BuzzFeed Veepstakes: August 1

Romney's back in the States after a glorious red eye from Poland. The countdown continues...

Welcome to BuzzFeed Veepstakes, your daily guide to Mitt Romney's search for a running mate.

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CNN's Peter Hamby scoops: Romney preps swing state blitz, stirring V.P. speculation

Mitt Romney is back on American soil today after taking the long flight in from Warsaw last night. Ann Romney is back at the Olympics to watch their dressage horse Rafalca compete. The VP contenders are doing their day jobs today,

The Clock: 26 days to the start of the GOP Convention.

Washington Post: The case for Rob Portman to be vice president

"Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign unveiled an app — you can download it here — this morning that will be the first place where they announce the former Massachusetts governor’s pick to be his vice president. That means one thing: We are getting close."

National Journal: Romney Fix for Overseas Woes: Portman As Veep

"After an overseas trip marked by gaffes and diplomatic missteps, Mitt Romney needs to restore confidence in his ability to lead on foreign policy and serve as a credible commander in chief. Picking Rob Portman as his vice presidential nominee could help him do that."

NBC: Stumping for Romney in Ohio, Pawlenty talks beer, biz

"SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- Vice presidential prospect Tim Pawlenty won't talk about the vice presidential vetting process, but he will tell you about his favorite beers.

Putting in another solid day of swing-state advocacy on behalf of Mitt Romney, the former Minnesota governor pumped up the GOP nominee's small government policies, sampled local ice cream and won laughs from supporters when he deployed some recently-unveiled stump speech jokes at the president's expense. "

Politico: Poll: Condoleezza Rice for VP, small biz owners say

"Small-business owners say they want Mitt Romney to pick former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his vice presidential running mate, according to a new poll slated to be released Tuesday."

The Hill: Possible VP candidate Rubio promotes new Romney VP app

"Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the names most likely on Mitt Romney’s short list for running mate, promoted the Romney campaign’s new smartphone application Tuesday."

Forbes: Jon Stewart's Marco Rubio Interview: How Personal Experiences Shape Political Views

"A month ago, before vying for the spot as Romney’s running mate, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote his book, An American Son. During the interview, Stewart touched on the way in which personal experiences influence our views of ethical issues."

AP: Louisiana's new voucher program includes schools that teach creationism, reject evolution

"Public dollars in Louisiana's landmark new voucher program will go toward sending children to schools that teach creationism and reject evolution, the Associated Press reports. Under the new initiative, the most sweeping voucher program in the country, tens of millions of taxpayer dollars will be shifted from public schools to pay private schools, private businesses and private tutors to educate students across Louisiana."

Christian Science Monitor: GOP roadshow: Senators pound on need to stave off defense cuts

"A trio of the Senate’s leading GOP defense hawks have a message about cuts in military spending, slated for Jan. 1: Under no circumstances can America sustain them – and Republicans are willing to give up sacred ground on taxes to make sure they don’t occur."

Boston Herald: McCain stumps in N.H. for ... Kelly Ayotte?

"MERRIMACK, N.H. — U.S. Sen. John McCain this morning added fuel to the already raging speculative fire surrounding U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte as a potential vice presidential pick for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney."

In 2002, Condi played piano alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Arts and Humanities Medal Presentation. She told AOL that moment was when she knew she made the right career decision. The pair played Brahms's Violin Sonata in D minor.

She even played for the Queen!

The New York Times on her "nimble fingers": "Ms. Rice's long, thin fingers are nimble indeed, especially for someone who doesn't have much time to practice. Her touch has lightness and subtlety, yet she plays with crisp clarity and, when called for, robust sound."

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Graphics by John Gara