Follow The Money: McCain to Pick Mitt Romney As Running Mate

Sen. John McCain will choose businessman and former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney as Vice President, in his bid for the White House this November, a source closely connected with the McCain campaign, who asked to remain anonymous, told us earlier this afternoon.

Though others were close in the running, the choice ultimately came down to the money–not the man. According to our source, the campaign narrowed their Vice Presidential options to Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, the two most successful opponents of McCain in the bid for the Republican nomination. But despite Huckabee’s sway with far Right conservatives and evangelical voters, Romney packs the deepest fund-raising pockets.

As a successful businessman and prominent member of the staggeringly wealthy Mormon community, Romney brings with him the potential to raise “upwards of $60 million in 30 to 60 days, whereas Huckabee could only raise $10 to $15 million,” says our source.

McCain needs those types of numbers to be competitive with the money-sponge that is the Obama campaign, which has 1.7 million individual donors–as well as the Hollywood machine–and is ringing-out advertising dollars across the country, saturating voters in his ‘50 State Strategy‘ to win the White House.

“How the hell did the publisher of the ‘Top 20 Side-Boobs of All Time‘ get this scoop,” you must be asking yourself, right now. (We were asking ourselves the same question.) And here’s the answer: It’s all part of the McCain campaign’s plan to directly target college-age voters, in an attempt to sway them away from Sen. Obama, says our source.

Additionally, the campaign wants to solidify their ticket far in advance of the Obama campaign making their VP choice, in order to get a “head start” on the surge in fund-raising they expect to receive with the announcement of Romney as the Republican VP pick.

So next time two dudes in suits knock on your door, they might want more than to proselytize about the Book of Mormon…

UPDATE: We understand better than anyone how crazy it seems that we got this story first, so a healthy level of skepticism is expected. But we stand by the accuracy of our reporting on this, and will give you as many new details as possible in the coming days–including the name of our source, if we can.

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