McCain to Announce Running Mate

senator John McCainRoad to the Convention Rally: Dayton, OH – August 29

DENVER (RUSHPRNEWS) AUGUST 29,2008– John McCain is keeping the name of his running mate a closely held secret just hours before the Republican presidential candidate is set to introduce his No. 2 at an Ohio rally.

“I’m not going to be there. I plan to be at the state fair. You can draw your conclusion from that,” one top prospect, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said early Friday on his weekly call-in radio show on WCCO-AM in Minneapolis.There also was no indication that another man considered among the leading contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was heading to Ohio. He spent Thursday courting donors in California.

All that raised the possibility that others, such as former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge or Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, could be named, or that McCain could choose a wild card candidate from any number of prospects that have been mentioned since he clinched the GOP nomination in March.

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The Arizona senator has decided on his choice for vice president early Thursday but the campaign has given no hint on his selection that will be announced on his 72nd birthday.

Republicans kick off their national nominating convention next week in St. Paul, Minn., and McCain’s campaign hopes the announcement of his running mate will stunt any momentum that Democratic rival Barack Obama might get from the just concluded Democratic National Convention.

McCain was mum on the subject Thursday as he and his wife, Cindy, boarded a plane in Phoenix bound for Dayton.

Pawlenty fed the speculation Thursday when he abruptly canceled scheduled interviews with The Associated Press and other media and left Denver where he had been part of a GOP response team to counter what was being said at the just concluded Democratic nominating convention.

Romney met with donors in California on Thursday and was in Los Angeles and Orange County by evening.

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Associated Press writers Glen Johnson in Boston and Doug Glass in Minneapolis contributed to this report.