Romney Could Have a 'Dan Quayle Problem'

Like Bush in '88, he must pick a VP to please conservatives: Steve Kornacki
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2012 1:28 PM CDT
Romney Could Have a 'Dan Quayle Problem'
In this 1988 file photo, George HW Bush and running mate Dan Quayle wave the assembly of the Republican National Convention in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Now that talk is turning to Mitt Romney's VP pick, Steve Kornacki at Salon sees a strong parallel between his situation and that of the elder George Bush in 1988. Both rose to the top of the ticket despite a "moderate/liberal past" and thus had to constantly appease the conservative base. In Bush's case, he had no choice but to appoint a running mate to satisfy the right. Romney is similarly flirting with Paul Ryan, though other conservative favorites are in the mix.

When Bush picked Dan Quayle, "the immediate reaction from conservatives was glee," writes Kornacki. "Then Quayle opened his mouth, and the rest is history." Romney, of course, can avoid the same fate with careful vetting. "But as Bush’s example showed, when your options are limited by a skeptical base and the pressure is on to make an act of loyalty, it’s only too easy to end up with a Dan Quayle problem." Read the full column here. (More Mitt Romney 2012 stories.)

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