The veep-watchers have been doing it wrong.
Tech President’s Micah Sifry dismisses the speculation and hearsay and identifies what might just be the most surefire way to anticipate Mitt Romney’s running mate selection:
Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia page was updated at least 68 times the day before John McCain announced her selection, with another 54 changes made in the five previous days previous. Tim Pawlenty, another leading contender for McCain’s favor, had 54 edits on August 28th, with just 12 in the five previous days. By contrast, the other likely picks – Romney, Kay Bailey Hutchison – saw far fewer changes. The same burst of last-minute editing appeared on Joe Biden’s Wikipedia page, Terry Gudaitis of Cyveillance, told the Washington Post.
None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers – Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty – are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement. That said, if Wikipedia changes offer any hint of what’s coming, then today might be a good day to bet on Ryan.
In the Internet age, vetting includes not only a rigorous look at a candidate’s past, but rigorous editing of his or her public record. It’s a simple but oft overlooked point. Kudos to Sifry for keeping it in mind.