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VEEPSTAKES

Let the Horse Race Begin

With the Republican nomination under his belt, John McCain's next task is vetting possible running mates. There are several laps to go--the vice-presidential candidate probably won't be chosen until this summer--but here's a look at the early odds:

CONDOLEEZZA RICE

PRO: The seasoned Secretary of State would be the first black-woman candidate from either party.

CONS: Calls herself "mildly pro-choice"; tainted by Iraq mismanagement.

THE LINE: Underdog. With President Bush's low approval ratings, McCain may want a fresh start.

ROB PORTMAN

PRO: Young, fiscally conservative former Office of Management and Budget head from the swing...

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