The Washington Post:
With the prospective vice presidential candidates fanning out as campaign-trail surrogates, Romney and his closest counselors have entered the final stages of selecting the ultimate surrogate — a running mate.
There are seven weeks remaining until the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Romney has a few important strategic decisions to make before then: not only who to name as a vice presidential nominee, but also when and how to do so.
Will Romney follow the precedent of both parties in 2008 by waiting until a few days before the start of his convention to announce his pick? Or will he elect to name a running mate sooner to effectively double the Republicans’ ability to raise money and campaign against an incumbent president and vice president?
And if Romney goes the early route, will he make the announcement over the next 2 1 / 2 weeks before he departs for Europe to begin a foreign trip? Or will he wait until he returns from overseas in early August, when the campaign will be competing against the London Olympics for media attention?
Romney campaign officials would not comment on the confidential vice presidential selection process but said nothing has been determined.
“No decisions have been made about decisions,” one adviser said.
When Romney was asked by CBS News last week when he might announce his choice, he said, “I can’t tell you that. I have an idea in mind, but that’s something I’m keeping close with my team.”
(...) At Romney headquarters in Boston, top staffers are readying for an announcement. A senior staff for the eventual nominee is beginning to be assembled, while the digital team is planning a swift rollout designed to maximize engagement and fundraising from supporters online. The goal, advisers said, is to have an infrastructure ready once Romney makes the decision.
As they eye the calendar, Romney’s advisers said they are weighing the pros and cons of timing.
Steve Duprey, who traveled in 2008 with Republican nominee John McCain as a senior adviser, said the Romney campaign would be smart to name a running mate soon — in part, he said, because the Democrats already are in “full-time campaign mode.”
“The drawbacks are you lose the surprise and excitement of the convention,” Duprey said. “Big deal. Who cares? Surprise is overrated. This is an election about competence and reviving our economy, and I think it shows seriousness of purpose if you pick your person earlier and you have them out on the road.”