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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Pawlenty? Are you kidding me? He couldn’t even win a straw poll in Iowa and withdrew from the race after coming in third. Please tell me this is just a joke.

bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

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

Which is one reason why a Rubio or Jindal pick would reassure voters “of color” that Romney and Republicans are not opposed to one of them becoming President. Gov. Jindal also rose to national prominence for his competence in handling the BP oil spill in 2010, as compared to Captain Kick@$$ Obumbler, so he could easily convince voters he is ready to be President if something unfortunate happened to Romney.

Steve Z on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Pawlenty’s middle-class appeal

If he was so appealing, he would have done better in the presidential primary. He didn’t, and he’s not.

Romney is going about this VP thing all wrong. He’s trying to be too safe, and coming up with unappealing choices. This is the problem with a CEO president: CEOs can be highly risk-averse and be successful. Presidents don’t have the option to be risk-averse; it’s a risky world out there and he’s going to have to make choices among risky alternatives. This VP selection process does not inspire confidence.

alwaysfiredup on June 20, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Meh. With those two, expect to refight AGW battles anew like mileage tax, windmills, ethanol subsidies etc. But then again, have at it so any conservatives don’t get tainted by the undynamic duo.

At the rate team Oboobi is sinking and flailing, I’ll feel better about voting 3rd party as my preferred weapon of choice to put pressure on that duo to keep right if they want a second term.

AH_C on June 20, 2012 at 1:26 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 …

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

Very true, and the Clinton campaign ran on the economy, too. (“It’s the economy, stupid!” — James Carville) So there was that overriding factor, then. The same factor exists now, too, only more so.

I suppose the question is whether the Romney campaign will rely on things like that and the opposition to Obamacare, etc, and not worry about regional/cultural balance, or will they try to eke out every advantage they can, given how nasty a fight this will become and the certainty of MSM “headwinds.”

Libraritarian on June 20, 2012 at 1:27 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.

Umm, Romney and his team have said from day one that they will not be picking a “game-changer”. There is no “no longer” in the equation. At all.

Pawlenty fits the outline the Romney team has detailed very well. I still, however, think that foreign policy credentials must play a major role in Romney’s selection, as he is weak in that area. T-Paw can’t check off that box.

When I see articles like this one I ask myself three questions:

1. Who is pushing this guy?
2. Why?
3. Is he already toast?

Mr. Arkadin on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

tpaw?

talk about the Anti-Palin!!

ugh.

He sucked as a candidate on the stump so badly that Michelle Bachmann essentially forced him out of the race……he was THAT BAD.

PappyD61 on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Very uninspired pick as far as I’m concerned, but I’m sure the independents and moderate republicans will be ga ga over him. Lol.

KickandSwimMom on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 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

Christie is conservative, regardless of your crazy lies about him. When some are taken down, you come up with new ones. Who cares if he believes in MMGW or not? He never said anything like that, but it’s irrelevant. Conservatism isn’t a scientific theory. It’s a philosophy of how to govern. In the MMGW issue, Christie has been very conservative. There’s no conservative position on the competing scientific theories about global warming, regardless of what crazies like you believe. There’s only a conservative position about what the government should be doing about it. And few governors have been as conservative in that regards as Christie.

I mean, squishy on Islam? That’s new. I mean, what does that even mean? Now you want the VP to be some sort of religious commentator?

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

More like ‘confidence men’.

It will be known as the Milquetoast Administration.

/still way better than Obama the Marxist.

rayra on June 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Milquetoast…very safe…

Static21 on June 20, 2012 at 1:30 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

Darth Vader had plenty of charisma and leadership. KSSSSSHHH-AUHHH

Jeddite on June 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Pawlenty? Are you kidding me? He couldn’t even win a straw poll in Iowa(…)
Please tell me this is just a joke.
bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Neither could Romney. Or, for that matter, Reagan.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Why not someone like Allen West? So what if he is a Rep. He’s had 20yrs of military service with > 10 yrs of command. He has more leadership capabities than most of the sitting Congress, and certainly more than Obama. He’d be a great rebuttal to all of the white liberals & Dem AA Uncle Toms… He seems to have a better grasp of econ issues more than most Dems & Republicans.

He’d flatten Biden in VP debates, and probably have ‘what for’ to smack a-holes like Obama & Holder.

Why not Lt. Col. West for VP?

Danny on June 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Romney is NO REAGAN! Please don’t write Romney’s name in the same sentence with Reagan . . . .don’t want Reagan’s memory to get the cooties! (-:

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

If Romney is really, really committed to the change we need…….he’ll pick……

Paul Ryan.

Midwestern, young, will destroy Biden in a debate. Forward looking, won’t embarass Mitt, loyal, a really good communicator and…..UNAFRAID to speak about government restraint.

I’m not a big fan, but Romney has the south sewn up. He needs help in the Midwest.

Kucinich/Portman/Walker/Ryan are the options there.


Which would you rather have?

PappyD61 on June 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

This thread is the prove that “TruCons” don’t really care about ideology.

They’re all about tone and style.

The problem with Pawlenty is not that he isn’t conservative enough; it’s that he isn’t a firebrand willing to excite them. If it was some guy with a record of abiding to special interest groups and rent-seekers – as long as they were “conservative” ones, like the oil or defense industry or “faith-based initiative” orgs – but willing to call Obama a Kenyan Marxist, he’d be touted as a great conservative who “will take the fight to Obama and the elitists”.

To these people, politics isn’t so much about policy; it’s more like a giant arena for them to fight their culture wars and see their emotions vindicated.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

tpaw?
talk about the Anti-Palin!!
PappyD61 on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

More like the “Anti-coffee”.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Please don’t write Romney’s name in the same sentence with Reagan . . . .don’t want Reagan’s memory to get the cooties! (-:

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

/headdesk

Red Cloud on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

If he’s conservative then I’m a 22 year old TTU cheerleader who wears a DD brassiere.
Jindal please!

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Col. West would be great as VP…..Jindal/West would be a DYNO-MITE team . . . .. .if only dreams could come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

America is worth saving ……
NOMITTNOBAMA 2012!

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Why not ALLEN WEST?

I love him, but……..

…..he’s too young.

…..too inexperienced on the big stage.

…..he sets his hair on fire (Mitt, no likey that).

…..those “communist” clips would be used on him.

…..think Clarence Thomas/Sarah Palin treatment.

PappyD61 on June 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

“Conservatives would probably like Jindal more than Pawlenty”

Gee Ed, you think? Pawlenty literally wouldn’t crack the top 100.
Obama may be impeached over F&F, but he and Hillary will still beat these two stiffs.
Romney would be wise to give true conservatives (40% of the country and 80 % of
the GOP) someone to gravitate around or his campaign stops will require someone
to photoshop in the crowds.
By the way, when is that VP poll coming?

AmeriCuda on June 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I’m not a ‘trucon’-I’m a conservative-libertarian.
Kiss off.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:37 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

Really? Heh. A lot of the talk then centered around him being the old Washington guy.

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Pawlenty? Are you kidding me? He couldn’t even win a straw poll in Iowa(…)
Please tell me this is just a joke.
bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:25 PM
Neither could Romney. Or, for that matter, Reagan.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I must have missed the part where Romney and Reagan withdrew from the race after losing Iowa as Pawlenty did. And apparently you missed the part about Pawlenty withdrawing after the Iowa straw poll as you selectively edited it of my post.

bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

To these people, politics isn’t so much about policy; it’s more like a giant arena for them to fight their culture wars and see their emotions vindicated.
joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Would you say that Pawlenty’s fervent embrace of Gore’s Global Warming Scam was Pawlenty trying to vindicate his own emotions? Works both ways, y’know.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Why not ALLEN WEST?

I love him, but……..

…..he’s too young. an Obama was old enough?

…..too inexperienced on the big stage. an Obama was experienced enough!?

…..he sets his hair on fire (Mitt, no likey that).

…..those “communist” clips would be used on him. (not a bad thing)

…..think Clarence Thomas/Sarah Palin treatment. (the same treatment won’t won’t work with Allen West)

PappyD61 on June 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

…..so you prefer Pawlenty ove West????????????????

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Pawlenty is missing a couple of other important qualifications.

1. Limited private sector experience. Pawlenty has been in politics since he was 30 or so. I think Romney would prefer someone who was not a “career” politician, who instinctively understands the private sector the way he does.

2. No Washington experience. Romney is a Washington outsider. As President, he’s going to need to get things done there. If he does pick a political animal, it should be somebody who knows how to move around the corridors of power in DC.

Portman really fits the bill better than Pawlenty. Law degree. Helped grow the family forklift business from 5 to 300 employees. Associate White House Counsel for Bush I. Congressman, who actually passed substantive legislation. U.S. Trade Representative. Director of Budget Office. Weak on foreign policy but that’s about it.

Of the announced favorites, my money is on Portman. I know he’s tainted by Bush, but who isn’t?

Mr. Arkadin on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

joana on June 20, 2012 at 1:28 PM

If he’s conservative then I’m a 22 year old TTU cheerleader who wears a DD brassiere.
Jindal please!

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Agreed. He’s conservative for NJ standards, but that’s about it.

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

If he’s conservative then I’m a 22 year old TTU cheerleader who wears a DD brassiere.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM

O__O

Red Cloud on June 20, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Agreed. He’s conservative for NJ standards, but that’s about it.
GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

MN standards, actually. Mighty low bar in a liberal state.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Pawlenty is missing a couple of other important qualifications.

1. Limited private sector experience. Pawlenty has been in politics since he was 30 or so. I think Romney would prefer someone who was not a “career” politician, who instinctively understands the private sector the way he does.

2. No Washington experience. Romney is a Washington outsider. As President, he’s going to need to get things done there. If he does pick a political animal, it should be somebody who knows how to move around the corridors of power in DC.

Portman really fits the bill better than Pawlenty. Law degree. Helped grow the family forklift business from 5 to 300 employees. Associate White House Counsel for Bush I. Congressman, who actually passed substantive legislation. U.S. Trade Representative. Director of Budget Office. Weak on foreign policy but that’s about it.

Of the announced favorites, my money is on Portman. I know he’s tainted by Bush, but who isn’t?
Mr. Arkadin on June 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Allen West
Scott Walker
Bobby Jindal
Mark Rubio

Just to name a few.

bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

MN standards, actually. Mighty low bar in a liberal state.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Chris Christie is the Governor of NJ, which is why I referenced NJ.

GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

OK Ed, I know your a Pawlenty guy being from Minn. This selection does nothing to energize the Party.
He will not deliver the state that once elected Jesse Ventura. He needs Wisconsin, Paul Ryan can deliver him a victory.

Romney/Ryan 2012

Sparty on June 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM

If Portman is not picked as VP, he will be picked as White House Chief of Staff. I think Pawlenty is some kind of Cabinet pick, but not VP.

Mr. Arkadin on June 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Not a great move, but than neither was Rmoney™.

Bmore on June 20, 2012 at 1:49 PM

For what it’s worth, TPaw had the second best immigration record after Bachmann.

TxAnn56 on June 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Just reinforced my plan to keep my wallet shut on the national level

Sekhmet on June 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

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

I was using “boring white guy” as shorthand for Dem complaints about any white male who might be chosen for the VP slot. They are going to accuse the GOP of racism no matter what, because 1) they always do, and 2) any GOP candidate with the affrontery to try to unseat Obama must be racist in their eyes.

Mind you, if a non-white or non-male candidate were chosen, they’d scream that he/she was only chosen to appeal to whatever interest group he/she supposedly represents. That’s what they said about Palin.

You can’t win.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

MN standards, actually. Mighty low bar in a liberal state.
whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Chris Christie is the Governor of NJ, which is why I referenced NJ.
GOPRanknFile on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Ah, I see. Though CC has never had Pawlenty’s “Human Tryptophan” problem. So there is that, I guess.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

MN standards, actually. Mighty low bar in a liberal state.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Pawlenty isn’t a great Conservative, but he’s no Leftist, either.

Also, MN is more purple than outsiders realize…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Pawlenty fits the outline the Romney team has detailed very well. I still, however, think that foreign policy credentials must play a major role in Romney’s selection, as he is weak in that area. T-Paw can’t check off that box.

Agree. I’d like to see someone with some foreign policy and/or military creds.

But safe/non-game-changer is just fine by me.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Allen West
Scott Walker
Bobby Jindal
Mark Rubio

Just to name a few.

bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Allen West is not a serious contender, as he doesn’t fit the stated Romney criteria.
No one is even talking about Scott Walker. That doesn’t necessarily rule him out, but…
Rubio is is Bushie to the core, he’s right in Jeb’s pocket. He’s also finished. In a week, no one will be talking about him.

I’m not thrilled about Jindal for various reasons, but he’s got the stuff, and is on the short list. He’d be as good, or better, than Pawlenty, less so than Portman, but without the Bush stink as you correctly point out.

Mr. Arkadin on June 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM

For what it’s worth, TPaw had the second best immigration record after Bachmann.
TxAnn56 on June 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I think you mean “campaign position” instead of “record”; the North Star State is infested with illegals.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Oh yeah, because as we know Jindal, a brilliant and accomplished success at everything he has ever tried, is a ‘celebrity’ pick. Ryan also. Even Condi, as secretary of State, National security advisor (love her or not) couldn’t be called a celebrity pick. All are far more equipped to be president than Pawlenty. Why is he being chosen. Because he’s a nondescript ball of moderation. Choosing him for that reason is irresponsible.

AmeriCuda on June 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

obama/biden//clinton

or

Romney/fill in the blank

Easy call.

crash72 on June 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Was Reagan a conservative? After all the deals he cut with Tip O’Neill? He raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office, he tripled the federal budget deficit, federal govermmnet grew at explosive rates and he gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants.

Obviously, any remotely normal conservative person will say “sure, he was a conservative dealing with a liberal legislature, so he needed to make some concessions – but wit a non-conservative president would have been much worse”.

Just like T-Paw in Minnesota.

It seems some people are under the idea that the GOP should only nominate for national tickets governors from deep red states because the others are only “good for -random purple/blue state”.

Or they just have no idea about separation of powers and believe Governors are Absolutist Kings.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

MN standards, actually. Mighty low bar in a liberal state.
whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Pawlenty isn’t a great Conservative, but he’s no Leftist, either.

Depends on the issues. And this is the guy who delared “It looks like we should have listened to President Carter. He called us to action, and we should have listened”, afterall.

Also, MN is more purple than outsiders realize…
Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

It vacillates, but hasn’t gone GOP in a national election since 1972.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:04 PM

For what it’s worth, TPaw had the second best immigration record after Bachmann.
TxAnn56 on June 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I think you mean “campaign position” instead of “record”; the North Star State is infested with illegals.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

See what I was just saying?

What exactly could have Pawlenty done about the immigration issue that he didn’t do? And please, refrain to mildly realistic answers, not something that involves taking over federal competences or pretending the MN legislature is just like Arizona’s.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Romney/Pawlenty = Obama 2nd term

lonestar1 on June 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Wow. Election lost if this happens.

ktrich on June 20, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Romney/Pawlenty or Romney/Portman:

Obama wins.

Norwegian on June 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

For what it’s worth, TPaw had the second best immigration record after Bachmann.
TxAnn56 on June 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I think you mean “campaign position” instead of “record”; the North Star State is infested with illegals.
whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

See what I was just saying?

I see, you were being facetious.

What exactly could have Pawlenty done about the immigration issue that he didn’t do? And please, refrain to mildly realistic answers, not something that involves taking over federal competences or pretending the MN legislature is just like Arizona’s.
joana on June 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

You’re correct; neither Pawlenty or the GOP in Minn had/have the cojones to even address the issue – much less seek to remedy it – as is done in other jurisdictions. So they crank out meaningless CYA BS position papers instead – which, apparently, some confuse with action.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

What a disaster this would be. So far, team Romney has not shown any indication that they have a finger-on-the-pulse of America – Pawlenty would be a weak, squishy, boringly safe choice, and would not build enthusiasm – something that Romney desperately needs. Romney has one last chance to rally the troops and give conservatives, women, the Tea Party, etc., a reason to get excited – if he is wise, he will not waste the opportunity by choosing a nothing VP like Pawlenty.

Pork-Chop on June 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Why not someone like Allen West? So what if he is a Rep. He’s had 20yrs of military service with > 10 yrs of command. He has more leadership capabities than most of the sitting Congress, and certainly more than Obama. He’d be a great rebuttal to all of the white liberals & Dem AA Uncle Toms… He seems to have a better grasp of econ issues more than most Dems & Republicans.

He’d flatten Biden in VP debates, and probably have ‘what for’ to smack a-holes like Obama & Holder.

Why not Lt. Col. West for VP?

Danny on June 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

He’s my choice as well. We don’t need a Romney clone as VP, we need someone passionate about their convictions and Allen West fits the bill. He also provides experience that Romney lacks.

Common Sense on June 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I would have laughed at this pick 2 months ago, but the way Obama is going, Romney could pick a sack of potatoes and still win.

kevinkristy on June 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Pawlenty = Invisible Man

Remember
Pawlenty couldn’t get Norm Coleman re-elected to the Senate.
Pawlenty had no coattails – a D followed him as gov.
Pawlenty has had no influence on other elections – unlike Palin, Ryan, Gingrich, Cain
Pawlenty tried to buy the Iowa straw-poll and didn’t, even Santorum was smart enough to not do that.
Pawlenty did not do big memorable things in MN when gov. (like Palin and Scott Walker)
Pawlenty did not have the grit needed to nail Romney on ObamneyCare.

when Pawlenty speaks – nobody listens – he hasn’t been even picked up as an occasional talking head.

My pick > Sen. Tom Coburn — someone who knows the budget inside and out and has staff ready to start pruning.

KenInIL on June 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Depends on the issues. And this is the guy who delared “It looks like we should have listened to President Carter. He called us to action, and we should have listened”, afterall.

1) name someone you believe is a perfect Conservative
2) if someone likes USSC justices like Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Rehnquist, and dislikes ones like Kagan, Sotomeyer, Ginsburg, and Souter, does that indicate to you that that person is some sort of Leftist?

Also, MN is more purple than outsiders realize…
Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

It vacillates, but hasn’t gone GOP in a national election since 1972.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:04 PM

How does that contradict what I said?

What, if anything, does the following indicate to you? Results of some recent elections in MN involving overt Leftists:

1) Skip Humphrey, 1998 governor’s race: came in 3rd place, behind Ventura and Coleman
2) Roger Moe, 2002 governor’s race: lost to Pawlenty
3) Walter Mondale, 2002 Senate race: lost to Coleman, who I believe would have defeated another overt Leftist, Paul Wellstone, had Wellstone not died
4) Mike Hatch, 2006 governor’s race: lost to Pawlenty
5) Franken, 2010 Senate race: only beat Coleman because of cheating

Pawlenty’s not perfect, and I don’t like him much, but he did work to accomplish some real Conservative changes in MN…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Geesh, Pawlenty will not deliver MN to the win for Romney, so what good will he add to the ticket? Nothing.

Ed, I swear, if you did not live in MN, you would see what we don’t see in Pawlenty.

I just read where Mitch Daniels has been selected to be President of Purdue, but they haven’t officially announced that yet. So we can also remove ANOTHER purely boring person from consideration.

karenhasfreedom on June 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Sotomeyer Sotomayor

Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I’d much rather have someone like Paul Ryan or Bobby Jindall (either of which would excite me) over a Pawlenty or Portman (neither of which is very exciting).

Othniel on June 20, 2012 at 2:39 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.

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Why should I hold back my opinion? Because you want me to? Another “typical” Romney supporter on HA.

MadisonConservative on June 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Depends on the issues. And this is the guy who delared “It looks like we should have listened to President Carter. He called us to action, and we should have listened”, afterall.

1) name someone you believe is a perfect Conservative

Just about anyone who doesn’t Jimmy Carter a great visionary.

Also, MN is more purple than outsiders realize…
Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 1:54 PM

It vacillates, but hasn’t gone GOP in a national election since 1972.
whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:04 PM

How does that contradict what I said?

It clarifies what you said. Things go back and forth red/blue rather than a static “purple” state – but since the days Humphrey cobbled together the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties, if you have “DFL” after your name on the ballot you have the advantage in most places. Also, the “red” isn’t a very deep one – the Bachmanns are few & far between.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:46 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.
changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Why should I hold back my opinion? Because you want me to? Another “typical” Romney supporter on HA.
MadisonConservative on June 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

The question “why do you care?” is valid and a good one, but you didn’t address it.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Geesh, Pawlenty will not deliver MN to the win for Romney, so what good will he add to the ticket? Nothing.

Quick: when was the last time a VP candidate delivered a state to a winning ticket?

States that were solid red or solid blue to begin with don’t count (e.g. Cheney did not “deliver” WY to Bush, it was going to go R anyway).

Gore in ’92? Arguable, since Gore himself failed to take TN four years later. I think Clinton won it on his own, along with GA, KY, LA and WV as well as his home state.

TX went for Reagan after having gone for Carter, but I don’t think that was because of Bush. Besides, Bush was selected as a sop to the Rockefeller Repubs who had backed him, not because Reagan needed help with Texas.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM

What exactly could have Pawlenty done about the immigration issue that he didn’t do? And please, refrain to mildly realistic answers, not something that involves taking over federal competences or pretending the MN legislature is just like Arizona’s.
joana on June 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM

You’re correct; neither Pawlenty or the GOP in Minn had/have the cojones to even address the issue – much less seek to remedy it – as is done in other jurisdictions. So they crank out meaningless CYA BS position papers instead – which, apparently, some confuse with action.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Why don’t you answer the question? What would Pawlenty be able to do if he had “cojones” to address the issue?

joana on June 20, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Arguable, since Gore himself failed to take TN four years later.

Sorry, s/b eight years later. 1996 was apparently too traumatic to remember.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Jindal/West 2012 YES! (or Gary Johnson/? 2012)YES!

ROMNEY/ANYBODY 2012 NO!
OBama/ANYBODY 2012 NO!

Pragmatic on June 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Just about anyone who doesn’t Jimmy Carter a great visionary.

Are you willing to name a specific person you find to be a perfect Conservative, or is that asking too much of you?

Also, the “red” isn’t a very deep one – the Bachmanns are few & far between.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 2:46 PM

“purple”=”red”+”blue” – we were debating the degree of purple?

Minnesotans have voted “no” to overt Leftists many times in the last 30 years when they’ve had the opportunity to do so, which was my point, and you are unable to contradict that – MN is less a Leftist state than it is one which dislikes what it perceives to be political extremists…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Pawlenty = Invisible Man

Remember
Pawlenty couldn’t get Norm Coleman re-elected to the Senate.
Pawlenty had no coattails – a D followed him as gov.
Pawlenty has had no influence on other elections – unlike Palin, Ryan, Gingrich, Cain
Pawlenty tried to buy the Iowa straw-poll and didn’t, even Santorum was smart enough to not do that.
Pawlenty did not do big memorable things in MN when gov. (like Palin and Scott Walker)
Pawlenty did not have the grit needed to nail Romney on ObamneyCare.

when Pawlenty speaks – nobody listens – he hasn’t been even picked up as an occasional talking head.

My pick > Sen. Tom Coburn — someone who knows the budget inside and out and has staff ready to start pruning.

KenInIL on June 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Finally, some intelligent analysis of the Romney VP selection process. You seem to get what a lot of people are missing.

Romney is not picking a VP to help him win, as McCain did. He is picking a VP to help him govern, which is completely different thing. Romney has said repeatedly that his VP choice must be ready to take over the Presidency on day one. There is no room or time to “grow” into the job. Romney has work to do, and he needs someone to work with him.

That rules out a lot of the “favorites”, good and bad, like Rubio, West, Ryan, etc. It rules out people who would have a hard time shelving the ego and working as a team, like Christie. It leaves in the boring types like Pawlenty and Portman. It leaves in play Jindal. KeninIL is asking the right question: Pawlenty can talk, but can he deliver?

Coburn is an ineresting choice, but he is a member of the Obama fan club, and has the John Ensign/Family mess in his background just waiting to jump out.

Mr. Arkadin on June 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Why should I hold back my opinion? Because you want me to? Another “typical” Romney supporter on HA.

MadisonConservative on June 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Because you’re not voting for Romney anyway. You don’t want a dog in this fight, so why should it matter to you that the possible vp choice is “bland”?

changer1701 on June 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

bgibbs1000 on June 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I like Jindal, and want him as the VP candidate. However, you are incorrect that he can’t be connected to Bush- served him in an HHS appointment 2001-2003.

Though incidentally, his healthcare experience and ideas for actual healthcare reform that works (IMO) is one reason I think he’d be perfect at this point.

But, if not VP, Jindal for HHS secretary perhaps?

cs89 on June 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Consensus forming around Pawlenty?

Consensus? Is that a type of moss?

Fallon on June 20, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I’m getting a headache. Seriously. Pawlenty? He’s not a good speaker; he’s PD close to being a classic RINO and the only thing more unexciting is that guy whose name I can’t remember but who worked in Bush’s budget office and is now a Congressman.

There’s safe and then there’s comotose. I think even Lunchbucket Joe could beat Pawlenty in a debate.

Portia46 on June 20, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Quick: when was the last time a VP candidate delivered a state to a winning ticket?

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Johnson. Delivered the state and the election.

Of course, VPs are rarely picked to deliver swing-states as your post shows. And that’s why they don’t provide much of a home-state boost – especially if their home-state is also a swing state.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Pawlenty as VP… No Thanks!

Pawlenty as VP would be yet another strike against Romney and he’s already not trusted by strong Republicans and Conservatives.

Romney has the “moderate” Republican vote wrapped up, he needs a Conservative to balance the ticket.

RJL on June 20, 2012 at 3:17 PM

The two most important aspects of this campaign are:

1. Keep focused on the economy and the debt.

2. Reassure low-info indies that the adults have arrived.

Pawlenty would be a fine veep nod.

I’d personally prefer Paul Ryan, but that might be akin to handing Dems a weapon to beat us with. Rubio, charisma aside, is already screwing up by falling into the Leftist meme of conflating illegal and legal immigration, illegal aliens and legal immigrants–his recent Op-Ed piece set off alarm bells in my head; plus, if we play racial politics, we’ve already lost. Jindal never recovered from his awful deer-in-headlights GOP response years back.

Staying on message is job one–not providing emotional satisfaction to those of us to the right of Romney.

ConservativeLA on June 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Ah, how depressing. Of course the Romney camp is desperate to find a VP that won’t outshine Romney (and be more appealing as a presidential candidate). That will be extremely difficult with most of the names being bantered around. Except of course, if it’s Pawlenty. Gawd! this can’t be happening!!

mozalf on June 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Johnson. Delivered the state and the election.

So, 52 years ago. And there is significant evidence that fraud put Texas (and Illinois) over the top for Kennedy.

Johnson was still by all measures a great VP pick.

However, aside from possibly Ryan in WI, I don’t see any viable candidate that can help Romney in a swing state this year. FL will go red w/o Rubio. OH will go red w/o Portman. NM may be out of reach with or without Martinez. LA will be red.

VA – maybe McDonnell can help. But he’s no LBJ and hasn’t even completed a term.

And Romney doesn’t need WI to win as badly as Kennedy needed TX. There are many paths without it.

Missy on June 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

T-Paw = Blah

My choice…..Janice Rogers Brown!!!!

P. Monk on June 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

MN is less a Leftist state than it is one which dislikes what it perceives to be political extremists…
Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Yup – Mark Dayton, Al Franken and Any Klobuchar are nothing if not TrueCons. Can’t argue with your reasoning, I’ll give you that.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

This is all a concerted effort by the LSM to get Romney to tip his hand so they can begin the attacks and dumpster diving now.

Droopy on June 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

. . . yawn . . .

TarheelBen on June 20, 2012 at 3:39 PM

romney to a conservative is a sh!t sandwich and now they want us wash it down with mug of p!ss?????????????????

rik on June 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

This is all a concerted effort by the LSM to get Romney to tip his hand so they can begin the attacks and dumpster diving now.
Droopy on June 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Yup, just so much chain-yanking. I wouldn’t get too excited over rumors such as these.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Unfortunately the Tea Party (and I say this as a supporter of the TP)went for people with no substance Cain, Bachmann. They had great soundbites but not any true substance behind them. The TP passed up people with the policies/criteria they said was so important: cut spending, stand up to DC, repeal Obamacare, JOBS, respect states rights etc and they squandered the opportunity that was handed to them. Now we have Romney and now he is IT so we do everything to help him get elected. We need a VP that can work with Romney, dems, DC, conservatives, Tea Party etc and maybe Pawlenty can do that. He is not as exciting as Palin but we need someone who has proven he can get the job done and has very little the Obama MSM can go after them for. That is our reality. We may not like it but we need to make the best of it. Keep in mind the MSM will go all out to re-elect Obama. I was thinking conservative Tim Scott from SC might be a good VP plus he is black. Allen West has been vocal and that means the MSM will have things to go after him for and face it the party republicans in FL don’t really have his back. I don’t like playing the “race” card but whatever it takes to defeat Obama is my mantra. America needs rescuing we can’t wait 4 more years.

1bunny on June 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Ah, how depressing. Of course the Romney camp is desperate to find a VP that won’t outshine Romney (and be more appealing as a presidential candidate). That will be extremely difficult with most of the names being bantered around. Except of course, if it’s Pawlenty. Gawd! this can’t be happening!!

mozalf on June 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

You mean like the bride who picks bridesmaid dresses that look like they were made by Cindarella’s mice (or Michelle Obama’s dress maker)? Romney is THAT kind of bride?

Yikes.

Portia46 on June 20, 2012 at 3:53 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

What Romney defeat?

ddrintn = the ghost of angryed

cicerone on June 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

John Bolton for VP!

Buttercup on June 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Staying on message is job one–not providing emotional satisfaction to those of us to the right of Romney.

ConservativeLA on June 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM

You nailed it. Where are ABO conservatives going to go? No more Obama, and Romney knows how strong that feeling is with conservatives. He’s got em, ( well, maybe not all of them, but quite a few) whether they like him or not. He is going for indies and as many cross over dems as he can get. He has most likely taken back all the liberal/moderate Repubs that went for Obama in 08.

Romney is much more of a business man than a politician and the way he’s run his campaign reflects that. I imagine he will choose a VP that reflects/enhances the business side of him. People want the economy to get better because that what directly impacts their lives today, right now, and they will turn to a business man for that. When people hurt or are sick, they want chicken soup, not red meat.

It may not be a spectacular win, but a quiet, one foot in front of the other win. In 2012 it will be an ABO win.

DoubleClutchin on June 20, 2012 at 4:52 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

Plus he’ll have to pay for two seats on Air Force 2.

msupertas on June 20, 2012 at 4:55 PM

MN is less a Leftist state than it is one which dislikes what it perceives to be political extremists…
Bizarro No. 1 on June 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Yup – Mark Dayton, Al Franken and Any Klobuchar are nothing if not TrueCons. Can’t argue with your reasoning, I’ll give you that.

whatcat on June 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Don’t forget The Body. He was a lump of sanity.

msupertas on June 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

“sources that Tim Pawlenty has emerged as a front-runner for the VP slot”

God help us. Pawlenty is as exciting as listening to Nancy Pelosi speeches.

For the love of God, please pick a VP that can energize people instead of putting them to sleep.

BMF on June 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Oh yeah,he did so well on the campaign trail during the primary process-let’s pick him as VP candidate.The new slogan-Yawn and Yawner!

redware on June 20, 2012 at 6:21 PM

MN isn’t a purple state. It hasn’t voted Republican for president since 1972. The last time they re-elected a Republican senator it was Durenberg, a liberal Republican who isn’t even a Republican any more, in the 80s. Norm Coleman and Tim Pawlenty won state-wide elections this century but never got to 50% of the vote – they benefited from 3rd party candidacies. Arne Carlson was another liberal Republican who endorsed Obama and all that. Their two current senators are among the most liberal in the country.

Not easy at all for a conservative like Pawlenty to be elected and re-elected state-wide in Minnesota. While it’s not a reflexively partisan state like MA or CA, it’s almost as liberal.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 6:48 PM

People who want politics to “excite” them need to find new hobbies urgently.

joana on June 20, 2012 at 6:49 PM

BMF, you are absolutely correct.
Pawlenty would be good for insomnia, & that’s about it. Ditto for Rob Portman
Also, Condoleezza Rice, sure hope she’s not in the running…more to the left than Romney.
My favorite politician: Jim DeMint, keeps with conservative principles.

Belle on June 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I like mitt. I like pawlenty.

but in all honesty the MOST BORING team in history.

gerrym51 on June 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

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