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With Zero Foreign Policy Experience Himself, Romney Can't Choose Republican Governor VP Wannabes

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According to beltway chatter, one of the Republican governors supporting Romney will be his VP pick.

If so, the Republican ticket will go down in flames. Already, and for good reason, President Obama leads all his Republican rivals on foreign policy and combatting terrorism.

Mitt Romney has absolutely zero foreign policy experience. Candidate Obama was admittedly short of foreign policy experience as well, but he had two things going for him: He had been, for two years, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and he had been out front, and correct, on the Iraq War -- the major foreign policy issue of the time.

Nonetheless, nominee Obama chose Sen. Joe Biden, a 30-plus year veteran of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and for many years its Chair. (And, to be fair, George W. Bush -- whose only foreign policy experience was figuring out how to avoid going overseas during the Vietnam War -- allowed a former Defense Secretary, Dick Cheney, to choose himself).

The Obama-Biden ticket could not be seriously flawed for its foreign policy experience and acumen.

Romney has none of these attributes. He has absolutely zero foreign policy experience, unless scheduling the giant slalom at the Winter Olympics is considered foreign policy.

Moreover, Romney has no major speech or op-ed article that takes a unique or creative position on any major issue of foreign policy. All he does is regurgitate neocon pablum.

Hence, all the Republican governor VP wannabes -- Christie, McDonnell, Pawlenty, Daniels(?) -- fail to fill that huge gap in Romney's background. They can do all the auditions and preening they wish, but that cannot compensate for their utter lack of any experience in foreign policy -- the war & peace, life and death, issues that face the United States.

Historically, every ticket, from both parties, has had at least one of the candidates who had a strong foreign policy background. Bill Clinton chose Al Gore (Senate Armed Services Committee). Ronald Reagan chose George H.W. Bush (former CIA, former Ambassador to China), and so on. Bob Dole was the experienced party on the Dole-Kemp ticket.

So, whom else does Romney have to choose from? John Huntsman is probably his best choice, but Romney would have to risk (unjustified, but likely real) negatives from having two Mormons on the ticket. His second best choice, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), is up for re-election and unlikely to relinquish a Senate seat betting on Mitt Romney to win the presidency.

The other Republican senators on the foreign relations or defense committees are small-time, bit players. The exception might be Lindsay Graham (R-SC), a McCain-anite, but he has some rumored personal matters that (unjustified, but likely real) make his selection more interesting than Romney probably wants.

Any former Bushie would be rejected as part of the cabal that lied us into the Iraq War. That eliminates Condoleezza Rice who was also national security adviser who ignored the warnings that resulted in 9/11. Nominating Condi would be a national media field day, and would not pass muster with many of the Cheney-ites anyhow.

That leaves Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor, and the first head of the Department of Homeland Security. Ridge is the only one who could claim to have national security, if not foreign policy, experience, and not be tainted by association with Bush and Cheney.

But Tom Ridge is pro-choice. Conservatives already do not trust Romney to be sufficiently anti-choice, so he has even less wiggle room than did John McCain.

Rick Santorum? Putting Santorum on the ticket would go some way to uniting the party and appealing to the far right wing. But, for all his bluster about Iran, Santorum never sat on the Senate Defense, Intelligence or Foreign Relations Committees. Thus, Santorum does not fill Romney's foreign policy gap either.

Gingrich? Anyone who would choose Gingrich as vice-president would have to hire a full-time taster. Besides, Gingrich was for bombing Libya before he was against it, and has no real track-record in foreign policy either.

Without any foreign policy weight on the Republican (!) side, the Obama-Biden ticket would handily win the fight over basic security -- one of humankind's primal instincts.

Anybody out there who can see Russia from their front porch?

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