Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Tuesday, July 29:
1) Keep an eye on Tim Kaine—it’s clear now that the Virginia governor is being considered by Barack Obama as a potential running mate. The Washington Post reports Kaine is being vetted and having “serious conversations” with Obama about joining the ticket. The 50-year-old has submitted “piles of documents” to the campaign, and is “getting a critical examination,” sources say. Watch to see how much scrutiny Obama and Kaine get today, and listen if anyone voices any possible flaws in this pick.
2) Take note of Tuesday’s New York Times story on how Hillary Clinton is apparently not going to be picked as Obama’s running mate. The Paper of Record suggests whatever interest Obama had in his former rival becoming veep — if there was any to begin with — has faded. The Times also adds that she hasn’t been asked to provide documentation to the vetters and “the silence from that corner is being taken by Mrs. Clinton’s advisers as evidence of where she stands on Mr. Obama’s vice presidential list.” Watch to see if the Obama people try to scale that back a little bit in fear of alienating Clinton’s supporters.
3) Take a look at the Washington Times’ big story about some conservatives not wanting Mitt Romney to be picked as VP. Prominent evangelicals are threatening to jump ship if McCain picks Romney as his running mate. Romney’s on vacation in New Hampshire this week, and he’ll travel to Beijing for the Olympic opening ceremonies in August. Continue to watch to see if the Romney forces come back to try and show that he is acceptable to the conservative base.