We’re on 24-hour VP watch now so might as well throw up a post about this. Drudge is red-fonting the fact that he’s mysteriously canceled some public appearances — but then how to explain this?

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, on the short list of possible GOP vice presidential picks, said he plans to be home at the state fair for a radio show appearance Friday, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is expected to announce his running mate.

Pawlenty was the main attraction at a press conference to highlight Republicans’ argument that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is “not ready” to be president. Pawlenty referred all questions about the ticket to the McCain campaign.

“On issues relating to the vice presidency, that’s obviously Sen. McCain’s decision,” Pawlenty said. “The McCain campaign will be making those announcements [Friday] presumably.”

Roll Call doesn’t specify when he said that so maybe he got the call from McCain after the press conference. Or maybe it’s a head fake coordinated by the campaign to throw the media off the trail. Or maybe it’s a Bidenesque “I’m not the guy” bald-faced lie before the announcement. All theories welcome!

The closer we get, the more I find myself in the same boat as Ross Douthat. I crave an exciting pick, but the only excitement available is Jindal or Palin and they’re both simply too green for McCain’s message (as is, er, Pawlenty). We’re bound to be disappointed. Pessimismania!

Update: Sounds like the presser at which he made the state fair comment happened before he canceled his appearances, so maybe he did get the call late:

Pawlenty, in Denver to criticize Democrats on McCain’s behalf, canceled without explanation an afternoon roundtable interview with the AP as well as other media interviews. Questioned about the vice presidential selection earlier, Pawlenty would only say that he is to be in Minnesota on Friday for the state fair. He had cautioned during a series of morning TV interviews that while speculation might be fun, “most of it turns out to be inaccurate.”

Update: Meanwhile, more whispers of Secret Service sweeps at Romney family homes.

Update: Hold the phone. The Secret Service says the Romney rumors are indeed just rumors.

Update: Hmmmmm.