Off the Ridge? (Over) Examining McCain's Vice Presidential Prospects

ABC News' Bret Hovell Reports: Has Sen. John McCain scratched a top contender from his vice presidential short list?McCain, R-Ariz., was asked Monday what he'd do in his first 90-days in the White House -- a seemingly straightforward question that could be easily knocked down with a boilerplate response.But the presumptive Republican nominee said he would "call Tom Ridge to Washington from whatever vacation he is taking and get him down there, and get him to work." McCain and his wife Cindy dined with former Gov. Ridge, who also served as President George W. Bush's first Homeland Security Secretary, on Sunday, fueling speculation that Ridge could be the Arizona's vice presidential pick. The line was, of course, meant to illicit applause from Ridge's home-state crowd as the Republican pair toured a GE Transportation train plant in Erie, Penn.But in these dog days of August as Veepstakes fever overtakes the national political press, could it be that McCain was saying something more?It's true in the silly season between a candidate's nomination victory and crowning convention, every casual comment is scrutinized and handshake monitored -- pundits looking for any sign of just who might take the second spot on the ticket.But whether their events across the Keystone state were a sneak preview of a permanent McCain-Ridge roadshow or just a tease is open to interpretation."It's always nice to bring a friend who will be the next president back home," Ridge told the crowd in his hometown of Erie.  McCain smiled and returned the compliment but didn't make any job offers -- at least not yet.

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