Political rumors abound about Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick -- especially with public backing this week of Condoleezza Rice from high-profile conservative voices. Whom Romney will choose between now and the Tampa convention is anyone's guess. But who is No. 1 on some GOP voters' wish lists? Here's one Republican's perspective:
COMMENTARY | I hope Mitt Romney rejects the idea of Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. While Rice's foreign policy credentials are impressive, the pick would be better used to solidify the candidate's economic agenda, since those principles will determine the 2012 election.
My preference for Romney's vice president is Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia. Rumored on the short list of choices, the affable McDonnell has already campaigned with the GOP nominee to swing his critical home state, which President Obama captured in 2008.
The 58-year-old has served as Virginia's governor since 2010 and used an aggressive "Bob's For Jobs" platform to gain national prominence. While cutting spending, McDonnell has reduced unemployment in Virginia, while such figures stagnate throughout America. Jobs must be central to Romney's platform and McDonnell is a bold leader on the subject.
Prior to his election as governor, McDonnell was attorney general of Virginia and a member of its state legislature. His track record in these roles is strong and would rally the base by appealing to both social and economic conservatives.
McDonnell additionally adds a military background to the ticket, which the nominee lacks. Possessing a biography that campaigns love to promote, the governor is married for 35 years with five children, one of whom served in the Iraq War.
Although McDonnell seems an ideal selection, there are other gubernatorial choices to consider. Each would bolster Romney's domestic agenda, essential to contrasting with Obama in a time of economic hardship. Potential selections include Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. Each has displayed leadership and the ability to cut spending and craft a budget. These desired qualities stand in stark contrast to the Democrats' ticket.