US political pundits begin scouring Wikipedia pages for hints over the identity of Mitt Romney's pick for potential Vice President

 

Breathe easy, Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican running mate in the presidential election and has no chance of ever being one heartbeat away from controlling America’s nuclear codes. We know this because his profile on Wikipedia, the encyclopaedia site, hasn’t been touched in weeks.

It used to be that working your sources was the best way to divine who a presidential candidate would eventually invite to join them on their ticket. Thus last week a “top Republican official” told The Independent that Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, had settled on someone we, the media, had not even talked about and that we would know “very, very soon”. Well, that was a week ago. Oh well.

But now we have a whole new means of getting the all-important Veepstakes scoop. Go to the Wikipedia pages of all the possible candidates and see which of them has seen a rash of biographical revisions. The person with the most is your man (or woman), on the assumption that backroom folk in the campaign have been told to tart up that person’s profile in advance of the big public roll-out, due any day now.

If this seems like a stretch consider what happened four years ago. In just the few days before John McCain wowed – or possibly dumbfounded – his supporters by choosing a certain Governor of Alaska as him running mate, her page was altered no fewer than 68 times. If a Wikipedia profile is a candidate’s public curriculum vitae, Sarah Palin’s was apparently in need of some serious polishing and expanding.

A quick leaf through the pages of some of Mr Romney’s supposed shortlist of names by The Independent today would suggest that while Mr Trump is as distant a possibility as Big Bird, the senior Senator from Ohio, Rob Portman, is looking very hot indeed. By 10.36 am, New York time, his Wikipedia page had been twiddled no fewer than fourteen times. Revisions included the upgrading of a mention of his wife, who seemingly would prefer to be known as Jane Dudley Portman rather than just Jane Portman.

Yet, the uncovering of the Wikipedia method of Veep-divining may mean it is already no longer reliable. If the Romney campaign thinks we are tracing Wiki- changes, they will desist from making them. Such is their obsession in keeping the choice secret until the nominee himself is ready to announce it.

“Given the way Wikipedia edits were - post-facto - the tip-off to the VP picks four years ago, it’s likely that we won’t see the same kind of last-minute activity,” noted Micah Sifry, whose site Tech President tracks digital influences on the race for the White House. “You might be better off scouring obscure aviation web sites for postings from mechanics spotting new decals being painted on Romney's campaign plane”.

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, say DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin