There are people who watched HBO's Game Change with glee and others who recoiled in horror, and Mitt Romney's campaign is making it quite clear they're in the latter camp. Just a couple weeks after the movie's debut, Romney's advisers are pushing the message that while it's too early to decide on a short list of running mates, it's not too early to make it clear that they don't want to make the same mistake John McCain did in 2008. Descriptions of the ideal vice presidential nominee are pretty clear shots at Sarah Palin, even if no one is saying her name. They want someone with "credibility," former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu told The National Review Monday. Romney is looking for someone who's "competent and ready to be president," The Washington Post's Philip Rucker reports.
Palin is still valued as a performer -- she'll guest-host the Today show Tuesday -- but her political legacy isn't so great. Former McCain aide Nicolle Wallace -- who warred with Palin quite a bit -- told BuzzFeed last week that the 2008 spectacle would influence Romney's choice of running mate. "I think it'll affect it because I think in the post-Palin era you can't go back," Wallace said. She was right! Steve Schmidt, credited with pushing McCain to pick Palin, told the Post, "I think the mistakes made in 2008 will have a big effect, as they should in 2012." An anonymous Romney aide added, "Knowing Mitt as I do, I think he’s going to be very much of the school that we need a vice president who can become president."
This time, Romney should go with a total snoozefest candidate, former Sen. John E. Sununu, the governor's son, writes in a Boston Globe op-ed headlined, "An exciting VP? Don’t go for it, Mitt." The younger Sununu warns:
In the end, there is only one imperative: don’t blow it... Distractions are the result of the unexpected, and the unexpected occurs when candidates have been poorly vetted. (You know who I mean.)
You betcha! Sarah Palin, once the bright, shining future of the Republican Party, is now She Who Must Not Be Named.