Are Latinos On GOP VP Short List For Real?

I’m not sure what the Vegas line is on the Republican vice-presidential sweepstakes, but CNN, at least, has 2 Latinos vying for the second-to-the-top-post on the GOP ticket. Never mind the premature timing of it all –  the GOP doesn’t even have a nominee yet. But speculation is rampant about who will be the best Republican wing man, er, person (let’s not forget the GOP’s most recent veep candidate).

So CNN publishes a list of “vice-presidenciables,” and included in that list were 2 Latinos:

— New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has a trifecta of political assets. She is female, Hispanic and the governor of a swing state. Debits: Martinez is untested and unknown on the national scene…

— U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is a tea party favorite, a rising star from a swing state and a Cuban-American, which could help build an inroad to the politically pivotal Hispanic community.

A senator for less than two years, he is also young and green and unwilling to play the veepstakes.

“My answer hasn’t changed. I’m not going to be vice president,” he said…

But don’t they almost always say that before they say the opposite?

The real question is “Are these real, viable options for the GOP?” The fact that they’re Latino holds a lot of water in some circles, being that the Latino vote is said to be vital for winning the election in November. But another question pops-up: Will the majority of registered Latino voters cast a vote for Marco Rubio? For Susana Martinez? Would they vote Republican just because there’s a Latino on the ticket?

And then there’s the perennial political question: Does the veep candidate matter beyond his or her local environs? Will the facts that Rubio is Latino attract Latino voters outside of Florida?

Somehow the fact that Rubio and Martinez are on the GOP VP list, sort or not, feels more like pandering and serious posturing (if there ever was such a thing). We won’t have to wait much longer to find out – The GOP c0nvention is a little more than 2 months away.

[Photo By The Rachel Maddow Show]

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