The New York Times is reporting this morning that like any good CEO, Mitt Romney is seeking caution, not flash when it comes to choosing a running mate. The rumor mill is swirling that he will announce his decision by Friday before he heads overseas to London and Israel. It is clear Team Romney is vetting vice presidential potentials as much as possible before the media gets a chance to do so in an effort to get ahead of the message going into the last few months of the campaign.
In conversations with donors, supporters and even campaign staff members, a likely shortlist has emerged. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, and Senator Rob Portman of Ohio are described as the two front-runners, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin are called dark-horse choices. Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, is considered a less likely possibility, though Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, is said to have expressed admiration for her.
Mr. Romney and his wife and some of their children have spent one-on-one time with the prospects, highlighting the crucial role of personal comfort in the decision, advisers said.
“It’s a close second to preparation for him,” said Anthony Scaramucci, a donor who is not involved in the vetting but is close to Mr. Romney. “The governor needs somebody he likes.”
Rice has already said thanks but no thanks while other potentials have kept mum on the issue. Tim Pawlenty, who came out to endorse Romney months ago, has been quietly vetted while those like Jindal and Ryan have been working diligently in their current public positions.