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Another week has gone by and in the political world, it was certainly a jam-packed seven days of news and speculation.  We saw Mitt Romney & Joe Biden, with varying degrees of success, talk to the NAACP and we are starting to get more information on Bain Capital & the controversy over how long Mitt Romney was actually their CEO.

With all of that being said, it looks like it’s time for another tweak to the PolliticsToday VeepStakes Power Rankings.  

  1. Tim Pawlenty (Last Update:  #1)
    -Yes, Tim Pawlenty remains the undisputed favorite in our power rankings.  It also seems that Pawlenty is slowly starting to gain media attention as speculation continues to rise on his future in politics.
  2. Kelly Ayotte (#6)
    -In light of the continued attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, a report happened to “leak” that stated that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was being vetted by Team Romney.  I still don’t buy it yet, but I do buy into New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte’s prospects.  Ayotte is still a relatively unknown political figure & she would have a lot to gain with the exposure of being Mitt Romney’s #2.
  3. Bobby Jindal (#5)
    -I still remember Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as being the guy who gave a widely panned rebuttal to the State of the Union and also having bizarre ties to exorcisms in his college days.  But, it seems the public is forgetting about them as Jindal has established himself as one of the top attack dogs against President Obama.  He’s definitely preparing himself for 2016 though, I’m nearly sure of that.
  4. Rob Portman (#3)
    -After the hype around him as a potential Vice Presidential candidate flared up earlier in the summer, it seems that Ohio senator Rob Portman has disappeared from the campaign trail.  Again though, Portman’s strength is akin to Pawlenty.  As long as he doesn’t start any controversies, which he won’t, he’ll be a favorite to be Mitt Romney’s #2.
  5. Paul Ryan (#4)
    -Mark my words, I think Mitt Romney would love Paul Ryan to be his #2 but I don’t see this happening as much as I once did.  With the revelations of Romney’s Bain tenure only promising to get more scandalous as the summer wears on, I can see the ambitious Ryan backing off.  Ryan will dutifully attack President Obama’s spending as long as he can, but being Romney’s VP choice seems to be a poor idea for someone with more grandeur plans.
  6. John Thune (#2)
    -What I said about Ryan could be used for Thune here as well.  Thune lacks the national recognition that Ryan has built for himself, but I see Thune as someone who expects to be a Senate leader as opposed to someone who will get on the national radar as a VP candidate.  I once believed him to be a top favorite, and I still think he has a shot but those odds appear to grow with every drip from the Bain story.
  7. Condoleezza Rice (NR)
    -The only reason I am putting Rice on here is simply due to the fact that her name leaked out and I don’t see Luis Fortuno, Chris Christie or Rand Paul as likelier choices than her.  Rice has no shot, in my opinion, but since she was mentioned; she gets the ceremonial #7 spot.

Luis Fortuno was dropped from the rankings.

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