With Mitt Romney's nomination as the Republican candidate for president all but assured, attention turns to who will be his running mate. That took on an Oklahoma flavor for a time last week when Gov. Mary Fallin's name entered the mix.
It was offered not by someone in Romney's campaign, but by a senior political correspondent for ABC News during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” He didn't suggest that Fallin was on, or should be on, Romney's short list, only that her name is one of several that could come up if Romney decides to choose a female.
That started Fallin's phone “ringing off the hook,” she said. The governor said she was flattered her name was mentioned, but that she hadn't been in contact with the campaign. And she isn't likely to be, because although Fallin is a gifted and successful politician, Romney's campaign probably needs more punch than she could provide.
That's why Romney has campaigned several times with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has made significant policy inroads in a traditionally Democratic state. Romney also has appeared with the likes of U.S. Rep. and budget wonk Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. Romney made a stop Monday with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whose state (like Portman's) will be vital to Romney's winning enough Electoral College votes to defeat President Obama in November.
That's one strike against Fallin — Oklahoma offers only seven Electoral College votes and Romney will get them anyway, since the last time the state voted Democratic in a presidential election was 1964. Fallin also hasn't even endorsed Romney yet.
Who knows? The two might hit it off famously next month at an Oklahoma City fundraiser for Romney. Chemistry is an important piece of this puzzle. But our guess is Fallin won't have to worry about altering her summer/fall schedule.