“None of the candidates jockeying in this second contest will admit publicly that they want the job. Instead, their advisers and fans are working diligently to make the case to Romney’s team, to put their candidates in a position to impress the nominee and to be ready to answer if and when Romney calls their name.
A handful of these candidates’ advisers and supporters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share details of a process usually conducted behind closed doors, described three areas of focus:
— Candidates must stake out policy territory they can call their own before vice presidential speculation colors any move they make.
— They must master of a wide range of policy positions, in order to prepare for the harsh glare of the national spotlight (“We’re not going to have a Rick Perry situation,” said one adviser to a potential vice presidential short-lister).
— They must make the case that they have something to bring to the table, whether through their appeal to specific geographic or electoral groups or through their sheer work ethic.”