Does Romney's Shopping Cart Hold Clues to His VP Pick?

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But nothing is for certain in this game. Presidential candidates historically have gone to great lengths to keep their deliberations secret until they're ready to announce a choice.

When George W. Bush settled on Dick Cheney in 2000 more than a week before his running mate was to be announced, aides worried that the secret might not hold. To throw off reporters, campaign architect Karl Rove told a campaign aide known to leak information to reporters that former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri had emerged as a top candidate. Three television networks reported the news, giving the campaign some breathing room for Cheney's announcement, Rove wrote in a memoir.

Romney may be doing some head faking as well. The Drudge Report, a conservative website with ties to the Romney campaign, posted a story last month suggesting that Rice had emerged as Romney's top choice. Rice previously had said "there is no way" she would serve as vice president. She also described herself as "mildly pro-choice," which would violate Romney's promise to select a candidate who opposes abortion rights.

Just don't ask Romney to comment on the mystery directly. Campaigning in the Las Vegas area over the weekend, he told reporters he would absolutely "decide and announce my running mate before the third day of the Republican convention."

That's not much help. The third day of the four-day convention is usually when the running mate addresses the delegates.

"Other than that," Romney said, "I've got nothing for you."


Associated Press writer Brian Bakst in Minnesota contributed to this report.

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