VP Pawlenty Watch: The Case Against T-Paw
Will Governor Tim Pawlenty become our nation's next vice president? It's hard to keep track of all the many factors at play. Each week, the VP Pawlenty Meter (TM) provides an odds sheet to ensure you make your best bet.
Steve Kornacki of the New York Observer argues that despite his frontrunner status, the Minnesota governor would be an awful choice for McCain's running mate.
* His two statewide victories in Minnesota have been paper-thin, and both times he’s finished with well under 50 percent of the vote. Minnesota was close in ’04, but polls now show Obama running away with the state. It’s doubtful that Pawlenty’s presence would deliver Minnesota or any other Rust Belt states.
* If Pawlenty were tapped for McCain’s ticket, relatively few voters would ever meet him in person. Instead, they would meet him through television, and on television Pawlenty looks, sounds and acts like a generic, uninspiring and thoroughly forgettable politician.
* Just yesterday, in what amounted to an informal audition for McCain’s No. 2 slot, Pawlenty gave a flat performance on ABC’s This Week .... His arguments, his tone, his cadence and even his attempts at humor (“The Obama and Hillary Clinton rally shouldn’t have been in Unity, New Hampshire – it should have been in “Political Expediency, New Hampshire!”) were utterly formulaic.
* So what value would Pawlenty add to the ticket? His first opportunity for publicity – when McCain announces the pick – would be a wasted venture because no one (outside of Minnesota) knows Pawlenty and there’s nothing dramatic in his background (he’s spent his life in Minnesota politics). He’ll come across as another late-middle-aged politician with talking points.
The CP Home Office thinks Komacki is onto something, so we're lowering the Meter to Yellow:
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