July 22nd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain camp: Talk of a VP announcement this week

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/21/art.mccain07.gi.jpg caption="McCain aides hope VP speculation grabs some of the spotlight from Obama."] (CNN) - Sources in John McCain's campaign confirm to Dana Bash and Gloria Borger that there have been recent discussions high in the campaign about the possibility of naming a running mate this week.

One source tells CNN that “no decision has been made” by the candidate. Another says that some within the campaign are arguing to hold off until Obama has named his decision “so there is an opportunity to counter-program.” In any case, a campaign source adds, this does mean that the choice has been “narrowed” in McCain’s mind to the point where he could, if he were so inclined, spring a decision this week.

Campaign spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker said Monday “there will be no announcement this afternoon.”

The prospect of a McCain vice presidential announcement this week, first reported by Bob Novak on the Human Events Web site, would obviously change the subject from Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East and Europe.

In fact, even some of McCain’s own advisers admit that just leaking the possibility of a VP selection could take some of the attention away from Obama - which could, in fact, be what the campaign is trying to do.

A senior adviser said the report is a “head fake” meant to help distract attention from Barack Obama’s headline-grabbing overseas trip.

But when pressed, this adviser said that was their public explanation because they did not want to give the impression the campaign was undisciplined: “Because someone is an idiot, so we have to explain it as a tactic.”

One GOP strategist says it would be a "mistake" to name a vice presidential pick this week. Another Republican source involved in top-level McCain campaign meetings - including senior level discussions of the VP search process - tells John King that "No. It'll be closer to the convention and after Obama picks his.”

Still this source says “everything” has been discussed, from naming a running mate early - with some talk that would have resulted in the naming of the bottom half of the ticket before now - to waiting until during the convention to give the GOP drama after the Democratic convention in Denver.

Other sources say the "leading" plan is still the one that has McCain naming his running mate after the Democratic convention - a plan that would give the campaign the time it needs to roll out a vice presidential choice in the right way. Sources in the campaign say that all options have been discussed, but that no decision has yet been made.

Ironically, the end result of the fresh round of VP speculation is that the headlines may be taking attention away from stories that would give a boost to the Arizona senator's presidential effort, including their base-stirring charge that the New York Times is biased, a renewed focus on his early advocacy of the surge and Obama's opposition, and the news that conservative Christian and long-time critic James Dobson might endorse him after all.

McCain has just added a trip to meet with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday, a meeting that is also guaranteed to attract press attention.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (454 Responses)
  1. Republican who loves OBAMA

    Who cares????? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    July 21, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. Rise America Rise

    John McCain just announced he will be going on a world tour and plans to visit Persia, Abyssinia, Ceylon, Mesopotamia, Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, Siam, and Burma. He hopes to meet with Nebuchadnezzar, however, strangely, there has had no response on his official request yet.

    July 21, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Lani in Los Angeles

    They need to make the announcement to steal Obama's thunder.

    July 21, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    McCain/Bobby Jindal

    July 21, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. PCS / North Carolina

    It will be Joe, who is affiliated to another country.

    July 21, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. Vig

    Go with Colin Powell and McCain's poll numbers will sky rocket, Obama's will fade and Hillary Clinton will be placed in nomination.

    July 21, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I'm a supporter of Senator Obama,
    I think this smells like desperation. He feels he can't get traction like he needs to and with the successful trip abroad for Obama, Senator McCain has to do something to stem the tide.

    July 21, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    McSame is Lame

    No matter who he chooses, people will see through his lies, flip flopping, and failed policy

    July 21, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    I would definitely be interested in knowing who he picks, but I don't think it would take anything away from Senator Obama. I think it is going to be Romney. I'm more interested in knowing, as is everyone else who Senator Obama will pick. No matter what McCain does, Obama will always trump him. He is just more interesting.

    July 21, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. kenneth bernstein

    John...give it up toots

    no one gives a poop poop de doop

    John, you look like a walking corpse...and when you and bush senior posed in that photo op you guys looked like two walking corpse

    Obama 08!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Paula

    Nobody cares.Mcain is boring and nuts in my book.

    July 21, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  12. TheTruthHurts

    Because of the HRC factor, Obama will wait for the last possible second to announce. McCain won't have the same luxury. Given McCain's missteps, it might be good to get attention off Obama and McCain gaffes.

    Obama essentially has two choices: HRC and the person he really wants. If the race is too close, he'll punk out and choose HRC. If he's ahead in battleground states, he'll pick who he wants. If he can get his foreign policy numbers up, he'll pick who he wants.

    He wants Sebellious, but she's clearly a dangerous choice given HRC and the "war is everything" crowd.

    July 21, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  13. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    It should be:



    July 21, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. rhoward

    You can't imagine how little I care.

    July 21, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. Doug from Cali

    who cares, not going to matter. Watching McCain on CNN. I can't believe people think CNN favors Obama. They are very biased in favor of McCain. 1st time seeing or hearing Lars Larson, what a buffoon. Would love to see him and Ed Schulz go head to head. From what I hear Lars is afraid. What a joke these GOP "analysts are.

    July 21, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. Diamond

    Mccain is playing "chicken" with Obama about who will announce the v.p. first.

    July 21, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. rachel

    Wonder who it will be.

    July 21, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  18. Mrs.L


    July 21, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Independent from CT

    If he names his VP choice this soon, it will lose its allure to the summer doldrums of this stretch of the campaign. Even if it is to draw attention away from Obama's "Rock Star" tour of the world, the effect has already happened and people are noticing that Obama would be more favorably viewed by other nations.

    Trying to distract voters away from headlining issues with trivial news that we'll find out sooner or later is just the same old politics that is crippling our ability to progress as a nation.

    July 21, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. No Republican loves Obama

    Yo Mama Cares.

    July 21, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  21. SDunn

    Doesn't matter. Whoever he picks is still going to be on the losing team.

    July 21, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  22. Megan D.

    Oh jeez. Looks like ol' gray geezer is gonna get a VP! Wonderful for him. Unfortunately, he is still going to lose. I wonder if he will lose the rest of his marbles before he loses the Presidential bid in November. Maybe in his free time he can study a globe.

    July 21, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  23. Voter

    "opportunity to counter-program"

    So with all his "experience" and "better" judgement, he still must follow someone elses lead? (and a new guy at that!) not much faith in himself or by his campaign if I had to guess


    Democrat '08

    July 21, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  24. Kelly

    Who cares about Obama I am so sick of that chicago hack politician.

    July 21, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  25. California Voter

    Democrats for McCain . . .

    July 21, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
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