Team Romney’s rule of thumb: Do the opposite of everything John McCain did in 2008, or so reports Politico in a look at the campaign's strategy. The approach applies broadly, say advisers—focus hugely on the economy, fully engage in fundraising, integrate early with the Republican National Committee—but comes most into play in the search for a VP. The campaign doesn’t want to end up with its own version of Sarah Palin, so it is going to great lengths to avoid anyone who could be seen as unprepared. The goal, according to one official: Go with an "incredibly boring white guy."
"If not [Rob] Portman, [Tim] Pawlenty, [Mitch] Daniels—some other incredibly boring white guy," the official tells Politico. “If there was a fourth name on the list, it’s Bob McDonnell.” This approach makes other names that have been floated less likely, according to Politico: Chris Christie is too aggressive, Marco Rubio doesn’t have enough experience, Nikki Haley and Susana Martinez could run into problems similar to Palin’s, Paul Ryan is too much of a lightning rod, and Mike Huckabee is too obvious an attempt to appeal to the base. (Read more vice presidential candidate stories.)