Green Room

Why Pawlenty would NOT be the best pick for VP

posted at 8:21 pm on August 2, 2012 by

I have to express my disagreement with Karl on the strengths of Pawlenty as a VP candidate. I’m sure Governor Pawlenty is a good and decent man and I have no real problem with boring candidates as long as they had a certain gravitas behind them (that is why on that front I think Portman would be a superior VP pick). Pawlenty, in my humble opinion, lacks that. Even before the primaries began he always came off to me as kind of a lightweight. His confrontation with Mitt during the primaries regarding “Obamneycare” just confirmed that.  I’m sure Governor Pawlenty will continue to make an effective surrogate, but as a Vice Presidential candidate, I’m just not sold.

Neither am I sold on Governor Pawlenty’s ability to bring in some new group of voters (in this case blue collar types that might be wary of a stiff millionaire like Romney). He didn’t really strike a cord in the primaries and I’m doubtful he’ll bring in many new people that already weren’t going to vote for Romney anyway. I think there are two target demographics for us in the election with whom we need to do better. 1.) Middle class and upper-middle class suburban women. 2.) Latinos. We don’t necessarily have to win these groups, but we need to improve. Now, I don’t know if there is a candidate we have currently that can help the ticket do better with these groups and meet Governor Romney’s criteria as being ready on day one (sorry Rubio, Ayotte, and Martinez fans), but I am pretty certain that Pawlenty won’t help with these groups.

Karl states that he wants to keep the focus on President Obama and the economy, but do we really think the media will play this game? They’re trying everything under the sun to to change the subject, picking Pawlenty won’t stop that. If that’s a reason to pick Pawlenty, I think it is a pretty weak one.

No, it’ll be Mediscare, class warfare, and who knows what else in the fall. What would a Governor Pawlenty do in regards to fighting back against the Dems, except recite prepackaged talking points? That”s what he has been good at doing, but we can (and need to) do better than that. A Paul Ryan can do better than that and I also believe Bobby Jindal (whom I prefer to be picked) can.

I don’t dislike Tim Pawlenty. I just think Romney can do better. The Governor needs to stop being afraid of losing and just pick the best person for the job that won’t sink the ticket (people worrying about exorcist stories hurting the ticket in the case of Jindal, I think, are overestimating the importance that people place on that as an issue). Paul Ryan is such a person, Bobby Jindal is such a person, Jon Kyl is such a person. Governor Romney doesn’t have to make a “game-changing” pick, but he shouldn’t be afraid to pick the person he truly wants as a governing partner either.

Recently in the Green Room:

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Why would someone nominate as VP the first person tossed booted thrown out of the Presidential primaries? The electorate didn’t want him then, and they surely don’t want him in the wings now.

Insanity.

HopeHeFails on August 2, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Do Hot Air authors ever support conservatives?

Dante on August 2, 2012 at 10:21 PM

(that is why on that front I think Portman would be a superior VP pick)

The huck is tfis?

Jeddite on August 2, 2012 at 10:45 PM

“Strike a cord” or “strike a chord” ?

njcommuter on August 2, 2012 at 11:11 PM

njcommuter,
I can’t spell to good ;-)

Mike Rathbone on August 2, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Romney needs to pick Herman Cain. We need more businessmen in Washington that know how the economy works and how to create jobs, not more bureaucrats.

nazo311 on August 3, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Perhaps I should blame my own writing skills, but I thought I made it fairly obvious that I wasn’t touting Pawlenty or any of his supposed strengths. Rather, I was looking at it from my estimation of how Romneyland thinks. And on that score, if they think they can win with a bland non-entity, that’s who Mitt will pick.

Will the Dem/MSM axis do Mediscare anyway? Of course they will. Would they do it times a billion if Mitt picks Paul Ryan? Undoubtedly. Romney has seen fit to offer entirely vague plans on tax reform and entitlements and if anyone has seen any indication that they plan to do a 180 on this, I would love to hear about it.

Might he pick someone like Rubio or Ayotte to help with Hispanics or upscale women. I wrote that he might well do that. But I suspect he’ll do that only if he thinks he needs that sort of pick to help in FL or NH, because there’s not much evidence that even Rubio moves a ton of Hispanic votes outside FL. And — as I wrote — if he makes that sort of pick, I think the message is that Romney is concerned about the electoral map.

Thus, Pawlenty is the best pick, because that pick would suggest that Romney does not think that he needs help from his VP pick. I think the tendency of grassroots conservatives like those here is to think Romney should be thinking about pleasing them. But I don’t think that’s how Romney thinks (and I think most grassroots righties would agree if they put aside their emotions about it). Romney likely thinks the right is going to crawl over broken glass to vote against Obama, freeing him up to work on swing states or demos to the extent he thinks he needs them.

If you ask me who I actually think he picks, I might well guess Portman, because the public polling generally suggests Mitt can win FL w/o Rubio, but may need Portman’s organization enthused to compete in OH. Of course, Romney’s internal polling may be telling him something else, and I think whatever it’s telling him will be implicit in who he does pick.

People who have read my past stuff know the debt is my big issue. I’d be fine with Ryan as VP. Hell, I’d like him as POTUS. But I doubt Romney picks him, because everything about his campaign so far suggests he wants to stay focused on Obama’s failures and jobs, not the debt. I would also personally prefer Rubio or Jindal over Pawlenty. But I just don’t see Romney picking either of them, unless he’s worried about FL… in which case I’m worried, too.

Karl on August 3, 2012 at 12:19 AM

Wonder if this Green Room post will make it to the main page?

Hmm…

cs89 on August 3, 2012 at 12:31 AM

I agree with Mike (sorry, Karl). Pawlenty would be a weak choice, would not add to the ticket and could drag it down. As Mike points out, he did very poorly in the primary battle,hardly fought at all. The veep candidate needs to be a scrapper.

Libby Sternberg on August 3, 2012 at 6:03 AM

Romney needs to pick Herman Cain. We need more businessmen in Washington that know how the economy works and how to create jobs, not more bureaucrats.

nazo311 on August 3, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Herman Cain knows how the economy works? Not even a week before the economic meltdown, Cain was saying how the economy was fine. This is someone who knows the economy??? He loved TARP, too.

Dante on August 3, 2012 at 7:32 AM

As much as I wouldn’t want “identity politics” to be used, it would probably be best for Romney to put Jindal on the ticket. That way we disarm the Dems’ “GOP is just old white men” missile before they even launch it.

Besides, Jindal has solid conservative credentials on his own anyway. And if they bring up the exorcism crap, all we have to say is “Jeremiah Wright. Your argument is invalid.”

TMOverbeck on August 3, 2012 at 9:18 AM

When will HOTAiR adopt the Disqus comment system so we can have real conversations here instead of the old-tech comment list?

HopeHeFails on August 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Romney needs to pick Herman Cain.

nazo311 on August 3, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Cain has yet to stuff the sexual accusations somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, with a couple of legal suits. Until he does that, he can only run for radio host.

Pawlenty/Portman have “been there/done that” — but what? What is their legacy? No coattails. No down ticket influence. No major legislative accomplishments other than not being indicted.

Look at Sen. John Hoeven of ND: 10 years as governor of state growing faster than TX. Banking experience with the only state bank, a bank that has made the state grow as opposed to squeezing borrowers. This is a public official with a great legacy.

KenInIL on August 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Romney’s pick for Chief Economic Adviser, Dean Glenn Hubbard of the Columbia Business School (and who co-wrote the economics textbook I learned off of in college,) shows that Paul Ryan is a much likelier pick than anyone else.

Just look at Hubbard’s op-ed yesterday in the WSJ.

Paul Ryan is the only person who can actually defend against attacks on HIS plan, the plan the Democrats are going to go after anyway.

If Paul Ryan is picked, the Democrats’ venom will overflow out their eyeballs and lead to massive amounts of gaffes and mistakes.

Paul Ryan went through the wringer already and came out without a scratch (and even more muscle.)

Paul Ryan freakin’ hugged the third rail of politics and absorbed so much electricity because his brilliance is unheard of in a politician.

BigWillieStyles on August 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

I see two logical picks:

Bobby Jindal
Rudy Giuliani.

Each has different strengths, but I think that they are the strongest two, by far.

cane_loader on August 4, 2012 at 10:42 AM