by Brendan Monaghan
GOP Veepstakes Elite Eight
Welcome back, Catalyst readers, tournament aficionados, and Veepstakes enthusiasts! For the fourth straight week, you’ve come to the right place! Thanks to you the voters, we have narrowed the field of this tournament from 64 down to the elite eight. Here now are the regional finals for the South, East, Midwest, and West. And as usual, there have been a few surprises. Here are the matchups for you to vote at your heart’s content- but only once.
To vote in round #4 of the Oregon Catalyst GOP Veepstakes, click here.
Senator Rubio’s continued success continues to surprise nobody at this publication. He cruised past top-notch challenger, fellow Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. His opponent in this final will be Bobby Jindal, America’s first Indian-American Governor, who beat the second Indian-American Governor in American history, Nikki Haley. Both candidates would represent a tremendous step forward for Republicans, particularly in the stigmatized south. Either candidate could hand Joe Biden his backside in October’s debate.
Chris Christie cruised in to the Elite Eight (and internet fame thanks to a viral video with Newark Mayor Cory Booker) over Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell, who happened to be elected on the same day in 2009. Whether Christie has kept the door open to a Veep pick is anyone’s guess, especially compared with McDonnell, who appears to be openly campaigning for the spot. In the other semifinal, seventh-seeded Senator Pat Toomey just did get by sixth-seed John Bolton. It was a surprise semifinal that produced a photo-flash finish.
The third heavy-favorite of this tournament, Paul Ryan, continues to do very well. He beat Senator John Thune of South Dakota easily. Those who favor Ryan as one of the Party’s leading spokesmen debate if he could better serve a President Romney in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building or his current capacity as House Budget Chair. In this final, he’ll face “My Man” Mitch Daniels, outgoing Governor of Indiana. Both would be smart, safe picks for Governor Romney, and bring added fiscal and entitlement credibility to a ticket that must focus on economic salvation.
In contrast to the relative lack of suspense elsewhere, upsets have abounded in the West region, possibly with local favoritism. Oregon’s Congressman Greg Walden continues to demonstrate how well he can do with the Catalyst’s home cooking. Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer- unquestionably more popular and well-known on the national level- was no match for Walden here. He’ll take on another Arizonan, retiring Senator Jon Kyl in this region’s final. Either by riding the continued unintentional fame of a Colbert Bump or on his own merits, Kyl doubled up on Darrell Issa, House Oversight Committee Chair from California. Or maybe it was that Issa is from California that really did him in.
To follow along with the Round #4 voting, click here.
Brendan is a graduate student at Portland State University, where he hosts the KPSU “Right Jab” radio program, and a regular contributor at Oregon Catalyst. Brendan is studying political science, and graduated from The Ohio State University in 2007, with a degree in political science.