The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Do We Await Portman-ia? The Ryan Commotion? The Palwenty Frenzy?


Veepstakes mania leads off the Tuesday Morning Jolt

Will Romney Pick His Veep Now? … How About Now? … How About… Now?

With Romney back from his overseas trip, and the Olympics ending this weekend, the veepstakes talk is kicking into higher gear.

 I don’t know if Bill Kristol has any inside scoop… but he certainly has perfected the art of sounding like he does:

On Monday, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol appeared on Fox News Channel where he discussed an editorial published over the weekend in which he recommends Mitt Romney “go for gold” and select either Rep.Paul Ryan (R-WI) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to be the vice presidential nominee. Kristol said that he expects the vice presidential pick to be announced on Thursday in preparation for a bus tour which will take the 2012 GOP ticket to a number of battleground states.

“If you look at Governor Romney’s schedule, he’s got events in Illinois Tuesday, Iowa Wednesday, a fundraising breakfast Thursday morning in New York – his calendar then is clear, so far as I can tell, Thursday afternoon and Friday,” said Kristol. “Then he begins a barnstorming tour Saturday in Virginia, North Carolina Sunday, Florida Monday, Ohio Tuesday.”

“It’d be pretty weird, I think, to do this four-day tour through four swing states – big bus tour, a lot of excitement – without having picked a V.P. and with that, sort of, hanging over him and dwarfing whatever message he wants to get out,” Kristol continued.

“I now believe the pick would be made Thursday afternoon or Friday,” said Kristol, saying that he believes Thursday is the more likely of the two days to reveal a running mate. “Let the guy go on the morning shows Friday morning. Dominate the news over the weekend – very exciting bus tour – with Romney accompanied by either Christie, Ryan or Rubio.”

Micah Sifry offers a leading indicator:

The Romney campaign wants you to download its mobile app to be among the first to find out who Mitt is going to pick as his running mate, but if past history is any guide, you might want to instead be looking at Wikipedia — and whether any of the leading contenders’ entries are being suddenly brushed up.

Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain’s favor, had 54 edits on August 28th, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks — Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison — saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden’s Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post.

None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers — Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty — are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement. That said, if Wikipedia changes offer any hint of what’s coming, then today might be a good day to bet on Ryan.

My suggestion? Keep your eyes on Romney’s campaign plane at night.

Tags: Bobby Jindal , Marco Rubio , Paul Ryan , Rob Portman , Tim Pawlenty


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