President Barack Obama won plaudits from an unexpected source Wednesday evening, when South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley praised the White House for a one of its under-the-radar job creation proposals.
The administration is set to announce tomorrow that seven major infrastructure projects will be expedited as part of the president’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative. Among the seven is the deepening of the Charleston Harbor, to be completed by the Army Corps of Engineers nine months earlier than initially planned.
Naturally, the state’s governor was ecstatic.
“This is a huge win for Charleston and for all of South Carolina,” Haley said. “Back in February, I stressed to the president how important deepening Charleston’s port was and how frustrating the Army Corps’ timetable was, and I’m thrilled to see the administration has sped up our project.”
This is a very small sliver of the We Can’t Wait initiative. And it would be hard to find Republicans who oppose the concept on principle.
But it is still rare for a prominent GOP governor to praise the administration. And even rarer for someone who is thrown, occasionally, into the conversation of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential options — suggesting, perhaps, that Haley recognizes her prospects are slim.
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strongWho:/strong Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong McDonnell a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/20/bob-mcdonnell-mitt-romney-endorsement_n_1218559.html” target=”_hplink”endorsed Mitt Romney/a, the only candidate besides Ron Paul to make it on his state’s ballot, and Romney a href=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59933.html#ixzz1TJCfqwQ4″ target=”_hplink”said last summer /athat McDonnell would be on “any candidate’s short-list” as a VP pick. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)a href=”http://goosecreek.patch.com/articles/veep-speculation-greets-mcdonnell-in-s-c” target=”_hplink” has already started referring /ato McDonnell as “Mr. Vice President.”
strongHis Response:/strong McDonnell said on “Meet The Press” in March that he wasn’t interested in the position. “I’ve got the job held by Jefferson and Henry,” a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/maryland-politics/post/martin-omalley-touts-bob-mcdonnell-for-vice-president-kind-of/2012/03/11/gIQATP6I5R_blog.html” target=”_hplink”he said/a. “I love being governor of Virginia.”
strongWho:/strong New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Christie a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/04/chris-christie-president-2012_n_948401.html” target=”_hplink”fielded numerous calls/a to run in 2012, and is now attracting speculation as a possible VP pick by Mitt Romney, who called Christie, “one of the leading figures in the Republican party.”
strongHis Response:/strong Christie didn’t do much to quell the rumors in December when he a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/23/chris-christie-vice-president-mitt-romney_n_1167557.html” target=”_hplink”addressed them/a by saying:
blockquoteI don’t think you talk about that stuff. I think if you’re the nominee you’re afraid to talk about that stuff because you don’t want to jinx yourself. I don’t think [Romney] wants to be presumptuous enough to start talking to somebody about a vice president when he’s not yet the nominee./blockquote
strongWho:/strong Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Newt Gingrich a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/newt-gingrich-marco-rubio_n_1242912.html” target=”_hplink”called Rubio/a an “awfully good” choice, while Mitt Romney named him as an obvious choice for the short-list.
As the Huffington Post’s Carlos Harrison a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/marco-rubio-tea-party_n_1249480.html?ref=gingrich-2012″ target=”_hplink”reported/a, “He’s the posterboy for a demographic coveted by the GOP: a telegenic Tea Party favorite and a Latino. And despite being both young and a freshman among Washington, D.C., power brokers, he exerts outsized influence.”
strongHis Response:/strong Rubio himself a href=”http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/i-am-not-going-to-be-the-vp-nominee/” target=”_hplink”seems less enthusiastic/a:
blockquoteWhen asked at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington DC, Rubio repeated twice for emphasis, “I am not going to be the Vice Presidential nominee. I am not going to be the Vice Presidential nominee.”
Asked during the forum if he would turn down an offer if the Republican presidential nominee asks him to, Rubio responded, “Yea, I believe so,” adding again, “the answer is gonna be no.”/blockquote
strongWho:/strong Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Ahead of the Nevada caucus, Sandoval a href=”http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/could-mitt-romney-pick-up-a-vp-in-nevada.php” target=”_hplink”was speculated/a to be a potential VP pick:
blockquoteNevada’s governor Brian Sandoval has been bandied about as a potential — if longshot — veep choice since his election in 2010. On paper, his resume looks solid. He’s a young rising star in the party with strong approval ratings and, as a Hispanic Republican, could help a Republican nominee — and especially Romney — stop the bleeding with one of the party’s weakest general election demographics.
While no candidates have floated his name for VP yet, Mitt Romney a href=”http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/jan/26/mitt-romney-mentions-brian-sandoval-cabinet-possib/” target=”_hplink”did mention him/a as a possible Cabinet member.
strongHis Response:/strong After endorsing Rick Perry last September, Sandoval a href=”http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/09/16/nevada-gov-brian-sandoval-wont-be-rick-perrys-vice-presidential-pick/” target=”_hplink”denied that he was looking for a VP nod/a. “I am absolutely committed to serving out my term,” he said.
strongWho:/strong South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Haley’s endorsement of Mitt Romney a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/22/nikki-haley-romney_n_1221682.html” target=”_hplink”didn’t do him much good/a in the state, but her name has still come up as a possible candidate for VP.
strongHer Response:/strong “I’d say, ‘Thank you, but no,’” a href=”http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/News/south-carolina-gov-nikki-haley-shed-turn-vp/story?id=16050396#.T3nGGCvLx1Z” target=”_hplink”Haley told ABC News/a. “I made a promise to the people of this state. And I think that promise matters. And I intend to keep it.”
strongWho:/strong New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Martinez has attracted attention as the first female Hispanic governor, and Mitt Romney a href=”http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/01/23/new-mexico-gov-susana-martinez-says-no-thanks-to-mention-her-as-possible-romney/” target=”_hplink”mentioned her/a as a good possible running mate.
strongHer Response:/strong Martinez a href=”http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/205571-nm-governor-not-interested-in-vp-spot” target=”_hplink”has said/a she’s flattered, but not interested:
blockquote”She has no interest in serving as vice president and will not be a candidate for the position,” Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said in a statement according to the Santa Fe New Mexican on Friday.
strongWho:/strong Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Barbour was considered a promising candidate for the 2012 nomination until he a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/25/haley-barbour-2012-presid_n_851969.html” target=”_hplink”decided not to run/a last summer.
Mitt Romney has mentioned Barbour as a name a href=”http://www.examiner.com/charleston-democrat-in-charleston-sc/romney-names-possible-vp-candidates” target=”_hplink”he’d consider/a for vice president.
strongHis Response:/strong Barbour wouldn’t turn down the possibility of being VP, but he said he didn’t anticipate being asked.
“I don’t think I’m a good running mate for anybody, but I do think Marco Rubio would be very attractive as would other people,” a href=”http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/11/07/mississippi-gov-haley-barbour-on-whether-he-would-consider-being-a-vp-pick-in-2012/” target=”_hplink”he told FOX last November/a.
strongWho:/strong Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Daniels hasn’t endorsed a candidate yet, but he’s considered a potential pick for the VP slot. His book, “Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans,” a href=”http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/09/19/mitch_daniels_stirs_vp_buzz_with_new_book_111382.html” target=”_hplink”added to the hype/a.
strongHis Response:/strong Daniels was asked about the possibility a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/2012-gop-vice-presidential-candidate_n_988558.html” target=”_hplink”last fall/a:
blockquote”There’s no answer to this question,” Daniels said when the vice president’s job came up while he was promoting his book. He said he’d have to consult his family, which earlier vetoed the idea of him running for president./blockquote
strongWho:/strong Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Brewer made headlines for a a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/jan-brewer-pac-obama-fundraiser_n_1241794.html” target=”_hplink”confrontation with President Barack Obama/a at an airport in Phoenix.
Does Brewer want another chance to take on the Obama administration? The a href=”http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/10/16/20111016brewer-vice-president-hopeful.html” target=”_hplink”Arizona Republic/a reports that her name has surfaced as a possible VP candidate.
strongHer Response:/strong None so far.
strongWho:/strong Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Pawlenty was a short-lived presidential candidate, quitting in the summer after a third-place finish in the Iowa straw polls. He later endorsed Mitt Romney, who named him as a a href=”http://www.examiner.com/charleston-democrat-in-charleston-sc/romney-names-possible-vp-candidates” target=”_hplink”possible VP candidate/a.
strongHis Response:/strong Pawlenty a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/tim-pawlenty-mitt-romney-vice-president_n_1299377.html” target=”_hplink”said in an interview/a that he’d taken himself “off the list” to be considered as Romney’s VP.
strongWho:/strong Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Portman is a supporter of Mitt Romney. In December, his home state’s emDayton Daily News/ema href=”http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/politics/portman-still-viable-as-vp-nominee-1301194.html” target=”_hplink” ran an article/a touting his chances to become VP:
blockquoteHis deep resume and absence of political negatives keep him in the discussion as a vice-presidential candidate.
“I would be very surprised if the eventual nominee doesn’t have Rob on the short list,” said Tony Fratto, who served as White House press secretary to former President George W. Bush./blockquote
strongHis Response:/strong Portman is noncommittal about being on anyone’s presidential ticket. “I truly am not seeking that,” he said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News’ Washington Bureau.
strongWho:/strong Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Jindal, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/bobby-jindal-rick-perry-endorsement-2012_n_959162.html” target=”_hplink”who endorsed Rick Perry/a, has seen his star fade a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/25/bobby-jindal-response-pan_n_169710.html” target=”_hplink”since his widely panned State of the Union response/a in 2009.
But he is still viewed as a potential pick. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) a href=”http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2011/11/gov-scott-bobby-jindal-would-be-a-great-vp.html” target=”_hplink”praised him/a, saying, “He’s well-liked. He’s a nice person to deal with. He clearly cares about people. He’s willing to make tough choices,” Scott said. “So I think he would make a great vice president.”
strongHis Response:/strong “I don’t want a job from Governor Perry,” Jindal a href=” http://blog.chron.com/rickperry/2011/09/bobby-jindal-wont-be-rick-perrys-vp-but-says-hes-a-great-neighbor/” target=”_hplink”said after endorsing the former candidate/a. “I want Governor Perry to create millions of jobs for my fellow Americans.”
strongWho:/strong Sen. Jon Thune (R-S.D.)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Thune, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/22/john-thune-2012-not-running-for-president_n_826582.html” target=”_hplink”once viewed/a as a potential 2012 candidate himself, has a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/23/mitt-romney-john-thune-endorsement_n_1109456.html” target=”_hplink”since endorsed Mitt Romney/a.
strongHis Response:/strong Thune has said he’s not interested in the VP role, buta href=”http://www.kcautv.com/story/16449478/south-dakota-senator-john-thune-not-interested-in-vp-race” target=”_hplink” he wouldn’t rule anything out/a.
strongWho:/strong Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Ayotte was an early supporter of Mitt Romney. He gave her an endorsement of his own, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/22/mitt-romney-kelly-ayotte_n_1108125.html” target=”_hplink”naming her/a as a possible pick for vice president.
strongHer Response:/strong Ayotte said she was “surprised” by Romney’s comment, but that “certainly it was an honor to be mentioned.”
“I am very committed to representing New Hampshire,” she a href=”http://www.unionleader.com/article/20111130/NEWS0605/711309959″ target=”_hplink”told the emNew Hampshire Union Leader/em/a. “It is such a privilege to serve New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate.”
strongWho:/strong Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R)
strongThe Buzz:/strong Brownback endorsed Rick Perry for president, a href=”http://www.kansas.com/2011/09/23/2029027/brownback-endorses-perry-for-president.html” target=”_hplink”prompting speculation/a that he could be looking for a spot as vice president. Brownback also briefly ran for president in 2008.
strongHis Response:/strong During the last election cycle, Brownback a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/13/brownback-would-be-honore_n_91341.html” target=”_hplink”said he’d be “honored”/a to serve as John McCain’s vice president. He hasn’t yet commented this time around.
strongWho:/strong Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)
strongThe Buzz:/strong West has been named as a strong contender by a number of his peers, including Herman Cain, a href=”http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/herman-cain-endorses-allen-west-for-vice-presdient” target=”_hplink”who called him an “excellent choice”/a, and Nikki Haley, a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/nikki-haley-allen-west_n_1405401.html” target=”_hplink”who said he would make a “good” pick/a.
strongHis Response:/strong “Yes, well, right now, you know, the focus is, of course, being a good congressional representative,” a href=”http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/04/06/allen_west_i_would_say_yes_to_vp_slot_on_gop_ticket.html” target=”_hplink”West told CNN’s Kyra Phillips/a. “But if someone were to make that call to me, which I really doubt is ever going to happen, you would have to make sure that it is something that god would ordain for you, and you’d have to talk to your wife, my wife and my two daughters about. But we have always stepped up to the plate to serve our country. And if it’s the right fit, then I will do so.”
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