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Veepstakes: Is Portman really worth 3-5 pts in Ohio?

“[O]ne of the lasting legacies of Mr. McGovern’s choice of Mr. Eagleton — and the tumult it caused in his campaign — is the microscopic examination of the lives and records of potential vice-presidential candidates, a ritual involving teams of lawyers and consultants and reams of medical and financial records that the candidates are obligated to produce,” the New York Times writes. “Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, is now engaged in that vetting process. And while he is renowned for his love of data, as well as his caution, every presidential candidate since Mr. McGovern has had the same goal in the vice-presidential search: no surprises.”

AYOTTE: A look at how Ayotte became NH’s Attorney General from The Boston Globe: “In 2002, Kelly Ayotte was a 34-year-old state prosecutor when she was called into the office of Craig Benson, the newly elected governor. Benson, a Republican, told her he needed a legal counsel, a job Ayotte appeared keen to land. At the close of the interview, though, Ayotte concluded on an unexpected note. ‘I would love to be your legal counsel,’ she told Benson. ‘But I would really like to be your attorney general.’ ‘I liked her aggressiveness,’ Benson recalled this week. He appointed Ayotte legal counsel, and a year and a half later made her the state’s first female attorney general when the man he had named to the post stepped down amid a scandal.”

CHRISTIE: Yesterday, the New Jersey governor said that the country’s “got enough gun laws now.”  From the Star Ledger: “In the wake of the shooting massacre in Aurora, Colo., Gov. Chris Christie today said New Jersey's gun laws are sufficient, but took a veiled swipe at Democrats who called for stronger controls.”

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the ‘Jersey comeback’ he admiringly speaks of has hit a snag -- last month, New Jersey's unemployment rate hit a two-year high of 9.6%,” GOP 12 writes. “That puts it in the inglorious company of California, Nevada, and Rhode Island, which are the only states with a worse unemployment rate.”

HUCKABEE: Mike Huckabee yesterday on his radio show drew a line between the shooter in Colorado and God: "We don't have a crime problem, or a gun problem, or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we've ordered God out of our schools and communities; the military and public conversations, you know we really shouldn't act so surprised when all hell breaks loose." (H/T: GOP 12.)

PAWLENTY: “The recovery, if there is one, is tepid and anemic,” he told Hot Air today. And former Pawlenty spokes Brian McClung remembers the ‘08 saga of TPaw’s brush with VP fame on a Minnesota radio. Though not direct, he infers that Gov. Pawlenty would say yes if asked to be VP.

PORTMAN: The Christian Science Monitor: “It's all about Ohio: Could Rob Portman boost Romney's chances?” From the story: “[Senator Portman] is worth three to five points in Ohio,” says Ohio GOP chairman Bob Bennett, who has been talking up his state’s junior senator with Romney. “Independents like Portman. And Democrats don’t get mad at him.”

Jane Portman was recently profiled by Kentucky’s WCPO, and when asked about her family’s future said, "We are living our lives as though Rob would be remaining in the Senate.  We're very happy with that approach, just carrying on."

RYAN: Could adding the Wisconsin Congressman help Romney win the state? A look from the Daily Caller here.

NBC’s Andrew Rafferty and Alex Moe contributed to this report.