Breaking: Pawlenty -- "I'm not going to Ohio"; Update: Palin's spokesman says she's in Alaska; Update: Or is she? Update: It's Palin, says CNBC; Update: Chicago Tribune says Palin too; Update: Team McCain makes it official!

Tim Pawlenty told local television/radio station WCCO that he will not be traveling to Ohio today.  Instead of being introduced as John McCain’s running mate, the Minnesota governor will attend the state fair as previously scheduled, and do his normal radio show from the fairgrounds:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told WCCO Radio Friday morning that he was not going to Ohio today.

The governor told WCCO Radio’s Eric Eskola that he will be at the Minnesota State Fair Friday, doing his radio show.

“You’re not going to be there so we can just say point-blank, you’re not the nominee?” Eskola asked Pawlenty.

“All I can say is that I’m not going to be there and I plan on being at the State Fair and so you can draw your conclusions from that,” Pawlenty said. “I just can’t comment further at this time.

Meanwhile, several e-mailers pointed to a flight plan for a private jet from Alaska to Ohio last night.  Was Sarah Palin on her way to appear with McCain?  (via Marc Ambinder)

Update (AP): Oh my. This’ll be quite a letdown if true. Little white lie to keep the secret going?

As vice presidential speculation swirls, Gov. Sarah Palin is watching the fireworks from her home in Wasilla, Alaska…

The Governor’s spokesperson, Sharon Leighow, tells ABC News she’s going to the State Fair in Anchorage, Alaska.

Update (Ed): What, is everyone going to a state fair today?  I’ll be at the same one Pawlenty’s at tonight … maybe I’m the running mate?

Update (AP): Via the boss, hmmmmmm:

According to Rich Bevis of B&B Aero, the fixed-based operator at Hook Field, the jet, a Gulfstream IV which has the flight range to fly from Alaska to Europe, landed at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

Bevis said the woman “was a real close match to Palin” and added that the flight crew that’s based in the Seattle area was told to fly to Anchorage to pick up their party and fly to Middletown.

Imagine if it’s Rob Portman. Good lord.

Update (AP): No Joementum, says Politico. We’re rapidly running out of contenders here. We’ve got the Ohio boys, Portman and Kasich, and … who else is left? Hutchison was pretty emphatic about not being vetted. Meg Whitman or Fiorina?

I think it’s Palin. That spokesman’s quote is awfully weak.

Update (AP): Here’s a much more solid reason to think it’s not Palin. Would they be sniffing at her to reporters if she was the pick?

Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska? As reports circulated on television and cable networks on Friday morning that Senator John McCain might have selected Ms. Palin as his running mate, McCain advisers expressed bewilderment. One adviser said that while Mr. McCain thinks highly of Ms. Palin, who is opposed to abortion rights and would be welcomed by Christian conservatives, her less than two years in office would undercut one of the McCain campaign’s central criticisms of Senator Barack Obama — that he is too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.

“While it’s a dramatic and interesting choice, it would make the argument he’s making difficult to make,” said one McCain adviser.

Update (AP): CNBC says it’s her. Why would they be the first to know? Because she has a good reputation with the network by dint of her frequent appearances on Larry Kudlow’s show. Wow.

Update (AP): Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, is also hearing from sources that she’s the pick. What an unbelievable head fake by McCain, perfectly executed to build suspense and knock The One off the front page this morning. Mind-blowing.

Update (AP): The Chicago Tribune becomes the first major paper to “confirm.” I’m woozy.

Update (Ed): Just got the announcement from Team McCain — it’s officially Palin:

U.S. Senator John McCain today announced that he has selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate and to serve as his vice president.

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington.

Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us — Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.

In Alaska, Governor Palin challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. She put a stop to the “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

As the head of Alaska’s National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.

Governor Palin has the record of reform and bipartisanship that others can only speak of. Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington today.