Now that the Republican primary is effectively over, attention has quickly turned to speculation about who Mitt Romney will choose as his No. 2.
Several names — including rising GOP stars like Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Paul Ryan — have been tossed around as possible candidates, but so far everyone who has publicly downplayed their interest in the job.
But behind-the-scenes, some of the likely contenders appear to be quietly gearing up to audition for the job.
One of the most blatant V.P. lobbying efforts has come from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, the popular head of the Republican Governors Association. McDonnell, who is bound by term limits and thus not running for reelection, is nevertheless going on air with a new “positive” campaign ad today, according to a report from the Washington Post.
The $270,000 ad buy, purchased by McDonnell’s Virginia Opportunity PAC, is an apparent attempt to boost the governor’s approval ratings and counteract some recent bad publicity over his decision to sign a controversial bill that mandates transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.
McDonnell’s usually high-polling numbers have taken a hit since he signed the legislation, and GOP insiders have mentioned it as a potential liability that could hurt his chances for being named VP.
Of course, it is possible that McDonnell is simply trying to recoup goodwill with his constituents. But most of the ads will air in the Washington, D.C.-area markets, which indicates McDonnell might be trying to get himself back in the good graces of Beltway insiders.
Virginia Opportunity did not return Business Insider’s calls for comment. But the Virginia Democratic Party had this response:
“The only thing more embarrassing than Bob McDonnell’s ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ ad buy is his record as governor,” spokesman Brian Coy said in a statement. “He could have saved himself and his donors a lot of money had he focused on the job he was hired to do instead of turning our Commonwealth into a national punch line with mandatory ultrasounds and his continued rolling back of women’s rights.”
Watch McDonnell’s ad below:
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