Now that Supreme Court season is over, it's time for political observers to return to obsessing over the next big decision: Mitt Romney's vice-presidential pick. With news slowing down in advance of the mid-week holiday, there's opportunity for the speculation flames to fan higher than usual in the upcoming days. Today, Politico's Jonathan Martin called the veepstakes the "political equivalent of the Oscars" and NPR chimed in with "coquettish dance." These descriptions seem far too flattering for the paperwork and equivocating that characterizes the selection of a running mate.
Key word: "equivocating." All the potential nominees are steadfastly denying any desire to play second fiddle, and the Romney campaign is keeping equally mum about which way it's leaning. Front-runner Marco Rubio has dropped to the back of the race (or has he?), and Rob Portman remains the only possibility more blah than the main GOP event (or is he?). Portman is also the only candidate who seems to be in New Hampshire this week, putting him in close proximity to Romney. Go forth and speculate!
But really, Romney is most likely still far away from picking a running mate, and even if the campaign has a good idea of what its final choice will be, what's to stop it from having a Roberts-esque change of heart at the last minute? Although it would be out-of-character, Romney could still have a surprise vice-presidential pick up his sleeve—although he's unlikely to shock given that 2008 is a tough act to follow.
So They Say
"Romney people upset at me! Of course I want him to win, save us from socialism, etc but should listen to good advice and get stuck in!"
—@rupertmurdoch, confirming his support for the Republican presidential nominee.
Daily Meme: A Week of Sport
- The presidential campaigns are running at half-speed this holiday week. Romney is headed up to New Hampshire for a week of family fun.
- The best part of the week? The Romney Olympics!
- Some of the more competitive events include "Who can hold onto a pole the longest," and a nail-hammering race.
- And apparently, Romney gets quite feisty.
- Mitt and Ann also partake in more sedate and traditional vacation activities like riding a Jet-Ski.
- And no, it's not optional. All 30 Romneys will be there, and they will have fun.
- The two campaigns' supporters are having a Twitter war, bashing both vacations with dog-on-the-roof and golf insults.
- Will Romney be engaged in sport when the jobs numbers are released on Friday? "It would seem an odd choice for him to comment on the news with his six-bedroom home on 13 acres as a backdrop."
What We're Writing
- Sarah Laskow details the "judicial vindication" of greenhouse gas regulation in last week's decision from the D.C. Court of Appeals
- From the print edition, Don Terry profiles Gary, Indiana, a former industrial powerhouse that is now "emblematic of the new American poverty."
What We're Reading
- Someone says we should ... praise Sheldon Adelson?
- John Heilemann calls the Supreme Court's health-care decision a win-win-win.
- A compendium of politicians' yearbook pictures ... just because.
- Dexter Filkins wonders if civil war in Afghanistan is certain when the U.S. leaves.
- Molly Ball reports that Peter Orzsag thinks Republicans are unlikely to dump Obamacare through the budget reconciliation process.
- U.S. manufacturing shrank for the first time in three years this June.
- Sean Wilentz takes a long and in-depth look at Obama and LBJ.
- Reid Cherlin wonders how much the Republican Party's scary amounts of fundraising really matters.
Poll of the Day
A new poll from USA Today and Gallup finds that most Hispanic voters identify as political independents, but lean Democratic. Fifty-one percent of those polled described themselves as independents, compared with 32 percent self-identifying as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans. But when asked how they lean, just over half of those independents indicated Democratic tendencies while only 23 percent said they leaned Republican. Overall, among registered Hispanic voters, 60 percent identified as Democrats or leaned that way.