Mitt Romney's search for a 2012 running mate is officially underway now that the likely Republican presidential nominee has tapped an aide to lead the project.
Long-time confidante and advisor Beth Myers was chosen to oversee the process of selecting a vice president, Romney told ABC News' Diane Sawyer Monday morning.
I have selected someone who has been a counselor of mine for a number of years, Beth Myers, the GOP hopeful said, according to a preview article ABC released ahead of the interview's airing on ABC's World News and Nightline.
She was my chief of staff when I was governor. I've asked her to be the person who oversees the process of the vice presidential selection and vetting an analysis, and so she's begun that process and is putting together the kinds of things you need to do to vet potential candidates.
Romney announcement was coupled with Myers debut on Twitter. The aide published her first tweet by the handle @BethMyers2012 Monday morning.
— Beth Myers (@BethMyers2012) April 16, 2012
As Romney mentioned, Myers served as Romney's chief of staff while he was Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007, but their relationship lasted much longer than that. She also managed his 2008 presidential campaign and has worked with Romney for 10 years, according to The Washington Post.
Myers is responsible for one of the most important decision Romney will have to make between now and the end of the summer. Although the selection of vice president is a long ways away (the Republican National Convention is in Tampa, Fla. in August), politicos have been speculating who the Republican would choose to run along side him.
Names that have been rumored to be on Romney's short list include Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the House Budget Committee Chairman and author of a controversial budge plan who recently endorsed Romney and campaigned with him in his home state ahead of its primary on April 3.
And although Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., denies he'd even consider taking up the position, his name has also been touted by Republicans as a potential vice president. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review last month he thinks the rising Tea Party freshman would make a good running mate.
Other names that politicos speculate will make the short list include South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, former Minnesota Gov. (and former presidential candidate) Tim Pawlenty, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Haley, Martinez and Christie have all been adamant they wouldn't be the VP pick, but enough Republicans are hoping otherwise to keep their names in the mix.