Those reading the vice-presidential tea leaves may be interested to know the Romney team “will launch ‘The Romney Plan For A Stronger Middle Class’ bus tour. He will begin in Virginia and continue on to towns in North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio.” In that first stop, Virginia, his frequent surrogate Gov. Bob McDonnell’s approval rating remains over 60 percent.

McDonnell was also out for Romney on ”Face the Nation” this Sunday. He showed he could play offense and defense in responding to the malicious attack by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) :

You know this is a reckless and slanderous charge by Harry Reid. This is a guy who hasn’t released his own returns and for three years can’t get a budget passed in the United States Senate. You know, Bob, people don’t care about Mitt Romney’s tax returns. They care about their own tax returns and the taxes that are going to be increased under President Barack Obama where nearly a million small business people are getting a whopping tax increase. That’s the issue in this race. This is a more “change the situation,” “hide the ball,” where they don’t want to focus on jobs and the economy and spending and debt and deficit and energy because their record is so bad, and, of course, they’re trying to change the subject to tax returns? You know what we know about his returns. He has paid his taxes. He’s a very generous man, and he’s made a lot of money because he’s been successful. Why don’t we start talking about the things that are important that people are going to vote about and that’s jobs and spending.

Today on Twitter Romney’s campaign pushed McDonnell’s op-ed from the Richmond Times Dispatch on Obama’s gutting of welfare reform. It read in part:

In 1996, President Bill Clinton worked with Republicans in Congress to reform our nation’s costly and ineffective welfare programs. Upon signing the bipartisan bill into law, Clinton noted that the measure would “[restore] America’s basic bargain of providing opportunity and demanding, in return, responsibility.” And he was right. Most would agree that the measure has been a great success — except, apparently, President Barack Obama, whose administration last month took steps to remove one of its central requirements.

The Obama administration’s recent decision was both unexpected and unexplainable, defying what we have learned from history and what we know about good government. Our nation was built on a commitment to the dignity and necessity of work. That commitment and its rewards have been passed down from generation to generation. And, in the 1990s, welfare reform ensured that value remained part of the laws governing our nation.

Hmm. I last interviewed McDonnell in his Richmond office in April. Then I noted the similarities in demeanor between the two. If Romney is looking for an executive in a key swing state whose popularity is sky-high, who has camapigned for Romney as much as anyone and who has solid support from the base, he might just consider McDonnell. Oh, and McDonnell has a total of 21 years in the U.S. Army active and reserve service. He’d be the only one of the four on the presidential tickets with a military background. Just saying.