The Weekly Standard: 'Go for the Gold', Mitt … pick Rubio or Ryan for VP

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William Kristol in an editorial for the Weekly Standard: “Go bold, Mitt! Pick Paul Ryan, the Republican party’s intellectual leader, the man who’s laid out the core of the post-Obama policy agenda and gotten his colleagues in Congress to sign on to it. Or pick Marco Rubio, the GOP’s most gifted young politician, the man who embodies what is best about the Tea Party and a vision of a broad-based Republican governing majority of the future. … Ryan and Rubio, more than anyone else, embody Republican hopes and conservative change. …

“[On Hispanics, t]he core of the problem is Florida-a must-win state for Romney. … In 2010, … Marco Rubio won 55 percent of Florida Hispanics. … Romney almost certainly will not win Florida if he wins just 37 percent of the Hispanic vote there. And Mitt Romney almost certainly will not be president if he doesn’t win Florida. … Rubio served in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years, the final two as speaker. In his short time in the U.S. Senate, he has distinguished himself as a hard worker and a serious foreign policy thinker. … Rubio has probably been subject to more intense critical scrutiny than anyone else Romney is considering. … The moment he’s picked, Rubio will become by far the most prominent Hispanic politician in the country. And in a contest largely about competing visions of the American dream, … Rubio’s personal story, … would provide a powerful counterargument [to Obama] . …

“Since 1999, Ryan has represented a swing district in southeastern Wisconsin-a seat held for two decades by Democrat Les Aspin. And even as he has undertaken a crusade to reform the entitlement programs thought for so long to be politically untouchable, Ryan has won reelection in his purple district with more than 60 percent of the vote six consecutive times. … As Rubio would help with a key demographic group, Hispanics, Ryan would help in key states in the Midwest. … And … putting Ryan on the ticket would ensure that the presidential race is a contest of ideas, not just personalities. …

“[W]hat looks safe can be risky. Portman, a good man and respected public servant, was George W. Bush’s budget director. Pawlenty’s presidential campaign was a disaster. The 2010 election was the best for Republicans in a long time. Ryan and Rubio embody the spirit of 2010. … [T]he most compelling reason for Romney to pick Ryan or Rubio: Doing so would signal that Romney understands the magnitude of the problems facing the country and would demonstrate that he has the will to solve them. It would suggest that Romney knows this is a big moment, and that he’s willing to run a big campaign.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.