From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
THE SHORT LIST. Mike Allen says Mitt Romney is at the top of the list, but that a lack of "personal chemistry" may be the downfall. Allen also reports that McCain will announce his pick shortly after Obama's, to limit his bounce.
Adam Nogourney looks at the "tricky" timing of unveiling a running mate, given the Olympics and convention dates. "It would appear that of the two candidates, Mr. Obama has the more complicated road to navigate, given the fact that the Democratic convention opens up the day after the Olympics end. … That could mean looking to, say, Monday Aug. 4, which is Mr. Obama's birthday." Better still is late July, "a week or two before the Olympics."
WHAT THEY'RE UP TO. MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) talks to David Brody about McCain's relationship with evangelicals, and encourages the campaign to do more outreach. "I think there are a lot of Christian leaders, evangelical leaders who haven't yet been contacted or who haven't been part of meetings who are feeling perhaps, are they going to reach out to me and at a minimum we want to make sure that he is speaking on issues of concern to them and I think you'll see perhaps more of that in the summer and fall."
After loads of criticism and even a recall petition, LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) reversed course and decided to veto the legislative pay raise after all. "I made a mistake by staying out if it," he said, adding that he knows legislators "are going to be angry I broke my word to them." "Let them direct their anger to me and not the people of this state," Jindal said.
The recall effort was then dropped.
OH Gov. Ted Strickland (D) is in Florida for "party-building activities." He will be there tomorrow as well, and therefore will not be campaigning with Obama.
BUZZ METER. Jim Webb (D-VA) reportedly was referred to as "Mr. Vice President" by his Senate colleague, Claire McCaskill.
VEEP VETTING. Today's distancing by Obama of Wes Clark "would seem to diminish his chances of being selected" for the ticket.
CHATTERING CLASS. Steve Kornacki does a reality check on Pawlenty. His two terms came from narrow wins; he likely won't deliver MN "or any other Rust Belt states." And he "looks, sounds and acts like a generic, uninspiring and thoroughly forgettable politician."
Andrew Romano says the odds of a Rob Portman choice are "pretty strong." He's the most "feasible" GOP pick from Ohio, meets most of the typical running mate qualifications and "excels in a couple of categories where few (if any) other candidates can compete."
An Alaska columnist, looking at a commemorative book on Alaska's 50 years of statehood, wonders why there is so much Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and so little Ted Stevens.
E-VEEP. Joe Biden is looking for some donations for his re-election fund before the deadline. He talks about his recent doings, and adds: "As you know, it is imperative that each of us does everything we can to make sure Barack Obama is the next President of the United States."