Hugh Hewitt is reporting that the McCain VP shortlist has been narrowed down to four names, though maybe not the names you would expect. Hewitt says he got the names from Mike Allen at The Politico, who I assume got them from someone inside the campaign – although exactly who is unknown.
What started as a list of about two dozen names may now be down to just four men – Eric Cantor, a Virginia Rep; Rob Portman, a former economic advisor to the President; Tom Ridge, fmr. Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Pennsylvania; and Mitt Romney, fmr. Governor of Massachusetts.
There aren’t any really big surprises on that list – though Cantor has been a relative unknown until now. Ridge, Portman, and Romney have all been frequently mentioned in the media as potential VPs. The real surprise comes in who isn’ton the list – in particular, five people all thought to have been near the top of the list: Bobby Jindal (LA), Charlie Crist (FL), Sarah Palin (AK), Mike Huckabee (AR) , and Tim Pawlenty (MN). Pawlenty was thought to be at the top by many people who believed him able to deliver MN, it was also thought that his strong support for McCain during the primary would help.
Is this the real shortlist, I don’t know. It does look credible, but with McCain [officially] keeping his cards close, we’re unlikely to see any confirmation. As I’ve mentioned before, McCain is apparently running the search himself, so we may not know for sure who he is looking at until he actually makes the decision.