With his path to the Republican nomination for president now all but locked up, Mitt Romney can focus on choosing a running mate. It’s a pivotal decision. Among the names often mentioned as possibilities are House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. All represent important states and constituencies or bring certain skill sets to the table. “It’s pretty easy to name the list. It’s pretty difficult to pick the guy,” U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said. Cole, R-Moore, offers a long shot female worth considering — New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. He says she’s a rising star who could more than hold her own under the bright lights of a campaign.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 30, 2011 (AP Photo)