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Why Susana Martinez Won’t Be Romney’s VP

It’s a strange rule of American politics that almost everyone denies an interest in being the vice presidential nominee of their party even though few who are offered the job refuse it. Susana Martinez’ reasons, however, are sufficiently compelling that I believe her.

ABQ Journal (“Gov. on VP: No Means No“):

It’s a question she has batted away since before she took office, but speculation about Gov. Susana Martinez becoming the Republicans’ nominee for vice president just won’t stop, no matter how often she says “no.”

Political pundits say the first-term Republican governor could be an ideal running mate for the eventual GOP presidential nominee. They note she’s the nation’s first Hispanic female governor and say she could attract female and Hispanic voters who appear to favor President Barack Obama over presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

And politicos are quick to point out that a politician’s “no” doesn’t always hold true when a call from a presidential candidate comes. Think back to 2008 when then U.S. Sen. Joe Biden was asked whether he would take the vice president spot if asked by Obama. He replied: “No. I promise. No.”

But Martinez insists that when she says “no,” she means it.

Martinez told the Journal recently that her responsibility as guardian of her developmentally disabled sister, Lettie, in Las Cruces is one that she can’t take to Washington, D.C., regardless of who calls.

“The family has to be a consideration, and for me to take (my sister) to Washington would be to separate her from … the family that’s down there, and that would be devastating,” Martinez said. “I just couldn’t do it.”

Staying in Las Cruces allows Martinez’s 54-year-old sister to remain near their father, Jake, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and lives nearby in El Paso, Martinez said. Despite the Alzheimer’s, Martinez has said, her father has continued to recognize her sister.

That’s a pretty powerful motivation to stay in New Mexico.

via Taegan Goddard

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    True. That really would be a legit reason to say no. That aside, if Romney was hell bent on Martinez it would make more sense in any event to go with Brian Sandoval. Nevada has one more electoral vote than New Mexico and Sandoval, no offense to Martinez, by far has the better resume. Lastly, I had no idea Martinez was the guardian of her sister or that her sister and her father are in such poor shape. Martinez is a saint. Best wishes to her and to her family.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Mark Ivey says:

    Gov Brian Sandoval is not leaving Nevada, because the mining industry there pays him to block all attempts to raise state mining tax over the 3% they pay now.

    -Ex Nevada republican

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  3. Hey Norm says:

    Wow…a Republican that actually understands family values.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

  4. sam says:

    There’s also the unhappy fact — unhappy for the Republican base, that is (for those of us sane, meh) — that her grandparents were illegals. See, Susana Martinez, N.M. gov., says grandparents came to US illegally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  5. Hey Norm says:

    @ Sam…
    Well Romney’s grandfather moved to Mexico so he could be a polygamist…so what the heck…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  6. An Interested Party says:

    There’s also the unhappy fact — unhappy for the Republican base, that is (for those of us sane, meh) — that her grandparents were illegals. See, Susana Martinez, N.M. gov., says grandparents came to US illegally.

    Can you imagine Republican elites trying to explain that one away, with their base’s open hostility towards illegal immigrants…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2