Late Tuesday night Mordecai Lee, a former state lawmaker and UW-Milwaukee political science professor, went way out on a limb with this bold prediction:
“I do not think Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney’s selection for vice president. I think the more likely scenario is he will pick Scott Walker.”
It was late on an election night, and I was buzzed off of too much caffeine and pizza, but that statement caused a very real spit take.
“Whoa. You can’t be serious?” I said, wondering if Lee had been out drinking. It was late, after all.
“I am serious,” he said, laughing at my shock.
Usually such theories do not shock me, mainly because people tell me crazy stuff all the time. There was even a rumor circulating for a while that Walker’s plan to fight off the recall was to step down and let Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch take over. Then she would appoint Walker lieutenant governor. And then she would step down.
That one still gives me a migraine.
This one shocked me because Lee is respected as a sober and skilled political prognosticator. He is right far more often than he is wrong.
Still. Walker as VP?
His reasoning is that Walker is a hero to a wide swath of the GOP, something Romney cannot claim. Walker could bring the check-book Republicans together with the social conservatives in a way that would help the former Massachusetts’s governor.
Even more, Walker has taken a lot of abuse for his conservative stand, making him a Party hero.
And if he gets recalled, that esteem will only grow. Plus, you know, he won’t have a day job.
The Republican Convention is scheduled for late August in Tampa. So, we have a while to see if his prediction comes true.