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Readying McCain-Romney?

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The Los Angeles Times’Andrew Malcom summarizes the reporting of the Boston Globe’s Michael Kranish on the prospect of a McCain-Romney ticket, including the prospect that Senator McCain might skip public funding if he picks Romney as a running mate:

The article quoted legal experts who said it appears that if McCain, like the Democratic candidate Barack Obama, reversed his position and opted out of federal campaign financing, Romney as a running mate could donate or loan the campaign an unlimited amount of his own fortune.

The news that Obama gathered in $52 million in June underscores the need for Team McCain to choose a Veep with an eye not just on the most important qualification –the ability to become president on short notice– but also with an emphasis on the ability and willingness to campaign hard (no John Edwards), to put states in play (for Romney, that means Michigan, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada; for Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota and Wisconsin) and especially to raise money from established networks.

Though some commentary asserted Senator McCain would wait until after Obama selected his running mate, the pressing need to keep the funding gap somewhat close argues for an early selection. Whether Pawlenty or Romney or someone else, it just makes it much easier to raise the crucial funds with both members of the ticket working the country’s donors.

Romney’s “Ms”–the message on the economy, his and his supporters’ money, the Mormons and the enthusiasm they would bring to the campaign, especially in Mormon-heavy states like Colorado and Nevada, and of course Romney’s ties to his home state Michigan– make the case for choosing Romney very strong. An early selection would give the campaign an huge lift throughout the summer, one that could keep the already lower-than-expected Obama lead in the single digits.


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