Veep decision made

Romney chooses a running mate; conservatives call for more tax returns; Palin AWOL; and other top Monday stories.

Published July 16, 2012 12:25PM (EDT)

Decision made: The New York Times reports that Mitt Romney has already reached a decision on who his vice presidential nominee will be, and “may announce it as soon as this week.” If the campaign is sufficiently concerned about the Bain Capital debate, which doesn’t seem to be going anywhere on its own, the VP announcement would be a sure-fire way to change the conversation.

The list of potential choices has remained largely unchanged, though the “boring” white males seeming to have some momentum, despite last week’s attempt by the Drudge Report to build momentum for Condi Rice. The Times thinks former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has an edge, while Sen. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, told The Hill that he has traveled to Boston to meet with Romney senior advisors, including Beth Myers, who’s heading the VP search.

Romney loses Bill Kristol: The arch-conservative Weekly Standard editor told Fox News Sunday that Romney should release more years of his tax returns. "He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said. "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."

So did Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican who told the AP, "I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people." "If you have things to hide, then maybe you're doing things wrong," he added  (though he later walked back the statement). Conservative Washington Post columnist George Will said yesterday that Romney is “losing” the argument on Bain Capital.

Where is Sarah Palin? Nowhere. The former vice-presidential nominee has never endorsed Mitt Romney and hasn’t been invited to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next month, ABC News and Newsweek report. Her PAC has paid $4,500 for a booth at the convention, but it’s not actually  in the hall, but rather a five-minute walk away. It’s hard to imagine after all the attention she garnered just a little over a year ago with an East Coast bus trip that led to breathless media coverage, but cable news finally seems to have tired of Palin.

Over the the fiscal cliff: Progressives who were disappointed by the Democrats’ handling of the last round of tax negotiations may be happier with the upcoming one, assuming the politicians can stick to their guns. Democrats are making “increasingly explicit threats” that they’re willing to let all the Bush tax cuts expire in order to kill the breaks for the wealthy that Republicans want to preserve. “Emboldened by signs that GOP resistance to new taxes may be weakening, senior Democrats say they are prepared to weather a fiscal event that could plunge the nation back into recession if the new year arrives without an acceptable compromise,” the Washington Post reports. And Republicans are increasingly split on the tax issue.

Sheldon Adelson chips in another $5 million: The Las Vegas casino mogul plunked down another $5 million into the election, this time to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's super PAC, which aims to elect conservative House Republicans. Adelson has pledged to spend up to $100 million on this election and may be well on his way there.

By Alex Seitz-Wald

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