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Veepstakes: Pushing back on Ryan

The Tampa Bay Times gets some of the names of speakers at the Republican convention, including some thought-to-be veep possibles. Does this cross them off? Among the names: Condoleezza Rice, Nikki Haley, Mike Huckabee, Susana Martinez. (Also announced: Rick Scott, John McCain, and John Kasich.)

AP: “Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin are both big names in the party believed to be among those Romney is weighing for the vice presidential slot or for the keynote address. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio also were noticeably absent from the slate of announced speakers and may be contenders for running mate. If passed over for the vice presidential pick, there is a very good chance they would earn speaking slots — if not the keynote. The speakers already announced suggest where Romney is looking to make progress as voters start to pay attention to the fall campaign. The all-important female vote clearly is a priority….”

The New York Times’ Shear looks at possible timing – why and why not.

AYOTTE: NPR looks at the benefits of picking her: “[I]f any senator could be said to possess a refreshing charm, it might be Ayotte, 44, a mother of two young children, who still lives in her hometown of Nashua and is married to a former combat pilot. Factor in her staunch right-of-center views and her landslide win in 2010 and you can see why Ayotte is now a draw at national conservative events.”

JINDAL: He likes Paul Ryan for veep.

RYAN: Byron York pushes back against the idea that Ryan would be a good pick for Romney: “In the last few days, there’s been new talk about Paul Ryan in the who’s-in-who’s-out game of speculation over Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick.  The speculation is striking, because of the four candidates mentioned most often — Ryan, Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, and Tim Pawlenty — Ryan is the choice that would fundamentally change the direction of the Romney campaign.  How?  By instantly elevating the Ryan budget plan to the top of the Romney agenda.  Whether that change would be to Romney’s liking is very much an open question.”

He closes this way: “Of course, Democrats are going to bash Romney on spending cuts and Medicare reform regardless of what he does.  Since that is inevitable, say Ryan supporters, why not put the plan’s most articulate defender, Paul Ryan himself, on the ticket?  One reason would be that Mitt Romney has shown no inclination to make the Ryan plan the centerpiece of his campaign.  Perhaps that’s what he’s planning — perhaps he planned all along to run on jobs until mid-August, only to pivot to entitlement reform for the rest of the campaign.  But that’s not likely.”

NBC's Alex Moe contributed to this report.