Now that the Dem Veepstakes are resolved, on to the Republicans. Here’s what I can tell you.
1. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CN) star has burned out on the veep spot. I’m told McCain very much wanted Lieberman, but the campaign has heard from enough people to know it won’t happen. Expect Lieberman to be a member of the Cabinet, letting Republican Governor Jodi Rell appoint his successor.
2. Mitt Romney’s star has dimmed with Joe Biden’s pick. I’m told that a Romney pick, though still on the table, would take off the table a lot of attacks the McCain camp could use against Obama via Joe Biden’s words. Were Romney the pick, the Obama camp would do the same, throwing McCain and Romney’s attacks back at each other. Likewise, I’m told a few higher ups perceive the latest buzz about Romney is being generated by Romney supporters and not by the McCain team.
3. Still shining brightly is TIm Pawlenty. Biden was a necessary pick to bolster Obama’s inexperience and potentially, though unlikely, help in Pennsylvania. A Pawlenty pick would neutralize the Biden “blue collar” story and put Minnesota and, potentially, Wisconsin in play.
4. Wild cards are still out there but one card is absolutely off the table. Don’t expect Bobby Jindal to be McCain’s running mate.
5. Two states are quietly seizing on the disarray with the Nevada delegation. I’m told quite reliably that if McCain picks a liberal Vice Presidential nominee the majority of delegates in two states plan to force a vote on the convention floor. From how it was explained to me, five states must support a motion to vote on the nominee. Two states just might do it and they are calculating on Nevada going along with it, which would necessitate only two other states needed.
One note about the convention in general:
Die hard fiscal cons and social cons are both privately grumbling about the line up of speakers. One person told me, “That’s a lot of squishiness on the platform. Take out the people like the President, Vice President, Romney, and Jindal that they *had* to put up there and you aren’t left with much of a conservative speaker line up.”