McCain and Pawlenty, sittin' in a tree?

class=img_thumbleft>The New York Sun is the latest publication to

fuel speculation

of a possible McCain-Pawlenty 2008 presidential ticket. Among other things, the conservative newspaper takes note of the big fat wet kiss McCain planted on Pawlenty during the most recent campaign: "I know of no one who will make a greater contribution to the future of America than this great leader," McCain said of T. Paw. "This is the kind of leadership that I'd like to pass the torch to." Really don't need a gypsy to read those tea leaves there, do you?

Pundit/blogger Jim Geharghty also cites two other factors that auger in favor of a McCain-Pawlenty bid: the tactical importance of the upper Midwest to the GOP's 2008 prospects (Karl Rove is said to have referred to Minnesota as "the Holy Grail") and, more importantly, the sudden scarcity of sitting GOP governors who would make for a viable running mate.

Writes Geharghty:

This year's elections eviscerated the GOP's supply of governors. In Maryland, Governor Ehrlich's term is likely to be deemed a historical accident. Governor Taft is loathed in his home state of Ohio, where Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell was roundly defeated in his bid to become governor. And Governor Schwarzenegger, who may have the most impressive election performance of all the Republican governors, would require an amendment to the Constitution to qualify as a running mate. The year 2006 provided such a poor environment for Republican issues that Governor Daniels of Indiana - the former White House budget director - has run into trouble with his constituents over a change in policy on daylight-saving time, and his unpopularity was cited as a factor in the Republicans' loss of three House seats in his state.

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