University of Notre Dame political scientist Peri Arnold says it’s been tough gauging what Mitt Romney will do when it comes to pairing himself with a running mate. But he says the Romney campaign will have learned lessons from John McCain’s 2008 run, in which he chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Picking Palin, a surprise choice, was widely criticized. Arnold says Romney will likely go with either Rob Portman or former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
“That’s not a suggestion that I think that’s necessarily the best choice for him, but those are very safe choices,” Arnold says.
Arnold says the presidential hopeful could also choose someone who excites the Republican base, such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio or Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. But Arnold doesn’t see Romney making a surprise pick.
“That’s the last thing the Romney campaign would do. They would levitate before they would go looking for their Sarah Palin,” he says.
Arnold says that’s partly because Romney is a much different candidate and because his campaign is in a better position than McCain’s four years ago.