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For months there's been intriguing talk that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney might pick a prominent woman as his running mate to help give his campaign a kick – and layer on some luster to a plain vanilla, hyper-cautious and meticulously run campaign.
Among the potential picks, four women, more than any others, have consistently been mentioned as possibilities in the Republican vice presidential sweepstakes:
Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, 44, the former state attorney general and relative political newcomer, who just spent a sweltering July 4 campaigning with Romney.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 40, a Tea Party favorite and one of Romney's early supporters, who recently ducked ethics violations charges related to campaign lobbying.
Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, 52, the first female Hispanic governor in the U.S., who could potentially give Romney a boost with a constituency he sorely needs.
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, 57, who served in the Bush administration and would bring the foreign policy bona fides that Romney lacks.
Just this week, Romney's wife, Ann, said that her husband is thinking about picking a woman to be on his ticket this fall. "We've been looking at that and I love that option as well," Ann Romney told CBS News, as he looked on beside her. She said the person selected for the No. 2 spot on the ticket should be "someone that obviously can do the job but will be able to carry through with some of the other responsibilities."