Trump is doing something no candidate has done in almost 30 years, and it could pay off

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Gingrich, Christie leading candidates on Trump's VP list

Whom Donald Trump will select as his running mate has been the source of endless speculation.

But even more interesting than whom he picks may be when he picks. Trump has stated several times that he wouldn't reveal his choice until the Republican National Convention in July.

Traditionally, candidates have announced their running mates a week or two before their party's convention. Some wait just a few days before the big event, like John McCain did in 2008 when he chose Sarah Palin.

But if Trump keeps his word, then it will be the first time in almost 30 years that a candidate has waited until the convention itself to reveal the person who will join them on the presidential ticket.

Only two candidates in modern history have waited until the convention to announce their picks: George H.W. Bush, when he tapped Dan Quayle in 1988, and Ronald Reagan in 1980, when he chose Bush.

The unconventional move is calculated on Trump's part, and it could pay major dividends for his campaign, said Richard Parker, a Harvard public-policy lecturer and former political consultant.

Trump "is a master of free media, and part of what he's going to do with the VP nomination is the free-media strategy," Parker told Business Insider. "The media will hunger and hunger and hunger for the name of the VP candidate, and the surge will build in a crescendo of interest in who he appoints."

In what has been an election cycle that will go down in history, Trump's move makes a lot of sense, Parker said.

"I think that he's following the strategy logically with how he's run the campaign to this day," he said.

Trump's other big announcement:

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Donald Trump announces campaign for presidency
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Donald Trump announces campaign for presidency
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump makes a point as he formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump acknowledges supporters next to his wife, Melania, before formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump arrives by escalator inside at Trump Tower to announce his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Business mogul Donald Trump gives a speech as he announces his candidacy for the U.S. presidency at Trump Tower on June 16, 2015 in New York City. Trump is the 12th Republican who has announced running for the White House. (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Ivanka Trump, daughter of real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump, introduces her father prior to his formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Trump supporters wait for U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump to formally announce his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Ivanka Trump, daughter of developer Donald Trump, arrives to hear her father announce that he will run for president of the United States, in the lobby of Trump Tower, New York, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Developer Donald Trump with daughters Ivanka Trump, left, and Tiffany Trump, after his announcement that he will seek the Republican nominaiton for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Trump supporters wait for U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump to formally announce his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump gestures as he formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump gives a thumbs up while he poses with his family after formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. The Trump family from L; Eric Trump and his wife Lara, Donald Trump, son Barron, Melania Trump, Vanessa Haydon and her husband Donald Trump Jr., children Kia Trump and Donald Trump III, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner and Tiffany Trump. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump formally announces his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during an event at Trump Tower in New York June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Supporters chant as they wait for developer Donald Trump to announce that he will seek the Republican nominaiton for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Developer Donald Trump, fourth left, poses with his family after his announcement that he will run for president of the United States, in the lobby of Trump Tower, New York, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. From lef are: son Eric Trump, with his wife Lara Yunaska; Donald Trump's son Barron Trump, wife Melania Trump; Vanessa Haydon and her husband Donald Trump Jr.; daughter Ivanka Trump with her husband Jared Kushner; daughter Tiffany Trump. In the front row are Kai Trump and Donald Trump III, children of Donald Trump Jr. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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Trump claimed earlier this month that he's narrowed his vice-presidential shortlist to "four or five politicians from within the party's establishment," including some of his former rivals from the Republican primary.

But as the convention draws near, the real question is who will want the job.

"There's going to be a real examination by a lot of Republicans whether they want to associate with him," Parker told Business Insider.

SEE ALSO: Former Trump adviser reveals who 'nobody is talking about' that you should 'keep an eye on' for VP
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