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GOP Veep Speculation Heats Up...

Politico's Jonathan Martin
reports that presumptive GOP nominee John McCain is planning a three-state veep roll-out tour, which will be followed up by a "unity rally" featuring
Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee:

"The Missouri rally is being billed to local Republicans as something of a unity rally, since it will feature McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee — the GOP presidential finalists who effectively divided the vote three ways in the Show Me State’s Super Tuesday primary. A McCain aide warned not to read too much into McCain’s planned guests, however."
Don't read anything into it ... yeah, right.  A unity rally would be especially important if McCain were to select either Romney or Huckabee.  Of course, McCain might decide to go another direction altogether -- and even if neither Romney or Huckabee are selected, a unity rally isn't a bad idea.

If McCain doesn't pick Romney (who appears to be much more likely to be selected than Huckabee), the smart money is on Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.  Don't forget that two weeks ago, the smart money was on Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine, so anything could happen.

Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his running mate (instead of Hillary Clinton) probably increased the odds McCain would pick a female running mate.  Yet, neither of McCain's favorite contenders -- former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina -- have held elected office.  And he apparently has no love for Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson

This leaves popular Alaska governor Sarah Palin as perhaps the most likely female pick.  Moreover, a quick glance at her Wikipedia page reveals why McCain might like her:

"Highlights of Governor Palin's tenure include a successful push for an ethics bill, shelving pork-barrel projects supported by fellow Republicans ..."
Sound familiar?

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