A quick vice-presidential state of play: We’ve heard tips about all sorts of timelines over the past few days (Romney will announce his veep-selection this week; he’ll announce after the Olympics; he won’t announce until after the convention; etcetera). The generally-agreed-upon word on the street is that Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, and Bobby Jindal are at the top of the short list, with Chris Christie, Condi Rice, and a few others not too far behind.

Which, of course, has everybody speculating: Is Romney going to go for the safe, perhaps ‘vanilla’ selection of someone like Portman, who has a resume chock-full of experience and could help him politically by bringing home a swing state; or will he choose a more high-risk, high-reward option like Christie, who could potentially fly off the handle but who isn’t afraid to call ’em as they see ’em?

Tim Pawlenty appeared on Cavuto this afternoon, in defense of the “dull” option — the American people, he argues, have had enough “flash” with the Celebrity Presidency to last them a lifetime, and what they’re looking for now are real solutions for their very real material problems. (And hey, check that out — he even made a funny!)

“You have been whittled down to what I’m told is a shorter list, apparently because you’re considered, at least by the Romneys, we are told, sir, this could be wrong — safe, reliable, steady as she goes, nothing too flashy. Dare I say dull,” Cavuto said.

“If you goad me into it, I’ll show you my tats,” Pawlenty said.

Cavuto laughed as Pawlenty added, “I’m teasing, I’m teasing.” …

“We have a lot of people who are entertaining, who can light their hair on fire or, you know, do whatever,” Pawlenty said. “But the bottom line is, these are serious times, we need seasoned, experienced people who get the job done.”

“I’m not as flashy as some, but compared to some others, I think I’m right in there,” he added. “Nonetheless, I’m not defending it one way or the other. I’m just saying people — rhetoric and teleprompter and jokes, and you know, that kind of stuff, doesn’t put gas in our cars, it doesn’t pay our mortgages, it doesn’t pay our health insurance premiums. People are hurting.”

I’ll leave you with one very big “hmmmm,” just to keep things interesting — it appears that Tim Pawlenty’s website has been taken down, with just a “please come back later” to greet visitors. Could the website possibly be… under construction for some reason?!?!