Opening Act: Sanford

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 2 2012 8:05 AM

Opening Act: Sanford

SANFORD, Fla. -- I'll be in this city for a few days as the outrage and leaks about the Trayvon Martin shooting keep flowing.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The conventional thinking has been that after a long and divisive primary campaign, the challenge of uniting the GOP would force Romney to pick a running mate with strong appeal to tea party activists and evangelicals. But Romney’s team thinks he may be liberated from that pressure if he can finish off remaining rivals Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the next few weeks.
Advertisement

Conservatives are aghast at this, probably because it's so logical. But I don't know what serious running mate candidate would be anathema to the base. Rick Santorum's wins are mostly situational; he's not really a darling of the Tea Party. Marco Rubio, who's endorsed Romney, hasn't been out in front against any particular Obama outrages. The only troublesome names in Rucker's lists might be Rob Portman, who earned some Milbank ink love for talking up tax reform, and Gov. Brian Sandoval, who's also not orthodox on taxes. But we're not talking about Romney forcing a pro-choice running mate on Tampa.

Nia-Malika Henderson asks where the Paul surge is.

Although Paul is running to lead a party that looks like him — older, whiter, Southern — his crowds are younger, war-weary, more diverse and less likely to identify with one party or to vote. The same independent streak that leads the young and the restless to Paul’s libertarian philosophy seems to make it more unlikely that these supporters will pick a side and a party, which is a requirement for many of the primary and caucus contests.

Well, sure, but the mega-crowds are a little misleading. Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich pack in multiple rallies each day, in different parts of primary states. Paul has only been holding "giant town hall meetings" at college campuses. His next tour, a swing of California, takes him to Cal State - Chico, UCLA, and UC - Berkeley. All Paul fans in the area come to the rally that's within 100 miles.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough, So They Added Self-Immolation

Why Hillary Clinton and Other Democrats Are Shrewd to Frame All Issues As “Women’s Issues”

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.