Matt Towery

But what if the "World's Largest Cocktail Party" doesn't provide the next Republican vice presidential nominee? There are a few other names that are being floated about.

The most obvious is one of the "runners-up" in the big scramble for the Republican nomination for president. Most often mentioned is Arkansas' Mike Huckabee, who has started to impress the GOP faithful in recent months. He could bring to the table a red/Southern state background, along with that much-needed fresh face.

But the one potential nominee least written about but most likely to be at the top of any list for consideration is Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

As I've noted before, a Hillary Clinton nomination almost begs a woman GOP vice presidential nominee. Not only is Hutchison sharp and politically tough, she is also right on so many issues that she could win over independent swing female voters.

For example, Hutchison had the sense to take on President Bush on his decision to veto legislation that would have expanded health care for kids.

She understands that even most conservatives now would rather see those kinds of "entitlement" expansions than the hundreds of millions of dollars of unaccounted-for bags of money that were lost in the chaotic early days of the Iraq war.

Whether it's the almost unanimously loved Crist or the powerful and dynamic Hutchison, one thing is for sure: This time, the vice presidential choice will truly matter for the GOP. Dick Cheney taught Republicans that tough and disappointing lesson.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery