Romney, Pawlenty And Huckabee Top The List As Others Bow Out:
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said today that he does not consider himself a likely candidate to be on presumed Republican presidential nominee John McCain's short list for a running mate because he is still on hurricane duty, and he said the Arizona senator ought to wait until it is clear whom his opponent will be before picking a vice presidential nominee.
OK, so Barbour's out of the running. What about Senator Thune?
BROOKINGS (AP) -- U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says he does not expect to be selected as Sen. John McCain's running mate in the presidential race.
But McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, may pick South Dakota's junior senator, predicts MSNBC's "Hardball" talk show host, Chris Matthews.
Thune is adding no fuel to the fire.
"I very much like what I do," he says. "I don't have any desire to do anything else."
Thune is out as well. Add to this our earlier updates on possible VP choices for McCain and it's down to three. Huckabee, Romney and Pawlenty are the obvious favorites and I think one of them (or an unknown as of yet) will be chosen by June.
Update: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is generating a lot of buzz as a potential choice as well. She's been hard at work rallying the local GOP in her district but she's relatively unknown on a national level. Also, it looks like Blackburn may have trouble simply retaining her current position in Congress. She did have an interesting back-and-forth with MSNBC's David Shuster when he hyperventilated at the thought that she couldn't name the last soldier who died in Iraq from her district. Shuster later apologized for the incident. Blackburn is also dealing with some campaign finance violation issues. Too dirty. Too unknown. Too unimpressive.
Update: Bob Novak says Romney leads the list of potentials.
Will McCain name a vice presidential candidate in mid-July to step up fund-raising before the national convention, or will he wait until Democrats make their choice in late August? A rumor running through the political community now puts former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the lead for VP. But Romney has many critics in the McCain inner circle, and we don’t think the decision has been made.