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u.s. election

In this Feb. 11, 2012, file photo, former Alaska Gov. and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers the keynote address to activists from America's political right at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.J. Scott Applewhite/AP/The Canadian Press

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will announce his choice of vice-presidential running-mate in time for the party's national convention in Tampa Bay at the end of August. The potential pick is the subject of much speculation - dubbed 'Veepstakes' by political journalists and observers - and intended to give the Republican presidential ticket a boost heading in to the critical weeks of campaigning ahead of the November vote.

Be sure to check out our Washington correspondent Konrad Yakabuski's look at the top contenders - people like Ohio Senator Rob Portman, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and South Dakota Senator John Thune. More recently, attention has turned to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

Below, our Canadian expats give their take on the 'Veepstakes'.

This is part of our U.S. Election 2012: Canadians in America series – expats talking about life and politics south of the border.

Portman offers presidential aplomb

Rob Portman is the safe pick, lots of national experience and could fill in as president and do a competent job. Plus, he is from Ohio and it is virtually impossible for Romney to win the electoral college without carrying Ohio. So he is the most likely pick.

– Jonathan Havercroft

Political science professor from Montreal living in Oklahoma

Is Rice the GOP's 'Hillary' or she would turn off the Republican base?

I find this particularly interesting, and at times often consider her to be a "Hillary" for the Republican side. She's very smart and is extremely accomplished. It will be interesting to see if this actually unfolds, since I know she's just started a new consulting firm in [Washington] DC with some other Bush [administration] officials.

– Meredith Miller

Public relations professional from Toronto living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Rice is a very intelligent woman and definitely qualified to be VP, if only she hadn't worked in the Bush administration. She's certainly the anti-Palin, but she also has a number of unique vulnerabilities. Rice seems like a strong pick because of her foreign policy and counter terrorism experience, but that experience will be dissected by team Obama with ease.

– Kieran Edling

MBA student working in college athletics from Toronto living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There's a lot of talk (not just from Ann Romney) about Mitt picking a female running mate. Condy Rice has said "No way," and I think she means it. And, to be honest, I think if she's picked, she'll be seen as a moderate (yes, that's how far right the GOP has gone), and it'll turn off the more extreme GOP base.

– Robert Slaven

Actuary from Yellowknife living in California

Pawlenty is 'least objectionable' and could help Romney with Midwest vote

I find Tim Pawlenty the least objectionable of the list, and found him the least infuriating during the early stages of the primaries, but that probably means he's not likely to galvanize the GOP base.

– Jenny Zhang

Advertising professional, from Ottawa and Toronto, living in North Carolina

I lived in Minnesota when Tim Pawlenty was governor and I think he is relatively underrated as a campaigner. Minnesota tends to vote Democratic (at least in presidential elections), but Pawlenty was able to win the Governorship twice. He has a bit of an understated style (some would call it boring - that was the knock against him when he ran for President) but it does play well with mid-western voters who also tend to be reserved and understated.

There's that old Garrison Keillor joke about the Minnesotan who loved his wife so much he almost told her. Pawlenty tapped into that group - moderate independents in suburban Minnesota - and put together a coalition that elected him twice. That is where this election is going to be decided, and Pawlenty is the type of candidate that can help Romney win those voters.

– Jonathan Havercroft

Rubio would attract Hispanic vote

Romney does not have support from the increasingly important Hispanic community. Therefore, I see Marco Rubio as his best option. He's young, dynamic and articulate; the son of Cuban immigrants – a hopeful picture of the American Dream. However, there is no indication that Romney is courting Rubio for his second-in-command.

– Sherry Halfyard

Business consultant from Vancouver living in Arizona

Jindal has solid conservative credentials

If the Romney team is worried that they can't run an all-white male ticket (which, as America becomes increasingly diverse, does become more of a problem), Bobby Jindal makes the most sense. He has solid conservative credentials and is a good campaigner. He did give one bad speech, but that doesn't sink a political career.

– Jonathan Havercroft


Christie could be another Palin

Chris Christie would be a bit like a Sarah Palin; he's not as thick as she is, but he is as prone to say stupid things, and he'll turn off more people than he'll turn on.

– Robert Slaven

Some quotes have been edited and condensed.

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