Presidential campaigns are no longer just about the "boring white guys" running for office -- they're also an American Idol-style tryout for the aspiring media stars of the candidate's families. This holds especially true for daughters of Republicans, especially if they're blonde. Jenna Bush is now an NBC correspondent. The 2008 election gave us two Republican daughter stars: Meghan McCain, a Daily Beast columnist and MSNBC correspondent, and Bristol Palin, who starred in multiple reality shows and made $262,500 talking about abstinence for the Candie's Foundation. The 2012 Republican primary brought us three more: The Huntsman girls, who blog for the Huffington Post, commentate for CNN, and flirt with people on Twitter. And so as Mitt Romney's campaign tries to figure out which running mate would help him most -- Bob McDonnell has a high approval rating, Marco Rubio a huge Twitter following -- we suggest they take just a moment to consider the ripple effects of that choice. We could be seeing the side-effects of Romney's choice in cable news for years to come.
Veep candidate: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell
Potentially glamorous offspring: Three McDonnells have three daughters, Jeanine, Rachel, and Cailin. McDonnell's wife's official biography notes that Jeanine "is a graduate of Notre Dame and recently completed a tour of duty in Iraq as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army." That indicates two things: One, the McDonnells don't mind making their family life public. Two, that Jeanine is a cool ass-kicking hero daughter -- perfect for magazine profiles. Jeanine (pictured top left) campaigned with her dad in 2009, and The Washington Post noted she was "well-spoken" and that she "wowed crowds and political pundits with her poise and energy." The younger two daughters (shown lower left) have political potential as well. (Photos via YouTube and Associated Press.)
Media career potential: Very high.
Veep candidate: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
Potentially glamorous offspring: The Portman's have one daughter, Sally, who looks to be a year from graduating high school. Her youth prohibits truly big political daughter stardom. Plus, Sally looks wholesome and sporty -- Portman coached her indoor soccer team -- which perhaps suggests she might not have the fame-seeking drive needed to become a cable news regular. One potential glamorous media angle could be speculation that Sally and Malia Obama, who's close to her age, might become besties. (Photo via RobPortman via Flickr.)
Media career potential: Low, for now at least.
Veep candidate: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Potentially glamorous offspring: The Jindals have one daughter, Selia. You can see from the photo taken at the governor's inaugural ball four years ago that Selia has the lively personality necessary for successful a glamorous political daughter. But Selia is way too young. (Photo via Associated Press.)
Media career potential: Adorable, but not quite yet.
Veep candidate: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
Potentially glamorous offspring: The Danielses have four adult daughters whose names all start with M -- Meagan, Melissa, Meredith and Maggie. Their number alone one-ups the Huntsman trio. Additionally, Daniels has admitted to spending two nights in jail in college after he was arrested with marijuana and LSD. If he passed down any of that rule-breaking instinct, the Daniels daughters could have excellent potential for provocative soundbites and glossy magazine spreads. (Photo via Associated Press.)
Media career potential: High.
Veep candidate: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Potentially glamorous offspring: The Christies have two daughters, Sarah and Bridget. But they're just kids, and Style Section profiles would be limited to a discussion of what to wear to the school dance. Maybe in 2016 -- widely speculated to be the year Christie runs for president, if Romney doesn't win -- they'll have their chance on cable news. (Photo via Associated Press.)
Media career potential: Low, but wait four more years.
Veep candidate: Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan
Potentially glamorous offspring: Ryan has one daughter, but she's a little kid. However, Ryan could make up the glamour deficit himself with his love of working out. (Vanity is an important quality in political offspring.) Ryan posted a photo of himself with his "workout guru" on Facebook in 2009 (bottom left). (Photos via Facebook.)
Media career potential: Medium-low.
Veep candidate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
Potentially glamorous offspring: Rubio has two daughters, Amanda and Daniella. But they're little kids. (Photo via Associated Press.)
Media career potential: Low.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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