Geraghty: Source says it’s Pawlenty for VP

posted at 4:30 pm on July 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

Announcement coming “very soon.” Geraghty notes that Pawlenty’s still scheduled to give a routine speech on Wednesday, but TNR noted over the weekend that he’s already pulled out of one event and his plans for this week are suddenly and suspiciously hazy. See this recent item from Marc Ambinder, too, passing along a rumor that McCain was planning to meet with his inner circle about VP yesterday. And then of course there’s that CNN item claiming an attendee at a fundraiser heard McCain say conservatives are “really going to like” Pawlenty. Put it all together and today’s scurrilous veep du jour meme seems a tad less scurrilous than usual.

Here’s a bullet-point argument, again from TNR, about why Pawlenty is a “slam dunk” pick. His working-class pedigree is all to the good, but between the lack of name recognition and the “boring old Republican white guy” effect, I’m underwhelmed. He doesn’t even have serious religious cred to reassure antsy evangelicals. Let’s hope the report’s wrong, although given the general savviness of McCain’s campaign these days, it probably isn’t.

Update (Ed):  Well, I live in Pawlenty’s state and have met him on a couple of occasions, and this pick would not make me too glum at all.  Pawlenty has a good center-right track record, especially on holding the line on taxes with a hostile Legislature.  He demonstrated real leadership during the bridge collapse and its aftermath, keeping the gas-tax-increase advocates at bay and convincing the rest of the state to ignore them. He’s also pro-life, and a humble but telegenic man who will inject a little vigor into the campaign.

I like Sarah Palin, too, but she’s been governor a year in a state with three electoral votes and about as much chance of going Democrat as getting a sunburn at ANWR in December.  Pawlenty has a strong base of personal and political support in Minnesota and the upper Midwest, and he could change the calculus in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  He also helps defend the Midwest if Obama picks Sibelius, Gephardt, or Hagel.

Plus, Pawlenty never wavered in his support for McCain even when times got tough.  McCain values that kind of loyalty.  It’s not a bad quality to have on the ticket.

My only caveat on this would be the timing.  If McCain was to pick Palin, it would make sense to announce that sooner rather than later.  An announcement for Pawlenty could wait until the convention.

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(And Republicans always do, which is why we have grumpy old McAmnesty.)

I hate quoting myself, but this is why the GOP VP nom is so important — whoever it is has a huge, near-incumbent advantage next primary season, even if the McCain ticket loses. So no Romney — we don’t want the guy who couldn’t even beat McCain head-to-head despite infinite amounts of ad money and establishment support. And certainly no Crist, or any of McCain’s other cronies.

Palin, that would be something.

someone on July 28, 2008 at 11:59 PM

If Pawlenty’s the pick, say 4 years to Obamanation! If McCain wants to pick someone from the midwest, he should choose someone to grab the base, like John Kasich!. Otherwise, SARAH! is our girl to hit it out of the park. If she won’t take any backtalk from members of her own party in AK, you think that whomever Obama picks, she won’t be able to take them down a notch. If she is the pick, I would not put it past Obama to change running mates after the VP debate. Sarah would clean their clock

ConservativePartyNow on July 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM

If Pawlenty’s the pick, say 4 years to Obamanation! If McCain wants to pick someone from the midwest, he should choose someone to grab the base, like John Kasich!

Please no Kasich. I’m already unenthused with the thought of Pawlenty. No need to put me in a coma.

It's Vintage, Duh on July 29, 2008 at 12:31 AM

Is JC Watts too much to ask for?

Gatordoug on July 29, 2008 at 12:44 AM

If we want a black VP, Michael Steele is a much better speaker than JC Watts.

Kasich wouldn’t be a bad choice. He’s also a good speaker, media savvy, solid conservative, and has roots in PA and was a congressman from Ohio. He’s also fairly young-looking, which could offset McCain’s age factor.

Sarah Palin would be a bold choice–going after the women’s vote, and doubling down on the oil-drilling issue, which is her “baby”. She’s also known for standing up to corruption even in her own party, which complements McCain’s attacks on earmarks and congressional overspending. She doesn’t bring much geographically, and she is inexperienced, but she could also rejuvenate the Republican ticket.

Choosing Palin is like swinging for the fences–sometimes you strike out, sometimes you hit a home run!

Steve Z on July 29, 2008 at 12:57 AM

Michael Steele would be a ballsy move, and an incredibly important one for the GOP’s future.

frode on July 29, 2008 at 1:38 AM

The “geographical” argument against Palin doesn’t hold up at all. How many voters nationally would respond favorably to a charismatic female candidate whose big issue happens to be domestic energy? Enough to tip the balance in several states.

Pawlenty’s a good man from what I’ve seen, but this is a bad move politically. A McCain/Pawlenty ticket probably won’t win MN or WI, and voters nationally won’t be energized.

I honestly believe McCain’s ego is part of this equation. If he visited ANWR and flip-flopped on drilling, he’s afraid it would look like he’d been “manipulated” by Palin. Not to mention the fact that putting her on the ticket would result in “rock star” status for her and overshadow McCain to an extent.

Mac has decided he’s going to win or lose “on his own” with a loyal, solid, boring VP.

Mr. Wednesday Night on July 29, 2008 at 1:42 AM

A black VP would be seen as a token Obama-lite. Not a good choice.

Get an evangelical Christian to quell rumblings here in Bornagainlandia.

Mojave Mark on July 29, 2008 at 1:44 AM

1. Romney probably doesn’t want the VP job. I wouldn’t want it.

2. Romney would be a better pick for Sec Treas….he’d have a lot more influence on actually getting real stuff done there than he would as VP. He could serve for a year and then leave to run for Senate when Kennedy passes away too.

3. I prefer Sanford, but I’d guess he doesn’t want the job either. His family is happy in South Carolina.

funky chicken on July 29, 2008 at 1:57 AM

Palin, Pawlenty, Romney, Sanford, Jindal don’t care..

Chakra Hammer on July 28, 2008 at 4:46 PM

I care but any one versus any other isn’t going to lose my vote for the Republican ticket this Fall. I mean by that, I’ll vote Republican, whomever among the contenders for V.P. is named. Each of these candidates has excellent talent and would be supported by me. What McCain needs is a V.P. who will bring energy and enthusiasm and sincerity to his Presidency.

Whether he/she is White or Brown or Black is irrelevant to me, but, I don’t support the notion that the V.P. “has to be” “other than White” (the “no White guy” thing). Nothing wrong with being White except to Obama and many among his campaign.

S on July 29, 2008 at 5:14 AM

ROMNEY-WATTS 2012 is looking better and better all the time.

Romney brings the Wall Street, Silicon Valley crowd, not to mention him being endorsed by Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, Levin and Savage.

Watts brings a percentage of the African-American vote, not to mention the south, and Baptists.

Also, Watts takes race out of the equation and puts the focus on the issues. There would probably be some special debate between Watts and Obama, just because of the historical significance of it, and Watts would kill him. Just imagine Obama 4 years from now trying to explain:

• Why gas prices are now $7 per gallon, and why he keeps encouraging Americans to drive less.
• Why he raised taxes during a recession
• Why he had to send troops back in to secure Iraq if the real war is in Afghanistan
• Why the government health care system has been a complete failure
• Why illegal immigration sky rocketed after he signed the amnesty bill

The worst thing that could happen to the Republican party over the next 20 years would be a McCain victory. If Obama wins, the White House and Congress could very well be under CONSERVATIVE Republican control for the next 12-20 years.

joncoltonis on July 29, 2008 at 5:15 AM

If Obama wins, the White House and Congress could very well be under CONSERVATIVE Republican control for the next 12-20 years.

Illogical. Also, a propoganda effort.

S on July 29, 2008 at 5:37 AM

“propaganda” ^^

S on July 29, 2008 at 5:38 AM

Not Illogical at all. Picking McCain in the first place was the illogical thing.

Nor is it propaganda. It is a fairly likely outcome.

Another newbie trying to earn McCain brownie points?

(You can usually tell, because they present no arguments or facts.)

LegendHasIt on July 29, 2008 at 6:52 AM

He’s often the lone man bracing the door against the lunacy.

I guess all that lunact and bending over for the muslims is what the peopel of minnesota want> If he was a leader he would take a stand for equal rights and seperation of church and state which doesn’t seem to apply to islam in minnesota.

peacenprosperity on July 29, 2008 at 7:25 AM

Is JC Watts too much to ask for?

Gatordoug on July 29, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Don’t you read the papers? J.C. Watts has not even endorsed anyone yet and might very well go for Obama.

Hilts on July 29, 2008 at 7:39 AM

If McCain is elected, I’d say the odds of him completing one term, much less two, is not very good considering his age and health history. He needs a VP that can actually step in to the presidency and reassure the country he or she can handle the job. The person should also have extensive executive experience and a knowledge of economics, since McCain has neither. I’d still say Romney is the logical choice. He’s brilliant, experienced and has a strong family life. Who cares if he’s Mormon?

NNtrancer on July 29, 2008 at 8:00 AM

Oh good grief! The Republican Party at it’s finest! Another boring middle aged white guy! I’m really excited about this pick and I live in Minnesota! Tim is a wonderful guy but McNumbnuts needs to hit a home run and this isn’t it!

sabbott on July 29, 2008 at 8:23 AM

Ed brought Pawlenti to our attention.

It will be interesting to hear McCain’s own announcement instead of hyped premature guesses.

Even if Pawlenti gets the VP slot, McCain’s CABINET needs to be stock full of great intellect and experience. All of McCain’s former primary GOP opponents have something to offer the nation. Those with the people skills to work together should get strong appointments. Any prima dona holding himself too good had best flake off the Cabinet board now than later.

maverick muse on July 29, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Well, folks. It’s been fun but the party’s over. Looks like it’s Obama for the next 8 to 10 years.

I’m thinking of moving to the 53rd state.

Rod on July 29, 2008 at 8:32 AM


about as much chance of going Democrat as getting a sunburn at ANWR in December


Snow reflects more sunlight for skier sunburn than the water does for boaters or than earth does for working hands.

But maybe ANWR is in the black winter portion of Alaska without sunlight?

Anyway, Palin though attractive is a novice. Neither she nor McCain have any inclination she’s being considered his VP.

maverick muse on July 29, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Timing is everything.

Manipulating timing news meant to influence voters is precarious at best.

For all of the recent Romney hype, is Pawlenti hype now meant to squalsh Romney disappointment, or reinvigorate Romney support? Was Romney providing his own hype to re-insert himself in the news to influence the VP choice? Pawlenti, unlike Romney, doesn’t carry that neon lit manner if mannerisms are determining the choice. Working behind the scenes requires as much finesse if not more endurance than flashing momentarily on screen for prime time effect. Big difference, big choice. Sehr interessant.

Testing, testing…

maverick muse on July 29, 2008 at 8:43 AM

joncoltonis on July 29, 2008 at 5:15 AM

don’t ignore the obvious revisions passing now and progressively passing in larger numbers that will be ruled upon by new Supreme Court Justices

that kind of sh*t doesn’t just peel off with a new election

maverick muse on July 29, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Snow reflects more sunlight for skier sunburn than the water does for boaters or than earth does for working hands.

But maybe ANWR is in the black winter portion of Alaska without sunlight?

maverick muse on July 29, 2008 at 8:35 AM

ANWR is above the Arctic Circle – it gets no daylight in December.

Think_b4_speaking on July 29, 2008 at 9:29 AM

If it is Pawlenty McCain just lost my vote.No way i could vote for that pair!!!

thmcbb on July 29, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Don’t worry. If ONLY “boring middle-aged (and older) white people” vote for McCain, I think he’ll do okay.

RBMN on July 29, 2008 at 10:32 AM

The obligatory “just say no to Romney” headline of the day. Im pretty much sick and tired of Hotair being a shill for the hate Romney crowd.

Not that it matters.

eaglesdontflock on July 29, 2008 at 10:48 AM

From what I can tell from random googling, Pawlenty is much better than McCain on immigration issues. As long as this is accurate, I’m happy with Pawlenty.

thuja on July 29, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Mac has decided he’s going to win or lose “on his own” with a loyal, solid, boring VP.

Mr. Wednesday Night on July 29, 2008 at 1:42 AM

If he is going to run on his own charisma, he’s screwed.

What little personality McCain has is tainted by his unpleasant and hate-filled temper tantrums. We voted for Reagan because we loved the man. McCain’s votes will come from people who feel that he’s the less objectionable of two very bad choices.

McCain needs a decent and exciting VP candidate to make up for his own personality deficit. Choosing nobodies like Pawlenty, Palin, or Jindal won’t do it. He lacks the character to approach Romney and he is listening to Huckabee’s followers as if that will get the alienated GOP right back on board the “straight talk express to oblivion.”

highhopes on July 29, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Pawlenty holding the line on taxes? Uh, right. Unless you don’t smoke. Unless you don’t purchase anything in which a sales tax is paid. Unless you don’t consider his moronic gasohol mandates, a hidden tax increase (due to pumping more product to travel the same miles).

I’m sure Pawlenty’s worship at the alter of Global Warming would really hold the line on taxes.

MNHawk on July 29, 2008 at 1:05 PM

That’s who I thought would get it towards the end. The guy doesn’t have much of a political future, at least compared to a Palin or Jindal, but the convention is in his state and it seemed like the reasonable person.

And by reasonable, I don’t mean the best. If you were Jindal or Palin, putting all the electoral cheerleading aside, would you want to be on a McCain ticket? I wouldn’t if I had a political future. Plus McCain doesn’t have any principles, would you want to be tied to cap and trade, amnesty, and all that other garbage even if McCain happened to back into the Presidency?

Pawlenty is the equivalent to taking a knee, I think after the election we will probably find out in books that many others secretly took themselves off of the list. That is just a hunch, but that is what makes the pick more “reasonable” to me.

LevStrauss on July 29, 2008 at 3:41 PM

I was hoping that Romney would get it. There is too much anti-Mormonism out there for him to be viable in 2012, but try to tell that to the people who fell in love with him when they were looking for someone to protect them from McCain and Huck, since he was the only one left. We needed to “Kemp” that Massachusetts liberal so we never have to put up with his warchest again. I hate the anti-mormonism out there, that is what will keep Flake out of Presidential running, that and the Republican kingmakers who keep him off committee positions because they are scared to death of having a real fiscal conservative in those positions, its all about lip service guys, the quicker you realize it, the quicker we can fix this mess.

LevStrauss on July 29, 2008 at 3:48 PM