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Why Does McCain Need a ‘Big Venue’ in Ohio? « The Washington Independent

Via Marc Ambinder. The head of the Hamilton County [Ohio] GOP, Alex Triantafilou, posted this on his blog yesterday:

Sen. [John] McCain is expected to host a rally on Aug. 29 in Dayton and is looking for a BIG venue and for a BIG crowd. He’ll get it. This is not yet public. I guess I just made it so

This information has since been removed. Aug. 29 is the day after the Democratic National Convention ends. Obviously, this would be an ideal date for McCain to announce his vice presidential pick if he wants to “kill the bump” that Obama will likely receive after delivering his acceptance speech before a crowd of 75,000 at Denver’s Invesco Field.

  • This is the plan. Ohio is a key battleground state that McCain needs to win, so it would make sense to make a big announcement there. If he does, could this suggest that Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) might be the running mate? His name was frequently mentioned early on, but has since subsided.
  • This is just a head fake. This seems unlikely, because usually such diversions are meant to grab headlines and are done more overtly — and would the McCain campaign really rely on a GOP county chairman to try to make big news?

However, if McCain is planning to do something big in Dayton, Triantafilou just ruined the element of surprise.

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