Running mates: Always unpredictable

President George Bush and his Vice President Dan Quayle respond to cheers at a rally in the George R. Brown Convention Center, August 19, 1992.
Alex GEORGE/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS News) With the speculation over who Governor Romney will pick as his running mate now moving into high gear, who's been vetted, who hasn't, Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics injected a small dose of advice: Don't get too nervous about it. The speculation is almost always wrong!

He remembers how in 1996, Jack Kemp was trashing Republican nominee Bob Dole's strategy, less than a month before Dole picked HIM as a running mate.

It made me remember that in 2000 when George Bush asked Dick Cheney to scour the world and find a running mate for him, not many of us thought Cheney would find HIMSELF.

I also remember how surprised everyone was when Bush's father picked Dan Quayle in 1988. I'll never forget Bush's campaign manager Jim Baker coming to the convention floor to make sure everyone knew it wasn't his idea.

In 1980, Henry Kissinger and a group of influential friends were urging Ronald Reagan to make former President Ford his running mate, but when Nancy Reagan saw Ford on TV telling Walter Cronkite his vision of a "co-presidency," she wanted no part of that, and the decision was made to put Bush on the ticket.

Talk about surprised: Bush had already checked out of his hotel when he got the call.

So all the speculation about who Romney will pick is fun, but I wouldn't take any of it too seriously.

My guess he won't pick Sarah Palin, but otherwise, who knows?

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.