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Whispers and rumors spread about Romney's veep

As the convention looms closer any Republican seen with Mitt Romney generates buzz around the GOP veep selection.

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., right, in Exeter, N.H. Mitt Romney is considering his choices for a running mate, one of the most significant decisions of his presidential campaign.

Charles Dharapak/AP/File

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Leaks are springing. Trial balloons are floating. Egos are being stroked. Wanna-bes are auditioning. And, chances are, lies are being told.

Somewhere, amid all of the shenanigans, Republican Mitt Romney is considering his choices for a running mate, one of the most significant decisions of his presidential campaign.

The secrecy that shrouds the selection of a modern presidential running mate has given rise to political sideshows that play out in public while the more serious search operation takes place at a largely subterranean level.

Names of new Romney short-listers emerge; others fall by the wayside.

Any kind of proximity to Romney — or his opponent — generates questions about GOP veep ambitions.

Why did Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire walk in a July Fourth parade with Romney? Why did Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota turn up in Ohio and Pennsylvania during President Barack Obama's Midwest bus trip? Why did Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio write a Cleveland newspaper column criticizing the president's policies just as Obama headed for the state?

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