220px-Cory_Gardner,_Official_Portrait,_112th_CongressAlthough there are still a million or so GOP candidates seeking the party’s presidential nod, it’s not too early to begin discussing whom should be chosen as the eventual pick’s running mate.

That’s because the first name being bandied about the Washington Beltway is Colorado’s own U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

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Political soothsayer Stu Rothenberg tossed Garner’s hat into the ring, writing in a Roll Call column that Marco Rubio should add him to the shortlist.

In a party full of elected officials who look and sound angry and bitter, the Colorado Republican invariably is cheerful and optimistic. That doesn’t mean that Gardner is happy with the direction of the country or defends the status quo, but it does mean he is amiable and approachable. Not surprisingly, that makes him appealing to many voters, particularly those who are less ideological and less partisan.

Rothenberg was inspired by Gardner’s endorsement this week of Rubio. But frankly, Gardner should be on the shortlist of every presidential wannabe as a running mate. Colorado is a swing state, and Gardner would be a cinch to deliver us into the red column.

We hope the political Gods will smile upon this selection. We would pay good money to see Gardner debate Hillary’s running mate, whether it’s U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet or Gov. Hickenlooper.