The office of the Vice Presidency has often been ridiculed, and some have argued for its abolition by a constitutional amendment, but that is a wrong headed idea.
The Vice Presidency has become an important office since the 1950s, when Richard Nixon transformed the office, both by his own ambitions, and the willingness of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to allow the office to expand.
While Lyndon B. Johnson under John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey under Johnson were not used effectively by their Presidents, and while Spiro Agnew under Richard Nixon and Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush could be seen as disasters in office, still the office has grown in stature and accomplishments otherwise.
So Gerald Ford, in his brief Vice Presidency under Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan, Al Gore under Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney under George W. Bush, and Joe Biden under Barack Obama have had a great impact on the office, and made it an office of real power and influence!
When one realizes that Ford and the first Bush ended up in the White House, as did Nixon and Lyndon Johnson; and that Humphrey, Mondale, and Gore were Presidential nominees; and that Rockefeller and Biden both sought the Presidential nomination, one realizes that choosing a Vice Presidential nominee is not to be regarded as insignificant to the nation!
But can we afford another Agnew, Quayle, Geraldine Ferraro, or Sarah Palin to be a possible heartbeat away from the Presidency?
The answer clearly is NO, so Mitt Romney, by taking his time to choose a running mate, hopefully is carefully considering who could really contribute to the office, and help Romney if the two of them end up in the White House!
If one decides to forget everything but experience and competence, and ability to add to Romney’s candidacy, then the choice must be one of the following: Condoleezza Rice, Rob Portman, or Tim Pawlenty.
Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Bob McDonnell, John Thune, and Kelly Ayotte all have issues and problems if they are chosen, and one could argue that some of them could not match the list of Vice Presidents who have served, as not being on their competency level.
But if one had to predict what now seems likely, don’t be surprised that Mitt Romney selects Paul Ryan, which would be an unmitigated disaster, as the controversy surrounding him and his economic plans would reverberate against Mitt Romney.
The gut feeling is that Ryan is on the top of the list, followed by Kelly Ayotte, who is simply not qualified to be President, and would not be much better than Sarah Palin was in the 2008 election cycle.
So bet on Ryan or Ayotte, but if Romney does the best for the nation, it would be Rice, Portman, or Pawlenty!