Romney Should've Picked a Female Vice President, Study SaysS

A new survey based on "evolutionary algorithms" identified the best possible VP ticket for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney by trying out 100 million combinations of vice presidents, platforms, slogans and candidate images. The result: Each would've performed better with swing voters if they had chosen strong female candidates — Condoleezza Rice for Romney and Hillary Clinton for Obama, to be specific — as running mates.

Remember when it looked like Romney was going to go with a lady like Kelly Ayotte for his VP pick? What happened? Experts say he decided it would be to risky to pick a woman as his running mate because of all of the unavoidable Sarah Palin references.

"Whoever Romney picks, if she's a woman, would have to first demonstrate how much better than Sarah Palin she actually is, and that's not necessarily a good use of the campaign's time," Jennifer Lawless, the director of American University's Women and Politics Institute, said in July. "Mitt Romney is ultimately going to find himself between a rock and a hard place because although it is important to demonstrate that there are qualified women who should be on the short list, the onus is then going to be on him to explain why they weren't his ultimate pick and he's not going to say, ‘because I don't want voters to think of Sarah Palin. So he's going to have to navigate a pretty fine line and ensure that if he says that the most qualified person turns out to be a man that indeed that person is more qualified than some of the women's names who are floating around."

Would the aftermath of Legitimate RapeGate be any different if Romney had a woman by his side?

[The Grindstone]