The same week the Romney campaign announced they would soon be making their choice of running mate public, differing reports revealed Condoleezza Rice and Tim Pawlenty as frontrunners in the possible Vice Presidential pool.
"We're getting ready to share some exciting news. Sometime between now and the Republican convention, Mitt will be announcing his choice for VP," Romney for President Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades told supporters in an email Thursday.
"Every week until the VP announcement is made, one lucky supporter will win the chance to meet Mitt and his choice for VP," the email added.
The campaign announcement came the same say that the Drudge Report issued an exclusive naming Condoleezza Rice as the top running mate choice for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"A surprise name is now near the top of the [running mate] list: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice!" Drudge states, citing "sources."
The former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under George W. Bush had previously all but taken herself out of the VP pool, stating in late June there was "no way" she would be Romney's running mate.
"I'm saying there is no way that I will do this, because it's really not me. I know my strengths and Governor Romney needs to find someone who wants to run with him. There are many people who will do it very, very well, and I'll support the ticket," Rice told CBS' Charlie Rose on June 26th.
Considering her past remarks, many pundits are looking past Rice to former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as another possible Romney vice president.
Many conservative pundits say Pawlenty's reputation as "suitable" but not "standout" might actually help him as much in a VP contest as it hurt him during his bid for president.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have also had their names thrown around, but both have also made less than inspired statements on the honor, with Rubio saying in April he would turn down the job if offered.
In recent polls, however, Rubio remained the only running mate possibility familiar to half or more of the American public. In the July 5th CNN/ORC poll, 40 percent or higher of those questioned were unfamiliar with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Pawlenty also fared poorly in the poll, with 43 percent saying they were unfamiliar with him.
With some pundits saying the Romney ticket needs star power, the conversation keeps coming back to "Vice President Rice."
Even former John McCain running mate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was chosen for her own shock and awe value in 2008, weighed in on the Condi VP choice.
"I think that Condoleezza Rice would be a wonderful vice president," Palin told Fox News' Greta van Susteren Thursday night. "She certainly has much more experience than our sitting president does today."
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org