Who Will Romney Pick for Vice President? A Potential VP Short List [GALLERY]

By @sara_dover on
  • Paul Ryan
    “It’s [Romney’s] decision months from now, not mine. So why spend time thinking about it? … If this bridge ever comes that I should cross it, then I’ll think about it then. It’s not the time to think about it.” – The Wall Street Journal, April 11 Why he’s on the list: The Wisconsin U.S. representative made a name for himself by authoring a budget plan to go up against Obama’s own economic blueprint. As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he is one of the most influential voices in his party on fiscal issues. Just days before the Wisconsin primary on April 3, Ryan officially endorsed Romney and campaigned by his side for three days. But … Despite the clout he has among some of his GOP peers, Ryan’s budget plan is controversial and unpopular among independents. He also doesn’t appeal to the far right, which Romney needs in a running mate -- when Ryan rebutted President Obama’s State of the Union address, tea party-affiliated Michele Bachmann crafted her own response, competing with Ryan's. Reuters
  • Nikki Haley
    Nikki Haley “I’d say ‘Thank you, but no.’ I made a promise to the people of this state. And I think that promise matters, and I intend to keep it.” – ABC’s “Nightline,” April 2 Why she’s on the list: Like Rep. Marco Rubio, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is a tea party favorite and a potential game changer. Not only would she be the first female vice president if Romney gets elected, but she would be the first Indian-American candidate. Sarah Palin endorsed her during her gubernatorial race in 2010 and she heavily campaigned for Romney this year. Haley is particularly known for her strong stance against unions and says she brought 22,000 new jobs to her state since taking office. But… She’s made it pretty clear she’s not interested. Republican politicos are also worried about drawing parallels to Palin because of their ties. Reuters
  • 2012 Election
    “He might be able to convince me. He’s a convincing guy” – Philadelphia Inquirer, April 30 Why he’s on the list: The popular New Jersey governor kept Republicans on the edge of their seat late last year before finally saying he had no intention of running for president. His supporters love him for his confrontational yet charismatic style of leadership and called for him to run, but said his duty to the people of the Garden State and his family came first. In April, however, Christie said Romney “might be able to convince me” to be his running mate should he ask. But … The strong personality that his supporters love him for may make the Romney camp shy away from choosing him for a number two spot because he may be overshadowed. REUTERS
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A candidate's vice presidential pick can either propel him to the election or stop him short. Just look at 2008: When Sen. John McCain selected Sarah Palin to be his running mate, she almost immediately dominated the news cycle and was launched to superstardom from obscurity.

Now that Republican candidate Mitt Romney has secured the nomination and officially started his vice presidential search by tapping aide Beth Meyers to lead the project, the speculation has only intensified.

Will Romney go with a plain vanilla candidate in order to avoid the circus and distraction that occurred in 2008, or will he choose a rising star who will break boundaries? 

The stakes are high for the former Massachusetts governor, who is nearly neck-and-neck with incumbent President Barack Obama in the polls. Here's a look at who might be on Romney's short list, one of Washington's favorite guessing games.

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