Dropping Hints

Wednesday, July 23rd 2008, 1:27 pm
By: News 9

July 22, 2008

By Samantha Hayes

WASHINGTON -- During his town hall meeting in Rochester, New Hampshire today John McCain happened to mention a couple of names that are fueling speculation the inevitable Republican nominee may be close to naming his running mate.  During the question and answer session, McCain praised former rival Mike Huckabee's performance in one of the debates. "By the way, I still think Governor Huckabee had the best line of all the debates we had when the moderator said, 'Governor Huckabee, what would Jesus do?' And Governor Huckabee said, 'Jesus would be smart enough not to run for public office. I thought that was a great line of his."  Political lines are generally not chosen at random, though, and McCain's campaign may feel that having Huckabee on the ticket draw Christian evangelicals, a group that has shown tepid support so far.

But there may be someone else on McCain's mind.  McCain heaped glowing praise on another former competitor when asked directly whether he has "forgiven" Mitt Romney. "First of all Mitt has been of tremendous help to my campaign." McCain continued with a sort of back handed compliment saying, "He's been on television. He does a better job for me than he did for himself. I told him he's been great. He and the entire Romney family have been wonderful. His wife Ann is a woman of enormous courage. And I'm grateful. Our entire party is united now we've got a lot of energizing work to do but we are united." 

That's not all. Over the weekend, John McCain joined the one-time Republican front runner Rudy Giuliani at the ball park, and is reportedly going to meet with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tomorrow.  This has many political observers wondering if McCain is zeroing in on his choice for a running mate, even speculating that McCain may be ready to announce his decision as early as this week.

But McCain's campaign may have something else in mind. Strategy. The political headlines this week are being monopolized by Obama's Mideast trip. So in order to change the direction of the spotlight, McCain needs only to raise the possibility that he might be able to make an