'The Five': Dana Perino Weighs in on the Veepstakes

Tonight's cuppa: decaffeinated Irish tea

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At some point prior to the start of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla., presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney will announce his pick for vice-president, and the summer's top political guessing game will be over.

And if you really, really must know before your technologically disadvantaged pals, you can download an app -- from both Apple's App Store and the Android Market (a k a Google Play) -- Called "Mitt's VP."

(But the app's description does point out that you may still get the news after Romney's wife, Ann.)

One of the people keeping an eye on the debate is former presidential press secretary Dana Perino (seen below with her Vizsla puppy, Jasper), who served from Sept. 2007 until the end of George W. Bush's second term. She's currently one of the regular panelists on Fox News Channel's weekday-afternoon roundtable show, "The Five."

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"I thought it would have been interesting," she says, "for Romney to pick someone outside of government, and maybe a CEO, but then I realized, actually he didn't need to do that. He has business experience.

"A lot of those choices have to do with, 'I have certain strengths as a candidate and as president, whom would I trust to give me good, candid advice, and who can build up any of my weaknesses?'

"The vice-presidential pick is so important, because it is your first management decision. It is what you tell the world would be your choice to take over if something happened to you."

It can be argued that the job of vice-president largely entails attending state funerals and inquiring after the president's health daily, but, as Perino has pointed out, it can also be an advisory position.

Here's Perino's analysis of some of the top names:

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Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia (at left), currently the House Majority Leader: "For VP? Did you hear that from his team? I'd vet stories carefully on that one. You could probably make that case logically -- young rising star in the Republican Party. He's good and smart and from Virginia."

Rep. Paul Ryan (below, at right) of Wisconsin, currently chair of the House Budget Committee: "He is more likely in the top five choices than people realize. But he may think he has a better chance of changing policy as the chairman of the House Budget Committee, like he is now.

"But if Romney asks you if you want to serve as vice-
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president, you don't automatically say, 'No.'"

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "I don't know how real that is. She is a close personal friend of mine as well; she would probably say the same of me. We spent hours together on airplanes, going around the world. I learned so much from her. I would trust her with my life.

"And I can see why Mitt Romney is at least probably considering her."

Senator Robert Jones "Rob" Portman of Ohio, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "The Pawlenty rumor has persisted. There are considerable strengths that each of those candidates brings. Rob Portman, in particular, has a keen knowledge of the economic situation in the country and the government financing of it, because he was the head of the Office of Management and Budget. (He has) zero profile, but you know what,I kind of like that. I like boring; I like bland. I just want competent."

Marco-Rubio-crop.jpgLouisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: "What he has done in Louisiana is quite remarkable, on the reforms of healthcare and education. I thought he managed the Louisiana end of the BP oil crisis very well. He was mature and smart and got cooperation from the administration. He didn't put his personal politics first. I could see him being a good, strong possibility, too."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (at left): "I had a chance to sit and talk with him in May 2011. When I got home, my husband asked me how the meeting had gone. I said, 'Excuse me, I need a minute -- I think I just met a future president of the United States.

"I don't know if he'll be the choice. Candidates should not choose anyone for any reason except whether they think they are the best person for the job at the time. There are many good reasons to choose Rubio, though, if he's not the VP nominee, he will have an important role in the GOP for years to come."