Several news sources, including NBC and Fox News are reporting that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will name U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, to be his vice presidential running mate Saturday morning — appropriately enough aboard the storied World War II U.S.S. Wisconsin battleship, now a floating museum docked in Norfolk. Word that Mr. Romney would announce his running mate in Virginia broke earlier this evening and speculation immediately focused on often mentioned Governor Bob McDonnell, once a top tier pundits' pick who fell off the radar screen, only to reemerge in recent days. But news organizations, including NBC12 in Richmond, report that Governor McDonnell is not the choice, but will accompany the two men on their tour of Virginia, including a previously announced stop at a rally at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, in the center of the GOP bastion of Hanover County. Last month, Mr. Romney nominated Governor McDonnell to head the Republican National Convention Platform Committee, a signal that he was no longer under consideration for the ticket's second spot.
The fact that Mr. Romney, the former Massachussetts governor, is naming his running mate in the Old Dominion indicates how important Virginia is in his electoral map strategy. The Commonwealth is considered a major swing/battleground state this year, potentially deciding who will win the White House.
Saturday's Romney Virginia campaign swing itinerary:
8:30 a.m. , Nauticus, 1 Waterside Drive
12:40 p.m., Randolph Macon College, Crenshaw Gym, 103 East Patrick Street
3:45 p.m., Harris Pavillion, 9116 Center Street