Romney, McCain warming up frosty relations

Of course, it always helps when your former rival pledges to raise money for your campaign. But it seems pretty clear that John McCain and Mitt Romney are getting closer personally after a bruising campaign where the candidates traded sharply worded barbs about one another.

Romney has gone as far as eschewing a chance to raise money in order to recoup the more than $40 million he lent his own campaign in favor of raising money for McCain. No doubt this endears him to the presidential nominee while advancing his own chances to be chosen as Vice Presidential running mate.

McCain, for his part, praised the former Massachusetts governor, saying "In case you've been missing it, Mitt has been doing such a great job lately on my behalf," McCain told donors at the Detroit Athletic Club. "I said only half in jest — he's doing a better job for me than he did for himself."

McCain pointed out that Romney had been doing a great job as a McCain surrogate "not only defending, but standing up for the things that we believe in, are important to the future of the country."

Does all this churning of pro-Romney hype mean anything?

I think McCain is playing it pretty coyly but he can read a poll as well as the rest of us. Romney is, if not a clear favorite, at least one of the choices that would be acceptable to the party as a whole. He would have problems with Evangelicals - many of whom can't stomach Romney's Mormonism. And Romney has flip flop problems of his own that might blunt one very promising line of attack for McCain against Obama in the general election.

But choosing a running mate is an exercise in balancing pluses and minuses. And at the moment, Romney's upside outweighs his negatives.