With almost all of his challengers off the field, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Following Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s exit from the race in mid-April and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suspending his campaign last week, only Ron Paul is still campaigning. Yet, Paul trails Romney in delegates by an impossible margin, guaranteeing Romney’s victory.
For many, including Eastern Michigan University political science professor Jeffrey Bernstein, Romney’s nomination will not come as a surprise. “I think we ended up at the end point that most of us thought we would get to,” he said.
As for Paul, many are no longer taking him seriously. EMU senior Bily Simmons said “I like Ron Paul, he’s an adorable old man,” but he wouldn’t want him in office.
Bernstein said, Paul’s “15 minutes are up.”
As preparations begin for the Republican nominating convention in June, speculation has begun about possible vice presidential candidates. One name has come forward in the media recently, after a report came out of Tampa, Fla., the location of the Republican Convention. According to Chris Ingram, a Republican political consultant, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is a being considered as a potential running mate for Romney.
The theory is based on what could be considered an unusual factor: hotel assignments for the convention. Romney’s home state of Massachusetts was assigned to the best of the hotels in Tampa, and the Michigan delegation the next best, just a few steps away from the convention center and only seconds from Romney’s hotel.
According to Ingram, “There is a reason Michigan got the second-best hotel assignment: Gov. Rick Snyder. My bet is he’s Romney’s man for vice president.”
Ingram also said that Snyder would be a good choice to be Romney’s running mate. “Snyder is the personification of what an elected official should be. He has business experience and he is disciplined.”
Snyder’s approval ratings have been climbing steadily over the past several months, and while Bernstein said, “I wouldn’t bet the farm he’s going to get it,” he also said Snyder “has a lot of positives.” He cited his “unimpeachable conservative record in Michigan” and the fact that Michigan is a swing state as reasons why Snyder would be considered.
Berstein also laid out reasons why he wouldn’t be the best choice, including his focus on economics and lack of political experience in Washington. Bernstein said, “I’m not sure Romney can get away without a fire breather on abortion and gay rights.”
When asked about the possibility of a Romney-Snyder ticket, EMU senior Emily Adamek said “I don’t like either of them. They should never be in office.”
No matter who he picks as a running mate, Romney’s nomination sets up what many, including Bernstein, believe will be a close election. “I wouldn’t predict a landslide” he said. The Republican Party must now shift its focus toward defeating incumbent President Obama, who has been battling low approval ratings at the end of his first term. Recent polls show Obama with a 2.3 percent lead, not an insurmountable obstacle for an opponent.
And yet, Bernstein is still confident in a victory for the president. “I have believed throughout this election that Obama will win. I still do.”