The establishment media, lacking any real interest in covering the fight for the soul of the Republican Party that the presidential campaign has become, has unilaterally declared the campaign for the GOP presidential nomination over.
The next big thing in their minds is now the Republican nomination for Vice President.
The establishment media narrative on the Republican nomination for Vice President follows a predictable path – the moderate establishment anointed Presidential nominee (in this case Mitt Romney) must pick a conservative to “balance” the Republican ticket.
Lest conservatives forget, the idea that a conservative Vice President would balance the impulses of a moderate Republican President was largely discredited when kinder and gentler moderate George H.W. Bush chose rising conservative star Dan Quayle as his conservative balance. Bush won the election running as the third term of Ronald Reagan and then proceeded to do his best to dismantle Reagan’s policies despite Quayle's presence in the West Wing.
The demand that there must be some conservative vs. moderate balance on the Republican ticket is already starting to lead the media to engage in some comical contortions as various establishment commentators try to bend their favorite Republican elected official’s record and views to be conservative enough to place a Romney led ticket in the conservative camp if their favored candidate is picked.
The problem with this exercise is that by-and-large the names offered are either not movement conservatives or they are not yet power players in national politics with a strong movement conservative constituency of their own.
Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Bob McDonnell, Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez and the rest of the names floated by the inside-the-Beltway pundits all have their good qualities – but none has established their conservative bona fides by being tested on the national scene and none brings a strong base in the conservative movement to add real grassroots conservative credibility to a Romney led ticket.
If Romney is indeed the nominee, an outcome we are not yet ready to say is inevitable, then one thing is certain – conservatives must be unified in demanding that he choose a Vice President who is a movement conservative and who will have some real influence in the administration.