North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

May 18, 2012

Steve Flowers: Romney should pick Rubio for his running mate

COMMENTARY — The official start of the fall campaign begins on Labor Day, which is Sept. 3 this year, and culminates with Election Day on Nov. 6.

With Obama heading the ticket for the Democratic Party, most Alabamians will probably simply pull the lever of either the Democratic or Republican Party. My guess is that more folks will pull the Republican lever than the Democratic one in November. My prediction is that the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, will carry the Heart of Dixie by a 63 to 37 margin. That, my friends, is what is called in political vernacular a landslide.

 The GOP candidate’s victory in Alabama is a foregone conclusion. The Deep South is now the base of the Republican Party. Since 1964 the GOP nominee has carried Alabama 10 out of 12 times. A Democrat, Georgia neighbor Jimmy Carter, won here in 1976 and native son George Wallace carried Alabama and the other Deep South states as an independent in 1968. The Republican candidate has carried the state in the past eight presidential contests going back 36 years.

 We are not the only state that has a predetermined outcome. Actually, under our Electoral College system of selecting a president, about 40 other states are irrelevant in the process. There are about 10 swing states that will decide who sits in the White House for the next four years. The most prominent and important is Florida.

 The clear and obvious choice for Mitt Romney’s running mate is Florida freshman U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. Any other choice would be a monumental mistake. It is as plain as the nose on his face, and if Rubio has any reluctance to join the ticket, the party hierarchy should convince him otherwise.

 Rubio is a 40-year-old telegenic son of Cuban exiles. He is very popular in his home state and would assure the GOP nominee of Florida’s essential electoral votes. Rubio’s presence on the ticket not only brings Florida into the fold, his Hispanic heritage gives Romney the edge in the battleground states of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. If Romney carries Florida, along with three of these four swing states, he more than likely wins the election. The choice of Rubio is not only prudent and pragmatic, it is probably imperative.

 The straight-ticket Republican voting in Alabama will be so pronounced in the fall that it will be very difficult for any Democratic candidate to win statewide.

 We are a very conservative state, but allow me to share with you a perception. This observation stems from the second bingo trial, which ended a few months ago. If there had been an effort to put a lottery referendum on the November general election ballot, my belief is that it would pass in Alabama. Since the last vote over a decade ago, there has been an incremental acquiescence towards the acceptance of gambling as a revenue source even among Republican voters.

 A lottery would win. However, Alabama has probably missed the boat on deriving significant resources from a lottery. We would only get dollars from our own state pockets because almost every state in the nation, as well as every one of our adjoining sister states, have approved gambling measures for state revenue.

 It became apparent to me that legalized electronic bingo would also probably be approved in addition to a lottery. As I observed the jury selection process during the bingo trial, there was an amazing revelation. The following question was posed to a pool of 50 prospective jurors: “How many of you gamble online, or have gone to a casino either in Biloxi or to one of Alabama’s Indian casinos?”

Easily four out of five raised their hands in the affirmative. Even more illuminating and amazing was that among those, 80 percent were older white men who had acknowledged they were Tea Party members, and older white women who attended church weekly and read The Alabama Baptist regularly.

Steve Flowers is one of Alabama’s leading political columnists. His column appears weekly in 72 Alabama newspapers. He may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014