good guys this time around". Plenty of politicos on both sides have noted that while the Republicans have a poor slate of actual presidential candidates, they have a deep bench of up-and-coming leaders. Would it be good for the party to burn one of them with the legacy of a failed campaign? Or, as Klein said, "Do you really want Marco Rubio to spend September and October defending Romneycare?"
...Whoever winds up rounding out the Republican slate, the people I talked to believed that the logic that gave us Sarah Palin is no longer operating the decision system. Klein summed it up this way:
"They went with rock star appeal in 2008 and it was a disaster. Now, maybe, we'll go with a dork who knows what he's doing."