I've just learned that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will announce his vice-presidential running mate this morning in Norfolk, Va. The media is all abuzz; multiple sources say it's Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairman of the House Budget Committee. I am skeptical; I had previously been told Romney would pick Condoleeza Rice, and I didn't really trust that source either. It's not that he wasn't credible; it's just that I've never really considered anyone's prediction of these matters especially credible--except when Bill Kristol predicts something. He seems to have been correct about this sort of thing more often than most political commentators. In 2006, he was the only "conservative" I heard who (accurately) predicted that Republicans were going to get "creamed" in the midterm elections. Four years ago, his bullishness on Sarah Palin in advance of Senator McCain's announcement sounded more like the hopeful fantasy of an enthused Republican political junkie than an educated guess of what we should expect to happen.
I bring all this up because: (1) I believe Bill Kristol's uncommon prescience about political decisions--of both voters and politicians--has not gained the recognition it deserves, and (2) Kristol and Weekly Standard Senior Writer Stephen F. Hayes wrote an article for next week's issue of their magazine urging Governor Romney to pick either Ryan, whom they dubbed "the Republican party’s intellectual leader," or Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), whom they called "the GOP’s most gifted young politician." Has Romney taken their advice? Yes! Well, maybe. Look, I'll give 10-to-1 odds that his running mate's surname begins with an "R". Then again, he's making the announcement in Hampton Roads, so it might be Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. (It isn't.)