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Breaking down the Veepstakes

US senator Kelly Ayotte
US senator Kelly AyotteTed Aljibe / AFP/Getty Images

Lately on Morning Joe we've been focused on Romney's record at Bain and the president's attacks on just exactly when Romney left Bain for the Olympics.

It'd be easy to forget that though the RNC is next month, Romney still hasn't chosen his VP running mate.

The Romney campaign has announced they will pick someone before Tampa, but who will it be?

By NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro take a look today at the nine possibilities is thought to be considering.

The cliche first rule in picking a No.2 is, “First, do no harm.” And that’s the lesson the Romney campaign likely learned from John McCain’s 2008 pick of Sarah Palin. The conventional wisdom because of it? Romney makes a “safe” pick in 2012. Then again, GOP presidential nominees have had a history of making surprises – George H.W. Bush’s selection of Dan Quayle, George W. Bush choosing Dick Cheney, and McCain picking Palin.

Will it be the well-known and outspoken New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or will it be the oft-discussed Ohio Senator Rob Portman?