Vice-Presidential Politics

First Read is reporting that the McCain camp might be ready to end the false alarms and actually pick a VP:

One of these days the McCain campaign won’t be “crying VP” and will actually announce his pick. Today’s Washington Post has a defensive “the pick could be coming any day now” story. “Anxious to counter the blanket media coverage that has followed Sen. Barack Obama on his overseas journey, Sen. John McCain is weighing whether to announce his running mate in the coming weeks before the spotlight shifts to China and the opening of the Olympic Games next month. ‘He’s in a position to make [the decision] on short notice if he wanted to,’ said McCain’s chief strategist Charlie Black. Bottom line: The media is being put on notice that the pick could come at any time, with the campaign hinting big time that McCain’s going to make the pick before the Olympics. As for Obama’s timing, considering how the campaign likes to let big events sink in, it seems highly unlikely they’ll step on their own post-trip bounce (if they believe they’ll be getting one) by announcing the VP next week. That leaves just one week before the Olympics if next week is indeed out.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think Obama should announce his VP candidate sometime in the middle of next week, and really stick the McCain campaign with a really bad choice. Either they make an announcement in the immediate aftermath of Obama’s pick, which is inevitably going to be smaller news and get crowded out by all the Obama press, or (if we assume that the Olympic period is a no-go) they’re stuck waiting for the Republican convention, because McCain certainly isn’t going to roll it out during the Democratic convention. So, in this sense, I think it’s probably worth “stepping-on” the post trip bounce in order to mitigate one of the last remaining tools in McCain’s arsenal to get widespread attention. The Obama campaign doesn’t really need the VP pick to conquer a news cycle, they have Bill and Hillary Clinton for that.