Although pundits are spilling ink forecasting the GOP's likely presidential candidates, writes Alexander Burns at Politico, the party is more fired up by its "unprecedented" range of potential VP nominees. It's a different story than 2008, when John McCain "plucked Sarah Palin from political obscurity" in the absence of persuasive options. Next year, the GOP will be "flush with talented, fresh-faced officeholders" ready to support a more experienced presidential nominee. "Forget about Mitt, Huck, and Newt," says Burns. Republicans are buzzing about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez. Here, an excerpt:

It’s almost as though there is more excitement over the deep pool of vice presidential prospects than over the emerging roster of presidential candidates, which is largely composed of white, male, former and soon-to-be-former governors, none of them from the biggest battleground states. On the vice presidential level, Republicans already are gushing over the sheer diversity of the candidates — unprecedented in terms of race, gender, geography and political experience — who could fill out the 2012 ticket...

The talent pool could even present a political dilemma for the [Republicans'] eventual nominee, who will be faced with the quandary of deciding between a more conventional choice—perhaps one of his vanquished primary rivals — or an out-of-the-box pick whose selection could alter longstanding perceptions about the party and have far-reaching implications for the GOP’s future.

Read the entire article at Politico.