Mark Halperin notes that two Republican sources say that McCain has settled on Mitt Romney to be his Vice President pick, but no offer has been extended.
There are plenty of advantages that Romney brings to the ticket, but most notably is his ability to raise money. Unlike any other potential candidate only Romney and Rudy Giuliani have a nation wide fundraising apparatus, but Romney’s network is probably more prone to not give unless he’s on the ticket. Rudy’s backers are probably pretty happy with McCain as the nominee.
Throughout the Republican caucuses and primaries, there has been a constant reminder of 1976. Many conservatives are not engaged in the McCain effort and believe that Republican’s nominated the wrong guy. Conservatives are looking to the convention to see who will give the Reagan 76 speech, would it be Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney.
If Romney is the VP nominee, he can not fill Reagan’s role in 1976 no matter how badly he wants too. Instead, the selection of Romney will draw interesting parallels to 1980, meaning Romney’s political future rests solely in John McCain’s hands. If McCain wins, he’s golden. If McCain loses, Romney’s done.
Romney is probably one of the safest picks for McCain. He has shown in his own campaign to be very skilled at staying on message, which is critical for any candidate, and he also brings connections to Michigan and the mountain west.
As for the conservatives they will still wait and see who gives the speech they have been waiting for. Both Jindal and Huckabee are sure to provide some of the best speeches of the Republican convention, but who will claim Reagan’s mantle? We just have to wait a few more weeks.