The Plank

Let The Pawlenty Boomlet Begin!

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Jonathan Martin detects rumblings about Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty's veep prospects. But, I have to confess, I'm not that impressed by this trial ballon.

First, there are the people Pawlenty has tapped to float it. One Pawlenty booster who spoke to Martin, former Minnesota Congressman and current lobbyist Vin Weber, isn't someone McCain is likely to spend much time listening to, seeing as how he was a prominent Romney supporter. And then there's this one:

Sara Taylor, former White House political director and a veteran of
both Bush-Cheney campaigns, contacted this reporter to offer
unsolicited observations on the governor.

Declining to say how she got wind of the story, Taylor lavished praise
on Pawlenty. "By far, he's the strongest candidate" to serve as
McCain's running mate, she said.

"He's a conservative, rock-n-roll Republican and is counterintuitive to
the party stereotype that we're old and rich,” says Taylor, who
recalled visiting St. Paul and finding the governor jamming in his
office to recording artist Bruce Springsteen. “He's young and
blue-collar."

Okay, put aside for a moment the fact that the last time a Republican tried to align himself with Springsteen, the Boss slapped him down. Does Pawlenty really want Sara Taylor--this Sara Taylor--making his case? 

Finally, there's this:

Two phrases tend to pop up in every Pawlenty profile: “truck driver” and “hockey.” 

I'll give Pawlenty the "truck driver" thing, but, last time I checked, "hockey" doesn't exactly conjure up images of political success. If Pawlenty wants to be McCain's running mate, he's going to have to do better than this.

--Jason Zengerle 

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