If Team Romney's leak that the candidate is considering Condoleezza Rice as a running mate was an effort to change the subject after a tough week on the campaign trail, it wasn't very successful.
Mitt Romney spent last week being booed by the NAACP when he wasn't being hounded by the Obama campaign over his tenure at Bain Capital and his refusal to release more tax returns. On Thursday night, the Drudge Report said that the former secretary of state was on Mr. Romney's short list of VP choices.
Several Republican women like the idea of Ms. Rice joining the ticket. "Condoleezza Rice is an incredible choice, incredibly qualified with her foreign policy experience," said Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, expressing a sentiment echoed by Sarah Palin and others. But social conservatives and pundits were skeptical, noting that Ms. Rice is pro-choice and not popular among foreign policy hawks.
A Romney-Rice ticket "would deactivate the base," Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention told The Wall Street Journal. "It will turn some serious contributors and activists into just voters, and some voters into fishermen." Commentator George Will was even more direct. Mr. Romney "would lose 40 states," he said Sunday on "This Week."
Moreover, the VP talk has not stopped the political press from focusing primarily on Bain and Mr. Romney's tax records. The Obama campaign believes that attacking Mr. Romney's private equity background can lure white working class voters in politically important Rust Belt states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, even though people like Cory Booker and Steve Rattner have taken exception to the tactic.