The Campaign Spot

Why Would Romney’s Veep Pick Come Soon?

In the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt, a look at a surprising rebuke to President Obama from a news anchor, a poll of the most memorable moments in television history, and then this bit of political buzz . . .

And the Next Vice President of the United States Will Be . . .

The long-awaited name of the running mate leaked yesterday: Cheri Honkala.

Wait, that’s the running mate for Green Party nominee Jill Stein. What party did you think I was talking about?

Reuters generated quite a bit of buzz with this little nugget:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney acknowledged on Tuesday he is considering naming his choice to serve as vice presidential running mate earlier than usual to better compete with President Barack Obama.

As they work from a short list of leading Republicans, Romney and his advisers say they are weighing whether he should announce his choice some weeks earlier than the traditional time of around the Republican National Convention, which is to be held in Tampa in late August.

The reasoning, advisers say, is that two candidates would be able to raise more money and engage Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in battle with polls showing Americans closely divided on whether to pick the Republican challenger or Democratic incumbent in the November 6 election.

Jonathan Tobin urges us to not jump to that conclusion: “Those who believe Romney is going to make a decision based on the ephemeral political advantages to be gained are forgetting that the Republican is the ultimate numbers-cruncher and specialized in mining the data exhaustively to make the right choice in business. He is probably conducting the veep search in the same manner he has made every other important business and political decision in his life, which makes the notion of moving up the pick merely in order to give him a couple of positive news cycles laughable. This is a man who is obsessed with long rather than short-term gains. That is why it is likely that whoever he chooses will be someone he thinks can help him govern rather than someone who is, no matter how impressive, unlikely to be the difference in the fall election.”

And during our discussion on MSNBC — yes, I shared a set with Obama’s former deputy press secretary Bill Burton! — Chuck Todd pointed out that right now, guys like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman are already all out there, being effective surrogates and fundraisers for the Romney campaign. Each one of those guys gets an extra bit of attention and buzz because they’re possible running mates. What’s the rush to move from five high-attention, loud-buzz surrogates to one big one and four lesser ones?


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