The next act in the political kabuki of Mitt Romney choosing a running mate will be the timing of the candidate's announcement, and while his aides have said he could announce this week, the latest speculation is that he'll wait until after the Olympics. The New York Daily News' Thomas DeFrank reported Tuesday night, "Sources close to the Romney campaign told the Daily News the working plan has been to announce the pick after the Olympic Games, which begin next week and conclude Aug. 12 — two weeks before the Republican convention in Tampa."
The New York Times' Michael Barbaro noted on Tuesday that this week is basically Romney's last chance to have the spotlight to himself before "the political equivalent of a traffic jam" makes it hard for him to dominate the news cycle. By the time he returns from an overseas campaign trip next week, the Olympics will be well underway, and while one aide told Barbaro that Romney's VP pick could briefly edge out Olympic coverage, "But Mr. Romney, who ran the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, may be especially wary of trying to compete with the Games for media attention."
Romney's first window is closing fast, so it would make sense to wait until the second one, after the Games, especially since the candidate is still reportedly deciding on his pick: The latest report is that he's narrowed his short list down to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, but hasn't chosen one yet.