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As the mainstream media and pundits trying to be relevant send waves of ridiculous suggestions to wash over the public--Condoleezza Rice, General Petraeus, Chris Christie--savvy political watchers know that the better place to see who is the veep front-runner is actually Wikipedia.
The Romney campaign wants you to download its mobile app to be among the first to find out who Mitt is going to pick as his running mate, but if past history is any guide, you might want to instead be looking at Wikipedia — and whether any of the leading contenders' entries are being suddenly brushed up.
Sarah Palin's Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain's favor, had 54 edits on August 28th, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks — Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison — saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden's Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post.
According to those with the time to clock the changes, Rob Portman is ahead...way ahead of the other potential candidates. No surprise there, Portman has been leading the list of "safe" veep choices.
But what happens when Portman starts getting the tougher scrutiny that even Sarah Palin's Wikipedia promoters couldn't save her from? Noah Rothman of Mediaite has his tongue firmly in his cheek with the first volley:
With Vice Presidential rumors swirling around Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the media is beginning to ask tough questions about his family’s investments – specifically, a hotel in which Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody opted to spend a night. What he found there was… disconcerting. [..]
If Portman is selected to join Mitt Romney on the GOP presidential ticket, he will have to answer some tough questions about his time as President George W. Bush’s budget director and his prescription for how the Congress can avoid going over the “fiscal cliff” in January. But the hardest questions to answer may focus on his creepy doll hotel and the rumors that it serves as a gateway to the hereafter.
Actually, Portman needs to worry less about the creepy b&bs and more about the 1,600 pages of oppo research that was just released and his association with the Bush administration and their economic track record. He may be a "safe" choice for Romney, but his record is anything but.