Historically and practically, a Presidential candidate chooses a running mate based on how many EXTRA votes that partner will attract.
John McCain hasn't that luxury.
Perhaps the single most overlooked - or just plain not grasped - factor in McCain's choice of VP is this: His problem is not how many EXTRA votes his runing mate might draw - it is HOW McCAIN GETS CONSERVATIVES TO VOTE FOR HIM AT ALL.
The conservative base of the Republican party is angry.
Angry with McCain, angry with his liberal record on taxes, illegal immigration, free speech, judges, etc.
Angry that their only choice on November 4th is between a Communist (the Democrat) and a Liberal (McCain).
And, as a result, many of them - of whom I am one - will not personally vote for McCain.
...unless McCain pickes Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney gives us a conservative on the ticket and, plausibly, in the White House in the not-distant future, maybe for 8 years.
Mitt Romney would define, rebuild and support the Republican party - and Republican Principles.
Mitt Romney would give us a reason to hold our noses with only one hand, and vote for McCain with the other.
Mitt Romney would give the coservative base hope - and bring us to the polling place.
John McCain can stop worrying right now about which fresh new face he can use to go out and win brand new Republican voters, and start worrying about getting Mitt Romney on the ticket...just so he can climb out of the hole in which he begins and get himself up to Zero.
McCain should win this thing.
But his biggest worry is not Obama.
It is Me and You.
No Mitt, No Conservatives.
No Conservatives, No President McCain.
That is why it must be Mitt.