Washington, Aug.4 : Aides of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain have asked 45-year-old Eric Cantor, a young Jewish congressman from Virginia, to submit documents as part of a rigorous vetting process to select the ideal running mate for the November presidential poll.
According to The Telegraph, Cantor would be a dramatic choice for McCain, who is running almost level with Barack Obama in national polls but whose aides believe he needs to shake-up the White House race if he is to prevail in November's general election.
Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, and joins a shortlist that reportedly includes former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Ohio Congressman Rob Portman.
Of the four, Cantor would be by far the most exciting - though potentially risky - choice.
A prodigious fundraiser with a young, photogenic family, support from evangelical Christians and strong backing from hard-line conservatives, he would shore up many of McCain's weaknesses.
If selected and if he wins, Cantor would be America's first Jewish vice-president.
Both Republican and Democratic strategists have indicated that it is unlikely they will name a running mate during the Olympics, which begin on Friday and end on August 24th, the day before the Democratic convention begins.
This has fuelled speculation that McCain and Obama could both announce their running mates this week.