AYOTTE: Courting the Female Vote: The Hill: "Mitt Romney returned to New Hampshire on Monday flanked by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), a rising GOP star and popular senator whom many suspect is on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist. Putting Ayotte on the presidential ticket could help Romney with female voters, a demographic he is losing to President Obama by double digits, according to recent polling. But by picking Ayotte — a white, Northeastern Republican — Romney could forfeit an opportunity to add geographic and ethnic diversify to his ticket.Ayotte has long been a loyal surrogate for Romney, endorsing him in November and appearing with him on campaign trail — not only in her native New Hampshire but in swing states such as Ohio where she has little name recognition. Romney is visibly at ease with Ayotte by his side, leading some strategists to suggest she would be a top pick for the former Massachusetts governor."
CHRISTIE: Romney ‘might be able to convince me.’ The New York Post reports: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said yesterday that Mitt Romney is a “convincing guy” who might be able to persuade him to join the GOP ticket. Christie was asked by a group of high-school students in Plainsboro Township whether he would consider being Romney’s running mate. “Listen, what I’ve said before is I really have no interest in being vice president, but if Governor Romney called and asked me to sit down and talk to him about it, I’d listen because I think you owe the nominee of your party that level of respect — and who knows what he’s going to say?” Christie said. “He might be able to convince me. He’s a convincing guy, but I really love this job. I really want to stay in this job.”
MCDONNELL: As NBC's Garrett Haake reported last night, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will campaign with Romney in Virginia on Thursday. The Richmond Times-Dispatch : “Just three days ahead of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign kickoff rally in Richmond on Saturday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be doing some campaigning of his own in Virginia, a critical swing-state in this year's election.”
PORTMAN: The Un-Palin: The Wall Street Journal: Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is the un-Palin of the Republican Party. He has a résumé bristling with government experience. He is from a crucial swing state. And he is a disciplined public speaker. That is why he is a top prospect for selection as Mitt Romney's running mate—and a stark contrast with Sarah Palin, whose limited national experience caused political problems for the GOP ticket when she was the vice-presidential pick in 2008. But the 56-year-old Mr. Portman is short on Ms. Palin's base-energizing pizazz, a quality that Mr. Romney, the Republicans' presumptive presidential nominee, also lacks. Mr. Portman, a policy wonk, has served in the House, the Senate and two White House administrations. He has been dubbed "Dry As Dust" (DAD) by his own son. When the "Colbert Report" parodied a Romney-Portman ticket as "the bland leading the bland," Mr. Portman said, he laughed along.
RUBIO: First Read: Msnbc.com’s Michael O’Brien “A prime obstacle facing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as he engineers his ascent within the GOP — possibly even to the vice presidency — involves murmurs regarding his previous political career in the Sunshine State. Rubio's staff has carefully worked to dispel allegations of impropriety surrounding his dealings with embattled Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), as well as whether he used a card issued by the Florida state GOP to pay for personal expenses. Rubio addressed his relationship with Rivera and a whole host of other issues in the an interview yesterday with Fox News. The appearance reflects an affirmative effort by Rubio to address some of the issues in his own background — issues that could ensnare the Romney campaign if the Florida senator were tapped as Romney's running mate. That effort by Team Rubio is especially important now, given the senator's own forthcoming autobiography, and another book about Rubio authored by a Washington Post writer, which is expected to be more critical.”
Politico: Marco Rubio works both sides on immigration
SANTORUM: AP writes: “Rick Santorum wants to ensure the GOP's policy platform represents conservatives' interests. Newt Gingrich wants help retiring his campaign debt and repairing his reputation. Both Republicans are expected to endorse their former rival Mitt Romney — and signal to their backers to fall in line behind the party's presumptive nominee — but each wants assurances that Romney will deliver for them. Neither is rushing toward the task…Meanwhile, it doesn't appear that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is going to go that way. Paul is still in the race and hasn't yet recognized Romney as the party's nominee. The tea party favorite and former Libertarian presidential nominee seems unlikely to endorse given deep differences with Romney on economic and foreign policy issues. Romney plans to meet Santorum on Friday and Gingrich plans to endorse him this week, an end-of-primary dance that happens every four years once the party settles on a nominee.”