John Avlon profiles Brian Sandoval, the Governor of Nevada. On paper, he would make a great Vice Presidential candidate for any Republican nominee because of his conservative record:
Meet Brian Sandoval, the 49-year old governor of Nevada. He’s a rising star in the Republican Party who just might offer the GOP a one-man antidote to what ails them electorally.…
His state is now spending half a billion dollars less than it did last year. “That’s the first time in Nevada’s history from one year to another that we spent less money,” Sandoval says with practiced pride. “We consolidated over 20 state agencies, we eliminated positions and made some tough decisions.”...
Sandoval has scored some impressive early wins, ending teacher tenure and instituting merit pay despite a massive public campaign opposing it by the teachers’ union. Throughout our conversation, he returns to two bits of unfinished business: ending social promotion and making school choice available for kids in failing public schools.
Why can't Sandoval be on the Republican ticket? Because he is pro-choice:
Given his executive and judicial experience and his strong fiscal-conservative record as the popular Hispanic governor of a general election swing state, the lack of talk about him as a potential vice presidential candidate seems to come from the unofficial but strictly enforced pro-life litmus test that has been imposed on all GOP nominees and their veep picks since 1976.
“I respect a woman’s ability to make that decision for herself,” Sandoval says directly. “My approach has always been to be up front with the people of this state and so when I get asked about it I’m very blunt and clear and it makes some people unhappy.”
This simple statement qualifies as courageous given the current composition of the GOP. After all, pro-choice Republicans are now all but an endangered species as opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest emerges as the new party standard.