Ah, political physics. Someone wins an election and, poof, they are a candidate for vice president. Ridiculous. In this case, the votes hadn't even been counted before pundits were proclaiming Scott Walker the shining new object Mitt Romney should entertain as his running mate.
"A victory tomorrow would make Walker the instant front-runner for the GOP vice presidential nod," wrote Marc A. Thiessen on Monday in a Washington Post column. "Putting Walker on the GOP ticket would make Romney instantly competitive in Wisconsin. And it would force President Obama to spend time and resources defending a state he expected to be an easy win in November. Even if Obama succeeded in narrowly holding Wisconsin, the fight for the Badger State would divert precious resources from other battleground states. And if the Republican ticket did pull an upset in Wisconsin, Obama’s chances for a second term would be slim to none."
This talk will fill up cable current-affairs shows and newspaper columns for a few days or maybe longer. But that's all it will be: talk. Because it's not going to happen.
Yes, Walker is now a conservative hero. Yes, he will be in great demand in Republican circles. He'll be the new GOP star. With a great future. But not as vice president. Not in 2012 anyway.
I will bet my house Romney is not going to pick someone as his vice president who has about two years experience in statewide office. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Scott Walker could walk on water all the way to Boston; he'd have to walk back and be governor of Wisconsin.
And what Mitt Romney--or any nominee--wants to avoid is a pick that looks patently political or designed to win a particular state, which picking Walker would obviously be.
Oh, and how about the fact Walker has smartly and unequivocally shot down the idea himself: “If Mitt Romney were to ask me who would be a good pick from Wisconsin, I would say my friend Paul Ryan would be at the top of the list. He would do an exceptional job. I am not going through a year and a half of this to then take off. I have to fulfill my commitment to the voters of the state of Wisconsin.”
But of course that won't stop the cable chatter. They’ve got to fill the air with something. The political physics are inevitable.