I figure Mitt Romney is destined to win the nomination. But most of what I have to say also goes for other Prez candidates.
First of all, I bet the Republicans won't nominate two generic-looking white men in suits. It's an image thing. Generic-looking white men in suits include: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry. That is not intended to be a complete list of Republicans who are generic-looking white men in suits.
So, I just don't see a Romney-Santorum or Perry-Pawlenty ticket. Not gonna happen.
Second, I suspect there are going to be sexist fears against nominating a VP candidate who would possibly remind voters of Sarah Palin. The chief victim of this will be Michelle Bachmann. I say it's sexist because Bachmann doesn't look much like Palin, nor does she talk like Palin. But she's after the same segment of voters who would vote for Palin, and she's got the same XX chromosomes, so the Republicans will be fearful of nominating someone who they think will be perceived as Palin Mk 2.
I should say that if Bachmann or another woman wins the Presidential nomination, that will be enough of a departure from earlier tickets that all image-based calculations are off and this entire post will be rendered null and void.
So now I've got these two assumptions:
- The Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees will not resemble each other physically.
- If Bachmann is on the ticket, she won't be there as Veep.
If both spots on the ticket are taken by men, the party will aim for two men who look very different from one another. If the top spot is taken by Romney or another generic-looking white man in a suit, the VP slot will go to someone who is not a generic-looking white man in a suit. It might go to a white man who bears an easily caricatured physical characteristic that sets him apart, like being very fat (Chris Christie) or very bald (I'm sure there are potential choices, but I'm blanking).
Or it will go to a person white America considers 'ethnic'. They may figure picking a black person will seem like too-obvious pandering. I think they're most likely to pick someone of an ethnicity that has never seen a national ticket before. They'll make history that way. Ideally they'll find someone adored by the conservative wing of the party, but who they consider charismatic and attractive and won't scare away moderates.
Bobby Jindal. Marco Rubio. It'll be one of those two. That's my super-early prediction, based on shallow logic that I stand by.