VEEPS ON THE BUS: Mitt Romney embarks on a swing state bus tour Saturday, bringing a number of VP potentials on board to tag along. Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia is set to campaign with Romney in that state for the entire day Saturday, but it's unclear whether any VP contender will meet him in North Carolina Sunday. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will join Romney for part of the bus tour through the Sunshine State Monday, and Sen. Rob Portman will hop on the bus in Ohio Tuesday. But as Romney employs these high-profile surrogates with personal ties to key battleground states, is the four-day bus trip a VP rollout, one final tryout or a runner-up tour?
PORTMAN DOESN'T THINK ABOUT VP PICK Sen. Rob Portman isn't thinking much about the whirlwind that will consume him and his family should he receive the call from Romney to join him on the Republican ticket, ABC News' Gregory Simmons reports. "There are few moments that change a politician's life as dramatically as being picked to be a presidential running mate. The scenario goes something like this: The call comes asking you to join the ticket. If you accept, your world as you once knew it changes in an instant. You are descended upon by a robust Secret Service detail and almost entirely new staffers who work together to seal you off from a life you once considered 'normal.' You are now an integral part of a sprawling national campaign. The press corps you know by name expands exponentially to include dozens of people you've probably never seen in your life. And with that new group comes the searing glare of the national news media. From the moment you are announced until Election Day, you life is a sprint through swing states, a blur of speeches, and baby kissing. It is dramatic. It is nearly instant. It affects your family dramatically. It changes your life," Simmons wrote. "Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, however, says he hasn't spent any time thinking about the way his life might change if that call comes from Mitt Romney. 'The truth is we live our lives as if it will never happen. We really do,' Portman said when asked whether he and his family were ready if the call comes. 'In our Senate office, we're continuing to work for Ohio and promote legislation as if we're going to stay in the Senate. We really don't think about that and we're not planning on that.'"
CHRISTIE POINTS TO BIDEN IN EXPLAINING LITTLE VP IMPACT: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't think the popularity or experience of a vice presidential pick will have that great of an impact on voters' decisions this fall, pointing to Vice President Joe Biden as an example of how voters don't vote on the running mate, ABC News' Shushannah Walshe reports. "With speculation resuming about just who will be Mitt Romney's running mate, one potential veep pick says it doesn't really matter. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told reporters today it's a battle between the top of the two tickets. 'In the end nobody votes for vice president, they vote for president,' Christie told reporters at a news conference today in Middlesex, N.J.," Walshe wrote. " And he joked the same goes for the other ticket. 'No one's saying, 'I'm not sure about this Obama guy but, boy, I love Biden," Christie said, according to video of the news conference. 'No matter who Gov. Romney picks, if the people of the United States are not convinced that he is the right man to be president of the United States right now, no matter who he picks for vice president, they're not voting for him and by the same token that went for President Obama four years ago.'"
NINE THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT PAUL RYAN: Considered to be a dark horse candidate among the potential vice presidential picks for Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan has been getting some buzz lately. The Wisconsin congressman is well-regarded, he's strong on economics, and he's well liked by the right. Most people know Ryan for his budget acumen, but did you know that he used to work as a personal trainer in Washington, D.C., and that he was voted prom king in high school? ABC News' Elizabeth Hartfield reports on the nine things you didn't know about Ryan.
BETTING ON THE VEEPS: Gamblers have moved from waging on sports to making their predictions on veepstakes, and as ABC News' Amy Bingham reports, they have their eyes set on Tim Pawlenty and Rob Portman to fill the No. 2 spot. "While politicos pontificate about which politician will make the ticket, bettors from Los Angeles to London are wagering their loot on Ohio Sen. Rob Portman or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both of whom are ranked in ABC Veepstakes expert Jon Karl's top tier of possible running mates," Bingham wrote. "Traders on the Ireland-based Intrade political betting market have placed $17.8 million worth of bets on whom Romney will pick. But of the 58 possible picks being traded on the market, Portman and Pawlenty are the only two Veepstakes short-listers who have even hit double-digits. Portman hovered around a 5 percent chance until April, then as his appearances with Romney increased, so too did his Intrade odds. The Ohio senator's peak value of 39 percent came on July 11, the day after he met with chief Romney advisers . Traders are now giving Portman a 30 percent chance of scoring the VP spot."
THE WIKIPEDIA CLUE: Could breaking the VP news come down to Wikipedia? According to Techpresident.com's Micah Sifry, the clue to who will be picked as VP could be garnered from potential candidate's Wikipedia pages. "The Romney campaign wants you to download its mobile app to be among the first to find out who Mitt is going to pick as his running mate, but if past history is any guide, you might want to instead be looking at Wikipedia - and whether any of the leading contenders' entries are being suddenly brushed up," Sifry wrote. "Sarah Palin's Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain's favor, had 54 edits on Aug. 28, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks - Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison - saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden's Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post. None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers - Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty - are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden's pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement. That said, if Wikipedia changes offer any hint of what's coming, then today might be a good day to bet on Ryan."
MARTINEZ: VEEP RUMOR IS OVER: With the RNC rolling out some of the headlinedrs for the convention, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez declared the speculation about her VP chances officially done, the AP's Jeri Clausing reported. "New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has been tapped to speak at the Republican National Convention, a political honor that gives the first-term governor a national stage while putting to rest months-long rumors that she was on Mitt Romney's short list of potential running mates," Clausing wrote. "Martinez said, 'The veep rumor is over. I've said it over and over and over and over, I don't have any interest in being the vice president. I have every interest in the world of staying in New Mexico and taking care of New Mexico business.' Martinez, the nation's first female Hispanic governor, said the Romney campaign never talked to her about the vice presidential slot and she was never vetted."
@bobmcdonnell: By unwinding our nation's welfare-to-work requirements, the Obama administration is making a tragic mistake. http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/oped/2012
@kellyayotte: Fantastic day at Clark's Trading Post a fun NH tradition for 84 yrs thx to the Clark family http://yfrog.com/nx1lbvyj