The campaign staff of Republican presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney has begun the process of sorting through his potential running mates.
The vetting team, led by Romney adviser Beth Myers, has started contacting the choices, a source close to the Romney campaign told The Hill
. The Romney campaign wants to avoid a repeat of 2008, when the campaign of Republican nominee John McCain wasn’t ready for the hoopla created by his selection of Sarah Palin.
Among those thought to be on the list, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan declined to comment. South Dakota Sen. Johnson told The Hill he hasn’t been contacted by the vetting squad.
Potential candidates will have their entire lives examined — voting records, tax returns, children, spouses, etc. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000 and was vetted by McCain’s campaign, said it’s not a pleasant process.
“During the Gore vettings, somebody said to me, ‘It’s like having a colonoscopy without painkillers,’” he told The Hill. “I heard they had gone back and read editorials I had written for the Yale Daily News in 1963. They asked very explicit questions.”
Michael Berman, who helped investigate Geraldine Ferraro for Walter Mondale in 1984, said Romney is smart to get started on the process early. “The place where people get in trouble is when you don’t give yourself enough time,” he told The Hill.
Berman said more and more elements of candidates’ backgrounds are being investigated, as each campaign learns from mistakes of prior ones. “That which becomes controversial has increased over time,” he said. “With the explosion of news sources, a little nothing can be turned into something.
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