McCain Veep Speculation Distracts Us From the Obamarama

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Who do you think you are, John McCain, leaking to Robert Novak that you will reveal your vice-president this week? You have everyone searching for clues (in a stop in McCain-loving swing-state New Hampshire today and at a meeting tomorrow in Louisiana with Bobby Jindal) and momentarily distracting from our vigilant real-time monitoring of Barack Obama's every movement on his world-charm offensive. A clever move to be sure, McCain, but will you really pick your running mate this week or are you just trying to fulfill your own selfish need for media attention?

• Jonathan Martin reports that though McCain has "narrowed his vice-presidential possibilities to the point where he considered a decision this week…he’s likely to hold off." McCain operatives, though, "relishing the diversion…did not discourage the speculation." [Politico]

• Marc Ambinder doesn't think McCain will announce this week, nor will "the McCain campaign do much to tamp down on this speculation, because it drives press attention to their campaign." [Atlantic]

• Chuck Todd and friends write that it "probably makes sense" that the McCain campaign is only "throwing shiny metal objects into the air as the political world fixates on Obama." The campaign could very well be worried that Obama will dominate the news for the next few weeks, but is it "too focused on this week's Obama narrative to the point that they've taken the eye off their long-term campaign-message ball"? [FirstRead/MSNBC]

• Holly Bailey thinks that even if the rumors of an imminent veep pick are just a "head fake," McCain will have scored "something of a message victory," since he will have gotten at least some of the coverage he would have received if he really did choose a running mate. [Stumper/Newsweek]

• Kathryn Jean Lopez claims that it would be the “final media turnoff to McCain” if he tried to overshadow Obama this week. [Corner/National Review]

• Noam Scheiber wonders if announcing this week would be a risky move: What if instead of stepping on Obama's trip, Obama's trip "massively stepped on McCain's announcement"? What if "nobody came"? [Stump/New Republic]

• Nate Silver argues that a McCain announcement would show "what a huge slam dunk Obama's trip to the Middle East and Europe has been." Not only that, but it would create "the perception that you're following rather than leading the media cycle" and forfeit the "advantage of picking his VP last and being able to react to Obama's selection." [Five Thirty Eight]

• Allahpundit speculates that if McCain picks his VP first and chooses a woman that Obama may feel obliged to pick a woman himself, even though "that combo [could] seem too 'diverse' for some voters." [Hot Air]

• Tom Bevan believes that "[m]aking a head fake this week to create a distraction is smart, but making the actual pick this week wouldn't be." The McCain campaign knows that it won't have a "measurable effect," and they would probably like to keep the advantage of announcing after Obama. [RealClearPolitics] —Dan Amira

For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.