Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Case for Mitt Romney - Part 2

Readers of this blog are probably figuring out that I am waiting in great anticipation for a certain sitting president to present his vision for the next 4 years in something other then grandiose terms. Thus far we have been told that if Romney wins, women will no longer have bridges to drive to Planned Parent because Romney spent all the money exporting paper mills to the Cayman Islands, or something like that. There is no plan for the next four years. We can’t even seem to agree on a tax plan for next year. But, I said early on that this series would be a Pro Romney chain and not a dump on our President, I’ve got plenty of other posts that do that. I do, however, want to help paint the picture of what the next four years may look like under a Romney Presidency.

The Case for Mitt Romney – Part 2: The Romney Plan

First I have to lower some expectations. Day 1: Pulled straight from his television commercial. Romney has stated that he plans to fast track approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The sad truth, this is all but impossible now, it’s too late, we missed the boat, and guess who was right there for the rebound, a company by the name CNOOC, a Chinese state owned conglomerate, now has a roughly $15 Billion dollar investment in the Canadian Sands project by buying Nexen. Just another stepping stone is China’s buildup of owning and controlling a disproportionate share of the Worlds high dollar natural resources. What this means is that if it comes down to running pipelines from Canada to the Gulf coast vs. the Pacific coast of Canada, CNOOC is who will be making the decision. We had our window, and we blew it.

His other major task for ‘Day 1’ is repealing Obama Care, or at the least grant executive waivers to all the states. I have spent hours upon hours trying to glean some insight as to what a likely scenario will be in the coming years when it comes to this legislation. All I know for certain is that the process in which we got to this point makes no true sense to me, and I’m sure between now and November I, and a few million other people in the blogosphere, will have plenty to say about the feasibility of any action against Obama Care. It sounds simple enough, but without 60 votes in the senate, which I would declare unlikely, this is probably going to get messier well before it gets better. If some states use waivers and others don’t, if some states opt out of the Medicaid expansions and others don’t, then this law could end up being a cluster of ever changing parts which usually means an even bigger bureaucracy to manage all the different aspects that change state by state.

Wow, convinced yet? Me neither, but here is the good news…

Mitt Romney’s Tax Policy: We are told again, and again, and again, that the US is sitting on a huge pile of cash. Why? In a word, uncertainty. How many times has a fight broken out on capitol hill over taxes? Does Obama Care have taxes? Are we extending the Bush era tax cuts? For who? Payroll tax holidays? New taxes on the wealthy? What about capital gains tax rates? There are so many variables playing into what we will be paying on taxes anywhere from 5 months to 5 years from now. If you are preparing a family budget and are told your paychecks may be shrinking by 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% next year, would you go out and spend money now? Or start making sure your savings account was in good shape. (Hint: The smart answer is the latter one, and I hope most of you are doing this regardless).

So, what is the Romney plan? To stop the insanity! To throw out all these stupid temporary tax plans and put in a new low rate, broad based plan that removes many exemptions and simplifies the code. Without indulging in too many details, people have been comparing this approach to the Reagan Tax plan of cutting rates in 1981, then revamping the entire system in 1986. We could go into ideals of the Laffer curve or the law of diminishing returns, people will say that this will hurt the lower class, but from 1981 to 1987, the era of Reagen Tax cuts, the lowest Quintile (that is to say the bottom 20% of wage earners) effective tax rate went from 0.5% <drum roll please> to -0.6%. That’s negative point six percent, and then continued down to -1.6% by the time Reagan left office in 1989. And under the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy from 2001 at -5.6%, it continued down to -6.2% by the time 2004 rolled around (Bush tax cuts from 01 and 03 fully implemented). Yet from ’81 to ’89 (Reagan era) total income tax receipts rose 56%, GDP rose prior to the ’09 collapse Bush saw a 15% increase, and that was not tax reform, simply a reduction in the tax rates. Romney’s plan speaks much more to the principals of the former.

A common part of Romney’s Fiscal plan is deficit reduction. Romney speaks very highly of the Paul Ryan budget plan. Although most people openly admit getting that bill passed through congress as is will be daunting, even if major Republican shift occurs this fall. The Romney plan calls for a day one <eek, I put this in the wrong spot!> reduction of discretionary spending of 5%. If you do not believe our current Debt ot GDP ratio is alarming then you probably also believe that denial is just a river in Egypt. Here is a short list of developed countries with more debt than their annual GDP; Greece, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and as of 2011, the US of A has a Debt to GDP ratio of 103%. Not exactly a list of countries reaping the benefits of state investment. The Romney Plan is geared to stop this trend with no cost growth strategy (elimination of ‘Red Tape’), cuts to government spending, and gradual implementation of austerity measures.

Speaking of red tape, that is a line used far too often in politics today. If you have not hear Gov. Romney’s speech to the VFW, I would recommend watching the video, it’s less then 20 minutes and has some good insight to the Romney approach when it comes to cutting the bureaucracy, he tells a tale of navel ship building over the years;

“And while our output has declined, the bureaucracy has increased. There is enormous waste. Let me give you an example: During World War Two, we built 1,000 ships per year with 1,000 people in the Bureau of Ships – the purchasing department, if you will. In the 1980’s we built 17 ships per year, with 4,000 people in purchasing. Today, for 9 ships a year, it takes 25,000 people!

Let me tell you, as a conservative businessman who has spent most of his life in the private sector, I look at that kind of inefficiency and bloat and say, “Let me at it.”

The devil may lie in the details, but this makes sense to me, it has been too long since we have had an honest administrator leading this country. Too many items are passed down the political hierarchy and not enough simple questions asked to justify these figures.

I have spent an unhealthy amount of time looking at the numbers, reading into everyone from Paul Krugman to Thomas Sowell in an attempt to interpret the mountains of data. My personal conclusion, most economists are not stupid, but, you can spin numbers any way you want to support any theory. The real question at hand is not does a plan work on its merits, it is in how well it will be received. Having a fair, simple, low rate set in place for a long term, I believe, would be the best thing for the economy right now. Tax rates skyrocketed in the wake of World War II with little negative impact, why? People wanted to win a war, in the decades that followed, the US has conceded a good sum of it’s share of the global wealth, not necessarily a bad thing at its face, but we cannot count on exclusivity of our economic power to carry up forward, we have to attract business here from other countries and retain and grow our businesses here so they can compete with these global companies. This is a significant shift from our thinking of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s when logistics and communication capacities simply didn’t allow for the level of competition we see today. The Romney tax and regulatory plans acts upon these ideals and creates a business environment that can compete with other developed countries. We took similar steps in the 80’s when Japan emerged as a global competitor and when the USSR was our main competition, now it’s China and the EU. America can compete with the best of them, we have wealth, resources, and ingenuity, we need a set of rules that allows us to utilize these safely, cleanly, and last but not least, practically so that our wealth is not invested else wear, our resources are not exploited, and our ingenuity is not usurped as a result of an uneven playing field.

Next in this Series, Either “The Wisdom in his VP Choice”, or some other topic if he chooses someone stupid like Jan Brewer, or "Nevermind, I'm moving to Canada" if it's Sarah Palin.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ron Santo, the way I remember him.

"Well would you look at that." A classic line used in the wake of a great play. The humor in the line being, of course, that on the radio it was hard to appreciate what Ron was seeing, but you couldn't help but smile at times like these. It was like listening to your quirky old uncle recant tales of a simpler time with context lost over the years. Always enjoying the company and allowing our minds to relax back to an age when life ran a little slower and worries didn't weigh so heavily on the sole. This was the gift of Ron Santo, to remind us that it was okay to be passionate about a game without forgetting that at the end of the day, it was just a game. To remind us of important things in life while giving so much of oneself to the betterment of others, be it his quirks on the air or his unfaltering support to find a cure for diabetes, his phenomenal career he had with the Cubs, or his unwavering belief that one day Cubs fans everywhere would know it was all worth the wait.

I sit here typing in solace with Cubs nation on this day as we celebrate the bitter sweetness of a great man obtaining the ultimate sign of respect and gaining entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ron Santo had an impact that spanned several generations for the game of baseball, and in particular the game of baseball.

My story begins in the twilight of his contributions to the game, not having lived in the dead ball era, I developed my love for players like Derrick Lee and Aramis Ramirez before learning the history of the people that were a part of the team and organization I was falling in love with.

I first fell in love with Santo living in central Iowa some 8 years ago. My wife, a die hard Cubs fan, rekindled a childhood love the game and for the cubs in the years following the infamous '03 season. It's easy to be a Cubs fan in Iowa where WGN TV airs most of the games, but for those days a regional broadcast would leave you watching a Cardinals or Royals game in the Des Moines area, we had the ability to turn on our radios to WGN Radio and turn off the outside world for a few hours. I remember grabbing some ice slushies from the local Sonic store, going home, and laughing as much as we'd cheer along with Pat and Ron. The best televised games always featured Ron doing something with Len and Bob in the pregame, wether it was telling his story of coffee being spilled during his first radio broadcast, or just laughing alongside some of the other Cubs great. His personality just poured through the radio and through the television screen.

The exercise of trying to choose your personally most powerful Cub memory including Ron involves reflecting on moments like Ron laying a smooch on Wood during 2008's Division Championship celebration, or his fantastic speech at the Friendly Confines where he said, in reference to the flag displaying his retired number 10, "This is my Hall of Fame.". But the ultimate moment for me was a few years back where while on my way to grab a hot dog sometime during the 5th in a game against the Marlins, I caught a glimpse of the man himself, it took a moment to know who I was looking at he was leaving an elevator at Wrigley in an odd sort of waddle. It was not a particularly eventful moment, the ground did not split open, nor was there a bright flash of light over the horizon, it was a simple and altruistic moment for realizing how close you came to someone you idolize so much. It gave him a realism to me that no amount of story telling or shared laughs can fully encompass through the radio waves.

In conclusion, I don't doubt that Cooperstown is a warmer and happier place for ,finally, having opened their doors to this legend, but his heart and spirit will always be dwelling somewhere between the broadcast booth and the bricks and ivy at Wrigley Field. Probably near the third base bag, suspended a few feet in the air between a pair of clicking heels.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DRAT! I thought for a moment the President had a plan...

I crave hearing about what this President is going to do to tackle the debt. You hear me, CRAVE IT! I want this President to lay out what he would do in the next 4 years so that we don’t eclipse the $20 Trillion dollar mark by the time he’d be out of office. But that is a horrible story, here is my set up. While I was going around the web, I happened upon an add that made my heart leap! Could it be true?!? An add that is called “Obama’s Deficit Plan”. Not only that, but the link actually takes you to BarrackObama.com, the official website of the President’s re-election campaign.

Go Here;
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x560709#560737 (went there on 7/18, my apologies, the ad appears to have been replaced since)

See an add for Barrack Obama’s Website here;

Which links you to www.barrackobama.com/our-vote , containing a beautiful banner of Obama, Michelle, and one of their daughters, and displaying the following text; The President’s Deficit Plan in his own words.

FULL DISCLOSER, the text is ripped right off the website, but you may notice some liberties with the image

Since taking office, President Obama has turned around an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs each month, ended the war in Iraq, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, and cut taxes for every working family.
So this November, the choice for women is clear: We can keep moving forward and build on the progress we've made—or we can go backward to more tax cuts for the wealthy, the same policies that led to massive job losses and punished the middle class, and an era when women didn't have control over our own health choices.
Will we re-elect the candidate who has our backs and is fighting for our families? Or will we turn back?

So this is the Obama BUDGET DEFICIT PLAN, let’s do quick breakdown of the key points;

Number of mentions of Budget: 0
Number of mentions of Deficit: 0
Number of mentions of Plan: 0
Number of mentions of Women: 4

I guess that’s it. The plan to get the country out of this crippling spiral of debt is to get more woman better and fairer paying jobs. This in itself isn’t a bad thing by any means. The sad part is if I proceed to say that this plan doesn’t address the debt problem I’ll probably be deemed a sexist by a loud minority of people. Some of those same people may even take offense to me, a middle aged white male from the Midwest, using the word ‘minority’ in the last sentence. There is a blip about tax policy in this statement, but Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated just this week to congress higher taxes could do more harm than good in these economic conditions. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Top Pieces of Legislation that Have %*@#ed Us Over

The other day I got into a discussion with a colleague of mine. Despite our better attempts, the conversation drifted into the realm of politics. Being of the mind that the more bigger and drastic programs and laws that are passed by our representatives in Washington, the more our freedoms are flaking away like dandruff from my scalp when I haven’t washed my hair for a couple of days. My colleague pressed me for examples of how we are any less free today than a generation ago. I quipped back with the smart ass demeanor of an eight year old that the Patriot Act, although justifiable for a brief window at its passing, was one of the offenders. He said I was crazy, I called him uninformed,  he retorted that I’m just jaded, I made some crude joke involving his mother and the New York Knicks, he idly threatened me with violence, I slapped him, he hit back, I ran off to blog about my feeling, which leads us to;

The Top Pieces of Legislation that Have $#%@ed Us Over.

October 2001 - Patriot Act (Bush)
This is an all-encompassing piece of legislation that Allows the Federal government to secretly search records and conduct roving wiretaps & raids in pursuit of alleged terrorists or their supporters. On top of the fact that 9/11 occurred over 10 years ago, it was only designed to be a temporary measure, it’s been extended up through 2015, and ‘tweaked’ so many times most people don’t even know what the heck is in it anymore. Here are a few highlights.

-The ability for government agencies to listen in on communications prior to a warrant being approved. Fourth Amendment WHAT!?!?
-Little distinction is made between enemy combatants and US citizens as the government is allowed to jail indefinitely without a trial.Fifth Amendment WHAT!?!?!
-The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes. Sixth Amendment WHAT!?!?!

October 2011 - ACTA (multinational version of SOPA) - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
Remember the Black Out of Wikipedia earlier this year? The good news is that it did have an impact on bringing attention to the ridiculous standards of content. That withstanding, Obama signed this in 10/2011, characterizing it as a "executive agreement" and thus bypassing Congressional approval. Secrecy has made it difficult for members of the media and citizens and elected officials in participating countries to understand the implications of the agreement. Imagine an internet where if you say something bad about a company, all the company has to do is call up your ISP and BAM! Your blog or page is gone! And of course, trademark violations are much harder to verify than copyright violations, since they often hinge on complex, fact-intensive components. Meaning that ISPs are that much more likely to simply take complaints at face-value, leading to even more easy censorship of the Internet with nothing more than a claim of trademark violation. Just remember, slander is spoken, in print it’s liable.

January 2012 – NDAA – National Defense Authorization Act
This one make your head spin once you read up on it. This works in conjecture with bullet point 3 of the Patriot Act list above in that it states Citizens can be detained pretty much with the say so of the Executive branch for any reason at any time for any duration. This pretty much passed because without the funding appropriations attached to it the Defense Department would probably have been gutted pretty badly. When asked to defend Section 1031 of this provision, Senator Levin of Michigan stated in so many words that the case is overblown because the government wasn’t being forced to detain citizens, it just had the ability to, as requested by President Obama, forgive me by not taking comfort is him basically saying "Just because we can, doesn't mean we will."

March 2012 - NDRP - National Defense Resources Preparedness
This being put on paper is just downright scary. In 1950, the Korean War was kicking off and fears of another long term war with the USSR and other countries was looming. In order to enable the government to flip the switch from peacetime to wartime easier then had happened in 1940’s; the Defense Production Act was passed. The prominent thought was giving the government the capacity to change American production to fit the need of National Defense. In March, the President used powers granted to the executive branch in this law to expand it to include the confiscation of pretty much any personal property in the name of National Defense. The big question is, why now? In a time when an international war would either be fought overseas or with nukes, does the government need the capacity to allocate “…food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer…” –Section 201(a)(1)?

May 2012 - Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act
Intended for the noble cause of cracking down on Child Pornography by creating a database that includes your viewer history, your credit card information, your name, phone number, just about anything you may have put online at any. A quote from Lifehacker;

Consider the browser history of a single person over the course of a year, and then multiply that by 272,100,000. Then try to find 10,000 people in that data that have, at some point during that year, downloaded at least a single piece of child pornography. Finding a needle in a haystack is hard, but it gets to be pretty close to impossible when that haystack is the size of a country.

It begs the question that even with this power, it’s an impossible task to stay ahead of its intended purpose. Couple this with the investments companies like Facebook and Google have made toward self-monitoring while still having some disturbing stories break about Child Pornography and questions are raised to what the intended to be accomplished. Proactive investigations into these practices and a consideration for intent are generally considered a much more effective method of tracking these criminals down.

And last, but by NO means least.

CISPA - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
Anyone in the tech industry should be aware of this piece of legislation. The 2 second explanation is this law allows Government & private entities share info, no warrants or subpoenas needed, the military will have access to private info, and companies immune from liability if they give info to government. This includes e-mails, texts, private site posts like Facebook. This is under the guise of, that’s right, fighting cyber terrorism. But, there are virtually no protections that this info can’t be used by the government for pretty much whatever they want. The silver lining here is that it is still on the floor of the Senate, but it already passed the House, using arguments like “Think about how many people could die if a cyber-terrorist attacked our air traffic control system and planes slammed into one another…” Sen. Rockefeller-WV
Well, with an airtight argument like that, why wouldn’t you want the government looking at your e-mails? <rolls eyes>

Put this all together, and you get a universe where almost all communication is monitored and the power of the state is limitless. By no means is this the entire list, but I'd propose that these bills alone pretty much make our government a pretty scary entity.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Seriously? (Life's little disapointments in photos)

Taco Bell is selling taco's made out of Doritos? That sounds yummy...



Ah wintertime, and also clementine season! Yeah, they are a bit pricey, but smell so good once you peel them...



Time for some Father/Son bonding time....

Seriously?!?! (Love you Pops!)


Man, I'm making great time. I'll be home in no time...



Mmmmmm... Fried stuff with cheese. 



But enough negativity, here is a picture of my dog in a bow tie!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Day with President Obama

July 10th, 2012, President Obama Campaigns at Johnson Hall 
at Kirkwood Community College 
in Cedar Rapids, IA

This is a log of the day, as experienced by an Amateur Blog writer.

9:26am - I wave my co-workers adieu as I head out of the office, on my way to meet the President of the United States of America. The excitement coursing through me so violently that I forget to tie my shoes. Lucky for me, the Army Corp of Engineers had been notified 5 months prior and promptly set up a trip free environment for me to pass through.

9:47am - The line to this event is longer then Romney's shot to win his home state. My brother and his significant other have been holding my spot for almost an hour. After some condescending back and forth to save face with the people that I was budging in front of, we grab some buttons and snap a picture of the bomb sniffing dog that was screening the bands equipment. Luckily for the band, named "Reefer Ganja Chillums", the dog was a victim of over specialization and had not received his grant for developing it's drug sniffing job skills.

11:14am - Met a very nice gentleman who, based on signage on his shirt, was either named Phil, or Tsa Trainee. He offered to lighten my load as a passed through a metal detector. Sure, I felt safe once I was inside, but after I left the party everyone outside knew I was not packing.

12:05pm - The first guest speakers begin. Including an opening benediction and an awkward moment during the pledge of allegiance when nerves got the better of the speaker, causing him to skip a line. He then attempted to explain to the crowd that this was as embarrassing as one of those dreams where you arrive at school wearing no pants. It got even more uncomfortable when several people from the audience tried to cheer him up by offering him their pants.

12:51pm - The heavens parted, the angel choir sang, the oceans rise began to slow, and for one brief moment, democrats and republicans held hands with all the children of the world and joined the President in a message of peace.

12:51.001pm - The moment passes

12:53pm - President Barrack Obama addresses the wild crowd of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

12:54pm - Blah blah blah Tax Cuts, blah blah blah I'm not Romney, blah blah blah war in Iraq, blah blah blah really, I'm not Romney, blah blah blah education, blah blah blah seriously though, I'm not Romney. 

   <On a serious note, he spoke about the momentum Iowa gave him back in the '08 primaries, and tried to bring back some of the emotion from the historic '08 election to try and fire up the crowd. No real new ideas where shared, a few jabs at Romney but nothing over the top. He mostly hit home the need to keep taxes low on the middle class but not rolling back government programs when the wealthiest Americans can pay a little more. Overall a pretty generic stump speech.>

1:38pm - In an attempt to illustrate his tax proposal, Obama declared that the 2% of people closest to the exit had to wait for the other 98% to leave, to show how the many can benefit at the sacrifice of the few. Unfortunately (or true to form depending on your political persuasion) the 2% stood their ground, not allowing anyone to pass through the only exit. I used my cunning to shimmy out a window that went directly into Canada, however, my Brother and his girlfriend are still at the event awaiting the 2% to play out their fair share... of Obama's demonstration.

2:26pm - After picking up some lunch and a quick visit to my wife, I return to work. I find it a poor escape from the elation and exhilaration that I feel from the days events. After having a taste of living life with my good buddy Obama, life without him seems a bit dimmer, and less satisfying. I ate a steak dinner, and it just didn't have it's savory taste, I took my dogs on a walk, and it just didn't have the relaxing effect it normally does, I made love to my wife, and it just didn't have the satisfying spark that I've now come to know, after having spent a day, with President Barrack Obama.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thank you Big Bang Theory

During one of my many ritualistic web surfs, an interesting article caught my eye under Google's Sci/Tech section, specifically the name Higgs Boson. Almost unknowingly I clicked to read up on Wednesday's discovery of what many are calling the "God" partial that acts more like a wave. A few sentences into the article it hit me, I actually knew what this was all about! How you ask? Because I watch the Big Bang Theory.

Mind you, I have no idea what this new discovery from the Large Hadron Collider all means, nor do I believe that this changes any real aspect of my life. But, I can acknowledge that this is a big deal. My interest also caused me to read not one, but several articles about this amazing revelation. If this show can assist in stirring up interest in a middle aged computer geek, I can only hope there are some younger people that this could act as the inspiration to learn as much as possible about physics and the universe we live in. Maybe in a few decades we'll be hearing a laureate speech about how that zany Leonard and Sheldon inspired them so many years ago.

Until such a time, I would like to thank Chuck Lorre and the fantastic writers and actors of Big Bang, for I now know that; 

Hydrogen or "H" + (pigs minus pea) + Bow + General Zod trapped in the phantom ZONE + Pear + Tickle = Higgs Boson Particle!

How could you not get that? It's all there.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


After a series of Google searches of gathering everyone’s opinions on who Mitt will pick from a torrent of names being tossed into the proverbial hat, from a portly New Jersey Executive to a controversial Arizona Gubernatorial, I began to ask myself, by what criteria are these names being judged? Is it how they look next to a candidate in a photo op? How easily their names follow one another on a banner? I decided to delve a little bit into what a presidential candidate looks for in a running mate.

To start off with, let’s establish a few necessary criteria. Since you are letting people know who you would have take over your job should something bad happen, the first and foremost requirement should be their capacity to do the job. This typically translates to someone with political or some form of executive experience. Looking at the list of VP candidates over the past several decades, the last one of them did not have an elected official position on their resume was Sargent Shriver, George McGovern’s VP choice in a failed campaign against Richard Nixon in ’72., and even he held several Government oriented positions such as ambassador and Director of the OEO.  The other duh obvious is to choose a candidate that is well vetted and not containing any ‘bombshells’ such as Spiro Agnew’s Money problems or perhaps even Sarah Palin’s Grandchild out of wedlock that can create easy fodder against one’s ticket.

The obvious out of the way, and assuming all is well with the above criteria, I would consider the Vice President to have the capacity to do one of three things;

1.) Carry their home state: The best example of this in recent times was Bill Clinton’s pick of Al Gore. Clinton, knowing that we could hold New England and the west coast well enough just with the (D) at the end of his name, so he took the battle to some of the lighter shaded red states with an additional southern democrat. And in ‘92 it proved very smart. Aided with a softening of Bush Sr. support from Ross Perot, The Bush/Gore ticket not only carried their home states of Arkansas and Tennessee, but also swung several surrounding, typically republican carried states as well. Perot having less of an impact in ’96 swung a couple back, but the southern impact still help carry Clinton to easy wins in both his elections.

If Mitt chose Portman from Ohio, or Rubio from Florida, or just about anyone from a decent sized swing state, this is probably a factor in his mentality.

2.) Shore up your weaknesses: Barrack Obama by many people was too young and too inexperienced to do the job, and even though he preached a message of hope and change from a relative outsider. He still took this very traditional route in choosing a career politician with decades of political experience as his running mate. Obviously not dissolving the argument again Barrack, but can you imagine the field day Republicans would have had if Barrack had gone with another youthful outsider like Edwards? The Biden pick definitely helped placate some of the concerns that Barrack just had no idea what he was getting into. Meanwhile, Edwards countered the old tired ‘Washington insider’ look that Kerry was trying to shed in a counter to a Bush Dynasty with Cheney puppet master image they were pushing against.

If we see Mitt as an outsider businessman, this thought mentality would lead us to a more established politician, perhaps with a strong military background. Or, perhaps he’ll be trying to address Obama’s push for Latino support has him concerned. A Gov. McDonnell or Representative Hunter from California could carry some military experience, or perhaps a Gov. Martinez for the latter.

3.) Rock Star: Typically the least successful of these three, when you need to make a splash with someone carrying a single resonating message or just to grab some attention to begin with. Imagine any one of the long shot candidates practically waving their arms in the air crying "Look at me! Look at me!". When your opponent seems to have such a good stride that you can’t seem to hold the people’s attention long enough to try and sway their vote. Geraldine Ferraro in ’84 or a Sarah Palin in’08 fit this bill well.

After this statement, you better believe I’d be scared if Mitt went with a Chris Christie or anyone who adds little more than controversy to his ticket.

Who do I think he will pick? Marco Rubio is almost too good to pass up. In his 2010 election bid, he ran an almost purely anti-Obama campaign citing the infamous hug between Crist and Obama. So despite having an ex-Republican run as an independent, Rubio won the state handedly. His Hispanic Background disarms much of the push Obama has been doing recently to woo their vote. He could also put Arizona and Nevada much more into play for the same reason, Though I hate having to lean on race as a reason to vote for anyone. Ultimately, I think this guy is fired up and ready to be a real weapon for the Romney camp.

So who is my pick after all this cogitating? In a perfect world I would like to see him pick Bobby Jindal. His reaction to Katrina shows him to be a no-nonsense type of leader. He could also use this experience to bring up Obama’s leadership during the work done by states in handling this crisis. His Indian roots could disarm some of the anti-immigrant fuel that Obama’s had recently. And aside from his reaction speech to Obama’s '09 State of the Union he is very well spoken. He could help firm up some support in southern states and maybe even give a sliver of an edge to Romney in Florida thanks to his handling of the BP oil spill.

Video: Jindal leaning into the Administration over their support of BP Oil Spill response. It was appearances like this that introduced me to Governor Jindel years ago, and I like what I saw.