Ann Romney is spilling the beans about her husband's secret vice president search. He is considering a female running mate.
"We've been looking at that, and I love that option as well," Romney said in a CBS News interview with her husband, broadcast today.
Mitt Romney added nothing to his wife's comments. His search for a running mate is reportedly well underway with an announcement expected "before the (August 27-30) convention."
The speculation over Romney's vice presidential candidate has centered on men, but female Republicans such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have been floated as potential picks.
Given that Mitt Romney is so far behind President Obama among women (52 to 39 percent), it makes sense for Ann Romney to float the idea that her husband is seriously considering a woman. But forgive us of we're a bit skeptical.
On June 19, MSNBC's First Read reported that Romney was NOT seriously considering a woman due to the legacy of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a relatively inexperienced politician who was clearly not ready for the national stage when she was picked by John McCain in 2008.
"I think, unfortunately, Palin poisoned the well on that," said one informal Romney adviser, fretting that any woman selected as VP would draw inevitable comparisons to the former Alaska governor. "I would guess if I were inside the Romney mind that they're worried that any woman chosen will be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny."
And Jennifer Lawless, director of American University's Women and Politics Institute, said today it's still unlikely that Romney will actually a pick a female.
If Romney picked a woman, he "would have to first demonstrate how much better than Sarah Palin she actually is, and that's not necessarily a good use of the campaign's time," Lawless tells U.S. News and World Report.