Tim Pawlenty undergoing "intensive review" as Romney's possible VP choice

One of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's advisers describes Tim Pawlenty as "an incredible warrior," prompting us to wonder whether the T-Paw Minnesotans know and are ambivalent about has been abducted by aliens and replaced with an imposter.

Whatever the case, Pawlenty, along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), is one of the leading candidates to be Romney's vice presidential choice, the Washington Post reports today.

In late April, Pawlenty went on the record and said he wasn't interested in the VP gig, but that didn't curb speculation about his candidacy.

You might be tempted to believe T-Paw would be an appealing choice for Romney because he could help deliver Minnesota, but recent polling suggests the former governor's presence on the ticket would do little to boost Romney's Land of 10,000 Lakes chances.

From a summary of Public Policy Polling's early June survey:

Pawlenty or no Pawlenty, Romney is probably screwed in Minnesota.
Pawlenty or no Pawlenty, Romney is probably screwed in Minnesota.
None of Minnesota's prominent Republican politicians would be able to make the state competitive if Romney chose them as his running mate either. Tim Pawlenty would help Romney a little bit, bringing Obama's advantage down to 52-41. Pawlenty's favorability numbers make it clear the Presidential race took a bit of a toll on his image though. Only 37% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 52% with a negative one.

Nonetheless, the Post reports that T-Paw "has emerged as a favorite among Romney's staffers because he is loyal to Romney, consistently on-message and has so few airs about him," adding that "on the campaign bus this weekend, [T-Paw] chatted with staffers about rock music."

So Mitt wants an unpretentious and rock music-savvy VP? I await your call, Mr. Romney.

Meanwhile, over at The Atlantic, political pundit Jill Lawrence writes that one of Pawlenty's virtues is his ability to promote himself "as a person who can comfortably drink a Miller High Life at a VFW with someone wearing a Carhartt jacket."

An incredible warrior who enjoys Miller Lite, rock music, and hanging out at the VFW? Maybe there really is something to the Pawlenty-was-abducted-by-aliens hypothesis.

The Post reports that Romney probably won't choose a running mate before the 4th of July, so there's still plenty of time to speculate about Republican VP possibilities.

See also:
-- Romney, along with possible running mate T-Paw, will be in Eagan tomorrow

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