I remain a firm backer of Jon Kyl (a position that seems to have attracted only Quin and Ben Domenech — it may not even carry a majority in the Kyl household), for the simple reason that I think he would make the best Vice President (see here and here for why).
That being said, Ashton is probably right that Christie is the best candidate. As you’ve probably heard ad nauseam by now (because there’s no pundit in America who has any original analysis on the mechanics of picking a number two), it often falls to the running mate to be the attack dog on the stump. And, frankly, there’s no one else in the GOP whose bite packs as many pounds per square inch as Christie’s.
He also has an unusual asset for a gadfly — he’ll change some minds. There’s a certain kind of American voter — blue-collar, broad-shouldered, bearing a five o’clock shadow and calloused hands — who has a visceral hatred for the effete liberalism of Obama but won’t be much more smitten with a corporate titan like Romney. Christie will resonate with those folks. They know Chris Christie. They go to work with Chris Christies. They sit next to Chris Christies at little league games. And the Chris Christies of the world are the people they’d call to watch the kids if there was an emergency.
As for his actual usefulness in the office of the vice presidency? I don’t see it. Christie is far too strong a personality for the number two job, is doing too much useful work in New Jersey to be employed as an understudy, and — if in fact he has presidential ambitions — is probably better served by remaining a free agent than tying himself to the Romney brand.
My actual prediction? Rob Portman. And if not him, someone else who will probably make us all shrug and go on with our lives as if nothing much has happened. The Romney campaign doesn’t do excitement.