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Report: McCain May Announce Before Friday

McCain is holding a big rally in Dayton, OH, on Friday, the day after Obama accepts the nomination on Invesco Field. The idea was that McCain would announce his running mate and shift (or try to shift) the media focus from his opponent. Now, according to Fox, McCain might try to do that earlier:

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain may announce his choice for a running mate earlier than expected, sources told FOX News on Monday.

McCain had previously said he would announce his vice presidential pick on Friday and would appear with that individual at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, following the announcement. Friday is McCain's 72nd birthday.

But sources close to McCain's campaign told FOX News that his decision may come sooner than that -- possibly on Thursday, when Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination at Invesco field in Denver, Colo.

McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds diminished the news.

"I wouldn't much weight into reports that there are windows of possibility," he said.

So take it for what it's worth. On the matter of when to announce, the significance of the "moment" has basically lost a great deal of importance. Since it was clear a couple weeks ago that both Obama and McCain would announce shortly before their respective conventions, kicking off a week's worth of party brouhaha, there wasn't much to speculate.

As for McCain, I wouldn't be surprised if the campaign announces the running mate on Thursday, the day of Obama's acceptance, and on Friday the ticket stumps in Dayton. The media will spend a great deal of ink on whether this will take away from Obama. The short answer: Of course it won't, and the McCain campaign does really intend it to. The announcement will make news during the day, Obama will own the night, then the media will shift back to McCain in Dayton. In other words, the script's already written and when the campaign announces doesn't really matter.

In fact, we won't know much of anything about good VP choices or bounces until after the Republicans gather in St. Paul. A week or two later, we'll be able to look back and see who had the better convention period.