So sayeth the Prince of Darkness:
Sources close to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign are suggesting he will reveal the name of his vice presidential selection this week while Sen. Barack Obama is getting the headlines on his foreign trip. The name of McCain's running mate has not been disclosed, but Mitt Romney has led the speculation recently.
First, caveat this with the fact that this is Novak. He's more right than wrong, but has more of a British paper's sensibility of what he prints.
Second, call me old fashioned, but I think early VP announcements are generally a bad idea. In 2004, John Kerry announced John Edwards three weeks early. This gave him a bump in the polls, but it dissipated by the convention. And the convention itself failed to provide any bump whatsoever. Is the traditional convention bump partly or mostly a VP bump for non-incumbent candidates?
Had Kerry announced Edwards right before the convention, as is custom, he probably would have gotten a bounce out of the convention, built up a head of steam in the media, and possibly helped stave off the Swift Boat attacks. The fact that the convention was a bust and he came out of Boston with nothin' set up a disastruous August that practically lost him the election.
My preference would be for McCain to announce his VP at the last possible moment, say the Tuesday of the convention, in order to gin up interest in the first two nights of the convention (which are traditionally bounce-free) and concentrate his combined VP-convention bounce in one week. With two months to go, it may be his last chance to change the psychological trajectory of the race.