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BuzzFeed Veepstakes: Getting Closer

Before, during, or after the bus tour? Yes.

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Welcome to BuzzFeed Veepstakes, your daily guide to Mitt Romney's search for a running mate.

Mitt Romney is in Chicago and Des Moines today. Ann Romney is still in Britain. Rafalca has failed to advance to the medal round, with a score of just 69.302 in competition today.

Romney's bus tour this weekend and into next week has heightened speculation that an announcement is imminent. Romney will campaign with Gov. Bob McDonnell, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Rob Portman in Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, respectively.

The campaign's agreement to begin non-stop protective pool press coverage (which makes covert meetings much more difficult) has several top GOP operatives convinced that Romney has either made his decision or is huddling with aides to make the final pick imminently. The timing of the announcement, though, is still not clear.

Several of the VP contenders are out and about at fundraisers for Romney, continuing the campaign's efforts to squeeze all they can out of the veepstakes drama.

And some more convention leaks mean we can cross some more names off the list.

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Reuters: Romney's former rival Rick Santorum to speak at Republican convention

Rick Santorum, the former presidential candidate who lobbed harsh criticism at Romney during some bitter primary contests, will join a host of other big-name Republicans as headline speakers, according to Republican sources.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will also speak at the convention, along with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Tea Party hero and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Politico: Obama supports exempting Olympic medals from taxes

"Who says bipartisanship is dead? President Obama supports Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) bill to exempt Olympic medal winners from income taxes, the White House announced Monday. White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama would sign that bill if it reached his desk."

Los Angeles Times: Romney's potential running mate: Chris Christie

"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has blazed his way to national prominence with a combative style well suited to the attack-dog duties of a running mate, but his volatile temper and limited knowledge of foreign affairs would carry some risk for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign."

New Jersey Public Radio: Christie’s National Prominence Aided by Anonymous Money

"In the two years since Governor Chris Christie got elected to office, he has never stopped campaigning. Christie’s name and image are both in constant rotation in cyberspace, over the broadcast airwaves and in print. And he insists he’s got nothing to do with the group that is taking credit for the latest TV ad blitz that is airing now."

Bloomberg: Christie Signs Tenure Overhaul For New Jersey Teachers

"New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that makes it harder for teachers in the state to earn tenure and easier for them to lose it. The bill lengthens to four years from three the time it will take to earn tenure. Teachers could face the possible loss of the job security if they score poorly in evaluations."

The Atlantic: Why Pawlenty Is the Goldilocks Candidate for Vice President

"Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign, at one time a promising drive toward the White House, ended without a whimper, much less a bang -- it was really more of a shrug. But as Mitt Romney prepares to choose his running-mate, the former Minnesota governor looks like a perfect pick for the very same reasons he was a serious presidential contender, but also for the reasons his run fizzled."

Politico: On Veep selection, look to Wikipedia

"The veep-watchers have been doing it wrong. Tech President's Micah Sifry dismisses the speculation and hearsay and identifies what might just be the most surefire way to anticipate Mitt Romney's running mate selection."

Salon: Romney’s running mate distraction campaign reaches its zenith

"Whenever the news starts getting a little rough for Mitt Romney, there are suddenly rumors that he’s just about to pick his running mate. So it is not particularly surprising that we are suddenly hearing more about Romney’s potential vice president than, say, his tax returns. Romney says he is going to announce the selection to his supporters soon, with an “app” (he will announce the selection the traditional way, by leaking it to the press just before making the announcement)."

New York Times: A Swing-State Bus Tour, Paved With Speculation

"Mitt Romney will embark on a four-day bus tour on Saturday that will take him to Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio, his campaign announced Monday. The plan for a drive through swing states comes as Mr. Romney is expected to announce his running mate soon. That the last stop is in Ohio has prompted speculation that his choice will be Senator Rob Portman."


During a 2001 statehouse baseball game in Minnesota, Pawlenty pulled down the pants of his friend Speaker Steve Sviggum. Time Magazine reported he also "grew out his sideburns in part as a tribute to the character of Ricky Bobby from the Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights."

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