Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain is likely to announce his running mate before the media spotlight shifts to the Olympic Games in China next month.
The Olympics begin on August 8, and McCain aides told The Washington Post the campaign is concerned that events in China — either athletic accomplishments or human rights protests — could divert attention from McCain’s vice presidential announcement if it doesn’t come before the Games begin.
Traditionally, the running mate announcement is made in the days leading up to the GOP convention. But this year, the Democratic convention begins the day after the Olympics end, and the Republican convention begins just four days after the Democratic gathering ends. Republican insiders say it’s unlikely “that McCain would announce his pick the day after Obama gives his convention speech,” The Post reports.
Hence the pressure to disclose McCain’s vice presidential choice before the Olympics begin.
McCain is now in a position to make the decision “on short notice if he wanted to,” Charles R. Black Jr., a top McCain political adviser, told The Post.
The list of likely contenders for the running mate slot includes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former U.S. budget director Rob Portman, and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, although Jindal recently said he won’t be the nominee.
The aides added that the announcement won’t come before Obama returns from his much-publicized tour of the Middle East and Europe on Sunday.
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