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Veepstakes: Decoys, ruses

“The Republican candidate’s wife revealed in an interview set to air Thursday that he has not yet made a final decision about his running mate,” the New York Daily News writes. She said yesterday, “We are certainly talking a lot. This last week, this last weekend, there was a lot of discussion. We're not quite there yet. And we're going to be there soon.”

AYOTTE: “Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is closing out a week of active campaigning with another battleground state visit today, appearing at a New Hampshire specialty lumber supplier with prospective running mate Kelly Ayotte,” the Boston Globe writes, adding, “While Ayotte’s announced appearance with Romney would eliminate an element of surprise were he to reveal today that she is his choice for running mate, campaign aides have also described possible decoys or ruses to conceal his pick until the final moment.”

PAWLENTY: He’ll be at an ice cream social in New Hampshire Aug. 11.

PORTMAN: “There's little question that the Republican presidential nominee and Ohio senator have a lot in common,” USA Today writes. “But whether a Romney-Portman ticket would double-down on the stiff, rich, aloof image Romney that is already battling — or the smart, clean, competent message he's trying to project — remains uncertain. What is clear: Portman has emerged as a front-runner in the vice presidential sweepstakes — and part of the reason for that is he has established an easy, dynamic relationship with the former Massachusetts governor.”

Check this out: “At the height of campaign season, and while under extra scrutiny as a potential vice presidential pick, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is on a quixotic bid to reform how the miscellaneous tariff bill is crafted,” Roll Call reports. “In the process, he’s going against the Republican Ways and Means Committee chairman — a close friend, as it happens — while giving bipartisan cover to a vulnerable Democratic Senator.”

RICE: “Some GOP voters say Condoleezza Rice is a game changer,” the New York Daily News writes. “Three in 10 Republicans rank the former U.S. secretary of state as their top choice to be Mitt Romney's running mate - far outpacing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (19 percent), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent) and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (8 percent), according to a Fox News Poll released Wednesday.”