As speculation about John McCain's running mate intensifies, senior Republicans are concerned that McCain may jump the gun and make a premature announcement of his No. 2.
Party insiders, several of whom have helped run past GOP presidential campaigns, say the media stories about McCain's vice presidential choice are generating a healthy interest at the Republican grass roots, especially the rumor that McCain might name his vice presidential sidekick in the next few days.
But the GOP veterans say such an announcement now would be a bad idea. "He'd be much better off waiting until later this summer," says an outside adviser to McCain's campaign. "He'll need a huge boost, and naming his running mate would help generate buzz when he needs it most."
This view is widely shared in the GOP establishment, members of which suspect that the veep-talk this week was created by McCain staffers to divert attention from Barack Obama's foreign trip. Leading the list of those mentioned these days are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.