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John McCain's veep list said to be topped by Mitt Romney

June 30, 2008 |  8:45 am

So Mike Huckabee told the world the other day that if John McCain calls, he'd be happy to be his running mate, but that he doesn't expect McCain to call. Good thing Huckabee's not waiting by the phone. The folks over at Politico have a piece this morning saying the call could well go to Mitt Romney. But, of course, at this stage no one knows, as our colleague Doyle McManus points out with his own list of bandied-about names.

McCain doesn't need to rush. He doesn't need a rJohn_mccain_veep_speculation_has_miunning mate until the Republican National Convention, scheduled for Sept. 1-4, which comes after the Democratic National Convention, set for Aug. 25-28. Advantage goes to McCain, since he gets to see what the Democratic slate will look like before he makes his call. And yes, he can pick a running mate earlier to make himself look decisive and unconcerned about political ramifications (which ties into his Straight Talk theme) but, chances are, he'll keep his cards hidden until he has to play.

So why Romney? As Politico points out, he's gone through the media vetting process, has access to cash fountains through his business connections and fellow Mormons, and plays well in his birth state of Michigan, which could be crucial in picking the winner.

The downside? The chemistry between McCain and Romney isn't exactly "Let's spend the next eight years together, shall we?" It's more like: "Does he have to come to this meeting? Can't we just send him to a state funeral somewhere?"

The other top names on McCain's list, per Politico, are former Ohio congressman and White House budget director Rob Portman -- not exactly a household name -- and John Thune of South Dakota, who knocked minority leader Tom Daschle out of the Senate in 2004.

Now it's your turn. Who do you figure? And no, not Dick Cheney -- he's not in charge of the search committee. The comment section is open below.

-- Scott Martelle

Photo credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times