Consensus forming around Pawlenty?

posted at 12:36 pm on June 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

While the Romney campaign rushed yesterday to reassure Republicans that it takes Marco Rubio seriously as a running-mate contender, two new stories overnight appear to indicate that the focus has shifted to another candidate.  Both the Wall Street Journal and Politico report from their sources that Tim Pawlenty has emerged as a front-runner for the VP slot, and that Pawlenty’s middle-class appeal might be his most attractive aspect for Mitt Romney.  His surrogate appearances have drawn rave reviews within the campaign, a theme found in both reports:

WSJ: Meantime, attention increasingly is turning to Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and onetime Romney primary-season foe. Of elected officials who joined Mr. Romney in a recent six-state campaign tour, Mr. Pawlenty stood out to party leaders as they handicapped who might be chosen to join the GOP ticket.

Privately, some Romney campaign officials have offered that Mr. Pawlenty has impressed them with his work as a Romney representative on the campaign trail and with the press. “He’s never done a bad interview” while acting as a campaign spokesman, said one Republican operative.

Politico: Tim Pawlenty has jumped to the top of the vice presidential shortlist of several Mitt Romney advisers after emerging as the most effective — and well-liked — surrogate for the GOP nominee-to-be, according to several Republicans familiar with campaign deliberations.

The former Minnesota governor has impressed top Romney officials with his winning onstage presence at a grueling roster of Republican events throughout the country and with his low-maintenance personal style that has made him a favorite with the campaign’s tight-knit inner circle at the Boston headquarters.

And both note that Pawlenty’s humble background and solid middle-class status could help buffer some of the expected class-warfare attacks from Barack Obama:

WSJ: Moreover, Mr. Pawlenty’s background as the son of a truck driver from South St. Paul, Minn., is a potential counterweight to Mr. Romney’s wealth. The former governor also could help Mr. Romney in the battleground states of Minnesota and neighboring Iowa, both of which the campaign sees as potential pickups from President Barack Obama’s 2008 column.

Politico: Several top Republicans said that as the hockey-playing son of a blue-collar worker, and a longtime champion of connecting with what he has called “Sam’s Club Republicans,” Pawlenty would be comfortable campaigning among working-class voters in a way that Romney never will be.

Politico also points to Pawlenty’s evangelical Christian faith as another plus for a Republican ticket, although I see that as less of a distinguishing feature.  Most of the other candidates for the position are either evangelicals or Catholics (Rubio and Bobby Jindal specifically), and either would suffice for that purpose.  A Catholic might be an even better reminder of the attack on religious liberty launched by the Obama administration via the HHS mandate.  Pawlenty keeps his faith low key but does discuss it comfortably on occasion, which may come in handy in the next few months.

In many ways, Pawlenty is a traditional running-mate option.  He carries some geographical heft in an area where Romney needs to compete (the Midwest, especially Iowa and Wisconsin), has a, er, sterling resumé as a two-term Governor of Minnesota, could take over the top job in a heartbeat if necessary, and won’t overshadow the nominee on the campaign trail.  Having watched Pawlenty up close as a chief executive for eight years, I know he’s a highly competent and tough campaigner, even if he did make the mistake of going all-in too early in Ames, Iowa last year.  He connects with people better than Romney does, and after having had to fight a Democratic-controlled legislature for the last four years of his term as governor, knows how to fight and win on legislative matters, perhaps also better than Romney does.

Pawlenty isn’t the only candidate who fills these needs, of course.  Most of the same arguments could be made for Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, for example, and probably Bob McDonnell in Virginia.  Conservatives would probably like Jindal more than Pawlenty.  But if the reports are true that Pawlenty has risen to the top of the heap, it tells us that Mitt Romney no longer thinks that he needs a game-changing running-mate selection to beat Barack Obama in November.  That may also be the message behind what looks a lot like a trial balloon from Team Romney — a message of confidence and command.


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This is the ticket I’ve been wanting to see for over a year. All-moderate, no conservative scapegoat. The GOPe will own this baby.

ddrintn on June 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Only in the Pawlenty family.

meci on June 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Pawlenty is so boring he makes watching paint dry a vivacious process, he needs to pick Allen West to get conservatives excited

golembythehudson on June 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

There are better choices and there are worse choices.

gophergirl on June 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

It’s hard to tell. The Republicans can probably run a washing machine due to Obama implosion.

Oil Can on June 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

He’s a fine man and a solid choice.

Our “problem” is that the talent bench is very deep.

aquaviva on June 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Paul Ryan or Bobby Jindal. Pawlenty brings nothing to the table. Romney needs to use the VP in order to connect the old generation of GOP to the young guys.

cpaulus on June 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Misdirection, imho.

It will be Jindal.

The Romney people are the world’s worst liars.

victor82 on June 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Paul Ryan or Bobby Jindal.

cpaulus on June 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

A waste of either in the likely event of a Romney defeat. Keep any promising pol with an eye to 2016 out of this.

ddrintn on June 20, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Sorry, dozed off there. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Maybe Paw…? zzzzz

shades_of_gasden on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Dull/Boring 2012!

Waggoner on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Little early for “consensus,” but I tend to agree with Oil Can. It won’t matter.

Boring white guy? Who cares? This is not the year for exciting. This is the year to reassure voters that the GOP ticket restores responsible governance, as opposed to NCAA picks and parties and golf and expensive vacations.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Who? ™

Knott Buyinit on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Romneys best chance lies with a VP pick from the following list:

1.) Condi Rice
2.) Cathy McMorris-Rogers
3.) Marco Rubio
4.) Bobby Jindal
5.) Kelly Ayotte

shanimal on June 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

It will be Jindal.

The Romney people are the world’s worst liars.

victor82 on June 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I honestly doubt it. I think Team Romney would worry about Jindal outshining Romney. Jindal has a more impressive resume overall. People would start saying the ticket needs to be reversed.

ddrintn on June 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

“He’s never done a bad interview”

About as important as anything in a campaign…

right2bright on June 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Misdirection, imho.

It will be Jindal.

The Romney people are the world’s worst liars.

victor82 on June 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Agreed that it’s misdirection. And I hope you’re right that it will be Jindal.

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

No.

besser tot als rot on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

South Saint Paul for the win!!!

steebo77 on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I never thought of Pawlenty as an attack dog.

Curtiss on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I hope it’s Jindal. DREAMy Rubio is looking a bit squishy from where I’m sitting, and Jindal delivers the South an excellent reason to buck up for Romney. He’s also had to deal with Obama’s malfeasance firsthand after the BP Oil Spill.

More importantly he’s in his second term as Governor meaning he’s already been tested and re-elected. The man also exudes competence like Romney.

BKennedy on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

South Saint Paul for the win!!!

steebo77 on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Gritty South Saint Paul ™ .

ddrintn on June 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Conservatives would probably like Jindal more than Pawlenty.

I know I would…

But, if I have to vote for Romney at the top of the ticket (which has gotten easier in recent weeks, actually), may as well have Pawlenty as Veep. I can easily pull that lever…

cs89 on June 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Yack

Schadenfreude on June 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I’ve got to think that June is a tad early to have reached a consensus. The head of the VP search committee was only named two months ago. Is that really enough time to come up with the short list, let alone doing the vetting? I’m no more happy with the idea it would be Pawlenty than I would be with Rubio.

Bobby Jindal with his Congressional experience and time at HHS actually has the better resume.

Happy Nomad on June 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

More importantly he’s in his second term as Governor meaning he’s already been tested and re-elected. The man also exudes competence like Romney.

BKennedy on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Also, I would love for the Dems to make the claim that the Republicans always run at least one idiot on the ticket this time around. =)

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Politically, Rand Paul would make the better choice. Pawlenty is a good choice but it would most likely end his political career if history is any indication. Most Vice Presidents are never heard from again in a political sense.

crosspatch on June 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Are you seeing a-lot of Romney/Jindal on the stump?

Any at all?

As much as I’d like that choice, it’s highly unlikely.

aquaviva on June 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

No No NO!

Pawlenty is garbage. A RINO who folds when real courage is needed. Ive said it before and Ill say it again. If Romney goes gutless and picks some weak, pathetic, wannabe who is as conservative as a Maine Senator, my money and my enthusiasm go away.

I will vote, of course. This election is too important to stay home, but another GOP machine ticket with no conservatives to be found, makes me ill.

alecj on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

aquaviva on June 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Did you see a lot of McCain/Palin on the trail before she was picked? :P

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Why?

I can see it, the DNC & state media running continual ads & news commentary…..

Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare

Oh, and also,

Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare
Obamneycare

Danny on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

BKennedy on June 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I was an early T-Paw supporter(though Jindal was always my first choice-had he decided to run) but T-Paw is just too nice.
This ain’t the year for nice or concilliatory. We need a veep choice who’ll go for the dems jugulars and rip ‘em out.
Jindal has done it before and he’ll do it again-T-Paw probably wouldn’t.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Pawlenty’s just fine.

His only role here is “do no harm.” He’s not inexperienced, not a flame-thrower who will scare anyone, not going to outshine Romney. He’s competent. He’ll do.

Leave Rubio, Jindal, etc. where they are – they can do more good there than cooling their heels as VP. Pawlenty has time to kill.

NRPM on June 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

T-Paw would be OK. Better than Portman.

Paul-Cincy on June 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Also, I think this was what the Pawlenty run was actually about- he was always a long shot to actually win the nomination. But why not run? He exceeded some expectations early, got some national exposure for a future run/ attention as a possible VP candidate, and “bowed out” pretty gracefully as it became apparent he was unlikely to actually be the candidate.

TPAW’s in good shape, I think- may end up as VP candidate, or if Romney makes another pick and wins, could end up in another role in DC.

If Romney loses, he’s among the top handful of candidates going into 2016. If we can get there in one piece (shivers)…

cs89 on June 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Consensus among whom, those within the campaign who are actually compiling the list or the people in the media who want Pawlenty to be the main pick (since Daniels is out via his wife)? If Gov. Romney says that only two people, himself and one other, know who is on the list, and then further says that neither are leaking to the press, how do these dopey people in the press “know”?

I call shenanigans.

Weebork on June 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

and won’t overshadow the nominee on the campaign trail.

Of course Pawlenty won’t overshadow the nominee; he’s a cypher!

Misdirection, imho.

victor82 on June 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I hope you’re right about that.

The GOPe will own this baby.

ddrintn on June 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Yeah, they’ll own it when they lose it with this milquetoast ticket, that’s for sure.

Sterling Holobyte on June 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Eh, NO.

Pawlenty is a political whore who sold his endoresment to Romney in exchange for paying off his campaign debt.

Besides, he couldn’t even deliver the Minnesota Caucus to Romney (who placed a distant 3rd).

Pawlenty and Portman are total non-starters.

Norwegian on June 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM

As I said in the headline thread…

…add bland to more bland. Throw both in a blender, and you get…

…blended bland. Romney *yawn* 2012.

MadisonConservative on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Aargh! The blandness! The blandness! It burns… slightly…

Valkyriepundit on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Nothing is more destructive than idiots agreeing…that’s how we ended up with Obumbo…

aposematic on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

…wake me when it’s over!

KOOLAID2 on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I looked at Pawlenty as the blue state governor Romney sold himself as. I’d be ok with it. In terms of geography, the Midwest is where this would be won. Obama has lost the white working class years ago, and every recent pander isn’t geared toward them. Obama is trying to seal up western states to take him over the edge, but is leaving himself very vulnerable in the Midwest. Pawlenty can help make that pitch.

stldave on June 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

He carries some geographical heft in an area where Romney needs to compete (the Midwest, especially Iowa and Wisconsin),

I noticed, Ed, that you did not include Minnesota. Is that because you can’t even be sure that he will be able to help carry his own state?

One finger in the wind candidate selects another finger in the wind establishment rebublican’t to be his running mate.

Thanks for curbing my enthusiasm Willard. Just as I was coming around to going all in for you.

Ed, do you really think that we in Wi. that went all in for Walker will work as hard for this ticket?

P.S. This is not a campaign for Walker. I like him exactly where he is.

P. Monk on June 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Pawlenty still brings the ZzzZzzzZZzz

Jeddite on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Pawlenty also worked as a VP for a software company before entering into politics. I think that is going to appeal to Romney. I think from things he’s said about Obama’s so-called experience prior to becoming President, Romney’s biggest critiques are (1) no private sector experience and (2) no experience as a governor. IMO, Romney’s VP choice is going to be someone who has experience in both. Which leaves, from what I can see of the names often discussed, only Pawlenty and Jindal (worked in a consulting firm before entering politics) as choices for VP.

Dark Star on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

A good man but too boring. I hate to say it but this is a celebrity loving culture which gravitates to it’s beautiful people. I’m saying that presidential elections these days are to a large extent beauty contests. Young & handsome Rubio along side of handsome & virile Romney would serve the election effort much better.

Chessplayer on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Marco Rubio and Condi Rice are so bad as VP that I don’t even know how they’re even considered by anyone with a head and a brain in it. Rubio does not only have the eligibility issue hanging over his head (and no, Romney is too smart to muddy that particular puddle), he is a squish of the worst kind – on immigration and personal freedom. As for Condi, her allegiance is questionable, she won’t bring any states or voting blocs (Obama has the African-American market cornered pretty well) into play, and she was the one who ruined Bush’s Middle East policy. Pick either of the duo and I would be staying home – it means the GOP thinks that the doodoo we’re in is not deep enough yet.

To me, only Jindal, Ryan, and Martinez push the excitement button, though I’m open for a surprise. Portman or Pawlenty would be fine, if a bit dull – but hey, we had three and half years of non-stop excitement, and how well did it work for you?

Archivarix on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

The former Minnesota governor has impressed top Romney officials with his winning onstage presence

LOL!

Comedy Gold

Norwegian on June 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Michele Bachmann, I’d like a statement from you.

SouthernGent on June 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Young & handsome Rubio along side of handsome & virile Romney would serve the election effort much better.

Chessplayer on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Romney is handsome?! Either I need an eye exam, stat, or you do.

Archivarix on June 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Dull/Boring 2012!

Waggoner on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Fine with me. I’ve had about all the excitement I can take over the last four years.

CurtZHP on June 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

The former Minnesota governor has impressed top Romney officials with his winning onstage presence

LOL!

Comedy Gold

Norwegian on June 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Further evidence that this unnamed source is really messing with the MSM?

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Also, I really don’t get the comments saying Pawlenty is boring — every interview I’ve seen with him he came off as very smart & engaging. Sure, he’s a safe choice, but as a poster said upthread (and which I 100% agree on):

Boring white guy? Who cares? This is not the year for exciting. This is the year to reassure voters that the GOP ticket restores responsible governance, as opposed to NCAA picks and parties and golf and expensive vacations.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Dark Star on June 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Romney is handsome?! Either I need an eye exam, stat, or you do.

Archivarix on June 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I’m a dude, but I think he’s a handsome fellow.

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

It’s hard to tell. The Republicans can probably run a washing machine due to Obama implosion.

Oil Can on June 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Pawlenty is the safest play. Unlike McCain, Mitt just needs to move the chains and work the clock by by running on 3rd and 1…

Pawlenty’s stump speech on the economy was excellent…

phreshone on June 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Please, something other than vanilla + vanilla! Romney needs someone to be his attack dog, like Biden is to Obama. Obama sits above the fray and lets Joe do the biting. Put him in as Secretary of Agriculture!

Bob in VA on June 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Pawlenty fits but so does Rubio.

Speakup on June 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I’d be very happy with either Jindal or Paul Ryan.

vegconservative on June 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

faraway on June 20, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Our attention must focus on getting as many conservatives as possible elected to Congress. Let’s make these squishy establishment types into fiscal and SCOTUS-nominee conservatives, whether they like it or not.

MTF on June 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Romney is handsome?! Either I need an eye exam, stat, or you do.

Archivarix on June 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Objectively speaking, Romeny is a handsome older man. I’m not saying he’s Cary Grant, but to say he isn’t “handsome” is just silly — heck, the Dems have been attacking him & his family for being too good looking as part of the “out-of-touch, country club, beautiful people” attacks against Romney.

Dark Star on June 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Yeah, because everyone knows white and boring attracts us midwesterners like bees to honey.
Us fly-over state simpletons can’t get enough of simple talkin’ down to earth folk like Pawlenty.
This ridiculous stereotype is every bit as offensive as the redneck shi*kicking racist stereotype perpetrated on southerners. Why a midwesterner like Ed takes every opportunity to perpetuate this myth is beyond me. Maybe it’s because his chosen candidate is being forced upon us in the #2 slot despite being roundly dismissed by the voters in the primary. Absolutely disgraceful.
Jindal and Ryan are acceptable. Choose one of them.

AmeriCuda on June 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

T paw is good I guess.

I do not want W’s money guy as VP, to many W people still around the party like a virus or rash. all they are there for is to consed and embarrass our party. as much as I dont like Santo’s social warrior BS, he is much more palatable than these W people, they dont want to win they want restore W’s image.

boogaleesnots on June 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

To me, only Jindal, Ryan, and Martinez push the excitement button, though I’m open for a surprise.

Archivarix on June 20, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Now Scott Walker would be a pleasant surprise as VP pick, and though I am tempted to say that you can’t have him, I would be willing to give him up for the good of the country. :)
But then again, if the Romney campaign doesn’t want someone who will overshadow their leader, they would want to stay far, far away from Walker.
Hey, Chuck Norris played a guy named Walker. Coincidence?! I think not. They are both tough as nails and afraid of nothing.

There you go… Walker/Norris 2012!! Yeah, now THAT’S the ticket!

Sterling Holobyte on June 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Please, something other than vanilla + vanilla! Romney needs someone to be his attack dog, like Biden is to Obama. Obama sits above the fray and lets Joe do the biting. Put him in as Secretary of Agriculture!

Bob in VA on June 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I’m not seeing Obama sitting above the fray at all.

stldave on June 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Please, something other than vanilla + vanilla! Romney needs someone to be his attack dog, like Biden is to Obama. Obama sits above the fray and lets Joe do the biting. Put him in as Secretary of Agriculture!

Bob in VA on June 20, 2012 at 1:00 PM

This is only a guess, but after the next few months the voters might want Vanilla.

Oil Can on June 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I like Tim Pawlenty as a VP choice. He’s possesses the qualities of a good VP/president in his executive experience and his character. He’s got ‘Minnesota Nice’ by the bucket full and would be a valuable asset in representing the United States interests diplomatically abroad and at home. He’s also well vetted, squeaky clean, and the GOP is familiar with him from his very recent primary run. He’s also proven that he’s adroit and a team player in his immediate endorsement of Romney as the best candidate for the nomination after his own run ended. I believe his interest and focus throughout the primary has always been what he believes is in the best interest of the nation.

Romney/Pawlenty 2012!

thatsafactjack on June 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

If Romney does pick Pawlenty, how often will we hear “Dull and Duller”?

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Without going into who I’d like to be the VP pick, it’s interesting to note how regional cultures historically shaped electoral vote patterns, at least as described in Fischer’s “Albion’s Seed.” Candidates who don’t have an overwhelming issue that can override regional cultural differences typically need to balance themselves regionally in order to succeed on Election Day.

Romney has a little of this himself, catching New England, the Northern Tier, and the Great Basin, but clearly could use some regional balance from the Coastal South or the Southern Highlands regions. If the economy weren’t in such a shambles and Obamacare not so patently unpopular, it would be more likely that the VP would be selected from one of those two regions, neither of which is home to Pawlenty. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the pick would have to be either Gov. Jindal or Sen. Rubio, but they *are* from those regions, and they are relatively high profile, so it’s natural to think of them.

Then again, perhaps the Romney campaign thinks the President has antagonized enough people across the board such that a regional/cultural balance won’t be necessary. Hard to say, but I’m having trouble seeing the synergies evident in an all Northern Tier ticket.

Libraritarian on June 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational RINO station.

Dennis Miller will be happy though, he can now sell his slogan to the campaign:

“A Mitt and a Paw but no handout for you!”

mudskipper on June 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Boring white guy? Who cares? This is not the year for exciting. This is the year to reassure voters that the GOP ticket restores responsible governance, as opposed to NCAA picks and parties and golf and expensive vacations.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I think you might want to be careful how you express that thought. In particular using the term boring white guy instead of just boring guy.

If you read this with a certain mindset, it comes off as sounding as if you think the GOP intends to run a couple white guys to reassure voters it will be a long time before another person of color becomes President. I realize that isn’t what you were saying but it doesn’t take much of a victimhood mentality to read it that way.

Happy Nomad on June 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

OT: Andrea Mitchell: “The Arab Spring is, certainly, no longer spring”

faraway on June 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Besides, Pawlenty proved himself a coward in the debates when he refused to attack Romney. This type of play-it-safe-at-all-costs campaign is a loser strategy at a time when we need bold leaders. Pawlenty won’t even bring his own state and the idea that he is going to move the needle in the other midwestern states is laughable. I didn’t think there was a worse pick than Portman, but Mittens may have found one. Pawlenty is a nice guy but has never shown an ounce of guts in governing or campaigning.

AmeriCuda on June 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM

If Romney does pick Pawlenty, how often will we hear “Dull and Duller”?

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Obama/Biden — liar and bigger liar.

Paul-Cincy on June 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational RINO station.

Dennis Miller will be happy though, he can now sell his slogan to the campaign:

“A Mitt and a Paw but no handout for you!”

mudskipper on June 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

LOL…..Awesome!

P. Monk on June 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

There are better choices and there are worse choices.

gophergirl on June 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

..God bless you ma’am! Always the diplomat-ette! (Er, would that be diplomette?)

The War Planner on June 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Obama/Biden — liar and bigger liar.

Paul-Cincy on June 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Well played.

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

On a light note considering Pawlenty’s character , I doubt if the media will even bother vetting him. But he is very much qualified to be the POTUS. Two terms under his belt is more than enough experience.

CoolAir on June 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

No No NO!

Pawlenty is garbage. A RINO who folds when real courage is needed. Ive said it before and Ill say it again. If Romney goes gutless and picks some weak, pathetic, wannabe who is as conservative as a Maine Senator, my money and my enthusiasm go away.

I will vote, of course. This election is too important to stay home, but another GOP machine ticket with no conservatives to be found, makes me ill.

alecj on June 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

It seems rather absurd that Pawlenty is the same as Collins or Snowe.

http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/olympia_snowe.htm
http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/susan_collins.htm

http://www.ontheissues.org/Tim_Pawlenty.htm

Mister Mets on June 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Then again, perhaps the Romney campaign thinks the President has antagonized enough people across the board such that a regional/cultural balance won’t be necessary. Hard to say, but I’m having trouble seeing the synergies evident in an all Northern Tier ticket.

Libraritarian on June 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Everything you wrote is the conventional wisdom, but Clinton (AK) picked Gore (TN) for a Southern Tier ticket against strong advise within the Dem party because he was so impressed with Gore & wanted someone who could do the job as POTUS if something happened. Now, forgetting the ridiculousness of being impressed with Gore & Gore as POTUS, but it does go to show that conventional wisdom isn’t always right.

If Romney really feels Pawlenty is the right choice — and given what I’ve seen from his campaign so far handling TeamObama that has really impressed me — I believe he knows what he’s doing better than I (or others here) do.

Dark Star on June 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

This is only a guess, but after the next few months the voters might want Vanilla.

Oil Can on June 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

..eschewing the obligatory comment re Chocolate and Rocky Road.

The War Planner on June 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

There’s a reason why Pawlenty didn’t attract R voters. So you don’t go and then make him vp. He’s seen as a milquetoast or a less than very articulate bore. With Romney, the combination of the two would be abhorrent. I’d turn south.

anotherJoe on June 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Besides, he couldn’t even deliver the Minnesota Caucus to Romney (who placed a distant 3rd).

with a humiliating 17%.

Pawlenty cannot carry water in the upper midwest; he cannot even deliver Minnesota for Romney. People in Wisconsin and Iowa don’t give a damn about Pawlenty.

matthew8787 on June 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

But if the reports are true that Pawlenty has risen to the top of the heap, it tells us that Mitt Romney no longer thinks that he needs a game-changing running-mate selection to beat Barack Obama in November. That may also be the message behind what looks a lot like a trial balloon from Team Romney — a message of confidence and command.

Romney might not think he needs a game-changer as a running mate, but what does Pawlenty bring to the ticket that Romney doesn’t have?
If Romney needs votes in the Rust Belt, he should pick Sen. Portman (OH) or Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN). If he wants to appeal to Hispanics, he should pick Sen. Rubio (FL), or perhaps Gov. Susanna Martinez(NM).

Bobby Jindal would also be a great pick, because he knows energy policy extremely well, and is one of the smartest men to ever be elected Governor, and probably an excellent campaigner to be elected Governor twice in Louisiana, and he would probably take the “immigration” issue off the table, since Jindal himself is the son of (legal) immigrants.

Steve Z on June 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM

I prefer Christie, but Pawlenty is a good pick. A very non-risk pick: which should always be the most important criteria when picking a VP.

When was the last time the consensus/front-runner pick would actually become the VP nominee though? Reagan with Bush? I think it was. Palin was considered a long-shot, Chenney was another surprise pick, Kemp was hugely surprising as was Dan Quayle. And I can’t remember a Democrat settling for a “consensus pick” in more recent times either.

So, all of this means nothing.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

As I said in the headline thread…

…add bland to more bland. Throw both in a blender, and you get…

…blended bland. Romney *yawn* 2012.

MadisonConservative on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Why do you care? You’ve stated before that you’re not voting for Romney anyway, so it shouldn’t matter who his veep pick is.

As far as the “bland” pick stuff goes, it’s disappointing to see so many people fall for the celebrity trap. Dick Cheney wasn’t a sexy choice for veep, but it turned out to be the right one.

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

If Romney does pick Pawlenty, how often will we hear “Dull and Duller”?

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

My retort to anybody who would say that- “What is this American Idol?”

Seriously, if we want to be entertained by our politicians, why not elect them Big Brother or Survivor style? Anybody wanting the job starts out in the same house/ island/ whatever (maybe they could use Camp David). Then week by week the field gets culled down. Along the way those still in the running would be tasked with wacky games like balancing the federal budget in the quickest time, being quizzed on the price of milk and the names of obscure foreign leaders, and who can stand on a log the longest (just because). The President would be announced in a live event after two hours of talking to the also rans. The fan favorite would become the VP.

I realize that charisma is an important asset for a politician but there is so much wrong with the direction of the nation, I’ll take dull and duller over the urban hipster and village idiot anyday.

Happy Nomad on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Christie is fine in NJ_but he’s far to liberal to ever be considered for veep. A gun-grabber who beleives in MMGW, is squish on islam, and has little respect for the Second Amendment is NOT who the GOP needs on the ticket.
Jindal or Ryan please.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Romney might not think he needs a game-changer as a running mate, but what does Pawlenty bring to the ticket that Romney doesn’t have?
If Romney needs votes in the Rust Belt, he should pick Sen. Portman (OH) or Gov. Mitch Daniels (IN). If he wants to appeal to Hispanics, he should pick Sen. Rubio (FL), or perhaps Gov. Susanna Martinez(NM).

Steve Z on June 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM

That type of picks always fall flat. Vice-Presidents rarely bring votes; the best you can hope is that they don’t make the candidate lose them. When was the last time a VP nominee actually brought his home-state to the fold. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to run risks, as McCain did. Nevertheless a candidate in Romney’s position is correct in being risk averse.

The most important factor should be how the VP fits the narrative the campaign is trying to build.

Pawlenty is a competent governor with an appealing personal history that fits Romney’s narrative about America very well. He’s ready to be President and he isn’t scary at all.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

My mother and I were squealing like smitten school girls(we were actually dancing around her kitchen) when Bush pocked Cheney.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

T-PAW! My man.

Red Cloud on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

romney/pawlenty
yuck and ick

NOMITNOBAMA 2012
Jindal/Ryan 2012

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

…wake me when it’s over!

KOOLAID2 on June 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I’ll wake you on Nov 7th, if Oboner gets re-elected. Cause guess what, it’ll be over.

msupertas on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

As far as the “bland” pick stuff goes, it’s disappointing to see so many people fall for the celebrity trap. Dick Cheney wasn’t a sexy choice for veep, but it turned out to be the right one.

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Cheney also had mucho charisma, but wasnt one for making himself the center of attention.

Jeddite on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I meant NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

But he is very much qualified to be the POTUS.

CoolAir on June 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

The qualification for President is to be 35 years old and “naturual born” having lived in the US for the last fourteen years. Qualification isn’t a hard standard.

What you are talking about is the ability to lead this nation.

Happy Nomad on June 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I meant NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I did not know that.
///
Moby.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM

It’s not “sexy” or “celebrity“, it’s charisma and leadership.

Jeddite on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

As far as the “bland” pick stuff goes, it’s disappointing to see so many people fall for the celebrity trap. Dick Cheney wasn’t a sexy choice for veep, but it turned out to be the right one.

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM
Cheney also had mucho charisma, but wasnt one for making himself the center of attention.

Jeddite on June 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

mucho charisma??? you’ve got to be kidding . . . Cheney was successfully trotted out as the ‘darth vader’ of the Bush administration, a moniker that was a perfect fit for him.

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

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