10 Quick Thoughts on Tim Pawlenty as Veep Nominee

  1. Yawn.

  2. Smallest upside. Smallest downside.

  3. What a difference two years makes for Pawlenty. To go from winning reelection in 2006 by 1% – aided by an embarrassing outburst from his opponent five days before the election – to the Vice Presidential nomination is a big jump.

  4. That said, Pawlenty is a capable executive, has a nice blue collar background (slightly inflated by the Sam’s Club meme), is solidly pro-life with a good evangelical political base, and is significantly more experienced than Obama. In all, he represents the future winning coalition for the GOP (or rather, if it can reach middle class Latinos along with the white working class, it’ll be a winning coalition).

  5. This pick shows that McCain doesn’t believe he needs to freaking impress anyone. He’d rather pick someone he likes personally, someone who is ethically sound, represents a blue state, and will not offend any significant niche of the base – in other words, McCain’s passing on testing the boundaries of political history.

  6. Pawlenty truly likes and admires McCain. But one wonders if this pick would’ve gone differently had Mark Sanford chosen to endorse McCain, and support him in South Carolina, earlier this year.

  7. If you had asked who the likeliest VP choices would’ve been prior to this primary, Sanford and Pawlenty would’ve led the list. After all the other names being thrown around, it says something about the incentive to pick an executive (in an otherwise all-Senate year) that one of them ended up with it.

  8. Pawlenty is a better pick than Romney, certainly a better pick than any of the KBH/Ridge pro-aborts, and a marginally better pick than a roll of the dice like Palin. It lacks any of the sex appeal of Joementum (and this is the first and last time “sex appeal” and “Joe Lieberman” will appear in any proximity to each other), but neither does it have any of Lieberman’s very real negatives. I will still believe that Cantor would’ve been a better choice, but we’ll just see what his future holds.

  9. McCain clearly believes that Obama-Biden is self-destructing – weighted down under their own hubris and a campaign staffed by people who know how to win small-money caucuses, not big-money general elections. And he won’t interfere with that pattern by going outside of the box.

  10. But if he wants to contend for 2012-16, Pawlenty needs to bring back the mullet.