As we move through the down tempo period before the conventions, I’m looking forward to a period of severe dignity losses on the part of the major Republican veep wannabes. Rudy was making the rounds this morning talking up McCain and actually caught a ballgame with him a couple nights ago. But I have to wonder whether Rudy knows that there’s actually no way McCain will ever pick him to be veep. I mean, think about it: that’s just what McCain needs, a veep who can help him with moderates who don’t find him sufficiently war-like and ill-tempered and Christian conservatives who don’t think he’s had enough affairs.

Anyway, I don’t think Rudy will provide the best entertainment because he’s got to know it’s not going to happen. On the other hand, Mitt Romney’s stock seems improbably on the rise. He brings his own fundraising base. Like many other faltering financial institutions, he’s recently done a major write-down. And for comic value, Mitt was always our favorite.

Crist seems to want it too much to be chosen. If McCain picked Fred Thompson it could be that like that astronaut movie from the 90s where a bunch of old Mercury/Gemini astronauts go up into space to repair some archeo-satellite. But a combined age of 140 during the first year of office is probably unconstitutional. The Pawlenty guy is so boring and soft-soap he’ll probably get picked, so I’d rather not talk about him.

I will say this: As underwhelming as McCain has been so far as a candidate, I still think he was the only remotely sensible choice for the Republicans. I am close to certain that had any of the other choices on offer been picked, especially Mitt, he’d be getting crushed at this point.

Who do you think McCain should pick? Either for the purposes of winning or for humor value.