Greg: So what is the newest rumors you can give us on the Vice Presidential parlor game that is now being played in Boston? According to what you have told me so far it looks like we are down to 7? Is that still true?
The Eagle: We do know that there were at least 7 of them (VP candidates) that were contacted by Beth and were given, well, like an action item to give back to Beth. There may be another name or so, but the 7 names I have given you are the players. I think the list will get down to about 3-4 before not too long. Here is the deal on this stuff. There is a great myth out there on how this is all done. Everyone thinks it is only the nominee that makes the choice. But that is really not the case, well it is and it isn’t. The inner circle around the nominee has a strong vote in the choice.
You may think I’m crazy, but I’m not. If you go back in time you will see how the inner circle plays a huge role in the VP choice. In 1988, Dukakis had an inner circle that wanted Bentsen, not Glenn. Teeter had the majority hand in the Bush inner circle, and the majority wanted Qualye, not Danforth. So Bush went with Qualye. In 1996, Dole didn’t want your guy Kemp, but his inner circle kept speaking in the man’s ear – Kemp,Kemp,Kemp! Kerry was not all pleased with Edwards, but his inner circle kept saying, North Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina! When Barack sat down with his inner circle they all vetoed Evan Bayh, all of them. There is politics in the inner circle, and to know who is in the inner circle, and who they want, is the key on what you called the parlor game.
Now, there are some exceptions, the choice of Cheney for one. But for every exception there is another 5 examples that says inner circle holds the cards. Gore picked Lieberman because of inner circle. Reagan picked Bush because of inner circle. Jim Baker played every card to get Bush on the ticket after the Ford fiasco at the Convention. So you have to ask yourself what VP candidate has an inner circle going to bat for them every day in Boston. I think it has become quite clear of who the inner circle wants and that is a “Final 3″ of Pawlenty, Portman & Jindal.
Portman has people in the inner circle supporting him everyday. There are people who have worked for Portman in the past who now work for Romney, deep inside Romney’s team. We know Pawlenty has people deep in there. I don’t need to go into that, we all know people are pulling for a VP Pawlenty in Boston. And Jindal has some love as well. And let me say one more thing, the inner circle does not want to give a name to Romney that could blow up. You go up, or down, on the inner circle pecking order depending on the advice you give to the top. Jindal & Pawlenty were 2nd & 3rd choice of McCain. That gives the inner circle some cover for vouching for those two picks. Let me be clear, I have not heard any rumors that the number has been cut, but if you ask me, well, I think it’s between the 3 guys. Portman has such talent. The man can be a force on the trail. The man speaks fluent Spanish for (bleep) sake!. Jindal can speak Romney speak. He can talk about fixing things. He has been vetted before. Pawlenty is so well liked and has nothing to give fear to Mitt. I could be wrong, but history and the make-up of what is going on makes those three (Jindal-Pawlenty- Portman) the last three.
Greg: What about Rubio or Christie? Have those two fallen in your eyes?
The Eagle: Well, it is true Gillespie is a big Rubio guy. I do have to say that. Rubio would have to be the 4th guy on the list. But Christie, Rodgers & Ayotte have nobody in the trenches in Boston being surrogates for them, as much as I can gather. As you know Greg, without saying too much, I have gotten to know some of Christie’s guys over the last year, and you know why I have gotten to know them. I think we can almost eliminate Christie from the list. We are not quite there, but he has no advocate in Boston.